Our live coverage of the Mackinac races provided endless fun for SAers everywhere, and short of the Volvo, we’re proud of having documented a long-distance race better than anyone in history. But the real winners of the summer freshwater classics were Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac Race Chairman ‘cariguy’ and the Bayview Yacht Club. Not only did they pull off a huge present-day sponsorship coup by landing the state of Michigan as their title sponsor, but they followed it up with a strong media and grassroots outreach effort that increased the number of entries compared to ’08, as well as resulting in what appears to be a solid return for the title sponsor’s financial books. When you run a regatta, this kind of post-event press release from your title sponsors is music to your ears, and in the post-apocalyptic economy up here, hopefully it’ll be music to the future of this historic race.
The Port-Huron Mack certainly wasn’t free from controversy, and there’s still plenty of fallout over a turning mark on Lake Huron that was set as much as 3/4 of a mile from its intended location. Bellyaching also continues over the ‘alphabet soup’ of offered ratings systems that resulted in some totally bizarre section splits, but overall, the race must be considered a big success, and other organizers should be paying attention.
We had a chance to test out some new products and revisit some old ones during our Chicago-Mack and SuperMac race, and here’s a quick roundup of some truly useful items. Some of the providers of said items were paid advertisers, so take it for what you will.