At 5:30 PM Monday, with less than 100 boats finished, most of the finishing places in the Chicago Mackinac Race are uncertain. Boats began finishing this morning with the first to finish being the noted Maxi Sayonara.
The race was a fairly typical Mackinac. Dire pre race forecasts lacking winds fortunately did not materialize. The race began with boats sailing upwind in light air. The early choice was to hug the Illinois shore or tack into the lake.
The first night saw a continued building of the wind as spinnakers were set. As the first night continued, so did the fleet’s track towards the Michigan shore.
The positioning of the bulk of the fleet set up what was, from this reporters view, the crucial decision whether to sail into shore or stay offshore. Sailing in PHRF Division 2 the critical moment arrived Sunday night. Call it weather prognostication, instinct, or a successful playing of the infamous Mac crap game, it seemed as though the boats inshore scooted and the boats offshore parked.
What had up to this point been a race with few chances to make a big move became a new game. From the Manitou Islands on, passing lanes declined. To Greys Reef was a fast white sail reach. From Greys Reef in was a true beat.
There were opportunities for the tactically adventurous. The One Design 35 Tsunami went far to the northern Michigan shore and rounded St. Helena’s Island. This unusual course made them the first One Design 35 in to Mackinac. (Visit NOAA chart 14902 to check out the location of St. Helena’s Island – look just to the North West of the Bridge)
With the majority of the fleet still racing here are some preliminary top 3 standings by division.
Great Lakes 70
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