Race to Mackinac: July 21st, 2012

“The race of the season, the adventure of a lifetime, a destination like no other.”


The 104th Annual Race to Mackinac will begin in just a little over nine short days here in Chicago! Since 1921, The Chicago Yacht Club has sponsored this yearly sailing event from the Chicago Shores to the shores of Mackinac Island, Michigan.  This tradition is the oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world and attracts over 300 boats and 3,500 crewmembers annually.

 At 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 21st, 2012 boats will take off just off of Navy Pier at the lighthouse.  To date, the record for fastest race is held by Pyewacket, owned a skippered by Roy Disney with the monohull record in ’02 with 23 hours, 30 minutes and 34 seconds.  The multihulls record is set at 18 hours, 50 minutes and 32 seconds. Steve Fossett, on Stars and Stripes, set this in 1998.  Generally, the race takes the fleet between 40 and 60 hours to finish.

Racing through the night and switching crews periodically is no easy task to accomplish. With luck, hopefully the sailors this year will not encounter any dangerous weather and storms. If needed, the Chicago Yacht Club and the US Coast Guard are on call should rescue measures need to be taken; however, the Race to Mackinac has one of the finest safety records in all of sailing.

So, how will you celebrate this years Race to Mackinac? Indulge in this year’s unique Chicago tradition by routing for your family, friends, or coworkers who are participating. Join in yourself by attending one of the many events that are hosted by the Race to Mac on the shorelines. The best spot to watch the send off of ships is with “A Shore Thing”. With A Shore Thing, viewers can pre-purchase picnic baskets for the race day and get admittance to the best seat in the house: the tip of Navy Pier!

Or consider showing your love of Chicago and the Race to Mac by pairing Chicago Belt Co.’s Chicago Flag Belt with some of the Race to Mac apparel found on their website. Until the race, Chicago Belt Co. will be running a promotion for Mackinac followers: 20% off merchandise with coupon code “Mackinac”.  Whatever way you chose to celebrate this tradition, here at Chicago Belt Company we are certain it will be a good time!