Dads, sons to compete in big challenge

Group of 12 to compete in over 30-hour race

By Andrew Humphrey, CBM - Meteorologist And Station Scientist

The annual Bayview-Port Huron to Mackinac race is coming up next month and this year the sailors aboard one of the competing boats are taking on a big challenge.

The race is normally reserved for adults, but a group of six kids and six dads will be competing. They were out on Lake Saint Clair Sunday practicing for the big race. They call themselves the green horn kids, and they are pretty self-assured.

"I've been sailing about half my life, and I'm pretty confident I can do this," said Leo Buchanan, one of the competing kids.

The dads said they're impressed by the kids' enthusiasm.

"They're like little sponges and want to learn so much," said dad Tom Caulfield. "Every time they come down here they're just ecstatic to get out there."

Caulfield said he has good reasoning for getting the children involved this year.

"My biggest thing in doing this is to get the kids out, get them away from their electronic devices and get out and explore," Caulfield said.

The race is a journey that takes 30-40 straight hours.

"When you go out in the middle of the lake and there's 25 knots of breeze and 6-foot waves, it can be pretty intimidating," Caulfield said.

Ten-year-old Stuart Fletcher said he understands what's important in the race.

"Paying attention to the wind and listening to what everybody's saying," Fletcher said.

"Always be tethered," Buchanan said. "Always be wearing a lifejacket and don't go on deck unless you have permission."

The kids said they hope to get the big win.

"Uhh, it would be awesome," Buchanan said. "I mean, I'd probably be thinking I was asleep dreaming if we had won."

"I would feel excited because it would be our first time we won and that's just plain beginner's luck," said 8-year-old Daniel Gehardstein.

The dads said they'll just be happy to finish the race.

"We're really here to help them get there," Caulfield said. "If we walk across the podium, even better."

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