2009-05-16 / Top News

Port Huron to Mackinac Race Now Sails Under Pure Michigan Name

The annual yacht race from Port Huron to Mackinac Island will be officially named Pure Michigan Bayview to Mackinac Race 2009 this year. The race, which begins July 25, has a new title sponsor, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), which is contributing $100,000 and attaching its Pure Michigan promotional campaign to the event.

MEDC also is sponsoring a sailboat tracking system. For the first time in the race's 85-year history, each boat will be outfitted with a transponder. The GPS tracking system will allow race enthusiasts to follow the position of each boat as it sails north to Mackinac Island, said Bruce Babiarz, president of BAB Associates LLC of Bloomfield Hills. The company is the outside public relations firm hired by the Bayview Yacht Club of Detroit, which organizes the race.

The 298-mile race up scenic Lake Huron, which draws interest from sailors across the county, will be a perfect tie-in with the Pure Michigan tourism campaign, said Mr. Babiarz.

As of Friday, May 15, about 180 boats were registered to sail in the race. Bayview Yacht Club is expecting between 260 and 275 to participate.

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