Race to Mackinac

It’s a funny thing: offshore sailing in the Midwest. But that’s exactly what the Chicago Yacht Club’s 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 doesn’t allow cars, but instead condones pedestrians, bicycles, and horse-drawn carriages. But that’s an
Author:
Updated:
Original:

It’s a funny thing: offshore sailing in the Midwest. But that’s exactly what the Chicago Yacht Club’s 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 doesn’t allow cars, but instead condones pedestrians, bicycles, and horse-drawn carriages. But that’s 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 we’re 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 doesn’t seem right…at least that’s 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 Pitman’s’s 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 race’s start (read more about Rudiger here:
www.sailmagazine.com/racing/0708rudiger/).
To honor Rudiger’s memory, Genuine Risk flew a sticker bearing the memorial “Rudi” on their boom as they blazed to the island.

Kimball Livingston, one of SAIL’s Senior Editors and an ace offshore racer and writer, was lucky enough to be aboard Bill Zeiler’s fast, well-sailed, and brand-new J/122, Skye for the race. To read about KL’s firsthand experiences aboard the boat that won it’s division and did well overall (corrected time), visit Livingston’s blog (http://sailmagazine.blogspot.com). You can bet your last Big Mac that you’ll be entertained.

Posted: July 22, 2008

Related

01-LEAD-lagoon46-ncz4503-a3

10 Places to Cruise With a Catamaran

Navel gazing doesn’t get much better than from the deck of a sailboat anchored somewhere exotic. You can think great thoughts staring up at the stars from a South Seas anchorage. It’s also better doing so on a catamaran. Full confession: I’m a cat convert, a cat evangelist if ...read more

Radome

Ask SAIL: Some Random TLC

Q: I recently removed my radar’s white radome, which covers the internal rotating antenna. I gave the radome a light sandblasting to clear it of years of grime and discoloring. Should I paint it, too? — B. Anderson, Aberdeen, MD GORDON WEST REPLIES Stop! First, make sure the ...read more

L42-Sea-Trails-3728

Boat Review: Leopard 42

Sticking with its proven design formula, but also cherry-picking popular features from its recent models, Leopard Catamarans has launched a “best of” package with this new boat that sold nearly 30 units before hull #1 even touched water. Like a greatest hits album, the Leopard ...read more

01-LEAD-Cut8

Know how: Reinforcing Engine Stringers

If I were to ask, “What are the top five parts of the engine you want to be able to easily access?” How would you respond? Would it be the dipstick? The overflow coolant? I’d wager the raw water pump and its impeller would also make the list. Am I right? The reason we want to be ...read more

Sail-VOE-4-a

Experience: Under the Eyes of the Bar Bunch

Sitting quietly at the bar of a local yacht club, I gaze out over a rambunctious Lake Michigan on a sunny but blustery spring afternoon. I am enjoying watching a small sloop approaching the marina and recognize it as belonging to one of our newest members. “Pretty little thing. ...read more

01-LEAD-Bocas_Marina2

Cruising: Hurricane Heaven

As I write this, another hurricane season has passed. In hundreds of harbors and marinas, sailors are breathing a sigh of relief. I know the feeling since I rode out eight spinners aboard my sturdy 30-footer. I can recall the precise moment when I said, “No more!” It was in ...read more

J45-Podcast-vert-600x-02

Point of SAIL: J/Boats Inc. President Jeff Johnstone

In this episode of Point of SAIL, sponsored by West System Epoxy, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with Jeff Johnstone, president of J/Boats Inc., the company that has brought the world such iconic designs as the J/24, the J/105 and the J/22, to name a few. In their ...read more

100719BTSC-9304

Boat Review: Catalina 545

Catalina has long been the largest All-American family cruiser company, building what sailors might call “standard” boats. Moving up from the popular 30ft to 45ft sizes puts the company into “yacht” territory, and the new Catalina 545, winner of the SAIL magazine 2020 Best Boats ...read more