Jibe-ho! Sailors travel 490 nautical-miles to complete what Bayview Mackinac Race Chairman Frank Kern calls the most challenging fresh water race of 2009.

Though the Super Mac is traditionally run every 10 years, Kern and his associates decided that setting sail a year early was a good way to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the Bayview Mackinac Race.

And this is no ordinary race. Sailors begin the race to Port Huron immediately after crossing the finish line in the Chicago to Mackinac race. Their times are recorded after finishing each portion of the race—the Chicago to Mackinac leg and the Mackinac to Port Huron leg—giving them two opportunities to place.

“This is a difficult year financially, and we needed to bring a lot of publicity back to the sport,” Kern said. “It’s about time we brought this back.”

The last Super Mac, which took place in 2000, followed an opposite route—starting in Port Huron and ending in Chicago.

Kern said he’s happier with 2009’s itinerary. By finishing in downtown Port Huron at the city’s Acheson Venture’s Maritime Center, the race allows people to watch the boats in action up close.

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Photo(s) by Rodney Weston