Setting Sail on Mackinac Island: Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race

If you’ve ever spent time on Mackinac Island you’ve probably heard of, or maybe even seen, The Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race. It is one of America’s most impressive freshwater sailing competitions. 

This isn’t just a few boats sailing around Mackinac either, this year the race is expected to hold nearly 200 competing boats. We love watching the variety of boats, in different sizes and speeds. It’s a spectacle that is #puremack. 

Beginning at the lower part of Lake Huron and finishing at the northern tip of Mackinac, boats will take two routes depending on size. One the Cove Island Course, the other the Shore Course each over 200 nautical miles.  

The race will take place in less than a month, on July 20th and is expected to house 2,000 sailors and around 75,000 fans that will line up all along the shorelines. For those fans wanting to join in on the festivities there are plenty of events, parties, and fun as these sailors take over the island.  

Grab a Bell’s Two Hearted Ale and watch the race from your favorite island spot or catch the boats come in across the finish line on the patio of the Grand Hotel, a Mackinac tradition. You can also attend the Island Awards Party post race, along with seeing musical acts throughout the island.  

There are also a handful charities that the race works with, ‘Set Sail for Autism,’ a non-profit helping create special sailing events for children and young adults with autism. ‘Alliance for the Great Lakes’ which helps protect the Great Lakes that we all love so much on Mackinac, along with ‘Warrior Sailing,’ a non-profit helping military service members use sailing as a form of physical, mental, and emotional therapy.   

The Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race is an obvious must-see if you plan on visiting the island the weekend of the 20th. Stop by Threads of Mackinac as well to pick out your race apparel for the weekend and throughout the summer.