Up to this point in the 2013 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot, it has been better than early forecasts indicated, with moderate southeasterly winds positioning most of the fleet in the middle of Lake Michigan.
While winds picked up yesterday for some time, allowing boats make good progress, today’s forecast calls for a bit more bleak conditions.
'Models are not very optimistic about winds on the Michigan shore this afternoon,' said Chris Bedford,Chief Meteorologist for Sailing Weather Service, LLC. 'The presence of a big high pressure system nearby is creating a situation that may suppress the normal lake breezes that form. It could be quite light near the Manitous today.'
As of 11:30 am EDT, the majority of the fleet was near Big Sable, but in the center of the lake, west of the rhumbline.
Well in front is Infinite Diversion, a Hanse 630, which is approaching the famous Mackinac Bridge, approximately 13 nautical miles from the finish.
In the hotly contested Turbo section, Il Mostro and Windquest are neck and neck to the east of Fox Island, with Windquest in front by .3 nautical miles.
Winn Soldani, a Mac Sailor who is providing live Facebook commentary, said that up to now the winds in the race have been better than forecast, leading to much of the fleet placing themselves in the center of the lake, between Big Sable and Little Sable. 'The question for the day is the breeze. If the breeze dies along the Michigan shore as expected, we could see boats located to the west do well today,' Soldani said. 'Staying in the breeze is always important in sailboat racing, but when winds are this light it can be the difference between moving and stopping, so crews will be attentive and focused.'
CYC Race to Mackinac
by Rachelle Treiber
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5:19 PM Sun 14 Jul 2013GMT
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