Chicago Race To Mackinac—Pre-Start Predictions

16 Jul 2011

Chicago-Mackinac Race—Pre-Start Predictions

Beneteau 36.7 fleet heading north on port tack towards Mackinac.  Event Media

The Chicago Yacht Club's 103rd Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot—Anticipation ratchets higher still as sailors swap bits of 'in-the-know' tactical gossip on the docks of the Chicago Yacht Club, just hours before the starting sequences begins for the fabled 333-mile race from the Windy City to the island that relies on horses—not cars—for transportation.

First, the good news: According to the latest wind forecasts from, the fleet will experience deep sailing angles and plenty of time to enjoy the glorious sight of their spinnakers. Crews that have their gybing down pat will be rewarded; crews that do better on the uphill stuff will have their work cut out for them.

Now, the less-than-great news: Also according to the forecast, the fleet is looking at fairly soft breezes, mostly in the 10-15 knot range. While this is great for an uphill or broad-reach, it will mean hot on-deck temperatures for the sailors. For boats with Asymmetric spinnakers, this will mean hotter angles and plenty of gybing; for boats with standard spinnakers, this will translate to the ability to sail a near-rumbline race, albeit a fairly warm race. Fortunately, Lake Michigan is still plenty cool, offering some respite. Given today's cloud cover, the sun shouldn't be too much of an issue.

The venerable T-10 class, 29 boats strong, once again heads for Mackinac Island.  Event Media

Interestingly, the forecast is calling for a westerly shift to the southerly flow starting on Sunday morning. For the fastest boats, this could mean that the headsails stay properly flaked the entire time. Slower boats are likely to encounter some headwinds, starting on Sunday at around 1800 hours and continuing throughout Monday morning.

Weather guru Chris Bedford has suggested that this could be a classic case of the rich getting richer, (e.g., the fastest boats that can stay on the magic carpet ride will reap the best rewards), but as of the most recent forecasts, there are enough wildcards left on the table (weather-wise) to make this an extremely interesting contest. Stay tuned for more information, as it becomes known.

For more information on the Chicago Yacht Club's 103rd Race to Mackinac, please visit

David Schmidt



To learn more about the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, go to the official Web site at

Press wishing to cover the event, can register their interest and gain additional information and access to high resolution images for editorial use at the online media center at

For more information, please contact Rachelle Treiber, Chicago Yacht Club Communications Manager, at 312.861.7772, or  

2011 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac - Presented by Veuve Clicquot.

About Chicago Yacht Club: The Chicago Yacht Club is one of the oldest and most respected yacht clubs in the world. Today, the club boasts a membership of nearly 1500 boating enthusiasts, and is one of the preeminent organizers of regattas, races and predicted-log events in the United States. The club offers an array of spectacular off-the-water amenities, including fine dining and full-service catering at both its Monroe and Belmont stations.

About the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac: At 333 miles (289.4 nautical miles), the Race to Mackinac is the oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world. ‘The Mac' starts at the Chicago Lighthouse, just off Navy Pier and continues to Mackinac Island.  2010 marked the 102nd Running of the Race to Mackinac in which 362 boats competed in the third consecutive sellout of the Race.  The Race has also amassed a strong following using technology and social networking; it can be followed virtually using Facebook, Twitter and its Race tracking interface. The 102nd race and yacht club site was visited by over 300,000 website visitors.

About Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin: Since its creation in 1772, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin played an instrumental role in establishing and evolving the champagne industry as we know it today. Located in Reims, France, Veuve Clicquot prides itself on utilizing only the most distinct grapes from their vineyards for each bottle. Now, over 200 years later, Veuve Clicquot Champagne inspires the world to 'Be Clicquot': modern, audacious and premium quality. These values, set forth by the ground-breaking and extraordinary Madame Clicquot and maintained by generations of Clicquot drinkers, promise a remarkable experience with each sip of Veuve Clicquot Champagne.

To unsubscribe to this list , please click here.