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Racing the Solo Mac for a Cause

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A veteran of dozens of Chicago-Mac and Port Huron-Mac races, Chicago-area sailor Rich Stearns is sailing solo this year to help raise funds for the treatment of prostate cancer

A veteran of dozens of Chicago-Mac and Port Huron-Mac races, Chicago-area sailor Rich Stearns is sailing solo this year to help raise funds for the treatment of prostate cancer

There are plenty of reasons to do a Chicago-Mac race, and Rich Stearns, who has done literally dozens of ‘em should know. This year, though, he’s doing the Solo-Mac for an especially important reason: to help those with prostate cancer.

“Two years ago, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer,” says Stearns, who has also won multiple Mac races over the years and was the main-trimmer and sail coordinator for the Heart of America America’s Cup campaign. “I would have thought there were only one or two options for treatment when you are diagnosed. Well, it turns out there are all kinds of options available and no one seems to know which is best. It ends up being a very personal decision, on which treatment is right for you.”

Stearns adds: “I am doing this race to raise funds so the University of Chicago can better explain the options available to you if it happens to you or a loved one. In addition, after the treatment or surgery there is very little information on what to expect and what to do to get back to normal. I have struggled with what to do post-surgery and have done all kinds of research on my own. It is disheartening when much of the information is old, and not just old, but plainly wrong. I hope we can raise funds, so more men can understand the options available to them and what they can or have to do to live a normal life.”

Stearns will be racing the J/88 Holy Smokes in the 22nd running of the Solo Chicago Mackinac Challenge, which starts on June 22 and is once again being organized by the Great Lakes Singlehanded Society. The event consists of a 289-mile non-stop sprint across Lake Michigan, from Chicago to Mackinac Island, with 27 boats currently registered.

To learn more, both about Stearns’ campaign and prostate cancer, which strikes 1 in 9 men, ultimately killing 1 in 40, click here, and good luck, Rich, both in the race, and with the campaign!

June 2018

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