2020 Chicago Mackinac Race is cancelled
Published on June 5th, 2020
The Chicago Yacht Club and the Race to Mackinac (CYCRTM) Committee have canceled the 2020 Race to Mackinac due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Known as ‘The Mac’ to everyone in the region, the 333-statute mile (289 nautical mile) race was to start on July 17 and 18 just off Chicago’s Navy Pier and finish at Mackinac Island, Michigan.
“Since late February, our committee has been following a patient, pragmatic approach to understanding the imposed limitations required to comply with governmental guidelines as a consequence of the pandemic,” said Martin Sandoval, Race Chairman. “Unfortunately, the crew limitations required to maximize social distancing which were adopted by the State of Illinois; no release of boating guidelines from the City of Chicago; and uncertainty as to when the Chicago lakefront and harbors will open impacted our ability to conduct a safe race for all competitors.”
Starting in 1898 with a mere five boats, The Mac has evolved into a world-class sporting event. The last year the race was cancelled was 1920, due to the strains of World War I. Since 1921, the Race to Mackinac has run consecutively every year, drawing up to 400 boats to the starting line each summer.
“We share in the disappointment of the sailing community, having to postpone the 112th running of the race until next year, but certainly understand the paramount safety concerns,” said Ed Wehmer, Wintrust CEO. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Chicago Yacht Club this season with its philanthropic activities focused on Chicagoland’s many communities.”
“We’re thankful to Wintrust, our presenting sponsor, for supporting us in this process as well as our many other sponsors. Many thanks go out to our friends on Mackinac Island who welcome us all each July.” said Lou Sandoval, Chicago Yacht Club Commodore. “It is with heavy hearts that we cancel this year’s race, but the ability to run a safe event with consideration of the health and well-being of all participants and volunteers needs to take precedence.”
The 112th running of ‘The Mac’ will be scheduled for July 16 and 17, 2021. Race organizers are asking invited competitors to consider donating all or a portion of their 2020 entry fee to the Mackinac Island Community Foundation Essential Needs COVID-19 Response fund.