The Grosse Pointe Yacht Club hosts the Great Lakes Boating Festival every Spring. Hundreds of guests will make their way to the club for the USODA National Championships.
July 04, 2013THE GROSSE POINTES — Grosse Pointe Yacht Club has hosted plenty of big events, but this may be the greatest yet as the United States Optimist Dinghy Association National Championships hit town July 6-14.
Hundreds of visitors from around the world will make their way to our part of Lake St. Clair for several days of competition.
More than 400 sailors, their families, friends and coaches will visit for the event. The coordinated effort with the GPYC, five Pointes, St. Clair Shores, the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce and dozens of volunteers began months ago.
The goal is to show off what the area has to offer, including shopping, restaurants, tours and other events planned during the week-plus.
"The club and the community are really excited about this," said Jim Morrow, chairman of the Grosse Pointe Youth Nautical Education Foundation at GPYC and the lead for organizing dozens of clubs and volunteers for the event.
"This will have a great impact on our community and we'll be able to show off everything we have to offer."
Morrow said while many out-of-towners have heard the negatives about Detroit, this gives many a chance to see the good - the Detroit Tigers are in town for a long homestand. The Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Zoo, The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village are a short drive from the hotels. There are concerts in town and plenty to see, but Morrow hopes most will enjoy what the Pointes have to offer.
Tours for guests will show them the restaurant and shopping districts of the Pointes, the historic churches, homes and
"It's going to be a great time," Morrow said. "The club will still accommodate members and guests during the event. Everybody has been extremely helpful in getting us to this point. Now, we hope for sunny days with a light to medium breeze."
Morrow said offi cials obviously monitor the weather for the safety of the sailors and spectators who will be around the club, on the water and along the lakeshore.
"It's the one thing we have no control over, Morrow said. "Safety is important. It's a lot of people on the water and a lot of kids competing. We have help from officials on land and on the water to make sure everything is great."
Several local clubs will be represented by sailors in competition, including GPYC, Detroit Yacht Club, Bayview Yacht Club, Crescent Yacht Club, North Star Sail Club and Pontiac Yacht Club.
The economic impact of the event in past years has been in a range of $2.5 million to $4 million.
For more information about the event, including schedules and a list of visitor must-sees, visit grossepointenews.com or gpyc.org.