Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race - A fast, satisying race

DETROIT, MICH. (July 25, 2017) – Racing for the 93rd Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race concluded when the last team of 191 to complete the race finished on Monday, July 24. The celebrations, however, continued through Tuesday for more than 5,000 sailors, their family members and friends gathered on the grounds of Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel for a prize giving and party that included live music and the awarding of special trophies as well as Larry Bell’s announcement of a two-year extension of title sponsorship for Bell’s Brewery.


The many sides of Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race include vibrant shore-side activities both prior to the start and after the finish.
 
(Photo Credit: Martin Chumiecki/Bayview Yacht Club) 
After the start on Saturday, July 22, there were 123 teams competing on the 254 nautical-mile Cove Island course and 82 teams racing on the shorter 204 nm Shore Course. With rain and several storms to encounter, some boats retired, but for most, the race was extraordinarily fast and satisfying, even accounting for one record-breaking performance.
Peter Thornton’s Volvo 70 Il Mostro beat its own course record established in 2015, setting a new Elapsed Time Cove Island Course Monohull Record of 21:45:12. (The previous record was 23:39:54.) The team was 15 seconds away from beating the current Multihull Course Record set by the ORMA 60Arete in 2016 of 21:44:58. Il Mostro’s speed averaged approximately 11.7 knots throughout the race. After crossing the finish line at 11:25:12 Sunday morning, Thornton described how at one point in the race, about 20 miles from Cove Island, his team was clipping along, approximately 30 miles in front of all other teams. “Then we sailed into a hole for two hours and Wizard was the only one who stayed with us; the rest of the fleet saw us stalled and went to the Michigan shore.” After Il Mostro got going again, a storm harboring gusts of “mostly 25 knots, up to 30”  carried the boat at an average of 21 knots up the straights to Mackinac Island. “It was fun –a great race,” said Thornton. “We’re just happy to be out there doing this.”


(left) Fleet at the start. (right) Il Mostro at the finish, breaking the record. (Photo Credit: Martin Chumiecki/Bayview Yacht Club)
Taking the overall win on the Shore Course was Mark Miller's Beneteau First 42 Comfortably Numb, which also topped the 18-boat Cruising Class M.
“They said it would be a quick race, and it was," said Miller, who finished Sunday at 17:05:47. "I’ve never been that far up the course that early, that fast. Near Alpena and Hammond Bay, there was storm after storm after storm. We took down our asymmetrical spinnaker and were jib reaching, battling three others in our class for 10 to 12 hours. I’ve done 34 Macs and never finished that early."
Phil and Sharon O’Niel and their team on the TP52 Natalie J took overall honors on the Cove Island course after finishing yesterday at 14:53:14 and winning their 13-boat Class A. “This is our fifth time to win overall...I’m incredibly excited," said Phil O'Niel, who has sailed the race a total of 40 times. "I don’t think anyone has had five overalls in the same boat."
Noting he finished in about 26 hours, O’Niel also said this was the fastest “Bayview Mac” he’d ever logged. "We were never off the breeze all the way to Cove Island. I can’t ever remember going upwind (for 140 miles) that long, or getting that wet. (Saturday was torrential rain.) We were fourth around Cove Island but got around other boats from there when it became a fun, fast downwind course.”
But O'Niel also recalled it wasn't all easy. "We ran into storms, but thankfully you could see them coming. They really blasted us, so we took down the spinnaker. Then the last 15 miles the wind died, which brought up the Santa Cruz 70s, which are fast downwind and way bigger. But we were ahead of them and able to hold our time differential on them. (The Santa Cruz 70s, Stripes and Evolution, were second and third overall on the Cove Island Course)."
Winning the Multihulls, which also sailed the Cove Island Course in their own division, was Adagio, a Gougeon 35 Trimaran owned by Ben Gougeon and Alan Gurski.
This year, the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race benefited Set Sail for Autism and Alliance for the Great Lakes.



CONTACT: Media Pro Int’l Barby MacGowan, barby.macgowan@mediapronewport.com401-849-0220, Marx Layne & Co., David Stoyka, dstoyka@marxlayne.com

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Summer Sailstice - When the dark side tries to interfere

I am a small boat sailor. I identify with the struggles of the small boat sailor. I created SailMichigan to help with the struggles of the small boat sailor. Today I again became keenly aware of those struggles.

