No announcement yet.

Having A Blast On The Great Lakes


  • Having A Blast On The Great Lakes

    By Laura Muma

    In one punch after another, storm cells rocked the racing and cruising divisions throughout Saturday night during the 113th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust. The predicted storms not only came to fruition, but they also continued throughout the night in rapid succession.

    As of 11 a.m. CDT, 15 boats have officially retired, reporting ripped main sails, exploded spinnakers, and broken equipment, but no serious injuries. Earlier in the day prior to the weather, a few other boats retired from on-board minor injuries and equipment issues.

    In speaking with Chris Bedford, CYCRTM weather router, what happened last night was a unique event. “We went through a mesoscale convective system (MCS),” he said.

    For non-weather gurus, an MCS equates to a large mass of thunderstorms, which moved across Lake Michigan from the Wisconsin shore. “But what made last night extra unique, is it that the first mass was then followed by another one early this morning. From preliminary reports, it appears the first round was probably most impactful with strongest wind gusts between 45 to 55 knots.”

    The Racing and Cruising divisions experienced the storm systems in very different ways. The Cruising Division had nearly a 24-hour head start and was already further north in the lake near Ludington and Manistee, Mich.; the Racing Division boats were located between Milwaukee, Wis., and Grand Rapids, Mich.

    When the first round of storms hit, the winds shifted dramatically from south to north for the Racing boats. The Cruising Division’s version got more of a push from the south, further propelling them up the Michigan shoreline. Earlier this morning, a social media report from Rocky Levy on board Dakota, the second boat to finish in Cruising 1 said: “We’ve had 50-knot winds knock us down and a bunch of things broke, but not our spirits! Almost there!”

    Bedford said that while storms like this are not uncommon to occur in the summertime, he doesn’t recall a whole night of storms like this. “Usually, it’s a one and done kind of thing, but this year it was something we refer to as training, which is one storm after another.

    “I don’t blame anybody that decided to withdraw. There is nothing to say in the randomness of weather it couldn’t have been worse.”

    Sam Veilleux, chairman for 113th CYCRTM underscored Bedford. “Ultimately the goal with our safety protocols and requirements is to help prepare our sailors and boats for situations like this with confidence.

    “Chris’s advance weather briefings clearly outlined the impending weather to our racers, allowing them to make informed decisions in the best interest for both the crews and their boats,” Veilleux said.

    Looking ahead
    “This system more or less cleared everything off the lake,” said Bedford. “The fleet should be running in nice south-westerly conditions right now, but we are looking for a cold front to come down from the northern portion of the lake and shift winds into the NW this afternoon and evening.”
    This year’s CYCRTM is shaping up to be one of the most memorable races in decades. Already the majority of the Cruising Division is flying through the Straits headed toward the finish, and the leaders in the Racing Division should begin finishing around happy hour.

    To follow the racers in real time, check out the YB Trackers, and the latest on finishers and unofficial scoring is available here.

      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles


    • Crash Course At Cowes
      by Photoboy
      Short, action-packed races on the final day of Cowes Week 2022

      The last day of Cowes Week featured short, action-packed races in a solid north-westerly gradient wind, culminating in a spectacularly busy finish line at the Royal Yacht Squadron. A risk of the wind dying in advance of an afternoon sea breeze prompted a change to the race schedule, with three committee boats used, in addition to the Royal Yacht Squadron line, to compress
      08-09-2022, 09:46 AM
    • Sir Schwenky Dank Rescued In Dramatic Fashion
      by Photoboy
      Pacific Cup Skipper Safely Evacuated on Return Voyage
      August 8, 2022

      Pacific Cup race organizers are happy to report that Andy Schwenk (57, Point Richmond, CA) has been brought safely to land by a combination of Coast Guard, Air Force, commercial shipping, and assistance from a fellow yacht. A rapidly-spreading infection required the action.

      Andy’s Spindrift V, an Express 37, had completed the 2022 Pacific Cup, finishing first in her class on July 18.
      08-08-2022, 09:08 AM
    • All Wrapped Up At Copa Del Rey Mapfre
      by Photoboy

      Marcus Brennecke’s ClubSwan 50 Hatari clinched the ClubSwan 50 class title on the final race at the 40th Copa del Rey MAPFRE but the German flagged crew endured some unnecessarily nervous moments after the nearest rivals Stefan Heidenreich’s OneGroup seemingly came back from the dead after being over the start line early.

      From being a long way ahead of OneGroup, Hatari found themselves needing to cover their
      08-06-2022, 09:43 AM
    • French Sailor Survives Overnight In A Capsized Class 40
      by Photoboy
      Against all odds, a French sailor in his 60s survived inside of a capsized sailing yacht off the coast of Galicia, Spain overnight Monday, breathing from an air pocket until Spanish rescue divers reached him the following afternoon.

      At about 2000 hours on Monday, the Class40 sailing yacht Jeanne Solo Sailor capsized at a position about 14 miles northwest of the Sisargas Islands, west of A Coruna. The sole occupant, 62-year-old French national Laurent Camprubi, told
      08-04-2022, 10:40 AM
    • A Misty End To July For Bonita Racers!
      by Photoboy
      Rounding out the end of July on the YRA calendar, the Encinal or Bonita race was held over the past weekend.
      a 22 nm jaunt from off of Treasure Island and out the gat to Point Bonita and then back to the Encinal Yacht Club in the Estuary

      A cool misty day with a 2.7 knot flood and varying moments of visibility, sometimes completely occluded in the Golden Gate Strait, and
      moments of 1 mile or so, dashed with drizzle, loud fog horns and large vessels and fishing boats transiting
      08-03-2022, 03:29 PM
    • Pinned In Queens
      by Photoboy

      The FDNY freed a sailboat that had gotten stuck under the Roosevelt Island bridge on Saturday morning, officials said.

      A man was rescued by FDNY Marine units after the vessel’s mast got wedged in the steel work on the bridge at about 7:15 a.m., a spokesperson told The Post.

      In coordination with Department of Transportation bridge operators the boat was freed “with minimal damage,” according to FDNY.

      08-01-2022, 09:37 AM