Mackinac Island Hosts Two Summer Sailing Races With Worldwide Audience

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Race dates are fast approaching for two freshwater sailing competitions to Mackinac Island. The Chicago Yacht Club's Mac Race and the Bayview Yacht Club's Mackinac Race set sail July 11th and 18th, respectively.

Although the races may sound like they are just alike, the nuances between the Chicago Sailor and Port Huron Sailor make it enjoyable for Islanders to welcome them back every year

A sailing tradition continues as two of the world's major freshwater races are taking place again this July. The Chicago Yacht Club's (CYC) 107th "Mac Race" will depart from Navy Pier on July 11 to take on the waves of Lake Michigan.

On July 18, more than 250 boats will take off from Lake Huron to take part in the Bayview Yacht Club (BYC) race to the shores of Mackinac Island. The races are a major draw to the island for competitors and spectators alike.

"It's the pinnacle of summer and something we always look forward to," said Steve Moskwa, the Mackinac Island Yacht Club Commodore. "Although the races may sound like they are just alike, the nuances between the Chicago Sailor and Port Huron Sailor make it enjoyable for Islanders to welcome them back every year."

The invitation-only races demand strength, stamina and boating acumen from their competitors. As a testament to their history and appeal, both races have an "Island Goat" designation that confers a special honor on racers taking part in their 25th run. The Island Goat Sailing Society features 350 members who have over 60 days racing the Mac and have traveled at least 8,325 miles from Chicago to Mackinac Island. Additionally, these members have sailed through 50 to 100 thunderstorms, and suffered through 250 on and off watch changes.

Sailing enthusiasts can track their boats-to-watch with an online tracker and meet them at the dock. This year's CYC race, sponsored by Wintrust, will conclude with a fancy-dress party at the island's storied Grand Hotel.

The conclusion of the BYC race can be viewed from many locations on the island, including 18th-century Fort Mackinac, who celebrates winners with a flag ceremony on Tuesday evening. Kalamazoo craft brewery Bell's Beer will sponsor the BYC race.

For more information on Mackinac Island, contact the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau at 906-847-3783, go to http://www.mackinacisland.org, or visit 7274 Main St., Mackinac Island, MI, 49757.

The Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau promotes hospitality and commerce on for the island, which has received numerous accolades as a top vacation destination in the U.S. Through various media outlets, the Bureau attracts visitors from across the country and helps guide them to the best possible experiences. Partnering with local business, they help promote the economic viability of the island.

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