The Chicago Yacht Club's most famous event is the Race to Mackinac, which is the longest annual freshwater sailing race in the world. The course is 333 statute miles (289.4 nautical miles) from Chicago, starting just off Navy Pier, to Mackinac Island, Michigan. The boats cross the finish line between the lighthouse on Round Island and the race committee trailer on Mackinac Island.
Sailors from Maine to California make this race an invariable part of their summer. Moreover, each year the Mac hosts sailors from as far off as Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia. Although the Mac remains primarily an amateur event, this race has a proven track record of attracting some of the finest sailing talent in the sport.
Since it is such an iconic race the numbers are limited to 320 boats. In 2012 this meant that approximately 3,200 crew memebrs all tried to beat the course record set by Pyewacket, owned and skippered by Roy Disney, set the monohull record in 2002 with an elapsed time of 23 hours 30 minutes and 34 seconds. This broke the 14 year record of 25 hours 50 minutes and 44 seconds established by the yacht Pied Piper, a Santa Cruz 70 owned and skippered by Dick Jennings of Evanston, IL. For multihulls, the record of 18 hours 50 minutes and 32 seconds was set in 1998 by Steve Fossett on Stars and Stripes, the catamaran previously sailed by Dennis Conner in the America’s Cup. The race usually takes most of the fleet between 40 and 60 hours to finish. Both records still stand today. The unpredictable weather and fickle winds on Lake Michigan make the Race to Mackinac a supreme test, which many competitors feel rivals any ocean race.
YB Tracking are proud to be providing a tracking solution once again. Prior to the race all participating yachts will be equipped with a tracker which will record and transmit data at predetermined intervals. The data that is transmitted through the Iridium satellite network includes speed, coordinates and direction to name a few. All of this information is visualised via our live race player so that those left ashore can follow every twist and turn that this iconic race has to offer.
For more information please visit the CYC race website.