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14 Bay City Area Boats Among 244 Yachts in World's Largest Racing Fleet

Doug DeVos' Windquest First Across Line in Port Huron to Mackinac Sail Race

July 16, 2006       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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MACKINAC ISLAND -- A sizable fleet of Bay City-based racing yachts was still out on Lake Huron as Windquest, owned by Doug DeVos, of Grand Rapids, was the first boat across the finish line Sunday in the Port Huron to Mackinac Race sailing race.

As of midnight, results were still awaited from 14 area entries, including Bay City's veteran sail racers Meade Gougeon with Adagio, Brad Light with First Light, and Larry Ruhland, at the helm of Dolphin, which finished first in C Class last year.

Windquest finished in an elapsed time of 24 hours, 17 minutes, 38 seconds, beating the record last year by Equation by 1 hour, 12 minutes.

Equation was second with a time of 28:12:33 in the 82nd annual classic.

One boat was forced to withdraw because of a lost rudder. Skipper Chris Delling of Wavelength in Cruising C called at 4:45 p.m. Sunday to tell race officials the boat would be withdrawn from the race. "Everyone is fine, they are under tow and are making their way into Port Austin," race officials announced.

Race officials said entries were received for the Southhampton Course from: Meade Gougeon, Adagio, 35-foot Gougeon design out of the Bay City Yacht Club (BCYC); Larry Ruhland, with the 54-foot Dolphin, a Mull design out of Tawas Bay Yacht Club (TBYC) and the Saginaw Bay Yacht Racing Association (SBYRA); Bradley Faber, Owosso, with the 42 foot Sabre Evergreen, BCYC; Norman Duford, Mt. Morris, with a 42 foot Catalina, Fortune Cookie, from the BCYC; Jeremy Burns of Ypsilanti in Heat Wave, a 33 foot Dehler DB1, from the SBYRA and the BCYC; Sebastian Scheibert, Sanford, in Indigo, a Farr 33 footer, out of the BCYC; Don Cady, Linwood, with Medicine Man, a 34 foot S-2 10.3 from BCYC; Dave Sturm and Tim Walli with Ollie, a 35 foot Gougeon design, out of the SBYRA; Melia Carter, Saginaw, with Special-K, a J-35 out of the Saginaw Bay Yacht Club (SBYC; Rentaboat, Ltd., of Bay City, a J/N 40 out of the SBYRA.

Shore Course entries from this area included: Brad Light, with First Light, a 37 1/2 foot Beneteau First 375, out of the SBYC and the SBYRA; Bay City's Larry Peters, with McRags, a 42 foot Catalina, out of the BCYC; Larry Flood, Grand Blanc, TBYC; and the Rush Racing Syndicate with Rush, a 32 foot Evelyn, SBYRA.

Light was first in Crusing B class in 2004 and third last year.

The prestigious Port Huron to Mackinac Race, launched with just 12 yachts in 1925, is now the world's largest fresh-water sporting event with 244 boats, ranging from 26 feet to over 90 feet in length.

Twelve classes of boats took the 253-nautical-mile Southampton course, bearing northeast toward Southampton, Ontario, then northwest to Mackinac Island. Nine other classes followed the 204-nautical-mile Shore course along the Michigan shoreline.

The yachts gather along the Black River on Wednesday before the race. The sea of masts, sails and flags provide a colorful backdrop for the riverfront celebrations that attract more than 75,000 visitors.

The starting line is approximately 4.5 miles north of the Blue Water Bridges near the U.S. shore. The boats start leaving the docks of the Black River around 9 a.m. on Saturday for the 1st of 16 starts at 11:30 a.m. The fastest boats will usually finish late Sunday evening.

Race sponsors are Bacardi Rum and the Bayview Yacht Club, Detroit.

Windquest and Equation were among 12 classes of boats sailing the 253-nautical-mile Southampton course, which took them northeast toward Southampton, Ontario, then northwest to Mackinac Island. Nine other classes of boats were following the 204-nautical-mile Shore course hugging the Michigan shoreline.

The Bayview Yacht Club, located in Detroit, recently celebrated its 91st birthday. It is home to numerous America's Cup and Whitbread Around the World Race sailors. ##

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

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