Chicago to Mackinac 2013: Weather better than expected

Published on July 14th, 2013

(July 14, 2013) – The 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot, got underway Friday for 39 boats in the cruising division with the balance of the 301 boats starting the 333-mile race on Saturday.

The cruising fleet set out in northeast winds, shifting overnight to the south and lightning. Leading from the start was Joseph Haas’ Infinite Diversion, a Hanse 630, keeping to the east of the fleet, and claiming first to finish on Sunday at 13:48 CDT. This is the second year in a row that Infinite Diversion has crossed the finish line first in its division, but this year’s time far surpassed last year’s 22:37 CDT finish.

“We didn’t stop the entire way until the finish when we ran into some problems,” said Haas. “Past the bridge we encountered an easterly breeze under spinnaker and just got slammed.”

In general, the weather has been better than early forecasts indicated, with moderate southeasterly winds positioning most of the fleet in the middle of Lake Michigan. While winds picked up Saturday for some time, Sunday proved much less promising. Posts on the race twitter page also reported the deterioration of onboard comfort, with the heat rising below deck and carnivorous flies arriving above deck.

In the hotly-contested Turbo section, Volvo 70 Il Mostro and MaxZ86 Windquest have been neck and neck throughout the race, but as of 4:30 p.m. CDT on Sunday, Windquest was leading Il Mostro by approximately 6.6 nautical miles, with Windquest passing by Gray’s Reef. Windquest was going 9.3 knots and was 20 nautical miles from the finish and Il Mostro was going 5 knots and was 26.6 nautical miles from the finish.

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