by Angie Asam–Staff Writer
For the 29th year the Huron Doublehanded Challenge sailboat race finished in Rogers City. The first boat entered the Rogers City marina on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and the last came in Monday afternoon.
Resolute was the first boat to reach the finish line as they participated in the 140-mile Saginaw Bay Course. Gregg Remer and Kevin Hogan left from Tawas to participate in the race.
The Huron Doublehanded Challenge features three different courses. The Goderich course is a 190-mile trek with the shore course being 160 miles and the Saginaw Bay course running 140 miles. Each boat is equipped with just two crew members as they make the trek. Each sailboat is also given a handicap to which times are adjusted following the finish.
Vorticies with Chris Saxton and Todd Riley was the first boat doing the Goderich course to reach the Rogers City finish line as they arrived around 7:30 p.m. Sunday evening.
Vorticies ran into a bit of an issue following their finish as they draw more than 9-feet and actually ran aground attempting to enter the marina. They then departed and went to Presque Isle to dock. One other boat in the race was also forced to come to the finish line then trek back to Presque Isle as it was too shallow to come into the Rogers City Marina.
Just six minutes after Vorticies arrived came Solstice with the team of Bruce and Alissa Kraus, a boat participating in the Saginaw Bay Course. Color Me Gone with David Hearsch and Scott Maust came in just after with three boats finishing within 30 minutes of each other, it would be a seven-hour wait before the next boat arrived.
Vorticies was the winner of the Gold Goderich Course race with a corrected time of 33:01.16. Mystery with skipper Stephen Jay and crew member Clark Carruthers won the red Goderich race with a corrected time of 38:10.39.
A total of 22 boats participated in the race with seven on the Goderich course, nine on the shore course and six on the Saginaw Bay course. Unfortunately four boats had to drop out of the race right away due to some issues. Two boats lost engine power by the time they reached Rogers City and had to be towed in.
Blue Jay won the blue shore course race with a time of 42:11.40. Pendragon won the orange shore race at 42:32.04. Radio Flyer won the slate shore course at 40:53.44. Resolute won the yellow Saginaw Bay race at 22:14.17 while McRags won the turquioise Saginaw Bay race at 22:23.57.
The racers finished and some took a few moments to rest while others visited Rogers City before a dinner was served by the Rogers City Area Chamber of Commerce Monday evening at the Lakeside Park Pavilion. They enjoyed breakfast at the pavilion Tuesday morning and then were left to continue on their way. Awards were given out at the dinner celebration.
Hosted by the Doublehanded Sailing Association, the Huron Challenge is an opportunity to participate in a challenge for doublehanded boats. The aim of the challenge is to encourage the development of safe and swift offshore passage capability with a limited crew.
It is a great way for people to come north in the company of others.