Hope, of Michigan City Yacht Club, competes in Class Q during the start of the Port Huron-to-Mackinac Island sailboat race Saturday, July 18, 2015 on Lake Huron.
Winds were so light Saturday when the Port Huron-to-Mackinac Island sailboat race started, that the first start was delayed 10 minutes.
But eventually, the rain came. And with it, some stronger wind.
A strong front moved onto Lake Huron not long after the biggest, fastest boats in the fleet took off in the final start, adding some excitement to what had been a fairly uneventful start. The first yachts should be arriving at the island at some point Sunday. When, exactly, that is depends on the wind.
Early in the race, Rick Warner’s Areté — which is sailing out of the Port Huron Yacht Club – is on pace to be the first boat to the island. The 60-foot trimaran was north of Lexington less than 2 hours into the race. It slowly gained steam at the start of the race, and quickly began pulling away from the rest of the multihull fleet and reeling in other boats that had started well before it.
While it’s sailing on the Cove Island Course, Areté was shooting up the shore to begin the race, and finding plenty of success.
As Areté took off up the lake, its biggest competitors in the overall staged an exciting start of their own. Defending Division I champion Natalie J cut across the start from the west, while Windquest, Il Mostro and several others approached from the east. Each cut hard north as the gun went off, with Windquest and Il Mostro getting out the quickest starts.
Natalie J wasn’t far behind, and actually had pulled ahead of both not long into the race.
The race got off to a rough start, as the two Double Handed classes were held for 10 minutes. There was some confusion, as several took off before their rescheduled start time, reacting to a gun not meant to start them.
As all the boats came back, Gale Runner — owned by Larry Fair of Fort Gratiot — was late getting back to the start line, as it had gotten off the line well.
The postponement of the first start caused some confusion later in the race, as well. Carinthia, a Port Huron Yacht Club boat owned by Frank Kern, was one of three boats to leave a start early in Class C. It, along with Perversion and FUNTECH actually got off the line well, but did so 10 minutes early, at the time they were originally scheduled to start. They were called back to the start line by the race committee boat.
Carinthia was able to regroup, however, as it was sailing near the front of Class C early in the race.
Another local boat off to good start was Major Detail, which was held an early lead in Class G. The J/35 is owned by William Vogan of Port Huron.
Contact Paul Costanzo at (810) 989-6251 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @PaulCostanzo.
•Follow the race at http://cf.yb.tl/bayviewmack2015#