Many Up North-ers looking out west over Lake Michigan yesterday caught glimpses of colorful crowd of sailboats that could only be the Mac, the annual 333-mile race from Chicago to Mackinac Island.
DogDayz, out of the North Star Sail Club in Harrison Township, Michigan, was the first to finish yesterday, but it appears the rest of the fleet is catching up. The little boat, owned by Dan Vandenbossche, is part of the cruiser class, which started a day ahead of many of the larger sailboats. This means DogDayz will probably not have the overall win with handicapping taken into account, but the accomplishment is still great.
“Every dog has it's day. Give 'em some credit...Without the start staggering, the little guys would never have a shot at first-to-finish. Even so, often-times the big boats finish well ahead of the pack, in a dying breeze. Maybe this time, the wind will fill in from behind and the bulk of the fleet will catch up. The single biggest truth about long sailboat races is that the wind usually changes” said poster lightfoot30 on an iboattrack.com forum.
As of yesterday the race's Twitter feed reported five cruising division boats have finished the race, and the unofficial results page posted by the race’s GPS tracking service shows over 75 boats with 100 percent “progress.” The Chicago yacht club, lists over 100 finish times. Keep in mind, though that this is out of a group of 337 sailboats in 27 different divisions, so the race is far from over.
This has so far been a singular example of an always exciting race. We’ve been following it closely here at Traverse. How about you? How many sailboats have you seen, and where and when did you see them? Do you know anyone out there with the fleet? Are you in Mackinac watching the racers sail beneath the Bridge and across the finish line? Tell us about it in the comment box below.
Read about yesterday's MyNorth coverage of the Chicago to Mackinac Race.