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Start: July 15, 2017

Latest Race Update and News...
(Most recent news first....)


14-Jul-17 - 11:48am

Welcome to the the 109th running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Wintrust.

The race is here!  Below are some useful links to follow the race, and some additional announcements.

Ways to follow the race:

Race to Mackinac Official Web Page

YB Tracking  -  Direct Link to tracking page.  The App is availble for free to download to your mobile device.

YB Tracking Low Bandwidth Links - For low bandwith links or to use with with routing software

CYCRTM Facebook

CYCRTM Youtube Channel

Ashore Thing - In person you can see the Parade of Boats on Saturday morning at the end of Navy Pier at the Michigan Avenue Magazine Ashore Thing

Additional Race Information:

Star Line is the official ferry for the Race to Mackinac and will be providing discounted fares to and from the Island.  Please follow the link for more information and the discuount codes.  

Squid / Great Circle is the title sponsor for the Mack Photo Contest.  They are offering a 1 week free subscription to all participants of the photo contest, and a 1 year free subscription to the winners.  Follow the link and enter promo code 

20% discount on our HI-Res USA - Discount code  SJ3L276C

For those of you not familiar with Great Circle, please see below: 

Great Circle is a world-leading provider of marine weather services for every activity at sea, from professional sailing to cargo shipping, pleasure cruising to race management. Set up by passionate and experienced offshore sailors the company’s fields of expertise include data modeling (producing our own high-resolution GRIB files), data distribution, satellite image production and delivering weather-routing and forecasts. We are convinced that the whole marine community could and should benefit from, at the very least, better weather data. We have focused on this strategy and our strengths: the gathering, presentation and distribution of data, as well as finding partners with whom we can collaborate. During the last few years, we have successfully been targeting the top end of the sail racing community, winning bids to be the exclusive provider. Great Circle delivers high-resolution weather data, forecasting and risk analysis services for all the major races around the world such as the Volvo Ocean Race, the Vendée Globe, the Route du Rhum, the Sydney-Hobart, and the Fastnet Race. Great Circle also offers 360-degree solutions for pro and amateurs sailors with its free to download SQUID software and mobile App (IOS & Android). SQUID has been recognised by the sailing community as one of the leading marine weather software tools, implementing unique features that are making passages faster and safer (e.g. the weather models comparison - ensemble forecasting - and Best Start options).
 
 
 
Sail fast!
 
Don Maxwell
 
 
 
 


10-Jul-17 - 03:44pm

Dear Fellow Invited Competitor:

 

Each year as a formallity, we wish to point out NOR, Section 6, makes you responsible for the conduct of the entire crew before, during and after the Race while at race-related locations. You are subject to protest or having your invitation for next year withdrawn if you or your crew engages in inappropriate conduct.  We recognize that this does not apply to the vast majority of our race particpants, who are here to race hard and have a good time, but there have been occational issues

1. Both during and after the Race, you will be interacting with our outstanding volunteers and Club staff. Please treat them with respect and courtesy. If you encounter a situation in which our Race Committee members or Club staff members cannot assist you, do not argue with or berate them. Instead, ask to speak with me, our Principal Race Officer, Helle Getz, or any member of the Mac Committee. We will have a zero tolerance policy regarding disrespectful behavior towards any of our race volunteers or CYC staff.

2. Please follow all directions from CYC Dock masters and CYC Staff while docking in Chicago. They are working to arrange safe dockage for everyone who will be docking at our facilities. They need your cooperation, and the cooperation of your crews, to make this happen. Any disrespectful behavior towards our Chicago docking volunteers or staff will be dealt with harshly.

3. If you are docking on Mackinac Island, we will again be using a zone system for docking. It’s designed to get you docked and to the bars and parties as quickly as possible. However, to make it work, you have to follow our plan as every space on the Island is assigned and accounted for. Please cooperate with our docking officials on the Island. Disregarding instruction from our Island docking officials may result in your boat being uninvited in subsequent years, as well as protest.

4. No swimming is allowed in Mackinac Island Harbor. This is for your safety and that of others. There are too many boats moving about, and the risk of stray electrical current is all too real.

5. Michigan law prohibits open containers of alcohol on the public way. If a police officer approaches you or your crew, and asks you to spill out the Mount Gay and tonic that you just purchased, please do so promptly. (Note that this also applies to the grounds outside of the Grand Hotel during the Sailors’ Celebration.)

6. Adjacent to the area of our Sailors’ Celebration are the school grounds; this area is a drug- and alcohol-free zone. We strongly recommend that you stay away from the school grounds during our sailors' party.

