BY JOE DOWDALL
A mighty pretty lady with sleek lines has caught the eyes of the Mackinac sailors. They’ve seen her only once, but for many it was a case of love at first sight.
Her name is Vashti. Her snow-white and Phylis-blue frame lies gracefully along under a bonnet of silvery Dacron.
She is a Bounty II – a cruising class sailboat – and the proud possession of John Detwiler of the Grosse Pointe Club.
IT WAS LOVE at first sight for Detwiler, a veteran Mackinac sailor. He courted her for two years in his mind after seeing a Bounty II at the New York Boat Show.
Last Fall the Bounty builder, Fred Coleman, turned Vashti over to Detwiler – the first Bounty II in the Great Lakes fleet.
Detwiler and his veteran crew sailed Vashti in competition for the first time in last Saturday’s Thames River Race and the filly had the fleet eating out of her hands.
A Cruising B boat, she quickly caught several of the bigger and supposedly faster Cruising A boats to finish fourth and take over-all honors in addition to the B championship.
Vashti is 41 feet long and is made of fiber glass – the largest fiberglass sailboat built. Her mast and rigging is stainless steel and aluminum. She weighs 18,875 pounds, heavy for a racer, but her Dacron main and Genoa sails can hold more than 1000 square feet or air.
Chuck Gibson, Jr., and Bob Bryant are the helmsmen, Frank McBride, Cliff May, Larry Donlon and Mike Lawrence are the canvas men.
They sailed Vashti to Victory in her maiden race and will be the marked crew in Saturday’s Bayview Regatta on Lake St. Clair.
More than 100 boats are expected to hit the starting line off Peche Island in Lake St. Clair. The first class starts at 1 p.m. The 19th and final class will start at 2:40 p.m.