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105th Race to Mackinac a slow-case showdown

In this phoprovided by Chicago Yacht Club yachts cup divisipass Chicago skyline start Race Mackinac sailborace across Lake Michigan Saturday

In this photo provided by the Chicago Yacht Club, yachts in the cup division pass the Chicago skyline at the start of the Race to Mackinac sailboat race across Lake Michigan, Saturday, July 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Chicago Yacht Club, Stephen Almeida/MISTE Photography) ORG XMIT: ILRG101

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Updated: August 17, 2013 6:38AM

“Epically slow’’ is how one wag trendily described the 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. A tweet early Monday sought solace in rhyme: “Aegir: Searching for wind in the Manitous — with a hundred others too!’’

By Monday afternoon, so many boats remained clustered just north of the Manitous that the Yellowbrick Tracking looked as if a kid spilled a box of Crayolas on northern Lake Michigan. By Monday evening, though, it appeared the fleet was picking up some speed, relatively.

This Mac will be one of the all-time slowest and likely will last until Wednesday, though overall winners might be declared by Tuesday.

“Despite all of the preparation and planning, the weather has the last say,’’ race chair Lou Sandoval said. “The variety of weather ­conditions is what makes the Mac special.’’

As of 6 p.m. Monday, there were already 17 DNFs, and 10 sections had no finishers in. The Mac officially ends 24 hours after the first boat arrives in the final section. Each section closes 24 hours after the first arrival in that section.

Infinite Diversion, a Hanse 630e owned by Joseph Haas of Winnetka, was first to cross the finish in the cruising division at 1:48 p.m. ­Sunday. In the racing fleet, Windquest, a Max Z86 owned by Doug and Dick DeVos of Macatawa, Mich., finished first at 9:56 p.m. Sunday.

Two sections were completed by Monday evening in the handicapped race. Pororoca, owned by Chicagoans Gene McCarthy and Robert Zeman Jr., had the top corrected time in the completed Section 1 (50 hours, 37 minutes, 53 seconds). Windquest had the best corrected time in the completed Turbo section with a 49:57:52.

The cruising division set sail ­Friday east of Navy Pier on the 333-mile race to Mackinac Island, Mich. The racing fleet sailed Saturday.

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