VIDEO: First boats complete Race to Mackinac

The first boats finished the annual sailboat race from Chicago's Navy Pier to northern Michigan's Mackinac Island.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

The first boats finished the annual sailboat race from Chicago's Navy Pier to northern Michigan's Mackinac Island.

Results posted on the Chicago Yacht Club's website say Windquest, owned by Dick and Doug DeVos, was the first across the finish line early this morning, followed a few minutes later by Il Mostro. The boats in the racing division took nearly 36 hours to reach the island, according to the Associated Press.

More than 300 boats were participating in the 333-mile race. Those in the racing division headed for Mackinac Island on Saturday with a light lake wind. A cruising division set sail Friday.

The event is the oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world. Winners are determined based on a handicapping system.

Sailors gathered Wednesday to participate in the annual race, launched 117 years ago, according to ABC 7 in Chicago.

It's 333 miles from Chicago to Mackinac. Held in all kinds of weather, the race could last from 30 hours to several days.

In 2011 a huge storm blew up from out of nowhere, killing two. Robert Arzbaecher, the CEO of Actuant Corp., at the time, and his crew rescued six of those sailors in the middle of the night, which he recounted to Trade Only in a 2012 Q&A.

“There was a very large storm in the middle of the night, and as we came out of the storm we heard a whistle and saw a faint light, probably about a half-mile away. We diverted from the race to go over there and found a boat upside-down. We rescued six people that were on board; there were two missing,” Arzbaecher said. “It turned out the two that were missing were harnessed underneath, so there was nothing that we could’ve done about that. But the boat had totally turtled, and so we spent most of the night out there waiting for the Coast Guard and keeping the guys warm and ended up taking them to Charlevoix, Mich. That was the end of our ‘Mac’ for that year. We were really at the right place at the right time and alert enough to hear the whistle and see the light.”

Since then, several safety improvements have been made.

Related

Quick Hits: October 30, 2020

HMY Yacht Sales opens new office; FLIR, Patrick Industries, Marine Products Corp., and Twin Disc all report quarterly financials.

BoatUS, Stakeholders Ask FCC to Reconsider Approval of Ligado L-Band Wireless Plan

A group says the land-based, industrial 5G L-Band wireless network will make the nation’s GPS system less reliable.

VIDEO: Get On Board Campaign Sees Results

The boating and fishing industry worked together to leverage the health benefits of both activities during the pandemic.

Yamaha Tech School Partnership Program Hits Century Mark

The outboard manufacturer’s program creates a student-to-technician pipeline for Yamaha dealers and provides technical schools with instructor-led courses and tools.

A Wealth of Debuts at FLIBS

Over 20 new models are premiering at the downsized show; here are some of the standouts under 60 feet.

One of a Kind

This year’s FLIBS is truly unlike any other: notably less crowds, but with a healthy dose of serious buyers.