Considered a thoroughbred racing yacht, the 32-foot sloop Bernida (originally named Ruweida III) was launched in 1921 in New England and made her way to the Great Lakes in time for the inaugural Bayview to Mackinac Yacht Race in 1925. With Russ Pouliot at the helm, Bernida made her presence known as she sailed into victory with a time of 49 hours, 50 minutes.
The year was 1915. World War I was underway; Henry Ford was rolling Tin Lizzies off the assembly line; prohibition had yet to be put into law; the Detroit Tigers won a then club-record 100 games, yet narrowly lost the American League pennant to the Boston Red Sox; and five Detroit men each slapped down $14 on a table to launch the Bayview Yacht Club.
As a west wind pushes rain clouds across the sky, filling the iconic red sails of the 19th-century schooner Inland Seas, the 20 passengers gathered on her deck pull their jackets a little tighter.