Race to Mackinac
Its a funny thing: offshore sailing in the Midwest. But thats exactly what the Chicago Yacht Clubs Race to Mackinac is, featuring 333 miles of sailing, often requiring sailors to negotiate a wide variety of wind and sea-state conditions en route to an island (Mackinac Island, that is) that doesnt allow cars, but instead condones pedestrians, bicycles, and horse-drawn carriages. But thats an entirely different story.
The real story here, dear reader, is that the Race to Mackinac can now be considered the Big Mac now that it stands proud having completed its 100th running. And you can bet that the other mac (Freddie Mac, that is) and the recession that were all enjoying did little to deter the high-octane participation in this historic contest. To be a Chicago-based sailor and miss the 100th running of the Race to Mackinac Island just doesnt seem right at least thats what some 430 skippers a record number of participating boats — thought as they crossed the starting line, en route to funky, foggy, murky offshore conditions.
Line honors went to Randall Pitmanss Genuine Risk a 90-foot canting-keel Dubois-designed maxi that seems to have finally found her feet in this race. Tragically, one of the true great guys in sailing, Mark Rudi Rudiger, a regular navigator aboard Genuine Risk passed away after a prolonged fight against lymphoma just a few days before the races start (read more about Rudiger here:
To honor Rudigers memory, Genuine Risk flew a sticker bearing the memorial Rudi on their boom as they blazed to the island.
Kimball Livingston, one of SAILs Senior Editors and an ace offshore racer and writer, was lucky enough to be aboard Bill Zeilers fast, well-sailed, and brand-new J/122, Skye for the race. To read about KLs firsthand experiences aboard the boat that won its division and did well overall (corrected time), visit Livingstons blog (http://sailmagazine.blogspot.com). You can bet your last Big Mac that youll be entertained.
Posted: July 22, 2008