the queen ain’t dead

the queen ain’t dead

The Midwest is as hot as ever both in temperature and in racing action, with last week’s Queens Cup from Milwaukee to South Haven, MI giving a nice little warmup to the huge Mackinac fleets.  We had an easy ride on the 77 NM course aboard the TP52 “Natalie J” with close-reaching angles in 10-20 knots of breeze, though we were crushed in our class…meanwhile Herb Wake’s Dubois 50 “Twister” took the overall Queen’s Cup trophy for top corrected time.

What’s fascinating about this race is just how welcoming it is to boats both small and big; in the face of new stability and safety requirements for the big Mac race, organizers of the Queens Cup make it clear that the rules “places the responsibility of the decision to race, and to continue racing, upon the competitor”, and the new finishing port of South Haven is a gorgeous place to pub crawl at 10 AM…

And the welcome was received; nearly 200 boats raced across the Lake last week – the biggest fleet in years, with the 2012 edition bringing more than a dozen raceboats over 50 feet to the line –including the Volvo 70 Il Mostro, a pile of Santa Cruz 70s, as well as the old Alchemy, the old Bella Mente, and the frankenturboed (thanks Leif Beiley) Bill Lee classic “Merlin.”  It was a nice preview to the hundreds of boats racing to the Island of Horse Manure; this weekend from Port Huron in the Bayview Mackinac Race, and next in Chicago’s Race to Mackinac.  We’ll have extensive coverage of both.

Plenty more QC photos and chat in the thread.  Race results are here and photo thanks to Meredith Block/Blocksail.com.  Title shout to one of the most influential bands of the past 25 years.