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Posts Tagged ‘CYCRTM’

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It’s been six years since Mark Morley and Suzanne Bickel died during the Chicago Mackinac Race aboard Wingnutz, and Saturday night was very nearly Deja Vu all over again.  A nasty frontal line – similar to the one that capsized Wingnutz in 2011 – tore through the fleet from the West around Midnight.  Rather than just a big increase and righty, the line held huge, spiking gusts of well over 50 knots, shifting constantly in the turbulent boundary.

Few boats came through the squalls without damage, but the scariest report came from Bill Shellhorse’s Virginia-based Farr 400 Meridian X, a perennial competitor in the Mac.  During a knockdown, they lost a crew overboard and it took a full hour to recover him.  With water temps in the mid 60s and huge, short seas, it’s amazing the crew was able to stay alive, and it’s not a surprise to have received a tip that the rescuee was maybe a few minutes away from the worst end possible.  Despite multiple USCG assets in the area and quite a few boats trying to stand by and help, it was Meridian which recovered their crew under what must have been terrifying circumstances.

As much as a third of the fleet retired to nurse their wounds, while almost the entire multihull fleet pulled out, but not before the F31 trimaran High Priority 2 went over in a 50-knot gust and turtled; the pic to the left is of her crew being winched aboard a CG tender after they hung out on their upside-down hulls for a while.  The big showdown between the two ORMA 60s – Earth Voyager and Arete – failed to materialize, with EV pulling out with mast track problems.  Arete is just 5 NM from the finish as we speak – not of the Chicago Mac (which they finished with first racing boat and first in class) but of the SuperMac! Owner Rick Warner wrote us this morning.  “All of the Arete team wishes best wishes to everyone forced to retire.  We are so glad the crews are all OK!  We saw plenty of wind, on the nose in the upper half of the lake.  It was steady 30s with 7-foot faces with a typical Great Lakes short period, the boat was fully out of the water at times, the main hull launching off the back of the waves and the leeward ama digging in and piercing the next one…if you know how far back the helm pods are on Arete, you understand what it means when I say that the waves were actually pounding on it…We are looking forward to the Port Huron-Mac and then the TransSuperior!”

Quantum owners the DeVos family aboard Windquest ironically retired with sail damage, with the big squall disintegrating an A3 and shredding the headboard of their mainsail, while TP52 Natalie J pulled out after destroying their jib tack, cunningham, and some odds and ends.

Thankfully there are no reports of major injuries, though the sailmaker’s (and rudder repairers) bill is sure to total millions…

Tracker for both the CYC race and the SuperMac are here.   Results here.

 

July 17th, 2017 by admin

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Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 4.26.48 PM

The aftermath of the Mackinac Race wreck of the chartered 1D48 WhoDo shows a heck of a lot more damage than just a mangled rudder post; we don’t yet know how much of the blown out bow above and the torn off rudder was part of the sinking, damage from the wave action on the bottom, or salvage damage, but it’s nasty!  SA’er ‘blunted’, sailing aboard the mighty Melges 30 Peerless, said there were ‘things available to hit on the field’. “We passed at last one 4-5′ long log, that was 14″ in diameter. That would have had our rudder akimbo had we hit it at the speed we were going at the time.

All involved in the WhoDo mess would’ve likely wished she sank in the 200 feet of fresh water she sat in when SA’er ‘peacefrog’ and the crew of the C&C 30 CityGirl made the rescue; as it was, Whodo later drifted in and settled on one of the few shallow spots on a deep stretch of Michigan coast and came to rest with half her mast in the air.  After an airbag lift, she was towed inScreen Shot 2016-07-29 at 4.45.59 PMto the Michigan shore and now sits in Harbor Springs.

For a very, very rare look at a fresh catch of sailors straight after a rescue, check Russell Madsen’s video from City Girl.  Very cool shit and well done to all!

Thanks to SA’er M54Kings for the photo above, with more aftermath shots in the thread here.  Here’s a link to some local media on the rescue and more.

 

 

July 29th, 2016 by admin

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You know it’s a glacially paced Chicago Mackinac race when the 90 foot Windquest takes a day and a half to cover under 300 miles.  The big Devos-owned water ballaster finished around 11 PM local time well ahead of the old Puma Il Mostro, while a massive Buffalo Girl move halfway to the arctic circle may have paid serious dividends for Bill Martin’s GL70 Stripes.  

The tracker is sweet, and there’s some fun to be had on the CYC Facebook page.  Here are a few updates from our pal Geff aboard first-placed multihull Lucky Strike:

“Very slow morning pre dawn.  Been alot of transitions and been in phase with all of it since heading for the barn after can 3.  Been staying ahead of the 70s through all this drifting.  Finally got cell service.  That is why my last post was from the first night.  Going outside and staying west was pretty good for us.  Still a long 9 miles to the bridge…”

Discuss in the thread.

 

July 15th, 2013 by admin

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