As you know (or not), Summer Sailstice is an annual international event to promote sailing on the weekend closest to the Summer Solstice. I like the concept, have promoted the concept, and planned on participating this year. Five obstacles, however, stood in my way (or tried to) and were almost successful in thwarting Sailstice. I realized that these five things conspire everytime I want to sail and others may have similar struggles. In an effort to confront these head-on next time, lets get them out in the open. Here are my five sailing nemesises.

Obstacle 1: Competing interests
The Summer Sailstice competed with two other passions of mine, vintage wooden boats and vintage cars. The weekend of June 24 was not only Sailstice but also the annual Algonac Wooden Boat Show and a local charity car show. The weather was perfect for all three, but doing all three in one day was impossible. I was conflicted, until I saw that a local sailing club (Creekfleet / Stony Creek Metropark) was going to have a Sailstice regatta on Sunday (not Saturday). Perfect, I'll do the boat show on Saturday, skip the car show and meet the Creekfleeters for Sailstice on Sunday. My sailing conflict was now averted. If you truely want to sail, you have to make it a priority.

Obstacle 2: Trailer issues
The Sailstice was to be the inaugural sail for my 15' Mutineer this season. On Saturday night, I dutifully checked the rigging, washed the boat and packed the boat. I was to leave early in the morning to make the 90 minute drive to Stony Creek in time to set-up and meet people. At 7 am I checked the trailer, no lights. If I was going 5 miles, I would have risked it. But 60 miles (one way), on busy state highways? I would need the lights. After 2 and half hours I finally found the issue and had workable lights. But now I would be arriving at Stony Creek too late to be comfortable. Decision: Sail/No Sail? I decided to pass on Stony Creek and opt for Kent Lake (Kensington Metropark), only 10 miles away. I wouldn't meet the Creekfleeters, but I would be able to meet my Sailstice aspirations. When planning a sailing outing have a plan B lake or event (and check the trailer earlier).

Obstacle 3: No crew
The weather forecast, which initially was reported as temps in the 70s with winds 10-15 had changed to mid 60s with winds gusting 25-30. Not suprisingly, my wife and children were not interested. Two texts to two other friends resulted in two well-meaning rejections. Result: no crew to help buffer the winds. Decision: Sail/No Sail? I decided I would sail with main only and attempt the day single-handed. Whereas the fun is certainly increased when shared, if you can't sail alone, you may stay home.

Obstacle 4: Hidden cost
It had been awhile since I hand been to Kensington Metropark (Milford, MI). The park is large, well-maintaned and has many ameneties. The last fee I remembered was $5 for entry and $5 for a trailer. As I pulled up to the entry kiosk, I was informed that the fee would be $10 for the car and $10 for the boat ($20). That seemed high to me. I luckily had exacty $20 in my pocket. Decision: Sail/No Sail? Having the exact cash on hand, and having come that far, I decided to continue. Since all launches have fees, buying a seasonal pass in the future will be cheaper, give me piece of mind, and a financial incentive to sail more (in order to get my money's worth).

Obstacle 5: Self-doubt & weather
To my chergrin only two sailboats were on the 1000 acre lake (both from the local American Sailing Institute). Each had 2-3 people, reefed mains, and appeared to be battling the wind (15 mph, gusting to 25+). This was to be the first outing for my boat this season. Was it worth it to trial the boat under such conditions? While assessing conditions, I rigged my boat. Although everything appeared correct, in these gusts, I would have to raise sails, launch, sail, dock and unrig to windward. With the boat sitting rigged on the trailer, an internal dialog began in my head. "Well at least you got her rigged. It's not worth breaking her or swimming today." "Wait, you've sailed in this stuff before (but not single-handed)." "If you wait for perfect/comfortable conditions, you will only sail once or twice this year." This last point, made in the ping-ponging of my thoughts, resonated the most. This is Michigan, perfect conditions are rare. I'm here now, the boat is rigged now, I have the time now. In truth, self-doubt and the weather are my biggest obsticals. If there is no wind, there is nothing I can do. But who is to say when there is too much wind? I have waved off about as many high wind days as low wind days. If my self-confidence is low, then my wind cut-off will be low, and I will be simply rigging and de-rigging all day.

