Pure Michigan® to set sail with Bayview Yacht Club for 2010 Mackinac Race

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DETROIT, MI – Detroit’s Bayview Yacht Club, one of the of the most storied and historical sailing clubs in the world, announced today that Travel Michigan, a division of Michigan Economic Development Corporation, has come aboard again as the 2010 title sponsor for its annual Port Huron to Mackinac Regatta.

The official name of this year’s race is “The Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac Race” and the regatta starts on Saturday, July 17, 2010.This year will mark 86 consecutive years for the world class event that will set sail from Port Huron to Mackinac Island. More than 220 sailboats and 2,500 sailors will take part in the annual regatta with thousands of sailing fans and families attending the festive start in Port Huron.

For only the second time ever, sailing fans in Michigan and around the world will be able to monitor the historic race via the michigan.org Web site with Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking technology. GPS devices will be placed on all participating race boats.

“This race is truly ‘Pure Michigan’, and it attracts thousands of people to the magic of Michigan summers each and every year,” said George Zimmermann, vice president, Travel Michigan. “The race is based out of Detroit, starts in Port Huron and takes everyone ‘Up North’ to Mackinac Island, so it is a perfect fit with our highly successful Pure Michigan national advertising campaign to draw tourism to our great state.”

Zimmermann said the event draws sailors and fans from some 20 states and multiple countries who participate in the event. Based on its draw and the visits to the web site, sponsoring the event for the second year made good business sense. Last year, the three days of the Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac Race were the three busiest days at michigan.org in the site’s history.

“This race will feature sailing in the Great Lakes and showcases the natural beauty and fresh water resources that are unique to Michigan,” said Zimmermann. “We welcome boats and racing teams from Chicago and around the world for the ultimate Pure Michigan sailing experience.”

“Bayview greatly values the association with Travel Michigan and we are excited to have Pure Michigan as our title sponsor for this historic regatta,” said Bruce J. Burton, Commodore, Bayview Yacht Club. “We literally draw people from around the world to sail in Michigan waters and our sailors are Michigan’s ambassadors to the world by participating in regattas on the seven seas.”

“This race marks the rite of summer in Michigan,” said Burton. “This is one of the most challenging and exciting sail boat races in the world, on one of the most unpredictable bodies of fresh water in the world. We welcome everyone to join us in Port Huron or on-line for this yachting experience.”

The Bayview Yacht Club web site, www.byc.com, generally draws a million page views for the race; up to 20 million page views are expected to hit the michigan.org Web site where the GPS tracking link for the 2010 race will be located, said 2010 Race Chairman Tom Burleson. GPS tracking will be offered exclusively through michigan.org.

“For sailors we have two separate courses this year to test their racing skills,” said Burleson. “For fans and spectators we are excited to be able to use the latest technology to bring this exciting race to their lap tops in addition to the majestic experience of being at Port Huron for the new Blue Water Festival and fun this event brings every year.”

From its traditional start in Lake Huron, the sailboats will head due north on two separate courses. The shorter course is called the Shore Course and it runs along the Michigan coastline before sailors set their heading westward to Mackinac Island. The longer course is well known to sailors as the Cove Island Course, and it is preferred by captains seeking the open water challenge of its 298 statute miles to Mackinac crossing into Canadian waters.

Commodore Burton, a veteran of numerous Mackinac races and world champion Etchel Class sailor, said the world-class sailboat race is “steeped in generations of sportsmanship and family tradition that touches everyone who lives here or who has ever sailed the Great Lakes.”

Prior to heading out into the open waters of Lake Huron, the sailors will be sent off from their docking area in the mouth of the Black River. An estimated 100,000 fans on both the U.S. and Canadian shores will cheer the sailboats on as the fleet of race-ready yachts – with flags and pennants flying – parade past in the grand tradition and excitement that is offshore sailboat racing.

“I would like to extend our appreciation for the sailors, their families, friends and staff of Bayview for all that they do to make this event such a success. I congratulate the Mackinac 2010 Race Chairman, Tom Burleson for a great job in getting this race organized so far in advance,” said Commodore Burton.

The 2010 Pure Michigan Bayview to Mackinac Yacht Race will be held on Saturday, July 17, 2010, with final race registration for participants on June 19. Bayview, founded in 1915, is widely regarded as the premier sailing club in Michigan and the Midwest. The private club is located on the Detroit River near the mouth of Lake St. Clair and has more than 1,000 members. For more information: www.byc.com. The official Michigan travel information site, michigan.org, features more than 12,000 attractions, events, hotels, resorts, restaurants and other tourism-related businesses. The site highlights special travel deals for golf and other warm weather activities for all ages and interests. In 2007, 2008 and 2009, michigan.org was recognized as the most popular state tourism Web site in America.

The 2010 Michigan Travel Ideas magazine is available free of charge; go to michigan.org, or call toll-free (888) 784-7328. Michigan Travel Ideas is also available at the 14 Michigan Welcome Centers across the state.

Travel Michigan, a division of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, is the State of Michigan’s official agency for the promotion of tourism. Travel Michigan markets the state’s tourism industry and provides valuable visitor information services. For Michigan travel news and updates, go to michigan.org.

Editor’s please note: All media interested in covering the race start in Port Huron from aboard a BYC authorized boat, must register in advance for credentials at www.byc.com. Media inquiries on the 86th sailing of the Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac Race or any Bayview Yacht Club issues should be directed to Bruce Babiarz, of BAB Associates.

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