Despite the atrocious state of the Michigan economy, you’d be hard-pressed to find too many depressed folks down at the docks on Lake St. Clair. Downsizing and bankruptcy just can’t overcome the happiness that Midwestern sailors feel now that there are boats in the water and races to run. Even the many Detroiters that have recently been laid off are philosophical about things. “I now have 6 months of work-free sailing season ahead of me, paid for by unemployment insurance,” one well known sailor said. Another added, “Couldn’t come at a better time – I’ll race and cruise all summer long.”
The recession carries a silver lining for Bayview-Mackinac Race Chairman Frank “Cariguy” Kern, as well. The long time Anarchist and successful long distance racer aboard his J/120 ‘Carinthia’ recently landed the State of Michigan’s tourist initiative, Pure Michigan, as the title sponsor of the classic freshwater race. The state is clearly not going to revive itself via manufacturing, so tourism on the Great Lakes might be its last hope. Listen to Frank explain the deal in this interview with Mr. Clean on the shore of the Detroit River.