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106th Chicago to Mackinac Yacht Race

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July 22, 2014


Lake Michigan
MI United States

This is known as the world’s longest freshwater sailing event and is recognized as one of the most prestigious sailing races in the world. Today, sailors from Maine to California make this race an invariable part of their summer. Moreover, each year the Mac hosts sailors from as far off as Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia.

Although the Mac remains primarily an amateur event, this race has a proven track record of attracting some of the finest sailing talent in the sport. The monohull record of 23 hours, 30 minutes, and 34 seconds set by Roy Disney’s Pyewacket in 2002, and Steve Fossett on Stars and Stripes set the multihull record of 18 hours, 50 minutes, and 32 seconds in 1998. Both records still stand today.

The unpredictable weather and fickle winds on Lake Michigan make the Race to Mackinac a supreme test, which many competitors feel rivals any ocean race. As one veteran sailor put it, “It’s fun, but it’s serious fun.”

Mackinac Island is in the Straits of Mackinac east of the Mackinac Bridge, about two hours north of Traverse City. Accessible by ferry, airplane or via the ice bridge in winter.