Please select your home edition
Edition
Cyclops 2020 - SmartlinkNano - 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.



Rolly Tasker Sails 2019 728x90 FooterPacific Sailing School 2020 - FOOTERGul 2020 FOOTER

Related Articles

AC36: AI, RL, TLA, ETNZ, LRPP
There's a wee event happening across The Ditch (Tasman Sea) next week Now there's a wee event happening across 'The Ditch' (Tasman Sea) next week. So I certainly enjoyed writing from the armchair a little while ago, and whilst on that, thanks very much to all of you who read it all around the globe
Posted today at 11:00 am
Ari Huusela finishes the Vendée Globe
A fitting last hero Ari Huusela has the honour of closing the course on this 9th Vendée Globe. He is the last to finish the race some 37 days after the first boats.
Posted today at 8:37 am
2021 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship preview
Jack Macartney's tech2 team go into the event as favourites Despite winning the last season's Australian 18ft Skiff Championship in the then new tech2 skiff, Jack Macartney's 2020-21 Season team has gone up to another level of performance and consistency, taking all three major championships so far this season.
Posted today at 7:10 am
2021 Victorian Open Masters & Youth Championships
Held over the weekend at Sorrento Sailing and Couta Boat Club The Victorian Open Masters and Youth Championships were sailed over the weekend of 27th and 28th February at Sorrento Sailing and Couta Boat Club at the southern end of Port Phillip.
Posted today at 6:39 am
Top sailors chase Australian SB20 crown
Scene is set for 3 days of racing in the 2021 Harcourts Hobart SB20 Australian Championship The scene is set for three days of intense racing in the 2021 Harcourts Hobart SB20 Australian Championship in Hobart. Sailors from New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania will contest the three-day event
Posted today at 5:38 am
America's Cup to get underway on Wednesday
Race 1 of the 36th America's Cup Match will start shortly after 4 pm (NZT) on Wednesday 10th March The New Zealand Prime Minister has just announced that Auckland will drop a COVID Alert Level from 0600hrs Sunday. The impact of the reduction in Alert Level is that the America's Cup could proceed on Wednesday on an empty stadium basis.
Posted today at 4:03 am
America's Cup: Top commentators take on Cup
Sail Newport's Challenger Lecture #3 with Shirley Robertson and Ken Read looks at the 36th Match Two top sailing commentators former US America's Cup helmsman Ken Read together with double Olympic Gold medalist Shirley Robertson teamed up for an hour long, third instalment of the Sail Newport Challenger Lecture Series, moderated by Brad Read.
Posted today at 1:31 am
Gladwell's Line: Rolling the America's Cup dice
A look at some of the issues that could determine the outcome of the 36th Match, and a score. Sail-World's NZ Editor Richard Gladwell who has been on the water, inside the race course, for every race and practice day of the America's Cup Regattas takes a look at some of the issues that could determine the outcome of the 36th Match, and a score.
Posted on 4 Mar
America's Cup: Rating the helmsmen
Suzanne McFadden asks a six-time winner how much could it come down to the helmsmen? With the America's Cup first-to-seven showdown about to begin, Suzanne McFadden asks a six-time winner how much could it come down to the helmsmen?
Posted on 4 Mar
Last Vendée Globe arrival Ari Huusela due Friday
The light winds he has had today have been ideal for him With 130 nautical miles to go to the finish line of the Vendée Globe this Thursday afternoon, the 25th and final skipper Ari Huusela has made what should be his last tack of the race.
Posted on 4 Mar