Two medium distance races start this weekend, both with surprisingly strong numbers considering the general state of the Midwest economy. The first is the Lake Ontario 300, a young event with a great reputation that’s spent a lot of time and energy getting more people involved in distance racing, with obvious benefits; huge growth and nearly 200 boats on the line in as inclusive a way as possible; white sails classes, big shorthanded/singlehanded fleets, and a multihull fleet made up largely of boats that would normally race the BYC (Port Huron) Mackinac race. The big PHRF fleet scratches to a Schock 40, though our friends on the frankenstein turbo Melges 30 (the friggin’) Peerless may have something to say about that. Kattack will be tracking the whole fleet with their innovative viewer, and you can check the entry list here.
Also starting this Saturday is the Bayview Mackinac Race on Lake Huron, once again split into a PHRF shore course and a longer IRC course that goes around a buoy near the Canadian shore. 206 boats are registered for the Michigan classic, with line honors expected to be a battle between Karl Kwok’s Beau Geste and DeVos family’s recently modified MaxZ86 Windquest. The IRC-friendly Rogers 46 Bretwalda showed she can win on corrected time in last week’s US-IRC Champs, and Phil O’Neil’s new TP-52 Natalie J (ex. Flash Glove) is sailed by a team full of Mackinac winners, including SA regular Bora Gulari as navigator. Full scratch sheet is here, track the fleets here, watch the thread here, and if you ever wanted to experience the depths of depravity that mid-Michiganders are capable of, roll up to Port Huron on Friday night for the epic party, and bring your helmet.