Inaugural Bayview One Design Regatta


Just the facts, ma'am.

Clean Report


It's been a couple of years since I sailed here in the Midwest; a bit ironic since sailing on Lake St. Clair is what got me hooked on racing in the first place. It's pretty sad that I moved back almost 18 months ago and my first time racing since then was just this past weekend, at the Bayview One Design regatta (the BOD).

Even when it was still a NOOD regatta, the BYC event was always one of the most fun, but rapidly declining numbers over the past few years had taken much of the life out of Michigan's biggest multi-class regatta. Enter Detroit jack-of-all-trades and pro sailor Karl Kuspa, whose foot injury kept him off of boats for a few months. Rather than sulk, Karl poured his energy into ensuring Bayview's success on their replacement for the NOOD, and an energized volunteer corps made it all happen. So what, exactly, did they change from the NOOD playbook?

There were some great creative touches, like commentated Moth racing on the river at the end of the day just meters from a packed deck of drinking sailors, with printed placards identifying the mothies for curious onlookers. The organizers held a 'champagne race' for some of the offshore boats; the first one back to the club for some classes won a bottle of champagne, and their finishes were cheered by those already drinking. The BYC kitchen catered incredible food – salmon, oysters, scallops, steaks; not for everyone and not cheap, but better than anything that's ever had a NOOD name on it. Live music from well-respected local bands every night; Mer and I spent a lot of time researching our wedding band, and it was a nice surprise to see our lead singer Jorg on the mike for Friday's live performance. And the girls…well, see our SCOTW above.

It was a welcoming event; Detroit mainstays like the Melges 24, Beneteau 36.7, Ultimate 20, Cal 25, and J/120 were here in numbers, but so too were newcomers that were never allowed or interested in sailing a NOOD. S2 9.1s – nine of them! -- had their first one-design start since the Franco-Prussian war, and Wayfarer and Rebel dinghies both made their first appearance at the June event. A handful of Stars and piles of Lightnings and Thistles were also first-timers, but all of the nearly 100% entry gain on last year wasn't from dinghies; the 2012 also attracted almost 40 more traditional NOOD boats than the 2011 event.

Race Committees were communicative and helpful; there were errors like at any event, but they were quick to repair them and move on, and attentive to their fleets' needs. Some boats wanted to go in after three big-air races on Saturday, and their fleets were polled. When everyone agreed, they went in. Others didn't agree, and they stayed out to run more races.

Here's another example: Only five Vipers made it town, yet on Friday the motorless sporties still had to sail upwind about 5 miles (against the current) to the C Course. The wind of course shifted during the day, and after 3 races, they had to sail that same distance, upwind, back to BYC. Saturday, they had a fast ride out to the course with 15+ up the ass, but that had increased to 25-30 for a bone-jarring ride upwind ride home at the end of the day. Meanwhile, the Ultimate 20s, Rebels, and Wayfarers raced in the river all weekend, 50 from the dock, on fun, short courses that every Detroiter who's done Thursday night beer cans is familiar with. Since there was obviously plenty of room in the river for a fistful of Vipers, a few racers polled their fleet, and asked Kuspa if it was possible to race in the river. Less than two hours later, the RC and organizers had sorted it out. With breeze in the 20s again on Sunday morning, there were an awful lot of happy Viperers headed out to the course at 9:45 instead of 7:30. When chatting about the situation to a few Melges 24 and Viper friends, one of them made an interesting suggestion: "It would be great if the Melges 24s and Vipers could both have a day or two in the river to mix things up," though both Viperers and 24 sailors agreed that they wanted to race on the lake as well. It's the kind of unusual request that would likely never fly in the homogenized world of the NOOD, and just the kind of outside-the-box thinking that could bring in more boats next year if the fleets are into it. While there

Mother nature seemed to approve of the changes, as she provided plenty of breeze – more than enough for many on the Saturday and Sunday, though there were plenty of white-knuckle rides before the needle went to 30+ on both days. Competition was tight in most fleets – the Melges 24s saw a tie for 1-2 and another for 3-4, though Keith Ziegler spanked me and the rest of the Ultimate 20 fleet for the victory. Everyone had between 6 and 10 races, most with wind over 5 knots; Kind of like Charleston, without the thousands of hot college girls or 80 degree temperatures. Complete results are here.