7. Please stay on the sidewalks and do not walk in the streets. While streets look pedestrian safe because there are no cars, you can easily be hit by a bicycle or by a horse and carriage.

8. Keep sails and banners away from horses, as they are easily frightened. When drying sails, stay as far away from the streets as possible. A flapping sail or banner can cause a really bad situation.

9. Departure time from all harbors is 1 PM EDT on Wednesday after the Race. You must depart  (be gone by then, not just starting to get ready to go) at or before this time unless you have made prior arrangement with the Harbor Master. Failure to depart the Island on time will result in your invitation for future races being withdrawn. To facilitate departures from the Island, please be considerate of your neighbors in your raft by being at the harbor and available by 0700, as is required in the Sailing Instructions. Talk with each other in advance to make things easier.

Failure to follow these rules can result in disqualification from this Race and not being invited to future Races. Crew members and guests are expected to follow these rules, but ultimately it is the Skipper who is responsible. Don't be that guy or gal who gets your boat uninvited to race next year!

Please help us make the 109th Race a great experience for everyone. We look forward to seeing you on the start line next week!

Don Maxwell

 


10-Jul-17 - 03:33pm

Dear Mackinac Racers:

 

The Sailing Instructions have been posted online.  Official Notice Board

Due to the fact that this year we received some ORR certs after our printing deadline for our paper and "printable" scratch books, the section breaks for some of the sections may not be correct on these documents.  To view the correct sections, please go to the race web page:  Mackinac Race Sectons

 

Cheers,

Don Maxwell 


08-Jul-17 - 06:17am

Coast Guard "Cardinal Points" for 2017 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

The Ninth Coast Guard District wishes you a warm welcome to the 2017 Chicago Yacht Club Race Mackinac. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable voyage. The Mac Committee has provided you with excellent materials on how to be best prepared and we'd like to supplement that with some Coast Guard basics.

IN AN EMERGENCY: If an emergency occurs during the race, such as a person overboard, medical problem, taking on water, or disabling damage from storm, and assistance from the Coast Guard is required, we recommend you contact us via VHF-FM channel 16. You do not need to know what the closest Coast Guard station is -- we will determine that -- simply call "Mayday, mayday, mayday, Coast Guard, this is [vessel name] on channel 16, over." During your initial contact, we ask that you provide the following information:
Location (GPS coordinates and/or geographic reference)

Nature of distress

Number of persons on board

Description of your vessel

If you have an EPIRB or PLB (preferred over SPOT devices) on board, activate that as well because the SARSAT satellite system has global coverage beyond VHF-FM or cellular antenna range. Launching of flares or displaying of other visual signaling devices should also be considered. Use of cellular telephones should be considered a tertiary means of distress alerting.

WHAT TO EXPECT Once the Coast receives your distress call, we can decide what the closest response units are, what capabilities to bring and approximately how long it will take to get to your location. The Coast Guard communications watch stander on the other end of the radio may have additional questions for you to further ascertain your situation. For those accustomed to police or fire units responding within a few minutes in your city, be aware that Coast Guard boats and helicopters may take longer to reach your location because we may have to transit dozens or even hundreds of miles. Do your best to stabilize your situation in the meantime. The Coast Guard can also provide basic first responder medical care from our boats or helicopters, but paramedic-level (and greater) medical support must be provided from land-based resources. Please be aware that we do not have divers with subsurface or SCUBA capability. Our helicopters carry a rescue swimmer who can conduct rescues on or near the surface only. If subsurface rescue may be required, let us know that as soon as possible because SCUBA capability must come from other agencies and can take hours to coordinate and transport.

RESCUE 21 The Coast Guard recently installed the Rescue 21 communications system around the Great Lakes, greatly increasing our reception and transmission capability. For race participants, your procedure for contacting us remains unchanged - see the "Mayday" call guidance in the "In an emergency" paragraph above. For our part, Rescue 21 allows us to rapidly obtain a line of bearing from our radio towers to the location of the VHF-FM caller. This helps us home in on your position more quickly and easily, and also helps us catch hoax callers. Again, you do not need to know where our towers or stations are - call us on VHF-FM channel 16 and we will work with you on a case-by-case basis. In addition, all participating members are required to monitor their VHF-FM radios.

