The 1999 Chicago to Mackinac was
a race of contrasts. All boats began the race
in a boisterous northerly that produced seas of
6 to 10 feet. Not many boats can be said to have
prefered these conditions. A notable exception
may have been Sassy the 78 foot aluminum maxi.
The favored tack was port. This carried the
fleet up the Michgian shore. IMS winner Pied Piper
paid a visit to Saugutuck as they sailed up Lake
Michigan’s east coast.
As Saturday turned to Sunday the winds had
turned around the were blowing the fleet up the lake.
However, this southerly produced neither the wind strength
nor wave heights of the races northerly opener.
Most of the fleet used spinnakers, and if they
had one an asymetrical spinnaker. At certain points almist
all boats were becalmed. As if often case the parking
lot of choice was after the fleet crossed under the
Mackinac bridge, but before the finish in sight of the
First to make it Mackinac was the 60 foot catamaran
Stars and Stripes. The cat was reefed down to minimal sail
area on Saturday. As the wind lightended Stars and Stripes
made her wind by the benefit her narrow apparent wind angles.
Her elapsed time was 32 hours 8 minutes and 8 seconds. For
the first time Stars and Stripes also took corrected time
honors in the Open Class.
First to finsih in the monohull division was
RX Sight last years IMS winner. RX finished at 18 12 Sunday
However, RX Sight did not repeat her corrected time
win. The 1999 IMS winner was Richard Jennings Pied Piper.
This is the 3rd time Jennings has skippered a Mac winner.
2nd was Pied Piper South also owned by Jennings but under
charter to Paul Samman. 3rd was Peter Thorton’s blue
hulled Holua. Torresen Marine would like to offer
congratulations to these gentlemen and thier teams as
they are all Torresen Marine customers.
As evidenced by the 70′s sweep in the IMS fleets
top positions, the race’s predominent light air favored
the fleets taller rigs.
The PHRF fleet was one by Raincloud a a J 125 hailing
from Texas. Earlier this year Torresen Sailing Site received
an e-mail from sailmaker Jay Lutz. He inquired about entering
the Mac. With the boat and team from Texas, they had to learn
fast to win. Learn fast they did with a corrected time margin
of over 1 hour.
Other Section winners were:
IMS E Bandit Charles Tompkins Farr 40
PHRF 2 Avanti Dr. Frank Schinco One Design 35
PHRF 3 Eagle Sean O’neill Tripp 36
PHRF 4 Impulse Swan 39 Arthur Segil
PHRF 5 Fourth of July Freres 38 Ronald De Bruin
PHRF 6 Northern Winds Beneteau 50 Robert Demattia
PHRF 7 MIR III Beneateau 39 Slezic Ivan
PHRF 8 Dandelion Heritage 36 Tom Jacobs
T-10 Chape Thrill Tim&Nancy Snyeder
PHRF 0 Horizon Pearson 36 Daniel Woodworth
PHRF A Unicorn J 30 Marek Witkowski
As a particpant in this race I will always remember
three experiences: beating into Saturday’s large seas, having
not reached the Manitous and hearing by cellular phone that
Pied Piper had finsihed, and be be it by luck or by skill
managing to stay moving in the last miles from the bridge
to the Island.
All who managed to finish will have an intersting
race to ‘hangar sail’ for years to come.
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