A sad day at Mackinac

 



 
18 Jul 2011                             If you have trouble reading this email CLICK HERE                    To reply to this email click here
























Major Events

2013 America's Cup

US Sailing

US College Sailing Events






 


A Sad Day on Mackinac Island


Distance racing is truly a strange sport. Boats can start at similar times and—depending on their speed and the direction that they sail—experience completely different sets of conditions. Such was the case with this year's Chicago—Mackinac Race.

As reported earlier, this was a case of the 'rich getting richer'. The boats that arrived on Mackinac Island early earned two important things: a great elapsed time and a ticket out of the horrendous storm that ravaged the fleet during this classic 333-mile distance race.

Sometime just before midnight (Mackinac time; 2300 hours Chicago time) a savage storm lashed the still-racing fleet with winds in excess of 50 knots; sheet lightning and lashing, horizontal rain and hail. Unlike most microbursts that are heavy on intensity and light on longevity, this particular storm had the legs to go for miles. On the island, the storm lasted for well over an hour. For some boats, this intensity/durability combination proved disastrous. At least one boat was dismasted, many boats dropped out, and—horrificallyWingNuts, a Kiwi 35 capsized, putting all sailors in the soup.

Here's the official press release from the Chicago Yacht Club:

---

As of Monday, July 18, it has been confirmed by the U. S. Coast Guard and it is with great regret that the Chicago Yacht Club acknowledges the deaths of two sailors who were competing in the 2011 Chicago Yacht Club's Race to Mackinac.

A severe thunderstorm crossed Lake Michigan around midnight EDT last night. Wind gusts were reported at 52 knots with waves of 4-6 feet.

The Coast Guard was notified at 12:40 am via VHF radio by crew members from one of the competing boats 'Sociable' that another of the competing boats, WingNuts, had capsized in these severe conditions. Five sailors were pulled from the water on arrival to the scene and one other sailor was later rescued. The six sailors were rescued by the crew of Sociable.

The accident occurred approximately 13 nautical miles northwest of Charlevoix, Michigan, and 10 miles east of South Fox Island.

The Sociable skipper called all boats for assistance on Channel 16 and ten boats in the vicinity immediately abandoned the race to join in search efforts for two missing sailors.

The two lost sailors were WingNuts skipper Mark Morley, 51, and Suzanne Bickel, 41, both from Saginaw, MI. Mark Morley had 44 years of sailing experience, including six Chicago Mackinacs and 85 qualifying races. Suzanne Bickel had sailed in two previous Chicago-Mackinac Races, with 16 qualifying races.

In a brief statement Commodore Joseph S. Haas said, 'On the behalf of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, the Board of Directors and Flag Officers, we express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the crew of WingNuts. The crew of this boat exemplified the spirit of the Chicago Mac that is steeped in tradition of family, friends and passion for the water.'

Information will be released as it becomes available.

Media Contact:
Rachelle Treiber
Chicago Yacht Club Communications Manager
312-617-6995

---

This tragic disaster is by far the worst in the Chicago-Mac's proud, 103-year history. By all accounts, the crew of WingNuts sailed in a seamanlike manor, but their boat was simply over-powered by the storm's ferocity and tenacity. Also by all accounts, Sociable crew performed miracle work by rescuing as many crewmembers as possible. Their seamanlike actions and their proper response to a horrific situation is the stuff of legend.

Our deepest condolences go out to the family's of the WingNuts crew, and our heartfelt gratitude goes out to the Sociable crew. While no one EVER wants to find themselves in the position of Robert Arzbaecher and his Sociable crew, I can only hope that I would have handled the situation as competently and selflessly as Arzbaecher and company.

Please take a few quiet minutes today to consider the enormity of this situation, and fragility of the human experience.

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor


Statement from Chicago Yacht Club
Chicago Yacht Club,
As of Monday, July 18, it has been confirmed by the U. S. Coast Guard and it is with great regret that the Chicago Yacht Club acknowledges the deaths of two sailors who were competing in the 2011 Chicago Yacht Club's Race to Mackinac.... [more]
Share this story


Coast Guard releases names of crewmembers involved in vessel capsizing
US Coast Guard,
Having completed notifications of the next of kin, as well as debriefing immediate family members regarding the details of the search, the Coast Guard is officially releasing the names of those boaters who died and those who were rescued this morning in Lake Michigan.... [more]
Share this story

Chicago-Mackinac Race—A Tale of Two Races
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor,
For the 350 boats racing in this year's Chicago-Mac Race, the sailing truly was a tale of two distinctly different races, governed entirely by when boats finished sailing.Vessels that finished sailing prior to Sunday night's horrible storm reported Champagne-sailing conditions. Mother Nature, however, was not kind to boats that finished later after the storm swept the course.... [more]
Share this story


Melges 24 U.S. National Championship 2011 register online
Joy Dunigan,
Melges 24 U.S. National Championship 2011 - The U.S. Melges 24 fleet will travel home to famous Lake Geneva, Wisc. for what will be an awesome performance racing event, the U.S. National Championship. Already teams are anticipating top-notch competition and expected to travel from all four corners of the U.S.A. and beyond to race for the title.... [more]
Share this story


