14 Year Old Girl Helps Pilot Port Huron-To-Mackinac Sailboat Winner
Merritt Sellers of California and her dad, Scott were the winners in the annual Bayview Yacht Club race.
Their Sailboat, 'nosurprise', Covered The 204-Nautical Mile Distance In 33 Hours
The pair left Port Huron's Bluewater Bridge starting line at 11:30am Saturday, and pulled into the Mackinac Island Harbor just after 9:00pm Sunday to take home the title in the J/111 class.
14 year old Merritt told reporters after the race that she piloted the boat through the overnight hours Saturday into Sunday while her dad slept.
"I sat there, trimming the sail, eating Sun Chips, and thinking about how much I wanted to go to bed," Merritt told Phoebe Wall Howard of the Detroit Free Press following the win.
The second place boat was the 'Utah', sailing with a full crew of eight out of Holland, MI who hit the Harbor an hour after the two person 'nosurprise' crew.
The Difference Was An Overnight Push To Overtake The Utah
Scott Sellers said Merritt's ability to pilot overnight was the difference in the victory.
"We got 'em at night," Scott Sellers, 50, told the Detroit Free Press immediately after the race while docking his boat. "I worried they would get us. We went from 2 miles back to 2 miles in front."
It was the second Bayview win in a row in the J/111 class for the Sellers, winning last year as well, but with a full crew of eight, including then 13 year old Merritt.
Sailing runs in the Sellers family, who hails from Larkspur, CA, as Merritt's 18 year old sister, Hannah, will help her dad pilot next week's Chicago to Mackinac race along the shore of Lake Michigan.
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