Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac 2013 - Cruising fleet away

2012 Race to Mackinac cruising start
Cruising fleet gets underway, kicking off the 105th running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac.

As of 3:10 p.m. Friday the cruising division set sail for the 105th running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot.

Race Chairman Lou Sandoval said 39 cruising boats began the race under sunny skies and a light breeze. 'The Cruising Division is off to a great start here with a cool north-northeast breeze at about 10 knots,' Sandoval said. 'We wish them well and will see them all on the island.'

As at 2300 Chicago time Joe Haas' Hanse 630 Infinite Diversion was leading the cruising fleet north at a healthy 7.6 knots and was abeam Racine, just east of the rhumb line. She was 20 nautical miles ahead of Tom Falck´s Tartan 3700 Intangible who was leading the Cruising Division 2 fleet.

However with conditions expected to lighten over the next 24 hours Haas might suffer in the middle of the Lake with more breeze likely on the shoreline..

According to Chris Bedford, chief meteorologist at Sailing Weather Service, overnight the fleet should expect the wind to fill from the Southeast overnight before lightening on Saturday.

Back at the docks on Friday evening, the racing division gathered for the Skipper and Weather Briefing, which included race notices, sponsor news and a Coast Guard update. The Alder captained by Lieutenant Commander Maffia will accompany the fleet up the lake during the race.

Racing Fleet for the world’s oldest annual freshwater race starts tomorrow at 11 am