1987 Soo locks on the way to the race

2011 Trans Superior yacht Race

22nd Biennial Trans Superior International Yacht Race – 2011


The 22nd biennial running of the Trans Superior International Yacht Race will start Saturday, August 6th, 2011 at 1300 EST in Whitefish Bay, near Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The 338 nautical mile, often argued the Longest Freshwater Race in the world, will finish in Duluth, Minnesota, USA, near the entrance to the Duluth Ship Canal in Duluth.

Yachts are required to leave Copper Harbor, Michigan to port. Yachts may pass through or around the Apostle Islands. The official race distance is 338 Nautical Miles. We expect the 24 Boats and approximately 83 crew members to be finishing late Sunday eve through late Wednesday eve.

The fleet is divided into groups or sections based on rating. Each section is comprised of 2-15 boats of similar ratings. Each section starts the race at a specific time. A horn is fired at the specific start time for each section. The objective is to cross the starting line under full sail immediately after the starting gun for your section is fired. Boats crossing the starting line too early are required to turn back and restart — a significant penalty.

The event is organized by the Duluth Yacht Club in conjunction with the Algoma Sailing Club in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada. Both crewed and single-handed boats are register for the Trans Superior International Yacht Race. To date, Our largest Sailing Vessel, Stripes, a Santa Cruz 70 from Ann Arbor, MI. Our Smallest Sailing Vessel and local favorite is Indigo, a J29 from Duluth, MN.

The boats will race around the clock until they reach the Duluth Shipping Canal; so sailing at night is required. Running lights and lighted instruments are required for navigation and safety. Additionally, the crew will work in shifts, or "watches," so that there is time for sleeping, eating, etc.

The Trans Superior has been held every odd year since 1969. The race is also part of the Lake Superior Yachting Association off-shore series and is the longest point to point fresh water race held biennially. The race was first organized by Duluth sailor Jack Soetebier and Dr. John Pierpoint from White Pine, Michigan. The two men set up the race as a challenge to themselves and other Lake Superior sailors.

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