12-Year-Old Macomb Sailor Finishes First Mackinac Race in 52 Hours
Macomb Township's Cruz Schroeder recounts his first Port Huron to Mackinac Race and celebrates his crew's 17th place finish.
Twelve-year-old Cruz Schroeder will doubtless sail many more races in his lifetime, but he’ll never forget the 52 hours it took to complete his first Port Huron to Mackinac Race.
A Macomb Township resident, Schroeder joined eight other crew members in sailing Chris Gerkin’s Pendragon through the 88th Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race July 14-16.
“It was a slow start (from Port Huron), because there wasn’t much wind, so a lot of boats went in toward shore, but we went way out into the middle of the lake and as soon as we got farther north, we started gaining places as we came back in,” Schroeder said.
Sailing the Division III Shore Course, the Pendragon sailed into Mackinac Harbor at 4:21 p.m. Monday, July 16, finishing 17th in its division.
“When I woke up from my shift (on Sunday), there was no wind. We were just sitting there dead,” Schroeder said. “We were sitting there for about three hours until the wind picked back up and right as we got to the finish line it started to die, but we got between Mackinac and Round Island and the wind totally picked up and we raced to the finish line.”
“My favorite moment was probably crossing the finish line.”
As a first-time sailor in the race, tradition dictated that Schroeder finish the race by jumping into Mackinac Bay, which he did without hesitation.
“I did jump into the bay,” he said. “It wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be.”
Driving home from Mackinac Tuesday, Schroeder said he’s already looking forward to doing the race again next year.
"It was a fun ride."
When he's not sailing at the North Star Sail Club in Harrison Township, Schroeder attends L'Anse Creuse Middle School North.