IN CASE OF STORMS If severe storms do occur, it is up to race participants to decide whether to continue their courses or to divert toward cover or safe harbors. The Coast Guard cannot make that decision for you, and we are prohibited from providing specific sailing directions (courses to steer, etc.) to you. The Coast Guard communications watch stander can, however, transmit to you published/charted navigational aids, hazards and information that may be helpful in making your decision. A WORD ABOUT HYPOTHERMIA Even if air temperatures during the race days are warm and seasonable, be advised that lake temperatures will likely be cold enough in many locations to cause moderate to severe hypothermia within hours. Participants should dress themselves with those water temperatures in mind - and of course, wear their personal flotation device. Hypothermia is an insidious killer that catches unprepared people in the water off guard, so you stack the deck in your favor by wearing a survival suit, dry suit, wet suit or anti-exposure coveralls.

COAST GUARD PATROL COMMANDER The Coast Guard Cutter MOBILE BAY (WLB 214) will be serving as patrol commander during the Chicago Mackinac. In an emergency, however, we recommend you hail us per the "Mayday" procedures above because MOBILE BAY (WLB 214) may not be within radio range of your position.
NINTH COAST GUARD DISTRICT "SAR ETHOS.” The men and women of the Ninth Coast Guard District take our search and rescue (SAR) responsibilities very, very seriously. In fact, our philosophy, or "SAR Ethos" is to treat every potential victim as we would our own family. So know that if you get in trouble out there, we will do our very best. Good luck!


GREAT LAKES SEARCH AND RESCUE LINE - 1-800-321-4400

Joint Rescue Coordination Center Cleveland
Ninth Coast Guard District
1240 E. 9th Street
Cleveland, OH 44199

1-216-902-6117/6118/6109
ninthdistrictcommandcenter@uscg.mil


06-Jul-17 - 10:50am

 

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

 

Thursday 7/13

1000-1900       Registration – Monroe Station Commodore Room

1830-2030       Warning Gun Party (Reservation only) – Monroe Station

 

Friday 7/14

0900-1000       Cruising Division Skippers Meeting – Monroe Station Race Tent

1000-1100       Cruising Division Registration – Monroe Station Commodore Room

1000-1600       Registration - – Monroe Station Commodore Room

1500-1530       Cruising Division Starts

1700-1800       Skippers Meeting – Monroe Station Race Tent

1900-2330       Mackinac Pre-Race Party – Monroe Station

 

Saturday 7/15

1000-1400       Ashore Thing – Parade of Boats Presented by Wintrust – Navy Pier

1100-1500       Racing Division Starts

 

Sunday 7/16

1730-1930       Grand Hotel Porch Party – Grand Hotel Mackinac Island

1700-2000       Children’s Party (Advance registration) – Grand Hotel Lower Level

 

Tuesday 7/18

1400-1700       Island Awards Party – Presented by Wintrust – Woodfill Park

1400-1600       Outdoor Activities for Children – Woodfill Park

 

Wednesday 7/19

1200                Last Call for race boats to leave harbor unless pre-arranged reservation

1300                10th Annual Round the Island Race

1000 or 1500   Bus to Chicago Reservations


05-Jul-17 - 04:33am
Harken Tech Team
Live at the 2017 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac®



Professional Equipment Inspection and Service
Peace of Mind before the Most Challenging Race of the Season
From July 12 - 15, members of the Harken Technical Support Team will be on location at Chicago Yacht Club's Monroe Street Station. You'll find the Harken Tech Trailer inside the club gate. Competitors are encouraged to stop by with any equipment concerns and talk to a Tech Team member.

During this time, the Harken Tech Team will be making comprehensive inspections of Harken equipment and be available to execute world-class maintenance and repair-just as our team does at Volvo Ocean Race stopovers and the TP52 Super Series.

The following services are offered:

Package 1: Visual inspection of all Harken systems
Get a Grand-Prix shore team's perspective on what's working up to standard and what might become a problem. Service includes removing winch drums for inspection of interior winch parts.

Inspection will also include a statement of recommended service and a list of suggested equipment upgrades. These will be emailed to you following the inspection. You can also schedule this inspection in advance online. Right Now!

Boats 30 - 42' LOA: $100/hr
Boats 42' LOA and above: $150/hr

Package 2:                                                                             Winch Workover $125/hr
-Complete on-deck cleaning of all interior winch parts for Harken winches.
- In-depth inspection of all mechanicals.
- Professional reoiling and appropriate greasing.
- Replacement of springs and palls as required. Schedule Now!
*Through size 60.

This service does not include linked pedestal systems Grand-Prix wide-body winches. Call Tech Service at 262-691-3320 or email technicalservice@harken.com. Get a Quote Today!

Package 3:                                                                             Traveler Triage $100/hr
- Interior/exterior car cleaning.
- Removal/lubrication of bearings.
- Bearing replacement using Harken replacement kit.
- Track cleaning/light surface preparation. Schedule Now!
*Does not include removal or replacement of track.
*Replacement kit provided at catalog price.

