Roseville sailor prepares for Mackinac competition

By: Jon Malavolti | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published July 20, 2011

 Snipe, a sailboat owned by Roseville resident Dennis Meagher, will compete in the upcoming Bayview Mackinac Race.

Snipe, a sailboat owned by Roseville resident Dennis Meagher, will compete in the upcoming Bayview Mackinac Race.

Photo provided by Dennis Meagher

It’s the “good competition” from a “great group of sailors” that has Dennis Meagher returning for the Bayview Mackinac Race for the 23rd year this year.

“It’s about the biggest race the Great Lakes has to offer,” the Roseville resident said.
Meagher and his crew will head out on his boat, Snipe, for this year’s race, sponsored by Bell’s Brewery Inc., on July 23 from Port Huron.

The North Star Sail Club member said he started sailing as a kid with his parents because he was too young to be left at home, unlike his older siblings.

“Once I got older, I started going out on bigger race boats,” Meagher said. “And once I got into the racing part of it, that was a lot of fun.”

Meagher’s best finish in the race has been fourth, with a couple of fifth and sixth places sprinkled in. He has high hopes for this year.

“I really expect us to place this year,” Meagher said. “We’re in a different class than normal, with lots of different boats we’re not familiar with. There’s no reason for us not to do well again this year, at least top five, hopefully top three.

The Snipe will be racing in the Division III Shore Course.

Meagher’s crew includes members from St. Clair Shores, Grosse Pointe, Chesterfield,
Troy, Lake Orion, and Windsor, Ontario.

According to the race’s website, this year marks the 87th consecutive year for the event, described as “world-class.” More than 200 sailboats and 2,500 sailors are expected to take part in the annual regatta, which launches from its traditional start in southern Lake Huron north of the Blue Water Bridge. The fleet will then head north on one of two courses.

The shorter course, called the Shore Course covers 204 nautical miles (252 statute miles) along the Michigan shoreline before heading west to the finish line. The longer Cove Island Course is 259 nautical miles (298 statute miles) and takes the sailors around a buoy off the tip of the Bruce Peninsula in Canadian waters before heading west toward the finish line.

Bayview Yacht Club has been hosting the Bayview Mackinac Race since 1925. The private club is located on the Detroit River near the mouth of Lake St. Clair and has more than 1,000 members.

Fans around the world will be able to follow individual boats or the entire fleet on the Bell’s Brewery and Bayview Yacht Club websites, as GPS tracking devices will be placed on all participating boats. Visit www.byc.com or www.bellsbeer.com for more information.