GRSC to honor fallen members prior to annual rally

Jack Kelley would be thrilled if he didn't have to organize a Grand Haven Salute next year.
Matt DeYoung
Jun 20, 2014

 

That's because the salute, which is being held prior to the Grand River Sailing Club's annual 8+8 Cruising Rally, is a memorial to club members who have died in the past year.

Saturday, the Grand Haven Salute will take place in the Grand River channel in memory of four sailors — Buzz Russell, Steve Black, Judy Varley and Ed Nieuwenhuis.

Boats will gather in the vicinity of the Grand Haven Municipal Marina at noon Saturday and form a single-line formation. The formation will follow Craig Porter's 34-foot C-Varmint Too, which will in turn be following an escort by the Ottawa County Sheriff Department’s marine patrol.

The salute is open to all boats that wish to take part.

"Everyone is invited to join in the tribute, whether you have a sailboat or a powerboat, or are walking along the Grand Haven seawalls," said Kelley. "It will be held to celebrate (Russell, Black, Varley and Nieuwenhuis) being members of the GRSC, and for their contribution to sailing and to our community."

Those sailboats taking part in the 8+8 Cruising Rally will then gather at a marker north of the channel for the start of the rally.

The 8+8 Cruising Rally is a unique event in that the course is determined based upon wind direction. The event is not competitive, although the top five finishers will be recognized at a potluck to take place at about 6 p.m.

 

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