Transatlantic Race 2011 – Sasha storms over finish line
Kirsten Ferguson,
Transatlantic Race 2011 - Experiencing the roughest weather conditions of any yacht in the race, Sasha, skippered by Albrecht and Erika Peters, crossed the finish line at The Lizard at 20:10 UTC on 17 July. At sea for over 22 days, the husband and wife team sailed their 1970 Sparkman and Stephens-designed wooden yacht with another couple, Christine Beech and Ron Melton of Picton, New Zealand.... [more]
Share this story


US Windsurfing National Championships 2011 day 5 update from USA 4
Steve Bodner,
US Windsurfing National Championships 2011 day five update from Windsurfing Champion Steve Bodner: Going into the last day of the US Nationals I knew what I had to do - Up my game in order to get back the four points I lost to Sylvester in Friday's long distance race. It wouldn't be easy as the clock was ticking down to the last possible start at 4pm and the possibility of only two races.... [more]
Share this story

Chicago-Mackinac Race—Mac Finishes
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor,
The Chicago Yacht Club's 103rd Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot—While the early reports involved tales of downhill sailing, boats arriving later in the evening were dealt a catastrophic bag of conditions, covering the gamut of light stuff to a severe Midwestern thunderstorm that delivered sheet lightning, peak winds in the mid-40s and torrential rain.... [more]
Share this story


America's Cup: Team NZ contests web restrictions imposed by organisers
Richard Gladwell,
Twice winner of the America's Cup and the world's most successful professional sailing team, Emirates Team NZ Emirates have confirmed today that it is seeking mediation in its dispute with the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) over rules that restrict the team's internet presence.... [more]
Share this story


Transpac Rides, Transpac Wins
Kimball Livingston,
Through the night and into the day (and continuing overnight) there are finishers arriving at Transpac Row with that peculiar thousand-yard-stare of fatigue on top of a crazed grin of thrills and accomplishment.... [more]
Share this story


America's Cup: Cayard's Update - AC45 Training in Valencia
Paul Cayard,
Artemis Racing CEO, Paul Cayard, reports as the team works up in Valencia: Our team has been training on our AC45 here in Valencia for a week now. I went out yesterday and joined them onboard in 18-22 knots of wind. It was quite a ride! 27 knots was the top speed of the day and 20-24 knots is normal downwind speed in those conditions.... [more]
Share this story


Transpac 2011 - The Grand Illusion
Kimball Livingston,
Transpac 2011: 1-1 as in first in division and (probably) an overall win in the 46th Transpacific Yacht Race, Los Angeles to Honolulu, for McDowell's Grand Illusion. Grand Illusion is a Santa Cruz 70, designed by 2011 Transpacific Yacht Club Commodore Bill Lee and a turning point in the development of a new type of boat, the 'sleds.'... [more]
Share this story


Chicago-Mackinac Race—The New Old Fashioned Way
David Schmidt,
The Chicago Yacht Club's 103rd Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot—Believe it or not, there was a day—not so long ago—when the Internet did not rule people's lives. True, information moved slower, but the pace of life was also a bit slower then as well (example: horses, not cars).... [more]
Share this story


Transpac Race 2011 – Patches at Transpac Row
Kimball Livingston,
Transpac Race 2011 - Jorge Ripstein's TP52, Patches, made Diamond Head Light and the Transpac finish on Saturday at 20:39:38, eight days out of a July 8 start from the mainland. But the last day of the Transpacific Yacht Race, Los Angeles to Honolulu, packed-in a lot more excitement than anybody was counting on aboard the boat that had seemed firmly the Division Two leader.... [more]
Share this story


Chicago-Mackinac - strong conditions ahead for big fleet
Rob Kothe,
A fascinating battle in the Chicago Yacht club's 103rd Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot, with 361 boats racing north. Around Point Betsey at 4am the breeze had swung to the southwest at a light 5-10 knots, but winds will build over the next few hours, up to 10-15 knots by 7am, even up to 15-20 knots by 10am, increasing rapidly to 25-30 by 1pm, easing slightly as the fleet approaches... [more]
Share this story


Transpac Race 2011 - Peligroso roars over finish line
Kimball Livingston,
Transpac Race 2011 - Another hundred yards and it would have been right out of the movies, the A4 spinnaker blowing up dead-on the finish line of an eight day race. But, she blew a hundred yards short, and Peligroso finished Transpac 2011 under the main that had been reefed since the night before, when that sail blew out in a gybe. Blew big time, both of them.... [more]
Share this story


America's Cup: On the PR schmooze in San Francisco
Sail-World,
The America's Cup Defender, Oracle Racing, has been conducting a public awareness campaign in San Francisco. The following two videos shows the sailors on Comcast's SportsNet... [more]
Share this story


America's Cup: Team Korea makes first splash in Cascais
Sail-World,
Team Korea took to the water in Cascais, Portugal on Saturday morning for its first ever sail, marking another milestone for the first Korean America's Cup challenge. The team are one of nine competing in the first round of the America's Cup World Series - a preliminary series of regattas staged as a prelude to the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco.... [more]
Share this story


