The Chicago Yacht Club's 103rd Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot—The sun is shining here on Mackinac Island, and a gentle breeze is flowing out of the south-southwest, helping to deliver the remaining 150 boats that are still racing to this picturesque island. To date, 148 boats have finished race, and 36 boats have withdrawn due either to the lashing, violent winds of last night’s vicious storm.
Horse manure and fudge are two of the most distinct smells on Mackinac Island, thanks to the island’s rule against cars and the dense population of confectioneries.
Boats continue to drift across the finishing line, and it’s expected that most boats will have finished racing by tomorrow morning. The plot has thickened substantially as far as the remaining time left for the raceboats, as the race-tracking system has been down since Saturday evening.
The CYC has managed this situation beautifully, dispatching a monitoring vessel to Grey’s Lighthouse, some 33 miles from the finishing line, in order to call in sail numbers as the boats approach. Phone calls, emails, text messages and the errant VHF call have also helped to 'pinpoint' boats, but the veil is still in situ at the moment.
On a much sadder note, flags all across the island are flying at half mast, in honor of Mark Morley and Suzanne Bickel, two sailors from WingNuts who were tragically killed during last night’s terrible storm. Because of this tragedy, the mood is appropriately toned down this year, with sailors concentrating on spending their time with their loved ones and recognizing the fragile miracle that is the human experience.
For more information on the Chicago Yacht Club's 103rd Race to Mackinac, please visit www.cycracetomackinac.com