Last November, Gary Jobson’s documentary of the 2008 Chicago-Mackinac Race ran on ESPN Classic, one of the lowest rated networks on cable television. It’s a good thing it didn’t get a bigger audience; like nearly all Jobson’s work, the program was more likely to reinforce the popular perception of racing as a boring rich man’s sport than it was to attract nonsailors or business interests to the sport.
Until recently, Jobson has been pretty much the only game in town; something that dooms national sailing TV to complete irrelevance. What a pleasant surprise it was then for us to hear today that Chicago-based national cable network WGN (many times more popular than the ESPN offshoot) has picked up the Grooter Productions’ “American Sailors” documentary of the same 2008 anniversary Chi-Mac to run on July 4th at 9 PM, and again on July 26th at 1 PM. And it wouldn’t hurt to send WGN an email thanking them for running something so cool.
The program has great production quality and awesome racing scenes, but more importantly, it focuses on four interesting characters and follows them for the entire race. SA’s own longtime member Brian Torresen and his heavily turboed Melges 30 ‘Peerless’ is one of those sailors, and anyone who knows BT knows that his appearance on the screen is guaranteed to be entertaining, at the very least.
Check out the excellently done trailer right here, learn more about the film right here, and go to the unofficial Chicago-Mac news website here for more info on the 2009 race or to order a DVD of the program.
Oh, and be ready for some On-The-Water Anarchy next month from the waters of Lake Michigan and beyond as Mr. Clean and Mer were just added to the all-star (ha!) crew of the infamous black 40′ catamaran, Nice Pair, for the longest crewed freshwater race in the world, the SuperMac. It should be a good one.