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105th Annual Race To Mackinac Sets Sail Saturday

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jul 12, 2013 3:40PM

Photo credit: Kathy Carey

Considered to be the most prestigious freshwater sailing race in the world, the 105th Annual Race to Mackinac sets sail July 13 from near Navy Pier. Nearly 350 boats and 3,5000 sailors will make the 333-mile trek up Lake Michigan to Mackinac Island, Michigan. The Chicago Yacht Club's multi-day race draws sailors locally and worldwide, competing both within their boats' classes and against all boats in a handicapped competition.

While the cruising boats will depart on Friday afternoon, the racers will start beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday. The boats will leave by fleet, with the final boats expected to be on their way by 3 p.m. Boats will participate in the "parade of boats" as they pass Navy Pier before hitting the starting line. Most boats will arrive in Mackinac sometime on Monday, as it typically takes 40 to 60 hours to reach the finish line.

Last year's winners Providence and Realt Na Mara. Providence won the Mackinac Trophy, which is awarded to the fastest boat from sections 5-8. Jerry and Greg Miarecki's Ericson 35 MK II completed the race in a corrected time of 37:28:47. Representing sections 1-4, Tom Londrigan Sr. and Joe Londrigan’s J109 won the Mackinac Cup with a corrected time of 38:28:45. Both boats will look to defend their titles this year. The Royono Trophy, awarded for quickest absolute time was won by Peter Thornton's Il Mostro, a Volvo 70, that finished the race in an elapsed time of 35:38:19.

This year, CNN will be filming the race as part of its new docu-series Chicagoland, produced by Robert Redford.

For those who want to follow the race in real time, you can track all the boats online here. We're once again pulling for our friends on Vayu but wish all boats and sailors good luck and safe travels!