2015-07-25 / News

Il Mostro Takes First in Division I at Bayview Mackinac Race

By Madeline Ciak


The crew of Il Mostro, a 70-footer owned by Peter and Christopher Thornton of Chicago, Illinois, includes (back row, from left) Zane Gills of Lymington, United Kingdom and Roc Roney of Chicago, Illinois; (middle row) Matt Wachowicz of Martinez, Georgia, Justin Slattery of Hampshire, United Kingdom, Gary Murino of Chicago, Stuart McLachland of Dunedin, New Zealand, Richard Mason of Uppsala, Sweden, Deane Tank of Downers Grove, Illinois, John Stanley of Racine, Wisconsin, Ken Read of Newport, Rhode Island, Peter Thornton, Jack Jennings of Niles, Illinois, Ben Biddick of Brookfield, Wisconsin, and (kneeling) Greg Fordon of Chicago. The crew of Il Mostro, a 70-footer owned by Peter and Christopher Thornton of Chicago, Illinois, includes (back row, from left) Zane Gills of Lymington, United Kingdom and Roc Roney of Chicago, Illinois; (middle row) Matt Wachowicz of Martinez, Georgia, Justin Slattery of Hampshire, United Kingdom, Gary Murino of Chicago, Stuart McLachland of Dunedin, New Zealand, Richard Mason of Uppsala, Sweden, Deane Tank of Downers Grove, Illinois, John Stanley of Racine, Wisconsin, Ken Read of Newport, Rhode Island, Peter Thornton, Jack Jennings of Niles, Illinois, Ben Biddick of Brookfield, Wisconsin, and (kneeling) Greg Fordon of Chicago. The 91st annual Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race brought a fleet of 263 sailboats and around 3,500 sailors together, but the two different courses that they were required to take to Mackinac Island were reflected in different weather conditions, wind directions, finish times, and the sailors’ overall sailing experiences. Il Mostro was the winner for Division I, Flying Buffalo was the winner for Division II, and Triceratops was the winner for Division III. The race, organized by the Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, began at noon Saturday, July 18, at Port Huron.


Areté, a 60-footer owned by Rick Warner of Marine City, passes the east breakwater as it goes on to finish first in the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race. Areté, a 60-footer owned by Rick Warner of Marine City, passes the east breakwater as it goes on to finish first in the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race. The Cove Island Experience

The Cove Island course, which covers 256 nautical miles of Lake Huron, was designed for Division I and Division III sailboats. These boats had to travel a longer distance owing to their smaller size.

Areté, a 60-foot Marc Lombard ORMA multihull sailboat that was required to sail the Cove Island course, blew in with the breeze early in the afternoon Sunday, July 19, and was the first boat to arrive during the race, despite experiencing a hardware breakdown and sailing through a squall that produced 38-knot winds.


A few crewmembers of Wind Toy IV stayed on the boat to make sure that it was securely tied on the dock after finishing the race Monday, July 20. Pictured (from left) are Eric Sayenga of Canton, and Morgan Bunn, Rob Bunn, and Laurie Bunn, all of Grosse Pointe. A few crewmembers of Wind Toy IV stayed on the boat to make sure that it was securely tied on the dock after finishing the race Monday, July 20. Pictured (from left) are Eric Sayenga of Canton, and Morgan Bunn, Rob Bunn, and Laurie Bunn, all of Grosse Pointe. After the storm passed, the wind filled in from behind and is what gave the boat an advantage over other competitors.

“We took off like a greyhound,” said skipper Rick Warner of Marine City.

Variances in wind direction further along in the course, however, posed a challenge and kept the crew trimming the sails. A broken halyard lock, which is what keeps a sailboat’s mainsail in place, was another obstacle that the crew would have to overcome during the race. The problem became evident just before sunset Saturday evening, and by that time, the boat was about 20 miles south of Cove Island. Since the lock had to be fixed before nightfall, crewmember Mike Mc- Garry, of Palm Bay, Florida, climbed up to the top of the mast to repair it.


Triceratops, the Division III winner and Multihull Class 00 winner, was crewed by (from left) Austin Kana of Ann Arbor, skipper Jonathan Alvord of Mount Pleasant, Dag Lidbeck of Wilmot, New Hampshire, Randy Smyth of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and Jim Dunn of Kentucky. Triceratops, the Division III winner and Multihull Class 00 winner, was crewed by (from left) Austin Kana of Ann Arbor, skipper Jonathan Alvord of Mount Pleasant, Dag Lidbeck of Wilmot, New Hampshire, Randy Smyth of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and Jim Dunn of Kentucky. “I had to put my game face on, but repairing a halyard lock is a pretty normal task. I got elected to make the repair because I’m a nimble climber,” said Mr. Mc- Garry.

Areté finished with an elapsed time of 23:12:51 and a corrected time of 35:15:19 and took second place in the Cove Island Class 00 Multihull Racing division.


At left: The Mackinac Island marina was filled to the brim with sailboats Monday, July 20, after most of the sailors competing in the 91st annual Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race docked their boats after crossing the finish line. The race consisted of a fleet of 263 boats. At left: The Mackinac Island marina was filled to the brim with sailboats Monday, July 20, after most of the sailors competing in the 91st annual Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race docked their boats after crossing the finish line. The race consisted of a fleet of 263 boats. While Il Mostro, a 70-foot Botin/Karkeek Volvo, followed in Areté’s wake, the cohesive teamwork, similar to a football team’s strenuous efforts, led them to take first place in overall finishes for all divisions in the race after finishing with an elapsed time of 23:39:54, corrected to 39:32:35.

