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Windquest beats Il Mostro in Race to Mackinac

Sailboats Beneteau First 36.7 Level 35 classes line up as they start race Port HurMackinac Islsailborace Saturday July 12 2014

Sailboats in the Beneteau First 36.7 and the Level 35 classes line up as they start the race Port Huron to Mackinac Island sailboat race Saturday, July 12, 2014, at Port Huron, Mich. (AP Photo/Times Herald, Mark R. Rummel)

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Updated: July 21, 2014 9:41AM

In a battle stretching the north-south length of Lake Michigan, Windquest outdueled Il Mostro for first-to-finish honors in the Chicago Yacht Club Race to ­Mackinac.

The Max Z86, owned by Dick and Doug DeVos of Macatawa, Michigan, crossed the finish at Mackinac Island, Michigan, at 9:55:50 p.m. Sunday in 32 hours, 15 minutes, 50 seconds.

Il Mostro, a Volvo 70 owned by Peter Thornton of Burr Ridge, was less than a half-hour behind, finishing at 10:21:41 p.m. in 32:41:41.

The 106th Mac sailed faster than expected, with most of the fleet expected to finish Monday.

Boats have 24 hours after the first boat in their section arrives at the island to finish the race.

The bulk of the fleet sailed Saturday on the 333-mile race from Chicago to Mackinac Island.

The first boats in the cruising division, which set sail Friday afternoon, reached the island early Sunday. Fifteen cruisers had finished by 10 p.m. ­Sunday.

Infinite Diversion again was the first cruiser to reach the island.

The Hanse 630e, owned by Joseph Haas of Winnetka, led the division virtually all the way. It arrived at the island at 9:54:51 Sunday morning for a time of 42:44:51.

But the story of the race was Il Mostro trying to best or catch Windquest. Those two regularly duel for first-to-finish honors.

At one point on the race tracking, it appeared the crew of Il Mostro would even try the dramatic maneuver of sailing west of Beaver Island in search of better air. But, instead, it stayed east of the island and opted to chase down Windquest in more traditional form.

Some of the cruisers did swing west of Beaver Island, trying to find good air for the finish.

Race staff noted in a Facebook update, ‘‘Winds are light and variable, and it’s almost a new race once you get to the bridge.’’

Mackinac Bridge is within sight of the finish on the island.

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