Oakcliff Sailing's OC86 posts record time in Bayview Mackinac Race

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — It was predicted to be a fast race, given the existing weather conditions, and the Bayview Mackinac Race certainly didn’t disappoint.

Oakcliff Sailing’s OC86, formerly known as Windquest, was the first to reach Mackinac Island on Sunday in a record time of 17 hours, 11 minutes and 18 seconds. That easily beat the record held by II Mostro in 2013 of 19-hours. 

"They smoked the record," said Greg Thomas, race chairman. "The Shore Course has been our main course for over 80 years, and they didn't just beat the record, they beat the heck out of it. That bat boat is very fast."

Roughly 180 boats took part in the 97th Bayview Port Huron to Mackinac Race.

Taking into account make and speed and design of boat, OC86 — an 86-foot Max-Z boat — had a corrected time of 27:40:48, good for third overall.

Businessman and sailing champion Doug DeVos owned the vessel and donated it last year to Oakcliff Sailing Center, a non-profit sailing academy that hosts the U.S. Sailing Team Training Center.

OC86 is used in Oakcliff’s Maxi Acorn program, where young sailors learn crew work, navigation and provisioning. The program lasts 54 days and takes in the Chicago and Bayview Mackinac races, along with a trip through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

A total of 180 boats participated in the 97th consecutive sailing of the Port Huron to Mackinac race, which will be remembered for perfect sailing conditions and a return for normalcy for local sailing enthusiasts, who had the pandemic to deal with in last year's race.

"We don't care about the rain, or storms, we care about the wind," Thomas said. "And the wind was perfect. There was enough wind that boats went fast, but not enough wind where waves piled up and made you stumble over yourself.

"Nothing was normal last year (because of the pandemic). Once we got on our boat it felt pretty normal, but once you left Port Huron and got to Mackinac, it wasn't normal. This year, it felt normal. The (awards) party went off, the crowds were great." 

Heartbreaker (19:14:27, corrected 26:14:54) and Mockingbird (19:14:48, corrected 26:22:25) followed OC86 as the next boats into Mackinac.

For complete results, visit www.bycmack.com.


Twitter: @tkulfan