New Chicago to Mackinac Course Record

Published on October 17th, 2017

(October 17, 2017) – Peter Thornton and his 13 crew on the Volvo 70 Il Mostro have broken the Chicago to Mackinac course record today, covering the 280 nm distance in 18:00:23 (to be ratified). Their time eclipses both the current monohull and multihull records set during the annual race hosted by Chicago Yacht Club.

“I got the boat about five years ago and held this idea to break the existing records,” noted owner Peter Thornton. “So we contacted the WSSRC (World Sailing Speed Record Council) and went for it. The conditions proved ideal, and while we lost a chute and a few other items, we are really pleased with the effort.”

Thornton purchased PUMA’s Volvo Open 70 il mostro, which sailed in the 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race, and has been chasing the record since 2012.

“We were on standby for 10 days before this attempt,” noted navigator Artie Means. “The forecast was for all downwind so we left the jibs and dagarboards on the dock. The winds were about 8 knots at the start but quickly built to 30+. It was killer freshwater sailing all night!”

Pyewacket, a Reichel Pugh 75, owned and skippered by Roy Disney, had set the monohull record in the 2002 race 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.

For multihulls, the record of 18 hours 50 minutes and 32 seconds was set during the 1998 race by Steve Fossett on Stars and Stripes, the catamaran previously sailed by Dennis Conner in the America’s Cup.

Tracker route:

Crew for the record run:
1. Peter Thornton (owner)
2. Justin Slattery
3. Artie Means
4. Dean Tank.
5. Greg Fordon
6. Freddie Shanks
7. Brian Torrenson
8. Jack Jennings
9. Chris Higgins
10. Phil Trinter
11. Gary Murino
12. Chris Thornton
13. Mike Rehe
14. Roc Roney

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