Chicago to Mackinac 100th Sailboat Race Completed on a J120

We did it!  We completed the 100th Mac – 333 miles from Chicago to Mackinac Island Michigan, no breaks, no stops, straight through from 1:20 Saturday until our finish (sans motor) at around 7pm Monday night, our fastest finish to date, my fourth Mac and possibly my favorite.  Good solid weather, never totally becalmed on my watch, terrific shift I worked with, great food, sailed well, I contributed in navigating, trimming, sail setting, and even in the sewer and feeding guys, making 10 PB&Js on the final night and handing them out to a hungry crew.  The race was especially foggy – I’d say as much as 2/3rds of the time you couldn’t see more than a quarter mile so ships would appear from nowhere silently and disappear into the fog, ghostlike.  We bested the other Chicago boats in our class, but lost to most of the Detroit J120s, Perseverance and Corinthia dominating as usual.  We made progress however, 7th of 12, after four years, versus crews who have been together for 20 or more years.  A few different decisions and we’d have been up a few more places.  No major mistakes, we were happy with our performance and can do better next year.

Start of the Mac!

Start of the Mac!

Big party on the front lawn of the Grand Hotel Tuesday, we stayed later than the other boats as usual, closing down the party with a raucous game of beachball.  Tuesday morning had a great ride around the island with a bunch of crew, skidding out, doing wheelies, crashing into each other, generally acting like a bunch of 12-year-olds, was a good time 🙂


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