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Gamble pays dividends for Infinite Diversion

Updated: July 15, 2013 12:04AM



Joseph Haas took a big chance and guided Infinite Diversion first across the finish line in the 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac.

‘‘As we got toward the rhumb line, we didn’t see any decrease in the strength of the wind and we decided to go for it,’’ said Haas, a former CYC commodore from Winnetka. ‘‘We got across the lake
before the wind slowed down. We were able to get ahead before the high pressure set up over the lake. It was a gamble that happened to work out.’’

The Hanse 630e far outdistanced the rest of the cruising division almost from the start, and Infinite Diversion reached Mackinac Island, Mich., at
1:48 p.m. Sunday.

For the general fleet, Windquest took first-to-finish honors, crossing at 9:56 p.m.

The Max Z86, owned by Dick and Doug DeVos of Macatawa, Mich., had a nearly lake-long battle with Il Mostro, a Volvo 70 owned by Peter Thornton of Burr Ridge. But Windquest finally pulled away in the Turbo section, though it took hours to finish the final few miles after the wind died. Il Mostro was nearing the finish just before midnight.

There was no such battle for Infinite Diversion.

‘‘We actually left the fleet by the time we had gotten to the Wilson Crib,’’ Haas said. ‘‘We were going east, and the rest of the fleet was going north. A lot of those guys got stuck and dropped out.’’

Infinite Diversion won the cruising division for the second consecutive year, and the division had a first-to-finish trophy for the first time. The division sailed from Chicago at 3:10 p.m. Friday, the day before the bulk of the fleet.

Those were the lucky boats. Much of the fleet was ‘‘100 to 140 miles away with no wind,’’ Haas said.

The general slowness brought out the wit in tweeters, such as this: ‘‘Callisto: Ditched the 30% DEET hours ago. 100% barely adequate. Chartering an extended family of iguanas next year.’’

Most sections set sail Saturday east of Navy Pier for the 333-mile race. It is the oldest freshwater distance race in the world.



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