The Bayview Yacht Club has held their annual Port Huron to Mackinac race for the past 96 years. It is the longest consecutive freshwater yacht race, held through times of peace, war, depression, and most recently, a pandemic. Usually the Port Huron Community goes all out in celebrating the annual event with a carnival, concerts, and parade leading up to the start of the race. Unfortunately this year, many of those traditional “boat week” activities had to be canceled due to COVID-19. The one exception has been the race itself. Bayview officials were adamant that the race would continue, albeit slightly modified due to the pandemic.Liggett Communication’s WPHM-AM (Port Huron) decided that they too will continue their tradition of covering the races, although slightly modified.
On Friday, July 10, WPHM commenced their annual dockside broadcast leading up to the start of the race. Paul Miller hosted his morning show live from along the Black River in Downtown Port Huron from 6 to 10 a.m. He was followed by Sports Director Dennis Stuckey from 10 a.m. to noon and Program Director Caleb Gordon from noon to 2 p.m. While being outside and at an acceptable social distance, WPHM talked to numerous individuals involved with the race or downtown Port Huron in general. In total 33 people interviewed over the course of eight hours. It was the first time WPHM was able to see many of their regular guests for the first time since the pandemic began, as most interviews had been limited to phone only.
Saturday, July 11 was race day in Port Huron, and with the help of the Bayview Yacht Club, WPHM was once again able to provide play by play coverage of the start of the race. WPHM’s Paul Miller was joined by Bayview’s Ted Everingham at the starting line of the race. Dennis Stuckey anchored coverage of the race from the WPHM studios. Stuckey also provided regular reports on air and online for the duration of the yacht race. WPHM’s coverage concluded Monday with a special talk show hosted by Dennis Stuckey that aired from 10 a.m. to noon and featured racers both past and present as well as the latest standings in the race.
“Our Mackinac race is such an unique tradition for WPHM,” said Gordon. “I couldn’t imagine what summertime in Port Huron would be like without it. Thank you to the Bayview Yacht Club, our local officials, and our sponsors for keeping this iconic event alive.”