July 26, 2016
Blog Post

Unexpected Excitement

Below is the news story about one of the sailboats competing in the Chicago to Mackinaw Race.  We were there as the crew came to shore and got to hear about what took place.  One of the crew members, David, told me that Saturday night was the worst night he's ever spent on Lake Michigan.  He continued to tell me how several boats went on their side and the sails were hitting the water.  It was not a good night.  

We were glad to hear everyone was safe and sound and as David told me, "we'll fix the boat".  I told him we'll help.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – No injuries were reported when a yacht sank on Sunday, July 24, as thunder storms ripped across Lake Michigan during the annual Chicago to Mackinac Island yacht race.

Nineteen of the 326 vessels entered in the 333-mile race had withdrawn as the race concluded on Monday, July 25.

The 10-person crew of WhoDo, a 48-foot yacht based in Northport, was rescued after reporting the yacht was taking on water after the rudder shaft broke between the hull and the deck inside the Manitou Passage, according to Morgan Kinney, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Yacht Club.

The crew boarded a life raft and was pulled out of the water by the crew of City Girl, a fellow competitor that dropped out of the race to transfer the crew to Leland, where the Leelanau County Sheriff Department met them at the dock.

"No medical attention was requested for the crew of WhoDo, and all crew were reported in good condition," Kinney said. The incident occurred at 3:50 p.m. Sunday, July 24.

"It was a very memorable race and it's not over yet," said Kinney on Monday, July 25.

"There has been storm after storm coming through," she said, adding that Monday's forecast appears calm as more than 100 boats prepared to complete the race.

Arete', a trimaran representing the Port Huron Yacht Club, was the first arrival at Mackinac Island at 1:21 p.m. Sunday, just over 23 hours after it sailed from Chicago. Because of the handicapping system for the race, the 60-foot yacht placed second in its class after Panic Button, a boat based in Rochester, New York.

The U.S. Coast Guard also reported a helicopter rescue of a crew member who was reporting symptoms of a heart attack from the 33-foot Temerity about 10 nautical miles southeast of Beaver Island at 2:30 a.m. Monday. The patient was in stable condition and flown to an awaiting ambulance at Cherry Capital Airport.

The conditions have definitely been trying," Kinney said. "They put a lot of wear and tear on the boats this race. It was very rough and nobody could have prepared enough for that."

John Geer