Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Slow, Fly-swatting Chicago-Mac Race

J/88 sailing Chicago-Mackinac raceJ/88 Wins Class, J/35s Sweep Level 35s!
(Chicago, IL)- It was never going to be a record year for the 107th running of the 289nm Chicago to Mackinac Island Race.  The weather forecast for lightish airs after the Saturday start followed by even lighter airs on Sunday made for less than riveting conversations about how to fully deploy “fly nets” over the companionways to keep out the bugs!  Nevertheless, the fleet did benefit from the fact that a massive frontal system replete with thunderstorms missed most of the fleet late Saturday, then another bank of storms Sunday night packing squalls with 75 mph hurricane-force gusts also blew through to the south of the fleet.

The J contingent did enjoy (on a handicap basis, that is) the light to moderate reaching conditions; particularly the asymmetric boats.  For the first 150 or so miles to Point Betsie along the Michigan shoreline, the first major “turning mark”, the boats that did best stayed east of the fleet and, in fact, east of the rhumbline. Once past Point Betsie, it was a straight reach for 60nm up the Manitou Straits, past Beaver Island to the Greys Reef turning point.

Chicago-Mackinac race courseThe eleven J/111s sailed fast in the light going for most of the Mac Race.  For a period of time, Richard Hobbs’ HOBGOBLIN was both the projected J/111 class winner and the Chicago-Mackinac Trophy winner.  However, ultra-slow times in the Manitous to Grey’s Reef segment of 60nm or so killed those chances for an overall win.  Nevertheless, with HOBGOBLIN winning class, it was Dave Irish’s NO SURPRISE again reaching the podium for the third year in a row, taking second in class.  Third was Brad Farber’s UTAH, fourth, Rich Witzel’s ROWDY and fifth (the runner-up from the J/111 World Championship in Newport, RI) the trio of Karl Brummel/ Steve Henderson and Mike Mayer on KASHMIR.

The nine boat J/109 fleet had a close fight all the way from the start to the finish line with Doug Evans’ TIME OUT winning class by just 3:40 over the MOMENTUS trio (Kevin Saedi, George & Robin Simkins).  Third was James Murray’s CALLISTO and 2 minutes back was David Gustman’s NORTHSTAR.  Fifth was Bob Evans’ GOAT RODEO

The J/105 class had a huge turnout of twenty-two boats for this year’s race.  After the flies and dust cleared over the lake, it was Ken Ganch’s GONZO winning by just minutes over classmate Terry Timm & David Laidlaw on SEND IN THE CLOWNS in second and Carter Williams’ CREATIVE DESTRUCTION in third.  Rounding out the top five were Clark Pellet’s SEALARK in 4th and Robert Amos’ SOUTHBOUND in 5th.

The Level 35 class had six J/35s participating and the known rock stars swept the podium in the class with David Timmer’s HAT TRICK taking class honors followed by classmates TOUCH OF GREY (Larry Schell) in second and Richard Stage’s ALPHA PUPPY in third.

In the Chicago-Mac Trophy division Section 2 the J/145 MAIN STREET sailed by Bill Schanen and family from Port Washington YC took 7th while Chris Saxton’s J/145 VORTICES from Bayview YC placed 11th.

In Section 3, Robert Klairmont’s J/133 SIROCCO 3 from Chicago YC took 3rd followed by Tom & Beth Ann Papoutsis’s J/133 RENEGADE from Columbia YC in 5th.

The J/120s and J/122s had a tough battle in Section 4. Mitch Padnos’ J/122 SUFFICIENT REASON from Macatawa Bay YC was 6th, Matt Songer’s J/122 EVVAI from Marquette YC took 7th, Robert Mampe’s J/122 GOTTA WANTA was 9th, and Frank Giampoli’s J/120 JAHAZI was 10th.

In the Mackinac Cup Division, taking Section 6 honors was Ben Wilson’s J/88 RAMBLER with the three Metcalf’s (Bruce, Chris, Eric) J/35 BOZOS CIRCUS taking second!  Then, Matt Beer’s J/33 RETRIEVER placed 7th and Rich & Lori Stearns’ J/88 HOKEY SMOKE placed 8th.

In the Super-Mac Race, the teams are still sailing.  In Division 2 is Dan Kitchen’s J/111 SKULL CRACKER and Doug Petter’s J/130 WILLIE J.  In Division 3 is  Mark Symonds’ J/105 PTERODACTYL and John Madey’s J/92 CYCLONE.  For more Chicago Mackinac Race sailing information