Sights are set on the future of sailing as “The Mac” enters its next century of racing, and a new generation of sailors takes part in this legendary race. For the 101st time since 1898, sailors will gather in Chicago to begin the 333-mile sailing race to Mackinac Island, Mich. The Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Lands’ End, is one of the oldest and most prestigious freshwater sailing races in the world.
The race kicks off July 17 and 18th, 2009, and will host 350 boats with more than 3,000 sailors competing in this world-class sporting event. Although The Mac remains primarily an amateur event, this race has a proven track record of attracting some of the finest sailing talent in the sport. While the race is a challenge in and of itself, this year’s Mac has some additional features that will add to the competition and bring a new dynamic to the race.
New to this year’s Mac is the Doublehanded division, meaning the boats are crewed by only two sailors, as compared to other boats that can have as many as 16 sailors onboard. In the last few years, the popularity of shorthanded sailing has grown prompting the committee to add it to the race. “One of the missions of the Chicago Yacht Club is to encourage and promote the sport of yachting,” Race Chairman Greg Miarecki said. “Adding this division is good for the sport.”
This is also the first year of the Race to Mackinac Yacht Club Challenge (cycracetomackinac.com), a competition among yacht clubs within the overall competition. Entrants will identify the yacht club they represent, and their boat’s finishing score will be averaged with the rest of their yacht club’s Mac participants. The yacht club with the lowest scores will win.
Additionally, this year’s Mac will serve as the start to the Super Mac, a 490 nautical mile sailing race jointly sponsored by the Chicago Yacht Club and the Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, Mich. The Super Mac last ran in 2000, starting in Port Huron and ending in Chicago. This year, the Super Mac will reverse course, beginning in Chicago, up Lake Michigan, through the finish line of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac and continuing on through Lake Huron. The Super Mac will finish in Port Huron, Michigan. Thirty boats are participating in this year’s Super Mac.
For those who want to see the start of this year’s Mac up close, the Parade of Boats will be held Saturday, July 18, 2009 at the east end of the second tier of Navy Pier. This exciting event is open to the general public from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Chicago Yacht Club has long been a pioneer in tracking sailboat races, and most of the 350 boats will be tracked by GPS satellite technology. This technology enables friends, families, and millions of spectators on shore to follow the race as it unfolds on the web.
Chicago Yacht Club is proud to host this world-famous event in sailing, and welcomes you to follow all of the action this July. The race would not be possible without the support of Presenting Sponsor Lands’ End Business Outfitters, Co-Sponsors MBHB and Mount Gay Rum, and Supporters and Suppliers Crowley’s Yacht Yard, Heineken, MAS Consulting, Pettit Paint and Torresen Marine. To learn more about the 101st Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, go to the Official Race Website.
About the Chicago Yacht Club
Founded in 1875, the Chicago Yacht Club (chicagoyachtclub.org) is one of the oldest and most respected yacht clubs in the world and is one of the preeminent organizers of regattas, races and predicted-log events in the United States. These include the world famous Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac in its 101st Running this year, the popular Verve Cup Regatta, the NOOD (National Off-Shore One Design) and the North American Challenge Cup, a regatta for disabled sailors.
About Lands' End
Established in 1963, on the promise of delivering high-quality merchandise at a great value, Lands' End® offers a complete line of clothing and accessories for women, men, children and infants and an innovative collection of fine-quality goods for the home. Lands' End Business Outfitters designs unique uniform programs that offer employees individual choices and helps build the brands of companies of all sizes, including hundreds of Fortune 1,000 companies. And, all Lands' End merchandise is Guaranteed. Period.®