Toledo Yacht Clubs Mills Cup Sailing Races! Originally started in 1907 as a test of sailing and navigational skills, the Mills Cup Race has evolved into the premier sailing race on Lake Erie. This annual race is unique in that the race is held at night. Since 1981, the Mills Cup race has begun at the Toledo Ohio harbor light and ended at Put-in-Bay Ohio.
The Put-in-Bay Yacht club has been involved in the hosting of the race for over 35 years. This is a great time to Visit Put-in-Bay and take in the sights of the Put-in-Bay Docks hosting hundreds of these colorful sailing ships and their crews. Docks are open to the public to view the ships. The west side of South Bass Island generally offers the best view of the colorful sailing vessels as they enter the Put-In-Bay harbor. This year marks the 99th year of the Mills Cup Event.
Although the race is the main event, Mills Cup Week includes a number of other events. On Friday evening before the race, the Mills Masters are invited to a special picnic in their honor. On Wednesday, the winners of the previous year’s race are feted at a banquet and awards presentation.
Thursday evening is the famous Mills Party held on the lawn of the Toledo Yacht Club. This party is open to the public and offers an opportunity to see many of the boats which will race the next evening. Boats arriving on Thursday are welcomed with a cannon salute. A post-race party, held on Saturday afternoon at the Put-in-Bay Yacht Club, includes music, refreshments, and the posting of the race results. Before heading home on Sunday, flags are presented to the winning skippers. Put-in-Bay Hotels book early for this weekend, and making reservations far in advance is suggested.