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Fleet Growth for Chicago Mac Race

Published on July 15th, 2016

Chicago, IL (July 15, 2016) – With just one week to go until the start of the 108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust, 326 boats have registered for the 333-mile race. The sprint from Chicago to Mackinac Island, MI kicks off on Saturday, July 23, 2016.

More than 3,000 sailors from throughout the Midwest and across the country are participating in the event. Then a select group of 33 racers will be travelling from as far New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Sweden and Singapore. There are 24 new entries this year – either new skippers entering the race or returning skippers with new boats.

The 107th Chicago Mackinac Race had 309 entrants last year.

The J/105 Fleet dominates the one design entries with 22 boats followed by Chicago’s beloved Tartan 10 Fleet and the Beneteau 36.7s. “It is really exciting to see that once again we will have the most OD boats on the line for the 2016 edition of the Race,” said J/105 Fleet Captain Mike Sheppard. “The J105’s somewhat sparse interior is probably not the obvious choice for a long distance race, so obviously the J105er’s are motivated by great sailing, not creature comforts.”

The Beneteau 36.7s on the other hand are not only comfortable and family-friendly, but also fun to race in the competitive fleet of 20 boats. Fleet Captain Jarrett Altmin said, “We’ve seen programs get back to racing more events, and we’ve seen a turnover of boats on the secondary market. Fortunately, a number of those new owners have chosen to race.” At least fifteen of the 36.7s will be returning to Chicago September 1-4 for the fleet’s North American Championship.

Forty boats will start on Friday afternoon in the Cruising Division with the largest being Joseph Haas’ 63-foot Infinite Diversion. Infinite Diversion has won line honors in the Cruising Division every year since first entering the race in 2012.

Spectators can enjoy the parade of boats from the east end of Navy Pier starting at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, July 23. Participation in the 108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac is by invitation only from the Chicago Yacht Club, with locations at Chicago’s Monroe Harbor, 400 W. Monroe, Chicago, IL 60603, and Belmont Harbor, 300 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL 60657.

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About the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac
At 333 miles (289.4 nautical miles), the Race to Mackinac is one of the world’s longest running freshwater distance races. ‘The Mac’ starts at the Chicago Lighthouse just east of Navy Pier and continues to Mackinac Island, MI.

Source: Morgan Kinney, Communications Director, Chicago Yacht Club

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