Package 4: Furler Facelift (Furler Fluff & Buff)                  $100/hr
- Clean and adjust furler drums and housing.
- Prerace removal of bracket guards for efficient race configuration.
- Stay length adjustment for Harken furlers Mark III and older.*
- Removal/reloading of line overrides or other furling line problems.
- Installation of new customer-provided furling line.
- Adjustment of furling lead arrangements. Schedule Now!

To schedule service, please fill out the form below:
www.harken.com/Chicago-Mackinac-Service/


03-Jul-17 - 11:58am
Harken Tech Team
Live at the 2017 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac®



Professional Equipment Inspection and Service
Peace of Mind before the Most Challenging Race of the Season
From July 12 - 15, members of the Harken Technical Support Team will be on location at Chicago Yacht Club's Monroe Street Station. You'll find the Harken Tech Trailer inside the club gate. Competitors are encouraged to stop by with any equipment concerns and talk to a Tech Team member.

During this time, the Harken Tech Team will be making comprehensive inspections of Harken equipment and be available to execute world-class maintenance and repair-just as our team does at Volvo Ocean Race stopovers and the TP52 Super Series.

The following services are offered:

Package 1: Visual inspection of all Harken systems
Get a Grand-Prix shore team's perspective on what's working up to standard and what might become a problem. Service includes removing winch drums for inspection of interior winch parts.

Inspection will also include a statement of recommended service and a list of suggested equipment upgrades. These will be emailed to you following the inspection. You can also schedule this inspection in advance online. Right Now!

Boats 30 - 42' LOA: $100/hr
Boats 42' LOA and above: $150/hr

Package 2:                                                                             Winch Workover $125/hr
-Complete on-deck cleaning of all interior winch parts for Harken winches.
- In-depth inspection of all mechanicals.
- Professional reoiling and appropriate greasing.
- Replacement of springs and palls as required. Schedule Now!
*Through size 60.

This service does not include linked pedestal systems Grand-Prix wide-body winches. Call Tech Service at 262-691-3320 or email technicalservice@harken.com. Get a Quote Today!

Package 3:                                                                             Traveler Triage $100/hr
- Interior/exterior car cleaning.
- Removal/lubrication of bearings.
- Bearing replacement using Harken replacement kit.
- Track cleaning/light surface preparation. Schedule Now!
*Does not include removal or replacement of track.
*Replacement kit provided at catalog price.

Package 4: Furler Facelift (Furler Fluff & Buff)                  $100/hr
- Clean and adjust furler drums and housing.
- Prerace removal of bracket guards for efficient race configuration.
- Stay length adjustment for Harken furlers Mark III and older.*
- Removal/reloading of line overrides or other furling line problems.
- Installation of new customer-provided furling line.
- Adjustment of furling lead arrangements. Schedule Now!

To schedule service, please fill out the form below:
www.harken.com/Chicago-Mackinac-Service/


19-Jun-17 - 04:12pm

Mackinac Skippers,

You are cordually invited to attend the Warning Gun Party at Chicago Yacht Club Monroe Station, Thursday July 13th at 1830 hours.

Please follow the link below for more information and instructions on how to RSVP.

Warning Gun Party Invitation

Cheers,

Don Maxwell - Chairman CYC Race to Mackinac


31-May-17 - 08:00pm

Mackinac Sailors, 

June 8th is the entry deadline for the Super Mac.    

The NOR requries 20 entries and we have not yet met that number.  If you would like to participate in this epic long distance race, there is still time to enter.

For more information, please follow the link to the event web page.

Super Mac

Thanks,

Don Maxwell - CYC Mackinac

 

 

 


31-May-17 - 04:59pm

Mackinac Skippers:

The entry deadline of June 8th is only one week away!  I'd like to bring your attention to NOR Sections 5.1 through 5.5.  This section lists the items that are requred to be completed prior to June 8th. 

I would ilke to ask you assistance to please take a moment to verify that your entry is complete.  Required items include:

1.  Acceptance of Invitation

2. Entry Fee

3. Preliminary crew list

4. Tracking application

5. ORR Rating Certificate

If you are having trouble and need assistance, or anticipate being late on any requirement, please contact us.

 

Cheers,

Don Maxwell - Chairman

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.  


03-May-17 - 07:04pm

Mackinac Sailors:

Announcements:

1.  NOR Amendment #1 has been posted on the Official Notice Board on the CYCRTM web page:

2.  Safety Regulation - Monohull - A revised version of the safety regulations has been posted.  There were a some changes in verbiage for clarification and a couple of changes to make the new format be as consistent with last years regulations as possible.  Please review the change log tab on the file to see the updates.  

