Fresh off his $20k winning performance as the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing OBR, Matt Knighton checks in from the Chicago Mackinac Race aboard the TP52 Imedi. Head over to the tracking page quickly to see whether Rick Warner’s brand new (to him) ORMA 60 can catch the Volvo 70 Il Mostro before the poop-covered finish. Thread here.
We just cannot find the wind.
There’s been this elusive band of breeze on the horizon all morning and now into the afternoon that taunts us – we keep sailing towards it, but then it pulls away. We’re slowly coming to the realization that the mirage effect of the lake and the Michigan shoreline has been playing a cruel joke on us all day.
The favorite phrase onboard is echoed every few minutes, “I think there’s a band of pressure over there coming down to us now…” it’s repeated over and over – we’ve yet to see it pay dividends.
There’s a mixture of pain and relaxation onboard. Spirits are high. This is the Mac Race after all and what would it be without a little light air sailing! Then again, ever since the sked at 10am that showed we had lost 25 miles to the competition who had invested in the Michigan shore overnight, we’ve needed some encouragement.
Pulled pork sandwiches just came to the rescue. So juicy, so good…everyone had seconds.
The sun is setting lower now and we’re clamoring to make it to the breeze that the skeds show is ahead of us. The familiar landmark of Point Betsie is growing larger on the horizon and the canyon of dunes that is the Manitou Passage isn’t too far off now!
It’s been the longest 6 hours of our lives it feels like – we’ve been hovering at less than 3 knots of boat speed the entire time – and the biting black flies are making their cameo appearance. The carnage up on deck is shown in the number of black dots covering the white deck.
Still, couldn’t ask for a better crew to go through the pains and joys of sailing the longest freshwater race in the world. Even though we’ve recycled the same jokes now 3 times…we’re still laughing harder and harder.