In the end, I set the boat in the water and sat for 15 minutes on the dock looking at the waves on the now sail-less lake, each gust of wind causing a new internal dialog. In the corner of my eye, I saw two different ASI-owned Interlakes raise sails and leave their moorings, each with 2-3 individuals and reefed mains. That was enough for me; my boat and I now wanted to play. After a bit of dock negotiation, I fell off and followed their lead, dodging gusts and hiking out. In the end, I found that the winds were manageable. After an hour on the water, my boat had re-proven itself for another season, and I was now able to extend my potential number of sailing days with a wider wind window. If it hadn't been Sailstice, I might have de-rigged and gone home (justifying the decision over and over). But it was Sailstice, one weekend a year dedicated to windy pursuits. That fact, allowed the dialog in my head to continue until the decision was made. The dark-side will always be there to twart a day on the water. Therefore, make everyday Sailstice.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

SailMichigan's "Top-10" most-searched lakes for 2016

Big Portage Lake (Washtenaw/Livingston) - Most searched for 2016
As we look back on 2016, it is time to note which inland lakes garnered the most attention (i.e. visits by SailMichigan.org users) during the year. Our annual website ("top-10") analysis shows that the lakes which were popular in 2015 were still popular in 2016 although the rank order had shuffled. The list is an interesting one including some large, well-known destinations, as well as lakes of regional interest. The name of each lake below is linked to its corresponding SailMichigan information page. 



If you are personally familiar with these lakes, you are welcome to include your own impressions through our SailRating feature/button located on each lake page. 

Number 10:    Whitmore Lake, Livingston/Washtenaw County
Whitmore Lake is a typical kettle lake found in Southeast Michigan. At 667 acres and a maximum depth of 69 feet, it is in easy driving distance of Ann Arbor, Novi, Howell/Brighton. It is adjacent and supported by the town of Whitmore Lake. Although its waters are open and generally sailable, it does suffer from an undersized DNR ramp. The lake has a SailRating of 3 stars (1 review).

Number 9:      Clark Lake, Jackson County
Clark Lake is a 580 acre kettle lake in Jackson County. Although the public access to this lake is shallow and under-improved, the lake is well supported by the Clark Lake Yacht Club. The club hosts several one-design and open regattas a year. The lake has a SailRating of 3+ stars (2 reviews)

Number 8:     Diamond Lake, Cass County
Diamond Lake is a moderately sized 1041 acre lake with a 43 acre island and a single DNR access point. Serving as the home waters for the Diamond Lake Yacht Club, this lake has a maximum depth of 64 feet and a SailRating of 4 stars (1 review).

Number 7:      Cass Lake, Oakland County
At 1278 acres, Cass Lake is the largest lake in Oakland County. This popular lake serves as the home for the Pontiac Yacht Club and is primarily access through Dodge State Park #4. Public access through this park has recently been upgraded. The PYC reports that it is possible to sail 3/4 mile on most points of sail. The lake is currently un-SailRated.

Number 6:      Lake Charlevoix, Charlevoix County
At over 17,000 acres in size, Lake Charlevoix shows up on many national lists as a sailing destination. As the 4th largest inland lake by area, and a portal to Lake Michigan, it serves has the home waters for both the Charlevoix Yacht Club and the Boyne City Yacht Club. The lake is supported by at least 7 public access points and serves as the site for annual numerous regattas. The lake has a SailRating of 4 stars (1 review).

Number 5:      Crystal Lake, Montcalm County
As the smaller of the two Crystal Lakes in the SailMichigan database, this Crystal Lake is a 760 acre kettle lake with a maximum depth of 70 feet. This clear inland lake is supported by the Crystal Sailing Club which offers a family-focused atmosphere. The lake has a SailRating of 3 stars (3 reviews).

Number 4:      Stony Creek Lake, Macomb County
At only 428 acres (maximum depth of 23 ft), how does this lake come in at number 4? It must be location, location, location. Located near the population centers of Detroit, this lake is located within a popular Metropark and provides a number of amenities. Sailing on the lake is supported by the Creekfleet Sailing Club, which provides open opportunities for mixed-class, fun-focused sailing. The lake has a SailRating of 4 stars (3 reviews).

Number 3:      Muskegon Lake, Muskegon County
On the western side of the state, Muskegon Lake (4231 acre) is a popular lake, which provides direct access to Lake Michigan. As the home of the Harbour Towne Yacht Club and Torresen Marine, this lake is a popular sailing destination and is served by at least 5 public launches. The lake has a SailRating of 4 stars (3 reviews).