Official Notice Board

3.  Official Technical and Event Branded Apparel is now available - Gill is the Official Technical and Event Branded Apparel Provider for the 2017 and the 2018 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac ®presented by Wintrust. Follow the link below to shop the event branded foul weather gear, technical apparel, caps, cotton tee shirts and polo shirts.

Mackinac Race Gear

 

Cheers,

Don Maxwell - Chairman

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.  


22-Apr-17 - 08:02am
Mackinac Sailors,

Back by popular demand, I’m please to announce that Bayview Yacht Club, Port Huron Yacht Club, and Chicago Yacht Club will be hosting the Super Mac this year!

The NOR for the worlds longest freshwater race has been posted and online entry is open!

Please follow the link for more details. Super Mac Web Page

Thanks
Don Maxwell
Chairman
109th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


05-Apr-17 - 09:47am
Mackinac Skippers:

Starting March 20th, you should have received an email to begin the process of revalidating your ORR Certificate for 2017. Those of you who have received your new ORR Cert may have noticed a change in your rating. I realize that any shift in rating causes some concern, so I wanted to be provide some explanation about the change.

For the last 10 years the “scratch boat” (1.000 TOT Factor) for the CYC Mackinac has been the 2006 Static VPP of a Far 40 Fractional Kite One-design. 

This last offseason we agreed to allow ORR to normalize our Mac Time-on-Time (TOT) rating factors to that of the Dynamic (current year) VPP of the Masthead Farr 40 Masthead One-design.  The change was primarily driven by the ORR tech people, but it does have two distinct advantages going forward:

 1. The change in scratch boat brings us in line with the other races and course configurations listed in the TOT table on the ORR Certificate that already use the Farr 40 MH OD  (like Bayview Mac, W/L, Closed Course…etc.).  Thus making it easier for the certificate holder to compare their boat’s predicted performance across different course mixes.

2. Using a “Dynamic” Farr 40 MH OD as a base boat means that as the VPP is tweaked in future years, there will be fewer and less dramatic changes to a boat’s TOT factor from year to year.  In the past, every time the VPP had a wholesale change that affected the entire fleet, it caused many people to mistakenly conclude that their boat’s rating had been advantaged or disadvantaged when compared to the previous year’s certificate.

The change should have been a relative shift in all the ratings of all the boats, and therefore not change your boats relative competitiveness relative to the rest of the fleet.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel to give us, or the US Sailing Offshore Office a call.

Thanks
Don Maxwell
Chairman
109th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


02-Apr-17 - 06:52am
Mackinac Sailors,


The Chicago Yacht Club’s Offshore Fleet is having a Crew Finder Meet, Greet, and Learn on Saturday, April 15th at CYC Monroe. Everyone is welcome, from any club, on any boat, or any body who wants to sail! This casual event is intended to provide owners, crew, and potential crew the chance to gather, talk, exchange contact information, and then stay for a Speed Seminar given by Perry Lewis of North Sails. For more information, or to register for the event, click HERE


Cheers,

Don Maxwell
Chairman
109th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


28-Mar-17 - 06:47am
Mackinac Skippers:

As of this morning, I’m pleased to announce that we have 248 yachts registered for the race!

Per the NOR, April 1st is the “Early Bird” Entry Fee Price Deadline. In order to take advantage of the $2 per foot discount on your entry fee, don’t delay to get your boat entered in the race.

As a reminder to potential One-Design sections, April 1st is also the deadline for your class to request One-Design status. Fleet Captains should send in their request and a copy of your class rules to chiefmeasurer@cycracetomackinac.com


Don Maxwell
Chairman
109th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust


03-Feb-17 - 01:17pm

Mackinac Sailors:

 

The Invitations for the 109th running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac (presented by our good friends at Wintrust) were sent out Wednesday morning, and online entry is now open. 

 

Below are a few tips to help you get started on the entry process, and a note about post race docking. 

 

1.  If you have competed in one of the past four races as the Invited Competitor, you should have received your automatic emailed invitation yesterday.  If not, please check your spam folders.  If you still can’t find the invitation, don’t worry.  Click on the “Competitor Login” link on the homepage of our website.  Your user ID is your last name.  If you do not remember your password, there is a link on the login page to have it sent to your registered email address.

 

2. If you have NOT competed  in one of the past four races as the Invited Competitor but believe you have a valid profile in our system (perhaps you competed in a race as far back as 2002,  or submitted and RFI and was not invited, etc.) you can re-use your old profile to begin a Request For Invitation.  Use the “Competitor Login” link (user ID is your last name) to start the process, and click on “If you would like to begin a Request For Invitation, click here.”  This should save you some work.

