Bell's Beer Extends Title Sponsor of Bayview Yacht Club Mackinac Race Through 2014
Newly installed Commodore Jeff Henderson confirms addition of all new Charity Preview Party planned for June 30
DETROIT (Jan. 31, 2012) - Detroit's Bayview Yacht Club, one of the most storied and historical sailing clubs in the world, announced today that Bell's Brewery - a major beer producer and the largest based in Michigan -- has extended its title sponsorship of the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race an additional three years. The sponsorship will run through the 2014 race.
The Port Huron to Mackinac race is officially titled "Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race" and sets sail on Saturday, July 14, 2012, in Southern Lake Huron, just north of the Blue Water Bridge.
"As a company with strong Michigan-based roots, we are proud to lend our support to a world-class event as the Bellšs Beer Bayview Mackinac Race," Larry Bell, owner of Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Bell's Brewery Inc. "By extending our sponsorship three more years, we'll be able to continue to showcase our great state and continue to build awareness of this summer tradition."
"Last year proved what a valuable partner Bellšs Beer was to the race and Bayview Yacht Club, so we are proud to have this growing Michigan based company as our title sponsor for three additional years," said Jeff Henderson, incoming Bayview Yacht Club Commodore. "I believe both sailors and spectators who will benefit the most by this deal."
In addition to announcing the continuation of its partnership with Bellšs Beer, Henderson announced the addition of its first ever Charity Preview Party associated with the race on June 30, 2012. The Charity Preview Party will take place at Bayview located at 100 Clairpointe in Detroit.
Henderson continued, "Having this three year deal with Bell's Beer gives us an opportunity to add events surrounding the race and grow community spirit. Our first ever Charity Preview Party is going to be a lot of fun for our members and a great win for the community, benefiting numerous non-profits including Autism Speaks, Gleaners, Rose Hill, Matrix Human Services, The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and others.
The Charity Preview Party will feature an evening of good food and drink, live musical performances and a display of sail boats against the spectacular evening back drop of the Detroit River. Information on tickets sales will be announce in the coming months.
This year will mark 88 consecutive years for the world-class event. Some 200 plus sailboats and 2,500 sailors are expected take part in the annual regatta with an estimated 100,000 sailing fans and families attending the festive activities in Port Huron leading to the Saturday start.
The economic value of the race is approximated between $30 and $59 million, depending on weather conditions, making it one of the premier events hosted in the State of Michigan, and one with major economic impact to a host of local Michigan Businesses, especially in Tourism.
For the fourth time, sailing 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 Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices will be placed on all participating sailboats. In 2011, more than four million hits and 400,000 page views were tracked on the web site during the race.
Bell's, the largest brewery in Michigan, is well known for its famed summer "Oberon" wheat ale and "Two-Hearted Ale" among many other premium and specialty brands. Bell's has been a Bayview Mackinac Race sponsor since 2009.
The Bayview Yacht Club web site, www.byc.com, generally draws one million page views for the race and up to 10 million page views are expected to hit the www.bellsbeer.com site where the GPS tracking link for the 2012 race will be located.
"GPS race tracking technology has been a hit with fans and spectators across the globe that are now able to follow the race from start to finish on their computer or mobile device," said Henderson.
From its traditional start in Southern Lake Huron, the fleet will 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 Mackinac Island Bell's Beer finish line. The longer "Cove Island Course" is 259 nautical miles (298 statute miles) and takes sailors around a buoy off the tip of the Bruce Peninsula in Canadian waters before heading West toward the Bell's Beer finish line at Mackinac Island.
Commodore Henderson, a nine-time winner of the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race competition, said, "This Jewel of July is steeped in generations of tradition and sportsmanship and it is time for the race to grow nationally and internationally."
This year five Divisions will be offered: Cove Island Racing; Shore Course Racing; Shore Course Cruising; Multi-Hull; and Double-Handed. All competitors will be handicapped using Performance Handicap Racing Fleet system.
"This race has always been about the sailors getting on the water and racing. None of it would be possible without the diligent work and support of the raceršs families, friends and the staff of Bayview. I congratulate the Mackinac 2012 Race Chairman, Commodore Gregory I. Thomas, for an exceptional job in getting this race organized and setting the stage for a safe race on two courses," said Commodore Henderson.
An estimated 100,000 fans on both the U.S. and Canadian shores will cheer the sailboats as they make their way up the St. Clair River from Port Huron - with flags and pennants flying - in a spectacular nautical parade to the starting area that takes place about five miles from the Blue Water Bridge.
Bayview Yacht Club, founded in 1915, is widely regarded as the premier sailing club in Michigan and the Midwest. It 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. For more information: www.byc.com.
About Bell's Brewery Inc.:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. began in 1985 with a quest for better beer and a 15 gallon soup kettle. Our dedication to brewing flavorful, unfiltered, quality craft beers is still with us today. We currently brew more than 20 unique beers and ales for distribution in 18 states plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, in addition to many small batches that are only available at our pub in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Our ongoing goal is to brew thoughtfully, creatively and artistically. Bell's is the oldest craft brewery east of Colorado and the largest in Michigan. Bell's is currently in the midst of a $52 million expansion that when finished will allow us to meet growing consumer demand across existing and new markets. For more information, visit http://www.bellsbeer.com