“The race was a champagne sail; it was beautiful,” said skipper Peter Thornton of Chicago, Illinois.


David Doss, a volunteer from the Port Huron Yacht Club, keeps an eye out for sailboats approaching the finish line located between a buoy and the Round Island Lighthouse Monday, July 20. Mr. Doss uses binoculars to read the boat’s sail numbers in order to keep track of the boats as they were finishing the race. David Doss, a volunteer from the Port Huron Yacht Club, keeps an eye out for sailboats approaching the finish line located between a buoy and the Round Island Lighthouse Monday, July 20. Mr. Doss uses binoculars to read the boat’s sail numbers in order to keep track of the boats as they were finishing the race. Strong breezes throughout the course and a knowledgeable crew are just a few factors that Mr. Thornton believes led to a successful sail and what led Il Mostro into first place.

“A sailboat crew is similar to a football team; people have different positions and jobs to do, but the combined efforts are what leads to overall success,” said Mr. Thornton.

A stormy start to the race is what gave Triceratops, a 31-foot Corsair F-31R AC multihull sailboat, a large advantage over the other racers in Division III of the race.


At right: The seven-man crew of Areté, owned by Rick Warner of Marine City, includes (from left) Bruce Geffen of Ann Arbor, Pat Considine of Brookfield, Illinois, Tim Kent of Madison, Wisconsin, skipper Rick Warner, Jim Anderson of Jamestown, Rhode Island, Ron White of South Bend, Indiana, and Mike Mc- Garry of Palm Bay, Florida. At right: The seven-man crew of Areté, owned by Rick Warner of Marine City, includes (from left) Bruce Geffen of Ann Arbor, Pat Considine of Brookfield, Illinois, Tim Kent of Madison, Wisconsin, skipper Rick Warner, Jim Anderson of Jamestown, Rhode Island, Ron White of South Bend, Indiana, and Mike Mc- Garry of Palm Bay, Florida. “Sailing through the storm was fun, exhilarating, and scary, all at the same time, but we got a huge help from it. We sheeted in and passed about 200 other boats,” said skipper Jonathan Alvord of Mount Pleasant.

Mr. Alvord also credits working with a small but seasoned crew of five to their success in the race.

“I don’t bring anyone aboard who can’t perform all of the required duties,” he said. “It’s better to have an experienced crew that is able to work well with one another.”


At left: Heartbreaker, skippered by Robert Hughes of Ada, placed eighth in the Class A Division and ninth in Racing Overall. Here they are passing Round Island Lighthouse at the finish line with much of the crew hanging their legs over the side of the sailboat. At left: Heartbreaker, skippered by Robert Hughes of Ada, placed eighth in the Class A Division and ninth in Racing Overall. Here they are passing Round Island Lighthouse at the finish line with much of the crew hanging their legs over the side of the sailboat. Triceratops finished in first place of Division III with an elapsed time of 33:10:47 and a corrected time of 34:47:08.

Making memories, living in the moment, and enjoying the adventure of sailing was what made the experience of sailing to Mackinac Island worthwhile for crewmember Dan Gidcumb of Windshadow, a J/105 35-foot sailboat.

“Sailing is a great escape because you have to be very engaged in every action,” he said. “Nothing else matters when you’re sailing. All you’re able to focus on is moving as fast as you can.”

Sailing a boat with four lawyers, however, presented Mr. Murphy with a challenge because they wanted to weigh their options before springing into action.

“I had to keep reminding them that we couldn’t keep debating on what to do and that we needed a decision from the jury right on the spot,” said Mr. Gidcumb.

After passing the Thumb, the crew of Windshadow decided that it would be best to jibe the sails so that they could pick up more speed while heading in the Cove Island course.

“After jibing, we just purred along at nine to 10 knots for about six hours, and it was a nice, fast run,” said Mr. Gidcumb.

The Windshadow finished 27th in Division I with an elapsed time of 44:31:28 and a corrected time of 45:25:95.

The Shore Course Experience

The Shore Course, which covers 205 miles of Lake Huron, was designed for larger Division II sailboats. Flying Buffalo, a 36- foot Declercq sailboat, finished first in its division with an elapsed time of 42:39:20 and a corrected time of 36:11:45.

For skipper Al Declercq, sailing is a family affair. His crew consisted of his brother Bob, Bob’s son Robert, Al’s son Matthew, Al’s friend Fred Detwilier, Fred’s son Ward, and family friend Peter Griffin. According to Mr. Declercq, sailing is a very social sport, and being with his family and friends made the race enjoyable.

“We’ve all sailed together before, so we know that we work well together and we know how to rotate into positions as necessary,” said Al Declercq. “It’s not like we have it scripted.”

Having a good sense of intuition and knowing how to work together as a team ultimately led the Flying Buffalo to victory, but Mr. Declercq doesn’t credit this accomplishment to his boat. Instead, he credits the people who made it happen.

“People win races, not boats, and I worked with a very good team,” said Mr. Declercq.

Sailing also was a family affair on the Wind Toy IV, a 42-foot Morgan sailboat. The skill of sailing has been passed down through the Bunn family, and keeping the legacy alive is something that skipper Rob Bunn has worked to maintain while participating in the Bayview Mackinac race.

“Our family has always sailed,” said Mr. Bunn. “I learned how to sail when as a child, and sailing is something that I plan on continuing to do throughout my life.”

Wind Toy IV finished eighth in the Division II race with an elapsed time of 38:55:00 and a corrected time of 37:45:18.

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