Number 2:      Crystal Lake, Benzie County
Although of the same name as number 5, this lake sports a maximum depth of 165 feet and a size of 9854 acres. If the location, size, and beauty of this lake isn't enough, the fact that it's DNR access has been vastly improved should make this lake a destination. This 9th largest Michigan inland lake is supported by the Crystal Lake Yacht Club. Most of the lake's public access points are located on its southern shore. The lake has a SailRating of 4 stars (1 review).

Number 1:      Big Portage Lake, Washtenaw County
As one of at least 5 Michigan lakes bearing the Portage name, this one in Washtenaw/Livingston County is 644 acres in size and is supported by the Portage Yacht Club. Due to the nature of the ramp, public access to this lake can be a little challenging for dinghy sailors. However, those finding their way onto the water, or at a PYC regatta will finding generally open sailing. The lake has a 3 star SailRating (2 reviews).

Okay, there you have it. But what about the Great Lakes? Because of their multiple ramp opportunities, and geographic range, it is harder to nail them down. Based on visits to our summary Great Lakes pages however, Lake Michigan would appear to have the most interest. Suggestions, comments, rebuttals? Please leave us a comment below.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Isn't it time for Strictly Sail to be in Michigan?


Related imageNext week, the annual "Strictly" Sail event will be conducted with the Chicago Boat and RV show at the McCormick Place complex in Chicago. Although in previous years, Strictly Sail meant only sailboats or sail-powered craft, financial/attendence reasons have caused it to be folded into a show with other attractions, thus no longer "strict". Strictly Sail is actually a regional sailing-themed event, sponsored by Progressive Insurance, held around the country. For some reason, the Midwest offering of this event has been anchored in Chicago.


Having attended the show a couple of times myself, I will go out on a limb here and say enough is enough, it is time for this show to be held in Michigan. The event can be stand-alone or in conjunction with the Detroit Boat Show or other suitable event.

Let's look at it from a Michigan perspective and assuming it would move to Detroit:

Detroit is associated with Great Lake sailing and is home to notable historic yacht clubs. Although Illinois is associated with 1 Great Lake, Michigan is associated with .... hello?.... 4 Great Lakes (with Lake Saint Clair to boot). Detroit is considered to be a burgeoning destination location with new development and vitalization. Chicago is .... well .... hmm ..... just turn on the news. Detroit/Michigan would draw internationally from Canada as well as from other Great Lake states. If that is not enough....
  • Michigan serves as the destination for two of the longest freshwater sailing races in the world.
  • Michigan serves as the home to the manufacture of several one-design classes. 
  • Detroit is home to the DN iceboat class. 
  • More Michigan colleges have sailing teams in the Midwest Collegiate Sailing Association than Illinois colleges. 
  • The number of yacht/sail clubs in Michigan outnumber those in Illinois by at least 3:1.
  • Michigan tourism, supported by the Pure Michigan campaign, is second to none.

Image resultAnd let's face it, if it came down to a battle between the Tall ships in each state...... Michigan wins again! So what do we do about this? Well, SailMichigan can't pull this off (we are but "poor and humble pirates"), but what about Bayview Yacht Club?, the Michigan Boat Industries Association?, Pure Michigan?, the collective voices of collegiate teams and other yacht and sail clubs, the collective voices of boat manufacturers and dealers?? 

Strictly Sail DETROIT 2018?   What do you say?




Sunday, January 17, 2016

Planning your Michigan Sailing Vacation

SailMichigan Summer Sailcation Planning Guide

1959 Interlake "on vacation"

"I have a trailerable sailboat"

For the "have boat, will travel" crowd, SailMichigan can help you in your exploration. 
  1. Click the Find a Lake tab on the SailMichigan.org site.
  2. Search for your sailing lake by general location (i.e. city, county or zip code), or lake features (depth, area, keywords, etc). Click Search.
  3. Explore your possible choices to narrow down the lakes, or access points which are most promising.
  4. Click the "Download MDNR or NOAA Map" button to print out a DNR map or NOAA Booklet chart for your chosen lake.
  5. For lodging, click on the VRBO banner in the sidebar of the lake information page. On the VRBO page, enter the name of the lake (or nearest town), Michigan and search.
  6. Click on the "More filters" tab and select "Lakefront or Lake view or Beachfront or Beach view". Then click "Apply filters".
  7. Click on a map region or on the name of the nearest town. Explore the offerings provided.

