he 102nd Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot, kicked off today despite the torrential rain that plagued the Chicagoland area for the last 12 hours.
‘The Mac will sail on rain or shine,’ explained race spokesperson Christie Denson. ‘Crews prepare for these conditions by having proper foul weather gear, layers made of synthetic performance fabrics made to dry fast, as well and proper footwear and a change of socks.’
Despite having the right gear, sailors still scrambled to make their boat calls amidst flooded streets. Many boats had to register last minute crew changes with race officials, as sailors were trapped due to the havoc of the weather.
‘Several boats had crew due to arrive from Michigan via train this morning. Due to flooding on the tracks, trains were shut down and they were unable to make the race,’ explained Chicago Yacht Club’s Race Coordinator Amanda Matta.
This means many boats will be sailing lighter than anticipated, which can make for an added challenge to the 333 mile adventure up Lake Michigan.
353 boats made the starting line, and we will continue to monitor how weather impacts their race over the next several days.
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