 

3.  This year, we anticipate being able to dock only 250 boats on the Island.   As usual we also have docking options in St Ignace and Mackinaw City, for those who prefer to be off-island.  Depending on the number of boats requesting docking on-Island, we may have to assign some boats to St Ignace or Mackinaw City. Your docking preference on the Island is based on the date your entry fee is paid.  Thus, I’d like to encourage you to enter early to have the best chance at getting on the Island.

 

If you have any questions, please give us a call.  We are here to help!

 

Don Maxwell

Chairman 109th RTM

708-790-5400


27-Jan-17 - 05:02pm

Mackinac Sailors:

 

The NOR for and the Mackinac Safety Requirements (MSR) for the 109th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Wintrust, have been posted.  You can find them on the official web page or by the following link.

 

http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/race-documents/

 

Invitations will be sent out, and online entry will be opened on Feb 1. 

 

The MSR has undergone some changes in format this year.  In an effort to make complying with the safety requirements easier and in an attempt to be more consistent with other major races, CYC has decided to merge our MSR with the US Sailing Safety Equipment Requirements (SER). 

 

This year US Sailing revised the SER and in direct comparison to the Mackinac requirements, we determined that they were 95% in agreement.  Upon review, you will notice a change in the numbering system and verbiage compared to last years document, but not in content. 

 

I wish to assure you that there are no additional requirements to this years document, and hope that you find it easier to read.  We have provided a column that lists the requirement numbers from last years document, if you wish to cross reference your equipment.

 

The new document also includes additional sheets of recommendations, resource links, and a safety checklist that we hope you will find useful.

 

To help in preparing skippers and crew, CYC is offering a US Sailing Safety at Sea (SAS) course at our Belmont clubhouse on April 1 & 2.  It is highly recommend that at least 30% of your crew have taken a SAS course within the past 5 years. 

 

In addition, I wish to announce that for the first time in the Mid-west, CYC will be offering the option to take the Two-Day Offshore SAS with Hands on Training.  I have taken this course a couple times now, and will tell you that this is really the course that will prepare you to go offshore.  If you are planning on doing any larger ocean races in the next few years, this is course you will need.  

 

Registration is available for both the One Day SAS and the optional Two Day SAS by clicking on the following link.

 

https://chicagoyachtclubadultprograms.checklick.com/storefronts/chicagoyachtclubadultprograms

 

If you have any questions about the race, or the SAS, please give us a call or email.  We are here to help.

 

Thanks,

 

Don Maxwell 

Race Chairman 109th CYCRTM 

Mobile 708-790-5400

Skype: dleemaxwell

don.maxwell@cycracetomackinac.com


02-Nov-16 - 07:43am
The Mackinac Awards will be this Saturday, November 5th at 6:30 pm at the Chicago Yacht Club's Monroe Station.

If you have not gotten your tickets, there are still some available. Follow the link for online registration, or call the club at 312-861-7777.

Tickets

Thanks you, and looking forward to seeing everyone on Saturday.

Don Maxwell
Chairman
108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust


11-Oct-16 - 10:01am
Dear Invited Competitor:

Each year, we survey all our sailors to get their feedback on the Mac. As we start our planning process for 2017, we take to heart your feedback.

Please take 5 minutes to complete our survey; your responses are anonymous. Please click below to take the survey:

Survey

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback, and we look forward to seeing you at the Mac awards event on November 5, and on the line in July, 2017.

Don Maxwell
Chairman
108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust


05-Oct-16 - 12:45pm
The Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Committee invites you to the 2016 Race to Mackinac Awards Celebration

Dear Skippers, Sailors, Family and Friends of the Mac Race,

You are all cordially invited to attend the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Awards Celebration.

The Award Celebration will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2016, at the Chicago Yacht Club Monroe Station.

Tickets are available by clicking Tickets

You can also call CYC's Front Desk, (312) 861-7777, to make reservations and with any questions.

Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Don Maxwell
Chairman 108th Chicago Mackinac


20-Jul-16 - 03:31pm

Hello Racers!

Below is the Top 10 list of things you’ll want to know about for this week.

1. Crew Information. For on-the-water safety, please make sure your crew information in our system is complete and accurate, including a valid phone number and emergency contact information.

