The Jack Kelley 8+8 Cruising Rally

The 38th Annual
Jack Kelley 8 + 8 Cruising Rally

July 14, 2024

38 years ago, Jack Kelley started a yearly tradition called the 8 + 8 Cruising Rally. It’s not a race, it’s a rally! The idea was to do a light-hearted cruise on a reach…with a buoy to round and a finish line at the end.

Over the years it has evolved to be one of the most popular events hosted by the Grand River Sailing Club. Course direction and distance are determined at the start of the race and according to what the weather permits. The idea is to have fun. There are no first place trophies, just awards for the top five finishers in no-particular order. Depending on conditions, participants may run their engines, run a spinnaker, or just run the main sail. It’s all calculated at the end of the race to determine the top 5 finishers.

Preceding each 8+8 Rally is the annual parade of boats. We do this to celebrate sailors and club members that we have lost over the years. It’s a beautiful sight to see the sailboats flying all of their flags as we head down the Grand Haven channel and into the beautiful Lake Michigan.

After the rally, competitors and members gather at the clubhouse for a potluck dinner. It’s a wonderful time filled with great food and great friends.This year’s rally will be held on Sunday, July 14, starting at 11:00 AM with the Parade of Boats.

2021 Top 5 and Participants

Avanti Duane Shroeder
HoldOn Dale Van Lopik
JobSite Bob & Cheryl Smithe
Meistari Kelly / Pitsch
Peggy Dash II John Campbell
Frank Lloyd Starboard Denny Dryer
Monkey Wrench Steve Vanderlaan
Pax Dylan Lavine
Exhale Brown/Edwards
Deliverance Dennis Fraser
Free Spirit Brinkman
Baneberry Susan Harper
Surface Tension Tom Morell
Cheap Thrills Jaeger
Wind Sprint SanBorn

2023 Racing Sponsors

Shoreline Painting Services

Baneberry Cup

Susan Harper

R. Smithe Builders

Dryer Architectural Group

Pat Clark Memorial

Betty Clark

Grand River Sailing Club

219 N. Harbor
Grand Haven, MI 49417