Chicago Mackinac 2012 - Racing fleet ready to set sail

104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac
104th Chicago Yacht Club Racing to Mackinac. As the northeast winds subsided overnight, the cruising fleet, loosely clustered east of Kenosha and Racine, Wisconsin, have begun to separate as they search for breeze. Well in front is Infinite Diversion, a Hanse 630, currently headed toward the Muskegon, Mich., shoreline. Hope, a Najad 332, is approximately 17 nautical miles behind.

This morning the winds have shifted out of the south and are beginning to build. In the last hour, the buoy in the center of the lake has shown a wind speed increase from about three knots to about eight knots, and over the last four hours or so, the winds have gone from a northerly direction all away around to the south.

Back in Chicago, racers are leaving the dock shortly to head to Navy Pier for the annual Parade of Boats. On shore, Michigan Avenue Magazine and CYC have everything ready to help the public send the sailors off in style at the first offiial viewing party, the Ashore Thing. Festivities begin at 10:30 a.m.

The doublehanded division will begin first, and starts will continue every 10 minutes. Last up is the Turbo division. Much attention will be focused on the anticipated battle for line honors between il Mostro and Windquest.

Today’s forecast in Chicago calls for sunny skies, and modest south-southwest winds.

Good luck to all the racers!

CYC Race to Mackinac website