"I have keelboat which is not easy to trailer"

  For those exploring the Great Lakes, we have these suggestions.
  1. Click the "Great Lakes" tab at SailMichigan.org and select your Great Lake of interest.
  2. For Lake Michigan or Lake Huron, click on the "Cruising" link. For other lakes select the link for that lake.
  3. Click on the County which will serve as your home base or destination.
  4. Click the "Download MDNR or NOAA Map" button to print out a NOAA Booklet chart for your chosen access point.
  5. To reserve a slip at a nearby Michigan public marina/harbor, click here
  6. Explore the additional resources provided on the individual Great Lakes information pages.
  7. If separate lodging is needed, click on the VRBO banner in the sidebar of the lake information page. On the VRBO page enter the lake name (or nearest town), Michigan and search.
  8. Click on the "More filters" tab and select "Lakefront or Lake view or Beachfront or Beach view". Then click "Apply filters".
  9. Click on a map region or on the name of the nearest town. Explore the offerings provided.

 "I don't have a boat but I want a sailing experience"

 For folks who want sailing as a nice diversion but not the focus.
  1. From April through September there are numerous regattas, races and festivals planned. Many of these are annual occurrences with some occurring every two or so years. Consult the SailMichigan events page to see what sailing events are going on during your planned vacation timeframe (note that many events will not be posted until about April).
  2. Please visit our Tall Ships and Maritime Associations page, as well as our Sailboat Charters page for day-sail or cruise opportunities. These opportunities range from 2 hour cruises on 80' Tall-masted ships to 4 or more hour charters on modern 30-50' sailboats.
  3. Check the nearest Yacht/Sail Club or Community Sail Club to your vacation destination to learn of any opportunities for a daysail or community outreach event.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

SailMichigan's Top 10 "most searched" lakes for 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, it is time to see which inland lakes garnered the most attention (i.e. visits) by SailMichigan users during the year. The list is an interesting one including some large, well-known destinations as well as lakes of regional interest. Each lake below is linked to its corresponding SailMichigan information page. If you are personally familiar with these lakes, you are welcome to include your own impressions through our SailRating feature/button located on each lake page.

Number 10:     Diamond Lake, Cass County
Diamond Lake is a moderately sized 1041 acre lake with a 43 acre island and a single DNR access point. Serving as the home waters for the Diamond Lake Yacht Club, this lake has a maximum depth of 64 feet and a SailRating of 4 stars (1 review).

Number 9:      Whitmore Lake, Livingston/Washtenaw County
Whitmore Lake is a typical kettle lake found in Southeast Michigan. At 667 acres and a maximum depth of 69 feet, it is in easy driving distance of Ann Arbor, Novi, Howell/Brighton. It is adjacent and supported by the town of Whitmore Lake. Although its waters are open and generally sailable, it does suffer from an undersized DNR ramp. The lake has a SailRating of 3 stars (1 review).

Number 8:      Muskegon Lake, Muskegon County
Muskegon Lake is large (4231 acre) popular lake, which provides direct access to Lake Michigan. As the home of the Harbour Towne Yacht Club and Torresen Marine, this lake is a popular sailing destination and is served by at least 5 public launches. The lake has a SailRating of 4 stars (3 reviews).

Number 7:      Clark Lake, Jackson County
Clark Lake is a 580 acre kettle lake in Jackson County. Although the public access to this lake is shallow and under-improved, the lake is well supported by the Clark Lake Yacht Club. The club hosts several one-design and open regattas a year. The lake has a SailRating of 3+ stars (2 reviews)

Number 6:      Cass Lake, Oakland County
At 1278 acres, Cass Lake is the largest lake in Oakland County. This popular lake serves as the home for the Pontiac Yacht Club and is primarily access through Dodge State Park #4. Public access through this park has recently been upgraded. The PYC reports that it is possible to sail 3/4 mile on most points of sail. The lake is currently un-SailRated.

Number 5:      Lake Charlevoix, Charlevoix County
At over 17,000 acres in size, Lake Charlevoix shows up on many national lists as a sailing destination. As the 4th largest inland lake by area, and a portal to Lake Michigan, it serves has the home waters for both the Charlevoix Yacht Club and the Boyne City Yacht Club. The lake is supported by at least 7 public access points and serves as the site for numerous regattas. The lake has a SailRating of 4 stars (1 review).

