2021 CYC Race to Mackinac

Grizz

Grizz
The 2021 Chicago to Macinac Race is almost upon us, as 6 will crew Shoe String north to Mackinac, with our start occurring this Friday 7-16-2021 at 3:10 PM CDT (or 1510 in Military Time). The 6 have a combined experience of 44 Macs, a far, far preferred total than the 'experience' (quotes intentional) on board Shoe String for her 1st Mac in 2011: 7 years, at the finish, with technically 1 year (yours truly) at the start of that 2011 Race. Wow.

There are 2 links attached, 1 provides a Tracking overview, the other is supposed to plug directly into the YB Tracker. This will not go live until Thursday afternoon 7-15, perhaps Friday morning (a bit fuzzy on this). This Tracker will provide ample ammunition information so you can ask "what in the heck were you thinking?", or words to that effect. This year, unlike every other year, we are plugged into Weather Routing software (Predict Wind), which is tied to our Polars (which tell us how fast we should be sailing on any/every point of sail) which will give us on Friday morning a confusing total of 6 (or more) options to pick from [insert weatherman joke here]. We're going to pick 1 and stick to it regardless of what's happening on the water from a micro viewpoint. There will be no shaking of the Magic 8-Ball...

It's the 1st Mac for 5 of the 6 since 2018, which was a brutal, slogging, pounding, upwind race for all 289 nautical miles. '19 was a breather, '20 was, well, you know, THAT. We've got a few new systems woven into our fabric this year (pun not intended): new suit of UK sails , new interior crew and gear management components (port and starboard pipe berths), a spin sheet rigging system that cleaned up the cockpit cobweb and all hot meals will be from an array of crew selected freeze dried options. The latter has been a revelation, bordering on revolutionary, as we've jettisoned the need to keep pre-cooked meals cold, which added weight, volume and hassle. Now we only have to keep liquids for beverages cold/cool, which is much easier and simpler, and starts with just (5) 1-gallon jugs of frozen water, which can eventually be used for drinking water. Plus...anyone can boil water, so meal prep can be spread out amongst the 6. Awesome.

The 'Weather Watch' has begun for some, but not all. 5-6 days out is still 'too far'; the 9 AM Friday Morning 'Skipper's Meeting' will solidify plans once 'The Weather God' (not his real name) pontificates. We'll also learn which of the 3 ORC Ratings (Upwind, Offwind, General Purpose) will be used to score the race, an announcement that's usually accompanied by a blend of hoots/yea! and groans/crap!.

The topsides were scrubbed and washed yesterday (thanks Tim), a full system MOB drill will occur tomorrow evening (which requires signatures from each crew member), the below-the-waterline hull gets scrubbed Thursday. The 'Get Back Home Loretta' car for the 3 not returning the boat is headed to St Ignace Michigan today (Sunday 7-11) and it's full of all the 'Return Gear' and crew shore bags. Lots of moving parts...

We believe we're ready. We'll know more as the race unfolds. On to the day!

http://yb.tl/chicagomac2021
https://cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/race-tracking
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
As the wonderful Red Green used to say on his show: "We're all pulling for ya, and Keep your stick on the Ice!"

:)
 

oldfauser

Member III
I'll be racing as well in Cruising 1 aboard Azaria, an Oceanis 45. Hope to meet up with you on Thursday! We're doing our drill on Wednesday on our sail down from Kenosha :egrin:. As for which way to go.... we have a total of one Chicago Mac between our crew of 6... should be interesting, but you have to start somewhere....
 
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Gaviate

Member II
Good Luck to All!! I am still a couple of years away from such an event, perhaps next year I may volunteer as greenhorn. or "worm" may be the proper term!
As Art says, you have to start somewhere!!!
 

Grizz

Grizz
Good luck to you and your mates! Congratulations! "A journey of 1,000 miles and that 1st step", or however it goes. As for "which way to go", N is a great direction to start, then NNE and eventually E (yes, smart ass, but navigation can become as simple as those cardinal points). Time will become distorted and irrelevant, simultaneously speeding up and slowing down.

Cruising 1 has 2 good rabbits for you to chase: Eagle One, a 65' Andrews and Whitehawk, a 104' Bruce King ketch (the 104' is not a typo!). If you can see either at the finish, you're in great shape.

Try as I may to avoid receiving weather information, the crew has snuck snippets past the defenses and appears to be a crap shoot, depending on the weather model chosen, making me wonder if meteorologists invented SNAFU.

We'll be docked at Columbia Yacht Club beginning Thursday morning.

On to the day. Take care.
 

oldfauser

Member III
this will be my first experience with three rating choices... so it will be interesting!

