The Jack Kelley 8+8 Cruising Rally
Celebrating 35 Years!
35 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, August 22nd, starting at 11:00 AM with the Parade of Boats.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we ask that you do not participate in the rally, or the celebration afterwards, if you or someone you are regularly in contact with has been feeling ill, or recently been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Grand River Sailing Club
219 N. Harbor
Grand Haven, MI 49417