DETROIT – Michael Medwid didn’t exude too much confidence when first learning that his German import would fly the Red Wings’ colors in the 2012 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race this month.
In fact, Medwid, of Commerce Township, Mich., first thought it was a joke, asking, “Are you sure you have the right boat?”
Medwid’s initial pessimism was understandable, especially since the Notso EZ Money was sailing in her maiden race.
The 45-foot German-made Dehler 44SQ was victorious in winning the fourth annual Pro Team Challenge, which is sponsored by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association.
It was the second straight year that a Red Wings’ boat won the team challenge. The Wings were last year’s champions when Sorcery, a 34 ½ foot Tartan based out of St. Clair Shores, Mich., raced across the finish line ahead of vessels sponsored by Detroit’s other major sports franchises, the Tigers, Lions and Pistons.
However, this month’s victory by Medwid’s 12-person crew wasn’t without controversy.
Sailing the longer 254 nautical mile Cove Island course, Notso EZ Money received a ratings adjustment from the 204 nautical mile Shore Course sailed by the Detroit Lions’ boat, Wind Toy IV, which finished first in its class and third in its division. But it could not overcome the handicap provided to Notso EZ Money that finished with a corrected time over just more than 56 ½ hours.
“The Pro team Challenge added a lot to the overall Mackinac event,” Medwid said. “It's really a cool thing and we were thrilled to be part of it and to represent the Detroit Red Wings”
Medwid was joined on the two-day voyage by his sons, Sam, of West Bloomfield, Mich., and Matt, of Commerce Township. The remaining crew of Michigan sailors included Rich Harrison, of Waterford; Jim O’Connell, of Gladwin; Rick Courson, of Grosse Pointe Park; Matt Olson, of Orchard Lake; Ian Pouliot, of Mt. Clemens; Debbie Lesinski of Detroit; and Reid Pouliot, James Baker and Jake Wolny, of Harrison Township.
Boats sponsored by the Tigers and Pistons, Chico 2 and Praeceptor, respectively, encountered calm winds off of Bois Blanc near Alpena. Without air flow for 10-12 hours, both crews struggled in Lake Huron.
The Tigers finished third, but Praeceptor did not finish the race.