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

Untitled-1

ASA Presents Webinars with Peter Isler

Social distancing keeping you away from the boat? The ASA is here to help, announcing three webinars for improving your sailing without leaving home. They will be hosted by Emmy-winning sailing broadcaster and ASA co-founder Peter Isler. The webinars will cover topics such as ...read more

ASA-2048

Get out and Sail: Virtually

Just because you’re stuck at home self-quarantining, that’s no reason you can’t still hone your skills or teach someone else you know about boathandling with the American Sailing Association’s online Sailing Challenge game. Created in cooperation with Nolan Bushnell, a longtime ...read more

200324-VirtualSailing-2048

Time to Try Virtual Sailboat Racing?

Stuck at home self-quarantining? How about giving on-line sailboat racing a try? Begun in 2010 and now working in partnership with sailing’s international governing body, World Sailing, Virtual Regatta has long allowed fans to take an active part in everything from the Vendée ...read more

2003-ICW

How Risky is the ICW with Covid-19?

Being a cruising sailor, one is already practicing a kind of social distancing. But coastal cruisers, and those transiting the Intracoastal Waterway, in particular, still have to return to land for re-provisioning and things like water, fuel, and pump-outs. When you dock in a ...read more

05-Q&A-190826-11HRT-AMO-team-announcement-113

A Chat with Charlie Enright

Rhode Island native Charlie Enright, 35, has competed in not one but two Volvo Ocean Races (VOR), with Team Alvimedica in 2014-15 and Vestas 11th Hour Racing 2017-18. More recently, Enright and 11th Hour Racing have announced they plan to compete in The Ocean Race, the successor ...read more

06-Smoke-on-the-waterways,-SC

Cruising: a Long Haul North

There are many mantras experienced cruisers like to pass on to those less experienced. First and foremost among these is: “Never sail to a schedule.” After that comes: “Choose your weather window carefully.” Unfortunately, this past spring, my husband, Brian, and I violated both ...read more

The-Solent's-rough-seas-and-harsh-weahter-teach-valuable-skills-for-any-serious-sailor-(by-Eric-Vohr)

How to Become a Yacht Master

Learning to sail is an organic process. Often we’re introduced to the sport by a family member or good friend who loves sailing and wants to share their passion. As such, one learns in bits and pieces. The problem is you can end up with lots of missing bits, and thus many ...read more

IMG_2012

Experience: Threading the Needle in a Thick Fog

It was a dark night, utterly black. Any light was blanketed by the fog. My chartplotter was night-blinding me. I looked at the Navionics map on my phone, waited half a second for my eyes to adjust and then looked at the depthsounder. After that, I looked ahead to where Laura was ...read more