Race to Mackinac wraps up with fast succession of finishes
BY DALE BOWMAN For Sun-Times Media July 23, 2012 10:30PM
Updated: August 25, 2012 6:16AM
George Pawlus called the 104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac ‘‘a compressed Mac’’ on Facebook.
That’s about as concise an assessment as possible for the 333-mile race from Chicago to Mackinac Island, Mich. Only Infinite Diversion crossed the finish — a line between the lighthouse on Round Island and the race committee trailer on Mackinac Island — on Sunday.
The rest of the finishers poured in Monday. Principal race officer Janet Crabb said about 75 percent of the 326-boat fleet finished within 12 hours.
She told race staff the rapid finish, with cannon fire to mark the finish of each boat, reminded her of the ‘‘Parade of Boats,’’ which preceded the start of the racing sections Saturday in Chicago.
‘‘But today, instead of the metropolitan cityscape, our finishing boats were painted against the Mackinac Bridge,’’ she said. ‘‘Both locations are such incredible assets to our race.’’
Infinite Diversion, a Hanse 630e owned by Joe Haas, was in the cruising section, which sailed Friday afternoon. Infinite Diversion, which reached Mackinac at 10:37 p.m. Sunday in an elapsed time of 55 hours, 27 minutes, 17 seconds, was well in front of the fleet virtually the entire way. But Haas said it was stalled from about 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, barely doing .5 to 1.5 knots per hour.
Conditions that caused the slowdown Sunday, which compacted the fleet, changed dramatically Monday. A stalled cold front moved back north on Lake Michigan as a warm front and brought strengthening southwest winds to 25 knots, helping to compact the finish even more.
Peter Thornton, who had hoped to chase the course record with his just-purchased Il Mostro, had to settle for bringing the Royono Trophy for first-to-finish honors back to CYC.
The Volvo 70 lived up to expectations, finishing at 1:08 a.m. Monday with the fastest finish of 35:38:19, beating Windquest by more than an hour. Windquest, a Z Max 86 owned by Dick and Doug DeVos, had won the Royono Trophy four of the last six years.
Preliminary results, adjusted for handicap, already were posted for every section late Monday afternoon at cycracetomackinac.com.