Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 40+ 728x90

Chicago Mackinac - Target- Line Honors

by David Schmidt on 16 Jul 2011
CYC Race to Mackinac 2010 Event Media
For the 311 racing boats entered in the Chicago Yacht Club’s 103rd Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot, the anticipation is mounting.

The 50 cruising boats headed north this afternoon and the start for the racing fleet is tomorrow from 1130 hours, so today is all about weather files, strategy and scuttlebutt about whether the wind gods will cooperate with dockside hopes for a quick passage, or whether ace meteorologist Chris Bedford’s most-recent weather forecast—namely lighter winds and a reluctant southerly wind flow caused by a lingering high-pressure ridge to the east— will prove accurate.

Whether or not a crew is psyched or slightly leery of the weekend’s weather prediction is largely a case of whether their particular polars are suited for the light stuff or if they favor a blow. For example, the famed Great Lake 70s typically fare better in a big-breeze upwind contest than a smaller race boat that’s more optimized for off-the-breeze work, such as a TP52. Turn down the wind machine and rotate the apparent wind angle astern a few degrees, however, and the lighter, small boats quickly bid their larger brethren fair thee well.

'A couple of [the GL70s] are really well sailed and it is tough to keep up with them,' says Mark Hauf, skipper of the TP52, Imedi. 'But if the breeze is right for us we will leave them behind and we will sail to the numbers.'

'They put the GL70 class in with the Turbo [division],' said Lance Smotherman, owner and skipper of the GL70, Details. 'So not only do we have the GL70 class, which is always tight [racing], but now we also have the STP65 Equation (formerly Rosebud), Windquest, Natalie J, and some other pretty hot boats. We raced the Queen’s Cup two weeks ago and we were in the class with those guys and we beat them all, so we hoping to repeat that fact! The weather forecast is favourable for us, so we hope it stays that way!'

'Initially it was supposed to be great and we were looking forward to that and now all off a sudden it is looking like the breeze is dying down,' advises Phil O’Neil, owner and skipper of the TP52, Natalie J. 'We will just have to see. The problem with that for us is that the other two boats they have much taller rigs. In the lighter breeze I think they will have the advantage with that.'

'The 70 [footers] don’t like light air very much,' continues O’Neil. 'And I think that will be advantage for us with the 70s, but then the taller masts of those other two guys are going to give them a little advantage, too.'

As for the tactics involved, the logical question emerges: Will this be a rumbline race or will local knowledge prevail? 'I don’t think so,' said Hauf. 'It’s uncommon for the weather to be even across the lake. It wouldn’t surprise me if we ended going up the west shore or western side of the lake and then work across, transitioning across at night or even later than that depending on how fast we get up there. I wouldn’t say rhumbline is the best answer. Going fast north is the best answer. We’ll see how the breezes play out there.'

For more information on the Chicago Yacht Club's 103rd Race to Mackinac, please visit www.cycracetomackinac.com
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignBarz Optics - Kids rangeWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

A Q&A with Olympic champ Malcolm Page about his new job at US Sailing
I recently talked with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s newly hired Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job. Malcolm Page (AUS; 44) is a hyper-talented Men’s 470 sailor who won two Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) sailing with two different skippers, as well as seven World Championship titles, and who has long studied under the legendary Ukrainian coach Victor Kovalenko. I recently talked with Page, who was just hired as US Sailing’s new Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 5 Dec
America's Cup - Kiwi lodges Appeal against Jury in San Francisco Cup
Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case taken against the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco. On October 28, 2016, US District Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed Mitchell's claim against the five-person International Jury on the basis that it was lodged too late.
Posted on 2 Dec
A Q&A with Nick Bice about the recent changes for the 2017/2018 VOR
I caught up with Nick Bice, the VOR’s director of boats and maintenance, to learn more about the VOR’s new directions. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Nick Bice, the Volvo Ocean Race’s director of boats and maintenance, deliver a keynote speech to an audience of marine-industry professionals and official Volvo Ocean Race suppliers at the 2016 METS trade show in Amsterdam. I caught up with Bice after his presentation to learn more about the new directions that the race is taking for its thirteenth edition.
Posted on 28 Nov
A Q&A with Sharon Green about the prep work that ensures great images
I talked with ace photographer Sharon Green to learn more about the prep work that goes into each image that she snaps. I caught up with ace photographer Sharon Green at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn more about the behind-the-scenes preparation work that goes into each image that she snaps. While some of Green’s tips are specific to professional shooters (e.g., helicopter time or juggling multiple camera bodies), plenty of amateur lensmen will be well served to consider Green’s racecourse-proven tips.
Posted on 23 Nov
Dockside with CQS - radical, revamped supermaxi up close
The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday - the White Island Race which will double as Rolex Sydney Hobart Qualifier. Originally the 90ft Nicorette designed by South African Alex Simonis, the new project to upgrade to a 100ft supermaxi has been led by Brett Bakewell-White (NZ) and Bakewell-White Yacht Design.
Posted on 22 Nov
Gladwell's Line - President Croce caught at helm in Perfect Storm
No real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way an eight-year term After a year or more punctuated with issues that should not have happened, it is no real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way through what should have been an eight-year term. Also gone is one of his lieutenants, Chris Atkins (GBR) as Vice President, who remarkably polled 13th out of the 15 candidates.
Posted on 15 Nov
Gladwell's Line -The America's Cup settlement deal
The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the Arbitration Panel is not news The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel is not new - Sail-World reported the same story in the first and second weeks of September. The Hearing on the amount of compensation to be paid is yet to be held. So far we have been unable to discover a date if indeed one has been set. Maybe next year?
Posted on 11 Oct
Debriefing the 2016 J/70 Worlds with Winning Skipper Joel Ronning
I talked with Joel Ronning after the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn about his team’s win at this high-level regatta. Since its inception in 2012, the J/70 has become the most popular One Design boat in decades, with 1,100+ boats sailing in myriad countries. Some 68 boats from 15 countries arrived on San Francisco Bay last week to determine bragging rights at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds. I caught up with Joel Ronning to learn more about the Catapult team’s road to becoming the 2016 J/70 World Champions.
Posted on 5 Oct
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
Debriefing the Rio 2016 Olympics with Team USA’s Helena Scutt
I talked with Team USA’s Helena Scutt to hear about her Olympic experience, and to learn more about her post-Rio plans. The 49erFX was introduced to Olympic circles when it replaced the Women’s Match Racing event following the 2012 Games. Not surprisingly, it drew high-performance sailors for the Rio 2016 Olympics, including Team USA’s Paris Henken and Helena Scutt. While Henken and Scutt were Olympic first-timers, they put on a strong show. I caught up with Scutt to hear more about her Olympic experience.
Posted on 8 Sep