Sailing Safetycast for offshore racers

Published on May 28th, 2018

With the June 1 entry deadline fast approaching, the countdown is on for the 110th Chicago Yacht Club Race to MackinacⓇ (CYCRTM) presented by Wintrust. To date, 310 boats are signed up to race in one of 22 sections split between racing and cruising sailboats.

The 2018 edition of this annual offshore challenge begins July 20 for the cruisers, while racers take the starting gun on July 21 against the magnificent Chicago skyline. The boats race 289nm north on Lake Michigan to finish at the iconic Mackinac Island in Michigan, as the Race has every summer since World War I.

“The ‘Mac Race’ always challenges the sailors and creates incredible memories,” said 2018 CYCRTM Chair Sarah Renz, who skippered a Farr 40 in the 2017 Race. “The unpredictable elements, the beauty of Lake Michigan’s shoreline, and the incredible community of Mac racers make this such a special race and why so many consider it a must-do event.”

After last year’s extreme weather conditions and high number of retirements (one-third of the fleet), the CYC Mackinac Committee was inspired to create a new podcast series called Sailing Safetycast that will not only benefit CYCRTM sailors, but offshore racers worldwide.

The Sailing Safetycast will be published twice a month and is available at and through iTunes and Google Play, and will bring together experienced racers to discuss big-picture safety items and practical tips, and is targeted to all skippers, race crews as well as the casual sailor.

The first episode, available now, leads with the CYCRTM’s overall approach to offshore safety and a 2017 Race analysis, which due to extreme weather saw one-third of the fleet retire.

“We’ve worked with other yacht clubs and organizations locally and nationally to improve offshore safety education, which led to the creation of a sailing safety podcast,” said Matt Gallagher, former CYCRTM Chair who spearheaded the podcast’s development.

“The Sailing Safetycast’s goal is to be an informative, entertaining series to help ensure all our sailors have the safety know-how to sail smart, have a good time, and come home safely to their families.”

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