Chicago Mackinac - Latest Weather update
Race to Mackinac - event media,
Race Weather update from the Chicago Yacht Club's Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot. Weather expect Chris Bedford has provided this commentary.... [more]
Share this story


Solo and Unassisted
Emma Creighton,
American Classe Mini Skipper Emma Creighton Takes On The 2011 Mini Transat 6.50... [more]
Share this story


Chicago Mackinac Start line photos
Race to Mackinac - event media,
The 103rd Chicago Mackinac Race presented by Veuve Clicquot started today. Here is a selection of startline images. The online image gallery can be found from the Press button on the top menu at www.cycracetomakinac.com More will be posted over the next 24 hours.... [more]
Share this story


Transpac 2011 - Belle Mente breaks some hearts
Transpac 2011,
A beaming-through-the-fatigue Hap Fauth hit the beach today in Honolulu, Transpac Barn Door win in the bank, mission-accomplished on the Left Coast tour of his 74 foot sloop, Bella Mente. The 'Barn Door' is awarded to the first finisher of the Transpacific Yacht Race, 2,225 miles, Los Angeles to Honolulu, 'and that was our objective,' Fauth said. To finish first.... [more]
Share this story


Chicago-Mackinac Race—The Fun Has Begun
David Schmidt,
Flat seas and 10-knots winds greeted the fleet of 50 cruising boats that started the 333-mile dash to Mackinac Island today from a starting area just off of the Chicago Yacht Club. Chicago's looming walls of concrete and glass made for a spectacular backdrop, with the vast majority of boats setting off on a due northerly rumbline.... [more]
Share this story


Chicago Mackinac weather set to test big fleet
Race to Mackinac - event media,
The Chicago Yacht Club's Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot started this afternoon for the 50 boat cruising fleet and tomorrow the massive 310 boat race fleet will head 333 miles north, with the first start for double handed boats scheduled from 11:30am. Earlier in the week, the weather picture looked quite straight forward for the sailors but the slow moving high that has delivered s... [more]
Share this story


Chicago-Mackinac - One Design Racing Grows for 2011
Greg Nicoll,
The registration for the 2011 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot, has shown a tremendous growth in registrations for one design class racing. The Beneteau 36.7 reached class status (current minimum of eight boats) in 2003 with six boats and now has 18 entrants for this year's race.... [more]
Share this story


Chicago Mackinac - Target: Line Honors
David Schmidt,
For the 311 racing boats entered in the Chicago Yacht Club's 103rd Race to Mackinac, the start for the racing fleet is tomorrow at 1130 hours, so today is all about weather files, strategy and scuttlebutt about whether the wind gods will cooperate with dockside hopes for a quick passage, or whether the forecast for lighter winds and a reluctant southerly wind flow caused by a lingering high-pressu... [more]
Share this story


Transpacific Yacht Race - Barn Door Trophy to Bella Mente
Kimball Livingston,
Bella Mente crossed the Diamond Head Light finish line to capture the Barn Door Trophy as first finisher of the 46th Transpacific Yacht Race, Los Angeles to Honolulu. Bella Mente's race began on July 8 at 1300 PDT. Her official finish time is 0534 HST for the measured distance of 2,225 miles.... [more]
Share this story


US Windsurfing National Championships 2011 day 3 update from USA 4
Steve Bodner,
US Windsurfing National Championships 2011 day three update from Windsurfing Champion Steve Bodner: Day three saw the Brazilians dominate both the formula and slalom courses in classic San Francisco Bay conditions. Three formula races were run in 18-24k followed by three rounds if slalom in 20-25k. Paulo Des Reis collected another string of bullets and he's on par to sail a perfect regatta.... [more]
Share this story


Transpac 2011 - Meet me at the Molokai Channel
Kimball Livingston,
Transpac 2011. In this corner, approaching from the south, Magnitude 80. And in this corner, approaching from the north, Bella Mente. They shook hands back on the mainland, and they came out fighting on July 8. Now it's decision time. There's plenty of breeze, and both Bella Mente and Magnitude 80 are making speeds in the teens.... [more]
Share this story
 



We are sending you this newsletter because you are already receiving an existing Sail-World newsletter or because we believe this will be of interest to you. If you like this newsletter, do nothing, we will send you regular news.
 
If you don't, its a single click to stop.

No, I don't need or want to read about US and World sailing news. Please don't send me another.
  Click here to unsubscribe






Follow Sail-World on Twitter


Customized news feeds


Marine Industry companies, Clubs and Associations have asked can they received their own customized version of our Sail-World news feed. The answer is yes; customized in content, news category, for example dinghies, small keelboats or just monohull racing, or Region of the world and appearance.

CLICK HERE to view examples and get free news tickers for your site.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Too much sailing news? Not enough?


Change the frequency of newsletters, from three times a week to the weekly summary or even a monthly newsletter. Change from html (graphics and pictures) newsletters to text only newsletters (best for slow connections, mobile phones and PDA's etc). Change from Sail-World USA Newsletters to Sail-World Cruising Newsletters etc. Temporarily inactivate your subscription for a period, when you will be on holidays etc. or change to text for the same period. Or even (gasp) unsubscribe.