This Saturday, a visually stunning new video production focused on the 100th running of the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac debuts to a national television audience.
Produced by Holland, Michigan based Grooters Productions, American Sailors takes a behind the scenes look at the stories of four West Michigan skippers racing in the 100th running of the Chicago to Mackinac sailing event. WGN America will air the primetime special on Saturday, July 4th at 9:00 PM EST, with an encore broadcast scheduled for Sunday, July 26 at 1:00 PM EST.
The Chicago to Mackinac is the world’s longest and oldest freshwater race, and 2008 marked its historic 100th running. The tradition and drama of this celebrated event were beautifully captured in high definition by the producers of American Sailors as they followed four West Michigan skippers for the entire race. Three of the four skippers sail from the Muskegon Yacht Club and the other hails from Holland’s Macatawa Bay Yacht Club.
The Holland boat is the well-known 86’ Windquest, owned by Dick and Doug DeVos. Windquest, captained by Holland’s Tom Giesler, is one of the most decorated boats in freshwater racing history, and is fresh off a three flag victory in the prior week’s Queen’s Cup. Windquest also won the 2007 Chicago to Mackinac race by being first to finish, first in class, and first overall.
American Sailors also sails with Muskegon’s John Nedeau and his boat Windancer. Nedeau is the most experienced racer in Mac history, and is running the race for a record 61st time.
Also from Muskegon are skipper Brian Torresen of Torresen Marine who is at the helm of his own boat, Peerless, for the very first time and Muskegon middle school teacher Steve Schiller who races on the longtime family boat Souvenir. The show’s tag line is, ―The Wind Shows No Favorites – Anyone Can Win‖ and this debut episode of the program proves that to be true.
American Sailors was shot in high definition from air, land and sea with nine cameras both on and off the featured boats. Shooting began in March, 2008 and concluded in August. The finished show is sprinkled with graphics, slo-motion race footage, and original music and is narrated by John Grooters. American Sailors has already won a national award for production excellence and has been picked up for international distribution by Solid Entertainment, who is shopping the show overseas under the moniker Champion Sailors.
Here’s what the website Sailing Anarchy had to say about the program:
What a pleasant surprise it was then for us to hear today that Chicago-based national cable network WGN has picked up the Grooters Productions’ ―American Sailors documentary. The program has great production quality and awesome racing scenes, but more importantly, it focuses on four interesting characters and follows them for the entire race. SA’s own longtime member Brian Torresen and his heavily turboed Melges 30 ‘Peerless’ is one of those sailors, and anyone who knows BT knows that his appearance on the screen is guaranteed to be entertaining, at the very least.
Purchase the American Sailors DVD now in our online store.
Great show awesome spectacle, personal, exciting and interesting
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