2. Be Social! 

a.  Copy the following and send it to everyone you know!   Race fans and followers, we have an online guide that tells you everything you need to know to join in the fun, all while staying on land.  We love having you be part of our Race!

b.  Details of the Friday Night Racers party, the Sailor Celebration on the Island, and other social events are posted here.

c.  Follow us before, during and after the Race!

d.  Remind your friends and family to wave as you leave Chicago and head to the Island on Saturday.  They can join in the fun on Navy Pier at Michigan Avenue Magazine’s Ashore Thing presented by BMO Harris Bank.

e.  Everyone can follow the boats as they head up the lake through YB Tracking …the links go live on July 21.  For the best experience from an iOS or Android device, download the YB App from the appropriate store. The app is free, and CYC is covering the cost of the race that you need to ‘buy’ within the app.

3. Harken Tech Team Live. For the first time, the Harken Factory Technical Support Team will be on location today thru Friday at Chicago Yacht Club’s Monroe Station before the Race to Mackinac.   You’ve invested a lot to get to the starting line. Doesn’t it make sense to let the Harken Tech Team make a comprehensive, professional inspection of your Harken equipment before you leave for the course?  If repairs are indicated, team members are right there to do world-class maintenance of any indicated equipment issues.  Reserve your inspection now!

4. Mac Gear. Get your Line Honors Mac crew gear today, available at both Chicago and the Island.  Look for the Line Honors tent!

5. #FreshWaterFirst.  Do your part to be a good steward of Lake Michigan.

  • Bring your own water bottle and refill from gallon jugs, or use a water filtration system. 
  • Don’t throw food, such as apple cores, orange peels, etc., overboard. 
  • Use recycle and trash bags onboard; the Mackinac Island staff will recycle for us if you drop off the bags at the trash/recycle drop near the public bathrooms.
  • If you’re staying downtown before the race, use a Divvy bike…there are stations vey near CYC Monroe and CYC Belmont. 
  • More information on green boating can be found here.

6. Getting around Chicago.  We strongly urge you to take public transit, taxis, a car share service such as Uber, or a Divvy bike during race week. There is no parking at the Club during the Race, and there are continual street closures around the City. Allow extra time to get around. See our Chicago Visitor’s Guide for more information.

7. Star Line Ferry.  Take the fast, frequent, fun and friendly Hydro-Jet Ferry service to Mackinac Island!  Star Line is the official Ferry Line for the Chicago Yacht Club.  Purchase discounted tickets online with the promo code “CYCRTM” at MackinacFerry.com

8. The Grand Hotel.  Celebrate the race in a Grand way.  Follow the Race and results at Cawthorne's Village Inn, located downtown, or The Gate House at the bottom of Grand Hill, open for lunch and dinner with outdoor seating.  

9.  Round the Island Race.  Our friends at Mackinac Island Yacht Club are hosting the 9th annual regatta around the Island, on Wednesday, July 27.  First warning 1pm EDT.  Join in the fun!  More information can be found here.

10. Bus Back.  It is not too late to buy tickets to get back from the Mac on our Bus.

For more information about the Race, refer to our previous emails archived on the CYC website at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/news/.

 

Best wishes to all competitors.  Sail fast, sail safe.

Don Maxwell

Chairman

108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust

 

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM. 


20-Jul-16 - 03:19pm

Dear Fellow Invited Competitor:

As we’re all doing our final prep for the 108th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust, there is one additional list to share with your crew, delivery crew and other guests on the Island-- a list of rules regarding conduct during the Race.

The majority of our sailors behave very well and have a good time, in Chicago and on the Island. Unfortunately, we have had occasional problems with people acting inappropriately.

The NOR, Section 6, makes you responsible for the conduct of the entire crew before, during and after the Race while at race-related locations. You are subject to protest or having your invitation for next year withdrawn if you or your crew engages in inappropriate conduct.

1. Both during and after the Race, you will be interacting with our outstanding volunteers and Club staff. Please treat them with respect and courtesy. If you encounter a situation in which our Race Committee members or Club staff members cannot assist you, do not argue with or berate them. Instead, ask to speak with me, our Principal Race Officer, Helle Getz, or any member of the Mac Committee. We will have a zero tolerance policy regarding disrespectful behavior towards any of our race volunteers or CYC staff.

2. Please follow all directions from CYC Dock masters and CYC Staff while docking in Chicago. They are working to arrange safe dockage for everyone who will be docking at our facilities. They need your cooperation, and the cooperation of your crews, to make this happen. Any disrespectful behavior towards our Chicago docking volunteers or staff will be dealt with harshly.

3. If you are docking on Mackinac Island, we will again be using a zone system for docking. It’s designed to get you docked and to the bars and parties as quickly as possible. However, to make it work, you have to follow our plan as every space on the Island is assigned and accounted for. Please cooperate with our docking officials on the Island. Disregarding instruction from our Island docking officials may result in your boat being uninvited in subsequent years, as well as protest.

