Please select your home edition
Edition
Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - AUS LEADERBOARD

Chicago Mackinac 20111 - Jugband - the race of a lifetime

by Sean Palizza on 29 Jul 2011
The crew prepares for the start - 103rd Race to Mackinac Sean Palizza
The 103rd Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot will forever stand in my memory as one of the greatest times I have ever had on the water.

Being implanted and in many ways adopted by the rag-tag crew of Jugband, I was able to witness the drive, dedication and constant second-guessing that goes into off-shore racing. And was lucky enough to also witness the sheer bliss and moments of ineffable gratitude that accompany years of hard work and not winning come to fruition to reward eight sailors with quite possibly the greatest on-water achievement of their lives.

The cruising division is by no means the glam division of the Race to Mac, Jugband the Jeanneau 45.2 I crewed on has two air conditioners, electric winches, bow thrusters and what Captain Harry Simmon lovingly describes as an, 'Upside down coffee table for a keel.'

But that in no way detracted from the serious attitude with which the boat raced, never was there a moment when the crew wasn’t discussing proper sail trim (more than one time the North U sail trim book was brought out) or shouting to get weight low and for me taking pictures to get off of the bow and down on the low side for crying out loud.


However the serious racing disposition quickly lightened as food was distributed steaming hot from the galley and the crew vacuumed great big heaping piles of one-pot meals up for dinner and delicious quiche for breakfast.


Post-start the wind clocked and it became a spinnaker race, all the watching other competitors was conducted through the lens of binoculars, each eye on the boat aching to scan the horizon and searching for any points of sail in front or behind. The spinnaker trimmers all taking twenty-minute shifts for fear that any longer their necks might seize up permanently.


All three of our competitors came within visual sight the last day of the race after we had lost all of them during the night. From that moment on, the horse race was afoot and emotions on the boat brimmed to a new height of race fervor and excitement.

Passing under the awe-instilling scope of the Mackinac bridge, the handheld VHF was gripped with white knuckles as the crew strained to hear the finishing times of the three boats in front of us.


With a fourth across the line finish and the knowledge that we corrected over all of the boats that had come before us, the crew docked the boat and quickly poured themselves some liquid relief from the rancor possibility of boats correcting over ourselves.

But as fate, the winds and the worlds greatest jug player (the captain) would have it; the three-bedroom condo dock queen that is Jugband soundly defeated every single competitor in both cruising divisions fleets of a combined fifty boats and finished ahead of her next closest competitor by eighteen minutes and twenty-six seconds.


It was the single greatest week of my life and I owe everything to the fortune we encountered in getting in before the storm, and the wonderful company in which I found myself.



X-Yachts AUS X4 - FOOTER - 2Vaikobi 2021 FlexForce - FOOTERBoat Books Australia FOOTER

Related Articles

First Bali 4.4 catamaran set for Australia
In time for the Sydney International Boat Show next July The first Bali 4.4 catamaran by Catana to arrive in Australia will be in time for the Sydney International Boat Show next July. From a distance it seems like a really smart boat and here are some of the unique design features.
Posted today at 2:06 pm
52 Super Series - The winner takes it all...
At stake is the Rolex TP52 World Championship title and the season title Never before has the 52 Super Series seen a finale like that which should unfold next week on the Bay of Palma. At stake are the Rolex TP52 World Championships titles.
Posted today at 10:26 am
GC32 Mar Menor Cup preview
The first time the flying multihulls have visited Spain's famous 170km² salt water lagoon The GC32 foiling catamarans are one week away from entering into combat for a fourth and final time in 2021 with the GC32 Mar Menor Cup which runs from 3rd to the 7th November.
Posted today at 9:12 am
For the sheer joy of it. (Part I)
J/Boats' new J/45 is here. So alert the media. Oh. That'd be us… J/Boats' new J/45 is here. So alert the media. Oh. That'd be us… Anyway, we not only know about the J/45, we very much kind of love it.
Posted today at 8:00 am
François Gabart set for Transat Jacques Vabre
Alongside Tom Laperche aboard the new Trimaran SVR Lazartigue On 7 November, just three months after her launch in Concarneau, Brittany, the Trimaran SVR Lazartigue, a genuine flying boat, will take the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre, her first offshore race.
Posted today at 6:22 am
New Teams great start to 18 Footer Season
A great result for the club's policy of introducing talented, young sailors to the fleet The opening day's racing of the Australian 18 Footers League's 2021-22 season, last Sunday, produced a great result for the club's policy of introducing talented, young sailors into the high-speed world of 18ft skiff racing on Sydney Harbour.
Posted today at 6:12 am
America's Cup: Outteridge joins Emirates Team NZ
Emirates Team NZ announce the signing of Nathan Outteridge for AC37 Emirates Team New Zealand have announced the signing of Nathan Outteridge to join their sailing team for the 37th America's Cup.
Posted on 27 Oct
2021 Women's Match Racing Worlds preview
Cherbourg event features Olympic and America's Cup champions The 2021 Women's Match Racing World Championship, featuring Olympic and America's Cup champions, is set to take over Europe's second largest artificial harbour - Cherbourg-en-Cotentin in Normandy, France - from tomorrow (Thursday, 28 October).
Posted on 27 Oct
Everything, including the kitchen sink
Family first for one competitor in Qoin Sail Paradise 2022 Acclaimed Queensland ocean racing yachtsman, Graham "Scooter" Eaton, will put his family first when he competes in Southport Yacht Club's Qoin Sail Paradise Regatta in January.
Posted on 27 Oct
Launching the “Retour à La Base”
Lorient Grand Large and the IMOCA Class are announcing the creation a brand-new sports event Home to some of the most ambitious offshore racing projects, a skippers' training base and a venue synonymous with innovation and new technologies, Lorient La Base is highly influential.
Posted on 27 Oct