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that’s that

An unhappy Chicago to Mackinac race report…

Tom was resting below deck, seas were sloppy/lumpy, we were moving at our poles under 2 reefs and a partially furled headsail on port tack. I was preparing to take the wheel at 7 PM, Joe was helming; Jim, Dan and Sean were essential rail meat on the port rail. ‘Crack!’ and the entire rig was laid perpendicular and horizontal on the starboard side, the base of the mast sheared completely off, remaining attached to the boat only by the shrouds, halyards and rigging components. WTF?!

Dismasted @ 6:45 PM, race over simultaneously. Ugh. We rallied, safely, in the lumpy/sloppy conditions, (somehow) salvaging the boom as we disconnected fittings, unscrewed or unpinned turnbuckles and cut halyards. The mast and sails remained (somewhat) on the lake surface to our starboard and didn’t pose a threat to hole the boat…as long and the base end was pinned to the cabin top.

We weren’t sure what would happen once everything was freed. Once the Roller Furling drum was disconnected and ready to toss off the boat, the pin of the remaining port side turnbuckles keeping the base of the mast (kinda) secure, along with the frayed and stretched jib halyard, was banged out or cut..and the rig was shoved/tossed over the side, disappearing within seconds. Ugh.

We waited a few minutes for the rig to settle deeper in the lake and the boat to roll/float away from the ‘event arena’, a time that seemed like forever, engaged the tranny and turned for Chicago, approximately 7:15 PM, a distance of @ 22+ nautical miles. That the seas remained lumpy/sloppy/rollie made the return ride an uncomfortable 4-hour slog. We tucked into DuSable Harbor on F dock @ 10:45, 2 slips from Tom’s boat Weekend Retreat. Sean and Dan made the prudent call, getting a ride home shortly after our arrival. The remaining 4 proceeded to tear up the evening in the cabin of WR.

The Ford is in St Ignace MI, an Indian Trails bus will take me to St I tonight, arrive Monday morning, back in Chicago Monday afternoon. 1 detail off the list (thanks to those that offered to drive up). I still owe CYC an ‘Accident Report’, which I’ll get to later today.

Soooo, that’s the scoop. Big bummer. There’s solace in knowing all are safe. There’s a bit of ‘Sweet and Sour’ within the comments (plural) of “you guys were doing great, inside position and chasing the bigger boats”. True, and we were all looking forward to the predicted light air arriving, thinking we’d put the lighter Shoe String into an even better position. Ugh.

On to the day. Take care

Anarchist Jay