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North Sails NEWS

FLEET CHARGES LAKE MICHIGAN IN 109th EDITION OF RACE TO MACKINAC

North-powered teams win ten divisions and Chicago Mackinac Trophy in Chicago Yacht Club’s annual race to Mackinac Island

© Onne Van der Wal

Sailors on 301 boats joined a quest for speed in the Chicago Yacht Club’s 109th Race to Mackinac. North-powered teams held on strong to the finish and won 10 classes, including the Chicago Mackinac Trophy, won by David and Peter Askew’s Wizard. This year Lake Michigan delivered a race of all sorts, with moderate reaching conditions turning to running conditions and a severe frontal passage that hit hard for some of the teams. Many encountered gusts over 50 knots on the evening of the 15th, upping the level of competition as well as endurance for some.

The 20 crew members on 74’ Reichel Pugh Wizard saw nothing stronger than 30 knots, reported crew member Charlie Enright. “Our takeaways were that we got a jump on the competition through smooth and timely sail changes,” he said, noting that the conditions lighted up substantially toward the end of the race.

David and Peter grew up running boats on the Great Lakes and have a fair amount of local knowledge in the bank, which paired nicely with Wizard’s well-planned sail inventory.  After rigging a new 3Di mainsail for the Pineapple Cup in February, Wizard started the race to Mackinac with a fresh 3Di jib, genoa staysail, and masthead zero. As a North Sails expert based in Portsmouth, RI, Charlie manages the inventory for Wizard in between a number of independent offshore projects. His next adventure will be onboard Team Vestas / 11th Hour Racing in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race.

“3Di is a robust product that gave us a lot of confidence. We’ve noticed the differentiation of 3Di to string sail products is indisputably better, especially within offshore racing.”

Wizard’s corrected time of 38:45:04 earned them 1st in the Turbo division and 1st place in the Big Boat Division, claiming the the Mackinac Trophy.

Congratulations to our clients for your steadfast performance this year in one of the most challenging distance races in the country. Glad you made it home safely!

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For more on preparing yourself for offshore racing, check out our Expert Tips by Charlie Enright