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Record racing to Mackinac Island

Published on September 20th, 2021

Chicago, IL (September 20, 2021) – The 60-foot trimaran Areté owned by Rick Warner began its record-breaking attempt to claim the World Sailing Speed Record for the Chicago-Mackinac course this morning at 10:38:05 am CDT.

If the forecast holds true, the Orma designed sailboat and 10 crew should complete the 289 nautical-mile course to Mackinac Island, MI in approximately 12 to 14 hours, which would smash the current 17:59:49 world-record time set by Il Mostro in October 2017.

The race against the clock began in a 13-knot southerly wind to send the team up Lake Michigan. The wind forecast is expected to increase significantly throughout the day, with a potential for rain squalls.

For real-time progress, follow Areté’s YB Tracker:

Areté’s team includes Warner, Matt Graham (navigator), Zyggy Beatty, James Cyigenza, Ryan Gardner, Chris Higgins, Ryan Higgs, Jon Holstrom, Donny Massey, Brian Torresen, Matt Scharl (coach), and Tim Van Antwerp (ground crew).

“We have an incredible team who’s put in many hours refitting the boat, training and making all the preparations,” said Warner. “Now, it’s go time.”

Il Mostro, a Volvo 70 previously owned by Peter Thornton, averaged 16.06 knots during its record run.

This will be the fourth attempt for Areté which was originally designed for ocean racing. The first attempt in September 2018 came within 90 minutes of Mackinac Island, when 40-50 knot northwest winds thwarted their plans to make the final beat up toward the Mackinac Straits.

Tries two and three took place in 2019 – a planned attempt in mid-summer was aborted just before the start; and then on September 13 just one hour into the attempt and averaging 28 knots, Areté snapped a rudder bearing to end the voyage.

Warner has utilized the COVID-19 shut down to complete many refits to the boat, including the new rudder bearings, rebuilt the foil boxes, stiffened the foils, added laminate to the top of the mast, new sails, and transitioned to full B+G navigation.

The Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac is the route for this record attempt.

Source: Laura Muma

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