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Chicago Mackinac 2011 fleet away!!

by Race to Mackinac - event media on 17 Jul 2011
Windquest racing in the 103rd Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot Event Media
The 103rd Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot started yesterday afternoon for the 50 boat cruising fleet, who have had a dream run overnight and are well up the course.

Today in softer conditions, the giant 310 boat race fleet is heading north. The racing fleet has always sailed through the much slower cruisers, but it seems quite possible that the cruising fleet will be the first to the Mackinac parties.

The first fleet away this morning was the double-handed section. Phantom, a J105 owned by Scott Vukovich and John Kalanik from Chicago Yacht Club took a healthy lead. A starboard tack spinnaker set sets the tone for the day. Despite light winds of 3-5 knots with a potential to build, all headed north on a tight reach in order to pass the Two Mile Crib - a potential wind blocker - to starboard.

Further up the course, however, Dirk Kruger's C&C 110 Sea Raider from St Joseph River Yacht Club overtook Phantom to lead fleet north.

In the second start, the fleet from Section 9 crept to the line with poles set. Contender, a C&C 35 owned by Gary Graham out of Bayview Yacht Club crossed the line first. However, by the time the fleet reached the Crib, Siochail, Brian Geraghty's C&C 35 Mark 1, also from Bayview Yacht Club sneaked past Contender. The club rivalry has begun.

Just before the third start, the T10s - the largest fleet in the Racing section - the wind had shifted more to the east. Erica, a Tartan 10 owned by Brian and Michael Kaczor from Columbia Yacht Club reached the Crib first. Behind the 24 T10’s, Opus Dei, an Olson 30 owned by Greg and Chris Cyrul out of Privateer Yacht Club was quickly out front of the Section 8 fleet.

The 2010 overall handicap winner Lady K, a J110 owned by Mike Stewart out of Muskegon Yacht Club led the way in Section 7. Peregrine, owned by Mark and Jackie Stoll out of Burnham Park Yacht Club was leading in the J105s
In Section 6, three hours into the race, Aftershock, a J35 owned by William M. Newman and Houqua, another J35 owned by Jack Andree, both out of Muskegon Yacht Club, and ZippyR, a Beneteau 10R owned by Scott Derby out of Macatawa Bay Yacht Club were vying for the early lead.

In the Beneteau 36.7 fleet, Karma, owned by Lou and Martin Sandoval and Jack Buoscio, out of Chicago Yacht Club was the early leader. Stiff competition from Wishes, owned by George Quinlan IV out of the Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club and Fog, owned by Charlie Wurtzebach and Mike Bird also out of Chicago Yacht Club was looming.

Full Tilt, owned Peter Priede and Roy Stewart out of Columbia Yacht Club was leading at the start, but Vanda III, owned by John Toliver and Jim Mitchell out of Chicago Yacht Club chose to take a more easterly track and was proving to be a hot contender in the 109 fleet!

In Section 5, Spitfire, a Frank 40 owned by James K. Hellquist and Larry Warter out of Waukegan Yacht Club was neck and neck with Maskwa, a C&C 115 owned by Donald P. Waller out of Burnham Park Yacht Club rolling up from the second place position.

Just after the Beneteau 40.7 start, the wind reluctantly came around to a southerly flow and was much less patchy. The clouds were burning off and the sun was much brighter and finally some blue sky drenched the Chicago skyline. Abeam the big towers downtown, Tom Weber’s La Tempete, representing the Midwest Open Racing fleet was leading the charge.

In Section 4 populated with a Beneteau 44.7’s, J120’s, Mumm 36’s, Alice Martin’s well campaigned Painkiller IV, a Sydney 38 out of Chicago Yacht Club was leading the way.

Power Trip, a Synergy 1000, owned by Paul and James Kraft out of Grosse Point Yacht Club was at the top of the fleet in the Sportboat Section. The breeze was building and now there were bow waves for the lightweight fliers
In Section 3, Majic, a Sydney 41 owned by William Hoyer from Muskegon Yacht Club won the start and was making good progress on the eastern side of the course.

In Section 2, Christopher Whitford's Hot Lips, a Farr 40 from Chicago Yacht Club was the boat to beat in the first leg. Coming fast on her stern was Peacemaker, a Ker Custom owned by Kenneth Flaska and Fred Detwiler from Bayview Yacht Club and was flying a code zero.

The wind speed was lifting, probably now at least eight knots, as Drumbeat, a Soto 40 owned by Ted Etheridge out of Macatawa Bay Yacht Club shot away from the start line. Out to the east was Sun Duda!, a Santa Cruz 52 owned by F. Duda Sr. and L. Duda out of Chicago Yacht Club and Vortices, a J145 owned by Chris Saxton out of Bayview Yacht Club in the Section One fleet.

In the Multihull Division, Sundog, a Seacart 30 trimaran owned by Paul and Kathleen Parks out of Annapolis Yacht Club owned the line, second was Lei Loe, a Corsair 31, owned by H.L. Enloe out of Silver Gate Yacht Club; and CAT13, a Reynolds 33 owned by Martin Foster out of Viking Multihull Sail Club.

Last but not least, the Turbo Section fleet was preparing to cross the line as the wind was now gusting beyond 10 knots. The fleet was not flying ‘chutes, with their apparent wind well forward, their code zeros powering them at speed.

As expected, Windquest, the giant canting keel Maxi Z86 owned by Dick and Doug DeVos out of Macatawa Bay Yacht Club wound up quickly and blasted away. Equally as predictable, Equation, Bill Alcott's STP65, out of Bayview Yacht Club, formerly the Sydney Hobart winner Rosebud was a close second.

All and all, the starts were clean and uneventful. Thankfully, the light winds and grey skies we witnessed in the morning turned into a fresh breeze and blue skies which all the sailors will enjoy through the afternoon.

Two hours after the start, Bob Cohen from Endeavor, a Beneteau 36.7 up on the Wisconsin shore is that the wind is just holding above eight knots, but the sun is shining brightly. Same song from Peter O’Malley aboard the Olsen 34 Tenacity, who reported postcard sailing conditions.

Now the real question, with wind strengths rising at the top end of the lake, will the cruising fleet turbo-tortoises creep across the line ahead of the racing hares, who will now need to sail at twice their speed for the next 20 hours in softer conditions… that could be a tough challenge.

But this is but the first part of an epic race, so watch this space.

For more news and information go to
Nanni Diesel Australia 2020 - FOOTERZhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom FOOTERBandG AUS Zeus3 FOOTER

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