Inaugural Chicago Yacht Club Grand Prix Invitational to be held in 2015

Published on November 3rd, 2014

Chicago, IL (November 3, 2014) – The week leading up to the start of the 107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac will feature a new biennial regatta for high-performance racers, the first Chicago Yacht Club Grand Prix Invitational, on July 3-5, 2015 in Chicago. The regatta will be held in odd-numbered years leading up to the Chicago Mac and will feature New York Yacht Club/Swan 42s, Farr 40’s, TP 52’s and HPR Class designs in three days of high-performance sailing.

“The Chicago Mac is the premier long-distance race on the Great Lakes and one of the classic annual distance events in the world,” said Matt Gallagher, chairman of the 107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac and of the CYC Grand Prix Invitational. “Every year, the Mac sees competitors from around the world bring their boats to Chicago to race. The CYC Grand Prix Invitational will give sailors in high-performance boats like TP 52’s, Farr 40’s, Swan 42’s and HPR classes three days of course racing to test their boat handling and tactics to complement the navigation and execution challenges of the Mac. If an owner ever considered bringing their boat to Chicago do to the Mac, this is yet one more reason to do so.”

The CYC Grand Prix Invitational will be held in conjunction with the 2015 HPR Midwest Championships. “Having a dedicated championship for high performance boats is a perfect opportunity to generate interest and excitement about racing these new generation designs,” said Bill McKinley, owner/driver of the Carkeek HPR 40 Denali^2. “The format is perfect: inshore racing in Chicago followed by a good offshore race like the Chicago-Mac…the winner of the combined series will be a true champion.”

“Adding another high quality event in prior to the Chicago Mac makes a summer on the Great Lakes really enticing to grand prix boats,” explained Jay Kehoe, On-the-Water Director at Chicago Yacht Club. “The CYC Grand Prix Invitational and the CYC Race to Mackinac will combine scores to create an exciting new opportunity to reward the best of both inshore and offshore racing. The Chicago Mac Race, starting on July 11, 2015, will count as the distance portion, and the combined event scores will determine the winner of the overall CYC Grand Prix Invitational.”

Chicago Yacht Club Rear Commodore Leif Sigmond, a Farr 40 owner himself, sees the CYC Grand Prix Invitational as providing yet another reason for out-of-town boats to come to Chicago for the summer racing season.

“If you bring your boat to Chicago for the CYC Grand Prix Invitational and the Mac, you can take advantage of the other fantastic racing the Great Lakes provides,” said Sigmond. “In 2015, the Bells Beer Bayview Race to Mackinac follows the Chicago Mac, and Little Traverse Yacht Club hosts its Ugotta Regatta the weekend after that. Just one week later is the Chicago Yacht Club Verve Cup. You could conceivably have six great weekends in a row on Lakes Michigan and Huron if you bring your boat to Chicago.”

Participants and their families and friends will also get to enjoy all the great events that Chicago has to offer over the long holiday weekend, including fireworks, neighborhood festivals and more.

The CYC Grand Prix Invitational, like the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, is an invitation-only event. Owners of boats in the designated classes (TP52, Farr 40, Swan 42, HPR) should contact the CYC Race Coordinator ( for information on how to request a combined invitation to both events. We urge those interested in entering to inquire soon as space will be limited.

The CYC Grand Prix Invitational will be held in alternating years, to match up with the years that the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac is held before the Bells Beer Bayview Race to Mackinac.

For more information on the CYC Grand Prix Invitational:

About the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac
At 333 miles (289.4 nautical miles), the Race to Mackinac is the oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world. ‘The Mac’ starts at the Chicago Lighthouse just off Navy Pier and continues to Mackinac Island. In the 106th running of the Race to Mackinac in 2014, 317 boats competed. The Race can be followed online via Facebook, Twitter (#CYCRTM), Instagram, and the race tracking app. See more at

Source: Susan Kantor, CYC Communications Director

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