In the 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot, the racing fleet is off and running. The double-handed division began first at 11 am, with starts continuing every 10 minutes. Last up was the turbo division. Much attention will be focused on the anticipated battle for line honors between Il Mostro and Windquest.
'A beautiful day on the water and perfect start and culmination of 12 months of planning,' said Lou Sandoval, Race Chair. 'The competitors’ spirits are all high with one goal in mind – finishing first.'
The racers face a tricky forecast for winds. The racing weather will be driven by lake breezes—localized areas of wind that form due to the land heating up in contrast to cool water temperatures. Finding and staying in these breezes will make for difficult choices for all boats in the fleet, and should be fun to follow as the race unfolds.
As for the cruising fleet, which set out in northeast winds, overnight their winds shifted to the south and have lightened, causing the fleet to separate as they search for breeze and set up for the evolution of the weather. Some boats are going down the rhumbline — the direct course to Mackinac Island — while others are sticking closer to the western shore of Lake Michigan, anticipating stronger breezes there. Well in front is Infinite Diversion, a Hanse 630, which was located off of Big Sable Point as of midmorning and leading the next boat by an impressive 28 miles.
On shore, Michigan Avenue Magazine and the Chicago Yacht Club had about 2,500 people show up to send the sailors off in style at Ashore Thing, the Official Viewing Party for the Parade of Boats held at the east end of Navy Pier.
CYC Race to Mackinac
by Rachelle Treiber
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6:32 AM Sun 14 Jul 2013GMT
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