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Old 06-01-2007
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Port Huron To Mackinac Race

The Port Huron to Mackinac race starts on July 21st. We were thinking of going to watch the start of the race or the finish. Do they finish in the day light hours? We are planning to sail there from Bay City, Mi. And just looking for information about where we can anchor to watch in either place Port Huron or the Island. Anyone been there and have any info that might help me out. Thanks in advance.

Scott
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Old 06-01-2007
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There is a lot more activity and sights to see at the start.
You never know about the finish.
They could be spred out over a couple of days coming in.

We have in the past gone out for the start off of Chicago. Im sure the Port Huron race is about the same.
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Old 06-01-2007
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Space at the finish is likely to be hard to find. Racers will probably be taking almost the whole harbor on Mackinac Island. The times I've raced there, we had to really hunt for a spot, and we got there before the tail end of the fleet. If you stick your nose out to see the finish, you may find three boats take your dock space. Putting in acrosss the way at St Ignace or Mackinaw City might be better bets to see the finish. Watching the start is ok, but it's usually upwind, and the boats will spread out depending upon which way the skipper thinks is going to be favored. At the finish, everyone HAS to come in under the bridge, and it's usually downwind. There are usually enough boats spread out enough that some will be coming in during the day, and they're likely to all have their chutes up. We've finished with about forty or fifty boats in sight - it can be quite impressive.
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Paulk is so right about the PH to Mac. The race starts a few miles N of the Bluewater Bridge and they then scatter. I think if you go to their website you will see that they are going to have one track this year instead of the seperate courses. That should make the finish more of a continuous thing. However, it is a sail boat and the wind will determine if it is a fast or slow race. Mackinac Island will be a zoo. Reservations are probalby already full plus some. No good holding area at the Island. However, both St. Ignace and Mackinaw City have great marinas and they are only 5 miles of sailing or a few minutes on a ferry away.

The Chicago Mac start is a great venue. You can watch it from your own boat, from Navy Pier, or a tour boat. I was in the city for last years start and did the tour boat thing. It was a kick to have all those boats around, many circling the tour boat and waving at family, and being only about a 100 yards from the starting line.
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Old 06-02-2007
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Paul the boats have to come under the bridge the couse on the website says its from port huron to the island it does not show the course traveling under the bridge? We were just thinking of going to the start since all the boats will be there, and that at the finish they could be really spread out. you are right though the island is sold out but mackinaw and st ignace both have open spots.

Scott
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Old 06-02-2007
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I believe he is thinking of the Chicago race in which everybody passes under the bridge. I don't think the bridge plays a factor in the Huron race.
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Old 06-02-2007
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Your call on start or finish obviously. Neither is a short hop from Bay City. You will be investing time no matter what you do.Kind of depends on where you want to end up after the race starts or stops. The start takes a few hours to accomplish as it is done by class. The end can take days some years, but the big boys finish pretty much togehter.

If you decide on North, either Macinaw City or St. Ignace are very nice marinas. SI is very new. However, I would make the decision and book the slip soon. We have very little activity until the weather warms and then the fudgies come out of the woodwork. Things will get tight beginning the 4th of July and certainly during race weeks.
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Old 06-02-2007
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If you want at the start most of the boats tie up in the Black River in Port Huron. You can come down a day early and walk along and see them there. The night before the race is "boat night" and it is one big party over there. Very crowded but good natured. When I want to see them I go Thursday night, you can see a lot more.

I went out to the start last year for the first time in quite a while, was very surprised at how few spectator boats there were. It used to be quite a party all by itself but not so much now.

The best look I ever got was one year I was sailing back from Toby over night and close hauled downbound the next morning while they were all carrying their chutes upbound. Great show!

Gary
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Although I have never been fortunate enough to run one of the Mac's, the friends and aquaintances that have say it is a race surrounded by two of the best parties you can imagine.

As one of the sponsors is a rum distributor, and they sponsor the parties at the island, you can take it from there.
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Old 06-04-2007
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Last year we got lucky.
We were sailing from South Haven to Chicago the same day as the race.
It was a slow start and we motor sailed right though the fleet.
We of course were careful not to get in anybodies way.
A couple of the boats we past whithin hailing distance.










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Last edited by sailortjk1; 06-04-2007 at 09:30 AM.
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