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Regatta changes in store at Bayview YC

2012 February 6

Two of the biggest events at Detroit, Michigan's, Bayview Yacht Club will see significant changes this year in hopes of keeping the level of competition at its highest, a club representative said.
The club will hold the inaugural Bayview One Design Regatta May 31 to June 3, replacing the Detroit NOOD Regatta, which the club hosted for 19 years.

"We saw that participation in the NOOD was dropping rapidly and we just decided we would give it a try on our own," said Hanson Bratton, chairman of the new regatta. "Doing it ourselves gives us the flexibility to tweak things and as the organizing authority we'll have a lot more to say about how things are run. Plus, change always gets people interested."

The regatta will feature match racing for the full event with some handicapped racing on the weekend, Bratton said.

Several one-design classes have expressed interest in combining a championship with the regatta and other classes including the Tartan 10s, Melges 24s and Cal 25s are expected to have a good turnout. Other classes including Ultimate 20s, Flying Scots, Thistles and Lightnings have a strong presence in the area, and the regatta could serve as a good early season warm-up for the Etchells North American Championship that will be held on Lake St. Clair in August.

Three racing circles will be held on Lake St. Clair and a fourth circle for dinghies will be held on the Detroit River in front of the yacht club, which will be an added draw for spectators.

In addition to the new regatta, changes are in store for the yacht club's biggest offshore event of the season, the Bayview Mackinac Race. This year the race will be scored entirely under the PHRF rating system. Previously the race had been sailed with both IRC and PHRF classes.

"One thing we've come to realize is that there is no winning the ORR/IRC argument right now, so as a club we decided to focus strictly on PHRF," said Bratton, who is also a member of the club's Board of Governors. "We've tried having all three classes but we're trying to get away from a dilution of the racing classes. We felt that if we went all PHRF, we'd have stronger, more competitive classes."

Bratton said the change is not permanent. "Hopefully down the road the preferred measurement systems will get firmed up, but right now we think that PHRF is the way to go."

Some classes may still opt to score themselves under a different measurement system for class-specific results, but official scoring will be under PHRF, he said.

Information on the Bayview One Design Regatta will be posted on the club's website at www.byc.com.