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The Mac's oldest mariner

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At 96, this race--his 30th--will put him on course to make history, win or lose

Between Chicago and Mackinac Island, the length of the world's longest freshwater sailing race, Karl Stein is the oldest man on the water.

He's 96 and in good health, a term relative at his age.

Still, as the fleet in the 97th Mackinac Race makes its way north over the 333-mile course this weekend, Stein is trying to prove that experience means more than a person's age, that it matters at least as much as athleticism.

Stein brought his weathered leather bag aboard Saturday and perched himself in the pre-race tumult. There were visitors aboard and gear everywhere, Monroe Harbor a forest of masts and fluttering race pennants.   more...


 



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The Race Has Started ... The Wait Begins - July 16, 2005

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The annual wait is over ... the annual wait begins.

Each year, Great Lake sailors wait in anticipation for the start of the Chicago Yacht Club's race to Mackinac. That happened earlier today on Lake Michigan, just off of Chicago. Now the next wait begins. We wait to find out who will finish first and which boats with gain honors in their sections.

Once the boats sail out of sight from Chicago, people will rely on chicagomackinac.com and calls from relatives to find out how things are going.  more...

 

reprinted from http://www.torresen.com/sailing/



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CYC Mac - Slow Start - July 16, 2005

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The Chicago Mackinac is underway, with boats generally proceeding along the Wisconsin shore at speeds from 0 to 5 knots. Leading boats such as Beau Geste, Old Bear and the GL 70's have passed Evantson but still are well south of Wind Point near Racine WI.

Current wind observations are pretty grim. The south Lake Michigan weather buoy actually shows 0 knots. Sheboygan WI shows 5 knots of Southerly wind. Muskegon has 7 knots of NNW wind, but the fleet is far away from the east shore.  more...

reprinted from  http://www.torresen.com/sailing/



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CYC Mac - Weather Outlook - July 15, 2005

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The synoptic picture for the race is mixed. It begins with a high coming in Friday night before the race. A low will appear but will stay to the north. The main weather maker is a cold front that will cross the lake on Monday. High pressure follows this.

Wind Direction: The forecasts for the race presents a straight forward pattern for wind direction. NE is the expected direction for the start. The wind is then expected to start veering, and eventually going NW when the cold front passes.   more...

reprinted from http://www.torresen.com/

 



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2005 Chicago Mackinac Preview - July 15, 2005

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This year the Chicago to Mackinac race will start on July 16th followed by the Port Huron Mac on the 23rd. This will be the 99th sailing of the Mac race.

There are many reasons to sail in the race. It could be completing a first Mackinac. It could be completing that 25th Mackinac, making you eligible to join the old goats. It maybe another race in your classes (J 105, J35, Farr 40, GL 70's etc.) season series- albeit the longest one.

The course is a classic. In simple terms it takes the boats from one end of Lake Michigan to the other and often from one side to the other.

The race begins off Chicago's skyline. At 1.5 miles from the Chicago coast the starting line is within sight of the city.

The starts tend to be under spinnaker. It's the largest fleet of the year starting with spinnakers and often a dicey proposition. The first night sees strategic choices being made. The rhumb line is drawn on the chart and on race participation plaques but not always followed. There'll be more spread in the fleet if the conditions are upwind. If so, you can have starboard tackers off Milwaukee in Wisconsin and port tackers off the Michigan shoreline. If it's off the wind you'll spend more time near the rhumb line often jibing back and forth crossing the imaginary line.   more...

 

reprinted from  http://www.torresen.com/sailing/



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Chicago Mac - Weather Outlook - July 15, 2005

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The synoptic picture for the race is mixed. It begins with a high coming in Friday night before the race. A low will appear but will stay to the north. The main weather maker is a cold front that will cross the lake on Monday. High pressure follows this.

Wind Direction: The forecasts for the race presents a straight forward pattern for wind direction. NE is the expected direction for the start. The wind is then expected to start veering, and eventually going NW when the cold front passes.

Wind Velocity: Lasts years slow race has greatly influenced peoples expectations. The good news is that the word variable is not to be seen in the forecasts and numbers like 10, 10-20 etc. are shown. The general trend should be more wind as time goes by and more wind as the fleet sails north.  more...

reprinted from  http://www.torresen.com





CYC - Pre race News

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15-Jul-05 - 08:13pm
The AMERICAP II course selection for the 2005 Race to Mackinac is Offshore All Purpose.

Chief Measurer Ron White

15-Jul-05 - 04:04pm
Attention: All Mackinac Racers Brought to you by your Chicago Yacht Club Race Committee: High Speed Internet Access through MAYLONE Enterprises, Inc. HotSpot cards. Great for wireless internet access on both Mackinac Island and in Mackinaw City. Witness the live camera feed of the yacht race available at http://www.chicagoyachtclub.org/racetomackinac/. Check your email from own your personal laptop. Please visit the registration desk today to purchase your card or visit the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau: A Bargain Not to Be Missed at $12.00 for a 24 hour card $20.00 for a 3 day card Note: special rates apply only to cards designed for the 2005 yacht races.

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The Whole Enchilado - Transpac 2005: The Wind Has Filled In

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We are three days into the race, but we really only want to count two, since the first day was spent wallowing halfway between Catalina Island and the starting line off Point Fermin. Tuesday night between 10 p.m. and midnight the wind came in at 15 to 20 knots from the west; which meant a tight reach along our southwesterly rhumbline.  

