mills racing sailing cup

The Mills Trophy Race is the premier sailing race on Lake Erie and is sponsored by the Toledo Yacht Club. It began in 1907 as a test of navigational skills on Lake Erie. The race has been held nearly every year since then and is unique in that it is raced at night.

The race was originally configured as a triangle beginning and ending at the Toledo Yacht Club. However, since 1981 the race has begun at the harbor light in Toledo and ended here at Put-in-Bay. That makes it a 35+ year tradition for the Put-in-Bay Yacht Club being involved! Come visit the island this weekend and see hundreds of sailing ships lining all of the public and private docks in downtown Put-in-Bay.

The public B and C docks get filled with sailing vessels of all sizes and shapes. Most fly colors and banners that are beautiful to behold. Likewise, on the other side of the Boardwalk Restaurant pier, the private docks hold even more sailboats and are closer to the Yacht Club and Crews Nest.

Even if you are not a sailor, it is a great and enjoyable view of Lake Erie history and sportsmanship. Take the time to visit and say hi to the captains. For weekend lodging, check out the specials and opportunities from our preferred and award-winning Put-in-Bay lodging partners.

A Short and Sweet History of the Mills Trophy Race

The Mills Trophy Race is open to all sailboats as long as they are sailed by members of clubs/associations affiliated with US Sailing. To qualify for the race, sailors are required to be validated with a PHRF or Multi-hull rating certificate, to provide proof of insurance, and to comply with all safety requirements as set forth. Online registration and race documents are available as usual via Yacht Scoring or through the Mills Trophy Race website.

Non-racing power and sailboats wishing to participate in the Mills Trophy Race can register for the Cruising Fleet and enjoy the festivities. The Cruise Fleet package includes two nights dockage at PIB, a sailor’s gift bag and access to the Sailor’s Party at PIBYC on Saturday afternoon. Registration information is available at the Mills Trophy Race website but entries are limited to space available so reserve ASAP. For those not in a boat, check out great Put-in-Bay lodging options.

Event Timeline

On Wednesday, a banquet honoring the winners of the previous year’s race is held at the Toledo Yacht Club. Toledo is where the race starts

Beginning at 6 pm Thursday, the skippers, crew and other supporters will all gather at The Toledo Yacht Club to enjoy an evening of refreshments, dancing and boat watching. Late boats arriving during the festivities will be welcomed with the traditional cannon salute. All boating enthusiasts are welcome.

On Saturday, after the race, the festivities resume at Put-in-Bay with sailors sharing their race experiences at the Put-in-Bay Yacht Club.

The weekend concludes with the Sunday morning breakfast at the Put-in-Bay Yacht Club, followed by the presentation of flags to the winners.

*** This is a tentative date ***