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Bayview Mackinac race still on but adapting to virus concerns

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit – The Bayview Port Huron to Mackinac Race is still on – but with adjustments.

The 96th sailing of the Michigan summer tradition on Lake Huron is scheduled to begin July 11 – although the coronavirus pandemic continues to force the race to adapt.

The Bayview Port Huron-to-Mackinac Race is scheduled to get underway on July 11.

In a release sent by race chairman Chris Clark to prospective competitors, Clark said there will be noticeable differences on Mackinac Island, and even the courses, for boats in the race.

But with Mackinac Island likely opening the third week in June – which will be three weeks before the start of the race – the sailboat race is still on.

“(Three weeks) is adequate time for us to run the race,” Clark wrote. “(But) due to this compressed timing there will be some required adjustments.”

Social activities, most notably the post-race party and awards presentation, on Tuesday after the race, will be scaled back.

The Bluewater Festival in Port Huron was already canceled in April, but that doesn’t impact the racers' access to the docks in Port Huron. Clark said Bayview is coordinating matters with the harbor master in Port Huron.

As far as the course, the Cove Island mark will not be set this year and the mark will be virtual and tracked digitally. That allows the race to be finished and times entered for scoring, though people will be at finish line auditing the times.

The Race Committee is also considering consolidating the Cove Island and Shore courses and have the entire fleet sail the Shore Course. A decision on consolidating the two courses will be based on the number of entries.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tkulfan