Third day morning roll call from the 65 ft. S&S design Alaska Eagle, which is accompanying the fleet, woke us up to the following report: Division V: (1) Brown Sugar, (2) B'Quest Challenged, (3) Diablo. Cal 40 Division: (1) Illusion, (2) Ralphie, (3) Callisto. Aloha A Division: (1) Odyssey, (2) Plan B, (3) Between the Sheets. Aloha B Division: (1) So Far, (2) Pipe Dream, (3) Wind Dancer.

For the last day, we have been reaching along just to the south and parallel to our southwestly rhumbline at 8.5 knots in a northwesterly breeze of 15 to 20 knots. The sky is overcast and seas 4 to 6 feet with the occasional 10-footer rolling in. We are a little disappointed with our 5th-place position, but have overcome that obstacle and all have now assumed a let's go get'um posture.
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Chicago-to-Mac sailors like the night

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When the 300 yachts racing from Chicago to Mackinac sail into the sunset Saturday night, that's when the race really gets started.

It took Dr. Bradley Dykstra of Hudsonville about 42 hours to finish the race on his boat, Que Loco, in 2003.

It was a much longer trip in 2000 at 78 hours.

"We don't want to do that again," Dykstra said.

While the time depends mostly on wind conditions, Dykstra said what separates those entered for recreation and those entered for racing is what happens after dark. That's when the boats with the good crews make the biggest moves.   more...

 



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Sailboats ready for big race

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It began as a small sailboat challenge to see who could reach their summer homes on Mackinac Island first.

Now, more than 100 years later, the Race to Mackinac from Chicago is one of the largest point-to-point races in America and the longest annually run race in the world.

"It started off with a small number of boats," said Rick Lillie, the race's event chairman. "Over the years, it's grown to a full racing event."

Starting at the Chicago Yacht Club, the race stretches from near the southernmost point of Lake Michigan, heads northeast towards Frankfort and, after passing Sturgeon Bay, heads directly east towards the finish at Mackinac Island.

The race begins at noon on Saturday and will end between Monday morning and late afternoon. This year's race features 294 sailboats in three divisions.   more...

 



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Mackinaw heads to Chicago

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Cutter will oversee yacht race, run training drills before heading back home

By MIKE FORNES

Tribune Staff Writer

CHEBOYGAN - Crewmembers aboard the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw will have more than sailing yachts to keep track of during their week-long cruise, which began Tuesday.

The giant icebreaker departed Cheboygan under hazy skies headed through the Straits of Mackinac and into Lake Michigan, bound for Chicago. The ship provides annual escort duty to sailing yachts participating in the Chicago-to-Mackinac Yacht Race. The down-bound trip will provide some time for training new members of the Mackinaw's crew.   more...


 



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New skippers ready to join veterans in Mackinac race

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The Bacardi Bayview Mackinac Race enters its 81st year; and for about half of those, Kerry Hitchings has been itching to skipper his own boat. Now the Macomb Township resident will get his wish.

"I've been star struck with sailboats,“ said Hitchings, 48, who saw his first Mackinac race at the age of 9 and has served as a crewmember five times. "When other kids were collecting baseball cards and watching baseball, I wanted to sail.“

Hitchings entered his boat Knot Rider, a Hobie 33, in the Shore Course PHRF J Class.

Like Hitchings, Richard Lambert of St. Clair will be a captain for the first time after seven times as a crewman.

"It's kind of exciting,“ he said about entering his own sailboat, a 44-foot Irwin Sloop in the Shore Course Cruising C Class.

Lambert will make his trip a family affair with his wife Laura Lee and his granddaughter Anna MacIntyre joining the eight-member crew.  more...

 



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Ballet of boats 78-year-old sailor readies for his 41st Mackinac

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Libertyville's Alan Baske will tell you there is nothing like being out on a boat in the middle of Lake Michigan on a clear night "where you can see more stars than anywhere else but Arizona and see the Milky Way split in two."

The sailor also speaks poetically about watching "a ballet of boats in the moonlight chasing a wisp of wind here and there."

These are the images on view each summer during the 333-mile race from Chicago to Mackinac Island (Mich.), and they are major reasons why Baske, 78, participates year-after-year.

On Saturday, when the 97th edition of the race begins just east of the Windy City's Monroe Harbor, Baske will be skittering a crew of nine aboard his Waukegan-based sailboat Nana. It will be the 41st straight year Baske participates in the event, and his plans include several more.    more...

 



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Call it a modern Mac attack

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The detailed weather briefing at the skippers meeting the Friday evening before the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac used to be essential, even more than the prerace party later that night.

The 97th Mac sets sail this afternoon from east of Monroe Harbor for the annual 333-mile race to Mackinac Island, Mich.

Weather hasn't lost its importance to 21st-century sailors, but acquiring information has changed so dramatically that the Mac race committee clarified the rules, saying, "... it is permitted to use Internet or broadcast weather information from sources available to all competitors on a publicly offered free or subscription basis.''   more...

 



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World Class Sailors Race To Mackinac

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CHICAGO -- Hundreds of the world's best sailors converge on the hopefully "Windy City" this weekend for the Race To Mackinac.

It will be the 97th running of the Mackinac race, and about 2,900 sailors come from as far as Hong Kong to experience the magic of the Mackinac.

Getting the boats ready is hard work, and it's work that the contenders have been at much of the summer. Once they set sail, the race can be grueling, but sailors say the Race To Mackinac say it is well worth it.

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