Number 4:      Crystal Lake, Montcalm County
As the smaller of the two Crystal Lakes in the SailMichigan database, this Crystal Lake is a 760 acre kettle lake with a maximum depth of 70 feet. This clear inland lake is supported by the Crystal Sailing Club which offers a family atmosphere. The lake has a SailRating of 3 stars (3 reviews).

Number 3:      Stony Creek Lake, Macomb County
At only 428 acres (maximum depth of 23 ft), how does this lake come in at number 3? It must be location, location, location. Located near the population centers of Detroit, this lake is located within a popular Metropark and provides a number of amenities. Sailing on the lake is supported by the Creekfleet Sailing Club, which provides open opportunities for mixed-class, fun-focused sailing. The lake has a SailRating of 4 stars (3 reviews).

Number 2:      Crystal Lake, Benzie County
Although of the same name as number 4, this lake sports a maximum depth of 165 feet and a size of 9854 acres. If the location, size, and beauty of this lake isn't enough, the fact that it's DNR access has been vastly improved should make this lake a destination. This 9th largest Michigan inland lake is supported by the Crystal Lake Yacht Club. Most of the lake's public access points are located on its southern shore. The lake has a SailRating of 4 stars (1 review).

Number 1:      Big Portage Lake, Washtenaw County
As one of at least 5 Michigan lakes bearing the Portage name, this one in Washtenaw/Livingston County is 644 acres in size and is supported by the Portage Yacht Club. Due to the nature of the ramp, public access to this lake can be difficult for dinghy sailors. However those finding their way onto the water, or at a PYC regatta will finding generally open sailing. The lake has a 3 star SailRating (2 reviews).

Okay, there you have it. But what about the Great Lakes? Because of their multiple ramp opportunities, and geographic range, it is harder to nail them down. Based on visits to our summary Great Lakes pages however, Lake Michigan would appear to have the most interest. Suggestions, comments, rebuttals? Please leave us a comment below.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Local Ultimate 20 team seeks your support

Ultimate 20 - Photo from Ultimate 20 Class Association
Although I don't personally know him, Spencer reached out to SailMichigan yesterday to seek help in sponsoring a bid at the Ultimate 20 Nationals next month. Unfortunately the SailMichigan coffers are bare, however I told him that I would post his story to see if other private or corporate sponsors could step in. Please read on and see if you can help this young team.
 
Spencer's story: My team and I have been racing the Ultimate 20's for the better part of the past decade, in both One Design and International Match Racing events. We found out last minute that our schedules opened up and allowed us to take a chance at competing in this years North American Championship, something that we have been working towards winning since we have stepped foot in the boats years ago. The event will be held on September 17th-20th, 2015 on Lake St. Clair, out of Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit.  
 
Our team is made from three of the best young sailors in the Detroit area. Leading the team at the helm is Matt Graham. Matt is finishing his PhD in Naval Architecture and is returning from Bermuda, where he spent the summer working for Oracle Team USA designs team for the next Americas Cup. While studying at Michigan, Matt honed his skills at a helmsman both on the Collegiate Racing field and Match Racing against some of the best sailors from around the world. Spencer Colpaert takes on the role as trimmer and tactician while on the race course. Spencer has spent the past eight years focused on Match Racing to get a personal best ranking of #1 in the Country and #26 in the world. Apart from Match Racing Spencer has also raced in some of the top classes in the world such as Maxi's, TP52, Farr 40, Melges 32 and 24. Our bowman and forward trimmer is Alex Hume, Alex grew up racing in the Detroit area where he has spent the last seven years working on some of the greatest racing yachts on the lakes. Alex has also been racing in the 470 and 49er Olympic classes for the past six years on his quest for gold. He currently campaigns in the 49er class with our skipper Matt Graham towards reaching the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

To compete we need some assistance with our entry and charter fee totaling $560. It isn't an extraordinary amount, but we could use any help that we can get to not only make it to the starting line but across the finish in first. All of our hard work has been bringing us closer to our goal of winning our first major championship, and competing to win the trophy on our home waters of Lake St. Clair makes this year all the more reason to do everything we can to make it to the starting line. 

Anyone with interest in helping fund our campaign to win the 2015 Ultimate 20 North American Championship should contact Spencer Colpaert (313)4020527 or email scolpaert91@gmail.com.