I'll come looking for you Thursday during the day :egrin:
 

Grizz

Grizz
OK, but Thursday will be a crap shoot. Move the boat from the can to the club in the morning, hull gets scrubbed @ noon, then back home to complete last-minute items, then back to the boat in the late afternoon/evening. Lots of moving parts.

The Mac Committee will shake the Magic 8-Ball Thursday night, and again Friday morning, and announce which rating they'll use during the Friday Skipper's Meeting. There is no 'best 2 of 3' option!
 

william.haas

1990 Ericson 28
Danu will be out on the lake seeing you all off. Fair winds!

For those you who do not know, the annual Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac is the longest freshwater sailing race in the world and it started in 1898. It's quite the event for Chicago's sailing community.
 

Dave G.

1984 E30+ Ludington, MI
I'll go down to the club on Sunday and give you guys a big wave. The wind forecast for Friday & Saturday is northerly's so you will probably will get to the Michigan side sooner than later. Fair winds and good luck !
 

Grizz

Grizz
'Northerlies', ugh! And predicted to be 'light', a bigger ugh! And forecast wet on Friday, completing the dreaded 'triple'. Oh well. A possible silver lining is northerlies may induce the Mac Committee (whoever they be) to select "Upwind" as the ORC Rating band, which helps us a bit, at least in theory. For reference purposes and to further confuse, Shoe String's ORC Certificate shows these: Upwind .9449, General Purpose .9749, Offwind 1.0107; 'lower is slower' applies. If Upwind is selected, we get time from 10 in our Section, give time to 3. Things change a bit if GP is selected.

Clear as mud?

Tick tock, tick tock. Next up is Registration, which opens Thursday @ noon. Transponder, Section Flag and Crew Swag picked up, all rights signed away multiple times.

The list dwindles, even with the discovery during last night's MOB drill(s) that the crappy yellow line connecting the MOB pole, horseshoe and floating strobe has degraded to become worthless/dangerous, so replacing that line has been added. Good to discover this in daylight in 8-10 kn wind and flat water east of Monroe Harbor than ANY the worse alternatives!

On to the day...
 

Grizz

Grizz
For those still engaged in this preview, as the Mac Start beckons...we're getting PredictWind updates @ 2 AM and PM daily. With a 3:10 PM start on Friday, we'll get an additional 5 updates, assuring that we'll be thoroughly confused!

There's 6 tracks within this Program and every update over the past 2 daze days has changed the Tracks and Elapsed Time and unfortunately, not by a little...by a lot.

Here's a pic from Yesterday, which looks nothing like today's...

Fortunately, the punch list is getting smaller, occupying only 1 page, handwritten, large scribble.

On to the day!
 

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Dave G.

1984 E30+ Ludington, MI
Wind models have been very inconsistent and mostly inaccurate on the lake this year. These apps tend to "cover" themselves by showing 6,7,8, even 10 models ! C'mon if you give me 10 guesses I'm sure even I could get it right. Best to wait until a few hours before your start unless you just like plotting tracks, which can be fun to do.
 

Grizz

Grizz
Dave, I hope you’re right, cuz SailFlow just got real ugly: 35 kn with gusts to 48. Ugh and ugly!
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
current forecast from the Dark Sky site:

Looks like some unpleasant weather in the area.
 

Dave G.

1984 E30+ Ludington, MI
Ouch, batten em down ! Sailflow hasn't been the greatest lately, around here anyway. Wait another day, it will change 6 more times at least. Or you can go to Windfinder or Windalert and get 2 more guesses. I haven't seen anything with 35-48 for Friday or Saturday for middle of the lake anyway.
 

Grizz

Grizz
Every morning the weather check is another Forrest Gump 'Box of Chocolates', never knowing what to expect. The PredictWind 6 tracks vary greatly, SailFlow is still showing nasty wind tomorrow (Friday) night. Making preparations for the 6 of us to ride out the opening 6-8 hours safely, protecting crew (1st and foremost) and boat and see what happens after Ma Nature settles.

An easy call to make on a Thursday morning before a Friday afternoon start!

Maybe I will dig out that Magic 8-Ball...
 

Grizz

Grizz
Yes, we're "one of those..." whose race starts on Friday. We're all checked in, have our transponder and Section Flag mounted and the Swag Bag is stowed in the cabin, ready to disperse contents tomorrow morning.
New crappy yellow line has been spliced and the MOB components have been remounted. Check.
Jack lines mounted. Check.
Thermos added to the final 'walk on bag'. Check. (whew!)

SailFow must have been experiencing temporary insanity, 'cuz today's forecast looks NOTHING like yesterday's, more inline with ALL the other forecasting platforms. (another 'whew!')

Here's how she looked on departure early this afternoon. Time for a (final?) good meal and some sleep...
 

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