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Posts Tagged ‘BYC Mack’

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Ron White made the F-31 trimaran Cheekee Monkee pretty famous over the past few years.  We dug Ron’s extensive modification program (including canting rig and big lifting foils) and his great success with the boat (including his overall Mackinac Shore Course record broken this year by Il Mostro).  But of course most people remember Ron for his penchant for flipping the boat over; once quite famously on the Mack, once at the start of the Lauderdale to Key West Race, and then there are the ones that went unreported…

Last year Marine City, Michigan’s Rick Warner scooped up the Monkee, and he filed this report on his first Bayview Mac as owner of the re-named Cheeky, which sailed against just 3 other multihulls on the Cove Island course.

Last week’s Bayview-Mackinac Race  started after a team barbeque and a lovely ride on a 1930 Chris-Craft 100 Rum Runner as we prayed to the Wind Gods to step it up after the very light Chicago to MAC. Well, these gods delivered a friendly card or two to us on this one!

We won the start in moderate air, and watched the incredible Gougeon boats and their experienced crews slowly climb over our F-31.  It wasn’t long before a roll cloud began to form on the horizon.  Ron White, our navigator and a guy who knows this lake and this boat as well as anyone, gave his analysis; take the lifted board to Canada under this big cloud and bank on the eventual lift at Cove Island.

With 30 knots of apparent over the deck and Cheeky lifting on her foils and turning serious speed we pushed aggressively into the rapidly building chop and breeze.  It was almost like the wind knew when our shift change was up; Mike McGarry and I came on shift just as the wind began a quick build, and after throwing in a second tuck in the main, we locked in for a FANTASTIC 3-hour amusement park ride – one of the best of my life.

As Mike was reefing and I was keeping Cheeky slapping across the face of the water like she really likes, we rolled over some monohull; It might as well have been a big yellow dump truck for all we could see; at that speed, everything is just a watery blur.  Mike Fahle and Ron drove through another shift of fast, aggressive close-reaching, and when the son came up the next morning, we had a simple plan; stay on the Michigan side, work the rhumb line, and keep hauling the mail.  The next thing we knew, we’d bagged an incredible 9:30 PM finish.

First to finish, first multihull, first corrected, and best elapsed and corrected time for all boats on the Cove course (including the GL70s, props to them for sailing the long course!);  Not a bad way to start your Mac career as an owner.  Sailing under Port Huron and Emeryville Yacht Clubs, an incredibly skilled set of guys brought us some more silver for a boat that can’t get enough of it.

I can’t say enough about them; sure, anyone who has competed against Ron, Mike, and Mike knows how good they are and how much fun they are to sail with, but what blew me (and our competition) away was just how confidently and skillfully they pushed the boat through some heavy conditions, making her modifications really shine.


August 2nd, 2013 by admin

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Two years ago, Detroit’s Bayview Yacht Club gave the NOOD regatta the flick and established the Bayview One-Design Regatta in its place.  The change signaled a move away from the corporate approach embraced by some big yacht clubs and towards a grass-roots attitude, with strong results; a nearly 100% increase in entries over just two years.

Bayview’s Port Huron to Mackinac race was similarly headed for the rocks in part over the last decade, in part because of the confusion and conflict over the two courses that make up the smaller of the two Mack races; a problem that BYC has struggled with for years with varying results.  Bayview made some big changes for the 2013 edition, though they didn’t go full monty – instead of completely ditching the 250-odd NM Cove Island course that the big boats raced for years, they excluded it from the overall race trophy, effectively bringing nearly the entire fleet to the 200-ish NM Shore Course.

While a few big boat racers complained, the fleet responded the other way.  Well over 200 boats entered with the vast majority opting for the shore course.  We’re told the push continues to make the Mack a one-course race –  it’s a move that should continue to bring in smaller boats.  If a one-day race is too short to waste their time on, the big dollar programs may choose to sail only the higher-profile Chicago race, but we believe that if Bayview can keep the numbers growing, the big boys will return – even to a Coveless BYC Mack.  After all, the headline boats want headlines, and when there are 300 boats all racing the same way up Lake Huron, the headlines – and the competition – will be there (especially if something like this hits the fleet!)

The race itself was a far cry from the Chicago Mack’s ultra light airs, the good breeze allowing Pete Thornton’s Volvo 70 Il Mostro to crush a course record that no big boat has competed for in decades.  In fact four boats blew the record up, with Bill Alcott’s STP65 Equation (ex-Rosebud) taking the overall corrected time win.  Il Mostro took second, with Ken Flaska’s super sexy ex-NZ canting keeler Karma Police taking third.

Full results are here, and the decidedly grass-roots looking website has a bit more info if you hunt around a bit.  There’s a big photo gallery of mostly useless but some brilliant stuff from Photoelement right here, and Martin from PE gets credit for the pics above – well, not the Easy Mac pic…



July 26th, 2013 by admin


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