The 95th Mills Trophy Race on the Great Lakes!

June 2, 2018 Leslie Gabriel

June 8-9, 2018 Invitational Mills Trophy Race

The Mills Trophy Race first staged in 1907, is a stern test of navigational skill as the competitors sail through the night from the starting point at the Toledo Harbor Light to the finish line near Put-in-Bay in the Lake Erie Islands. This is the premier race on Lake Erie and is sponsored by the Toledo Yacht Club.

Toledo Yacht Club

Here is a good report from Matt Markey / THE BLADE, the #1 newspaper in Ohio. The BLADE delivers new and events through print, online, direct mail and digital services.

On Friday evening, Bill Pribe will sail in the Mills Trophy Race for the 31st time. This will be the 95th running of the Mills, one of the premier sailing events on the Great Lakes. Pribe is one of 128 sailors who have competed in the Mills at least 25 times.

It is that type of sailing contest, where history, tradition and the legacy of the race fill the competitive sails. They hear the siren’s song and keep coming back, again and again, to test their navigational skills in a rare nighttime race tacking across Lake Erie.

“The history is a big part of what brings people to the race, and what keeps them coming back, year after year,” said Pribe, a Sylvania resident and the honorary chairman for the 2018 running of the Mills Trophy Race. “With the Mills being around for so long, and since it’s a night race, it puts everything in a whole different perspective. You are out there on the lake at night – it is very different from most sailing.”

The Mills Trophy Race was first held in 1907 and is one of the oldest sailing events on the lakes. Commodore Merrill B. Mills of Detroit donated the trophy and expressed his intent to promote a great race "for the purpose of encouraging proficiency in the art of navigation upon the Great Lakes by means of popularity contests in yachting."

The race presents that stern test of navigational expertise that Commodore Mills desired, as well as a test of the stamina and sailing skills of the competitors. They have faced light winds or next to no wind and been forced to race well into Saturday to complete the event. They have also dealt with squalls, howling winds and angry seas.

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About the Author

Leslie Gabriel

I love being on the water, in the water, or just around the water. I've raced with my husband, and cruised with many friends over the years, in the BVI's, USVI's, Chesapeake Bay, Key West, San Diego, and San Francisco Bay. I prefer cruising over racing, mellow adventures on the water are the best. When we're not on the water or at our desks you can find us in the desert riding our BMW dual sports bikes! Livin' life! Managing Partner at 180 Marine. 180 Marine is the fastest growing Corsair Marine dealer in the US. We're based in Denver, Colorado, where we find that an active lifestyle is important, and we travel frequently. Friends and family were not surprised when we launched a multihull dealership in land-locked Denver...perfect for keeping Denver's profile high as an epicenter for outdoor entrepreneurs. We primarily receive boats from Vietnam into Oakland, and Long Beach California, and Pensacola, Florida. From these locations, the boats can be delivered almost anywhere. You can contact me at

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