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Genuine Risk Takes Chicago Mackinac Line Honors

by Christie Kirchner on 22 Jul 2008
Genuine Risk reveals her canting keel and canard Carlo Borlenghi
Randall Pittman and crew aboard Genuine Risk, the largest boat in the over 430 boat fleet, were the first to reach Mackinac Island first thing today at 1:18 a.m. during the 100th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac.

Peter Isler, navigator on Risk said, 'It was a tactically challenging race. We had 5-6 weather models and the science just couldn't keep up with Mother Nature.'

Like Isler, many sailors are reporting on the fickle winds in this 2008 race, which began Saturday. 'It's hard to have a strong game plan in these conditions. Sometimes you just have to wing it and go with your gut instincts,' Isler added.

Fortunately the crew of Genuine Risk is packed with great instincts in sailors like Isler, Eric Doyle and James Spithill to name a few. 'Since it is an Americas Cup off-year, we could finally put this great crew together of friends,' owner Randall Pittman explained. 'This is a great group of guys who really work well as a team.'

The 100th Mac was special for Pittman and crew for several reasons, but in particular the race was an opportunity for the crew to pay tribute to friend and renown sailor Mark Rudiger who passed away Thursday prior to the race.

'We added a sticker on the boom that reads 'RUDI.' We dedicated this race to him,' Pittman remarked. Rudiger was Pittman's navigator the last time Genuine Risk competed on the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac four years prior.

Genuine Risk finished with an elapsed time of 35:08:42, and just under an hour later was followed by last year’s first to finish boat Windquest, owned by Doug and Dick DeVos with an elapsed time of 35:56:44.

The skippers of both boats hail from Michigan. 'I live in Ann Arbor now and grew up in Holland and of course know Doug [DeVos]. I think it’s pretty great that two guys from Holland are first and second to finish.'
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