Spirit Walker, owned by Vern McCain & Bob Hillier, Takes Top Honors in the Offshore Racing Rule 2013 Great Lakes Championship Series.
The Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) todayannounced the winners of the 4th annual Great Lakes Championship Series. Winners of this series received silver award places and custom applique brag flags.
- First place: Vern McCain & Bob Hillier, Muskegon, MI, with their boat Spirit Walker, a BSH41
- Second place: Chris Saxton,Detroit, MI,with Vortices, a J 145
- Third place: Bill Martin, Ann Arbor, MI, with Stripes, a Great Lakes 70
First place winners McCain and Hillier were excited and proud to have won the 2013 ORR Great Lakes Championship Series. “Racing under the ORR rule is a very honest handicapping system and makes for great competition between boats of different designs,” said McCain. Hillier remarked that he and McCain are very proud of their crew and the entire Spirit Walker family for their hard work and dedication to their program. “We also want to express our thanks to the ORR Great Lakes Series organizers for developing this great series.”
According to ORR spokesperson Frank Kern, 2013 is the first year in which all current ORR certificate holders qualified. “In 2012, we had 48 entries versus 93 for 2013,” stated Kern. “Again, the winners showed how diverse the rule is for a variety of yachts. And once again, we believe that the skill of the skippers and crew is what brings these boats to the winners list.” Kern expects an even larger fleet of competitors with the Chicago Race to Mackinac following the Bayview Mackinac Race. He predicts many of the competitors from the eastern Great Lakes will participate in both events.
Chris Saxton, second place winner, commented, “Thank you for the recognition. We love sailing the Great Lakes and we love ORR for a rating system that allows a fair and impartial system for yachts of all sizes to compete.” Bill Martin, third place winner, was pleasantly surprised to be part of the winners list. “We are never able to sail the entire series; however, as a class, the ORR Rule has served us well,” Martin observed. “While there are small differences in our boats, ORR has more than adequately adjusted to provide fair racing.”
This was the fourth consecutive offering of the ORR Great Lakes Championship Series and entries continue to rise each season. To qualify for the series, racers needed a valid 2013 ORR certificate and must have raced in two of the following races, with one of the two being a Mackinac Race: Queen’s Cup, Bayview Mackinac Race, Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, Verve Cup (point to point race) or Bayview Long Distance.