I enjoyed the hell out of my regatta, despite coming in a lackluster 4th. I was glad to finally get to race with some old friends, though our combined weight was probably more suited to a bulk carrier than a sportboat. We went upwind okay in the 7 boat U-20 fleet, but downwind, even puffs of 20 had trouble lifting us out of the water, though the waifishly crewed boats went zooming by. It didn't matter, though – one of the many things about short course racing in the river is that there isn't much time to dwell on how much you suck; 25-minute races and quick turnarounds require forward thinking, not backwards. More importantly, 6 races only lasts four hours, and we were on the deck, drink in hand, catching up on old times, for a solid hour before any other boats showed up. I liked that, too.

I grabbed Karl after the regatta to congratulate him and pick his brain some more. "We've always like regattas that go out of their way to deliver exactly what the racers want, and we talked to hundreds of our members and racers all over the world to make sure we had it right," he said.

I'd say they did.

Photos from Marcin Chumiecki/ with a scary volume of free-to-download pics from the event here.

Thanks for the kind words Clean. I really need to point out that running this event was a team effort between myself and Hanson Bratton. And of course, he and I could not have pulled it off without the 150+ volunteers



meanwhile, they hired the lead singer of the band that played Mer and my wedding for entertainment outside. And he was awesome, as was the band on Saturday night. Go the Jorg!


The Saturday night band Good Gravy played at my wedding



Marcin Chumiecki is the name of the photographer - you can check out his site here. Super nice, really interesting history with Lech Walesa, and going through his portfolio, seems quite skilled. But I think this was his first ever sailing event.
BYC has used him for Mac photographs as well. Start line and finish line. Those are usually pretty good, but then, it's a different type of event. I agree that for short course racing like this, I'd like to have seen more mark roundings, knockdowns, start-line jockeying, port/starboard passes, etc.....the stuff that makes W/L racing so exciting.



Super Anarchist
......except for the windward mark boat that said during the start sequence on Sunday's first race when it was only 12 - 13 kts said "yeah, this wind should hold until this afternoon. Then it is going to lighten up."
Right about then I spun down the rig on the Benny 15 turns. Bad call, but we still won the day after the obligatory collision in the 36.7 class. Best run event and most fun I have had in countless travel regattas. This should be on everyones list for next year as it will only get better. Hats off to Hanson, Karl and all the volunteers. Well done.

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I had a great time at the BOD's over the weekend. Karl and Hanson did a top shelf job, thank you both and thank you to the many volunteers and BYC staff.

I'm glad the Ontario/Michigan Viper fleet got some of the boats out to get a start and that our builder Rondar Raceboats had a boat there as well. I'll be spreading the word on the Viper 640 forum ( to increase the numbers for next year.

Looking forward to the 2013 BOD's!




jeff carver

Super Anarchist
river city
great job by BYC all around

only bummer was not running into mr squirrel and being able to properly thank him for his help the previous week....thanks Jim !!!!

Congratulations to Grizzly we look forward to seeing you in Cleveland

thanks BYC and see you in '13




New member
Lake Huron
Congrats BYC on a great event!! Hanson, Karl, Commodore Jeff, Kent and Tim take a bow for a great show!! I have always enjoyed the BYC NOODs but the BOD took it to another level from the racing, to the meals and of course the night life! We will do our best to spread the word up in Lake Huron and hope to bring down more folks next year.

I would also like to encourage everyone to take a look at the Lake Huron International on Saturday, June 30th at PHYC this season. It’s a perfect lead in to the Bell’s Bayview Mackinac and with the Saturday start this season we have tried to make it easier for those traveling in from Lake St. Clair.


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