4. No swimming is allowed in Mackinac Island Harbor. This is for your safety and that of others. There are too many boats moving about, and the risk of stray electrical current is all too real.

5. Michigan law prohibits open containers of alcohol on the public way. If a police officer approaches you or your crew, and asks you to spill out the Mount Gay and tonic that you just purchased, please do so promptly. (Note that this also applies to the grounds outside of the Grand Hotel during the Sailors’ Celebration.)

6. Adjacent to the area of our Sailors’ Celebration are the school grounds; this area is a drug- and alcohol-free zone. We strongly recommend that you stay away from the school grounds during our sailors' party.

7. Please stay on the sidewalks and do not walk in the streets. While streets look pedestrian safe because there are no cars, you can easily be hit by a bicycle or by a horse and carriage.

8. Keep sails and banners away from horses, as they are easily frightened. When drying sails, stay as far away from the streets as possible. A flapping sail or banner can cause a really bad situation.

9. Departure time from all harbors is 1 PM EDT on Wednesday after the Race. You must depart  (be gone by then, not just starting to get ready to go) at or before this time unless you have made prior arrangement with the Harbor Master. Failure to depart the Island on time will result in your invitation for future races being withdrawn. To facilitate departures from the Island, please be considerate of your neighbors in your raft by being at the harbor and available by 0700, as is required in the Sailing Instructions. Talk with each other in advance to make things easier.

Failure to follow these rules can result in disqualification from this Race and not being invited to future Races. Crew members and guests are expected to follow these rules, but ultimately it is the Skipper who is responsible. Don't be that guy or gal who gets your boat uninvited to race next year!

Please help us make the 108th Race a great experience for everyone. We look forward to seeing you on the start line next week!

Don Maxwell

Chairman

108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust

 

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM. 


19-Jul-16 - 09:17pm

To All Sailors,

This year, the 108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac has again joined the race to restore ocean and Great Lake health with Sailors for the Sea’s Clean Regattas Program. Leading up to, during and following this year’s regatta, organizers will be working with Sailors for the Sea to minimize the impact the event will have on our shores and the seas. This will include everything from keeping the site clear of debris and using designated pump-out stations, to reducing reliance on plastic bottles and cups and recycling.

We are off to a great start, but we need your help! As a sailor in this event, your actions will be important as we work to reduce our environmental impact. Your choices will make a difference. Here are a few ways you can help during the race:

  • Sort all recycling and compost to minimize the amount of waste headed to the landfill. A compostable bag will be provided at registration.
  • Clean your boat using water only, or environmentally-safe cleaning products. Common deck soaps contain phosphates and nitrates that can dramatically affect water quality, especially in a closed harbor.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint by walking, bicycling or carpooling to the sailing site everyday.

We invite you to learn more about Sailors for the Sea by visiting http://www.sailorsforthesea.org.

Thank you for helping protect our local waters!

Don Maxwell

Chairman

108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM. 


18-Jul-16 - 09:51pm

Dear Fellow Mac Skippers,

Here are a few last-minute items as you all make your way to Chicago and to the Start Line.

If you don’t currently follow us on social media, please do so now, as we will post the most current news there. 

  • @RaceToMackinac on Twitter and Instagram
  • Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac
  • Tag your own posts #CYCRTM.

1)  Official Notice Board.  See the Official Notice Board for Sailing Instructions, Start Order, and amendments to the NOR.

2) Boarding Pass.  When your online information is 100%, print your ‘boarding pass’ -- your pre-race sign in certificate and waiver.  If you need to change anything after printing, email our race coordinator.

3) Crew changes. After you print your boarding pass, you can still make changes to your crew. Please read the NOR, Section 5.12. In addition to changing your crew in the system, you must also email the race coordinator to notify her. 100% of your crew must be accounted for and accurate; this is a safety issue.

4) Registration.  Please note the hours for registration as published in the NOR, section 5.11.  If you can’t register during the appointed hours, Section 5.11 of the NOR allows you to designate in writing someone else to register for you.

5) Skippers Meetings.  The two skippers meetings held on Friday, July 22, at Monroe Station, at 0900 for the Cruising Fleet and 1700 for the Racing Fleet. At both meetings you will hear important race information and race meteorologist Chris Bedford’s pre-race weather briefing.

6) Weather. Race Meteorologist Chris Bedford will be posting video forecasts on the Mac Facebook page leading up to the race. Chris is also providing more detailed weather information including grib files via his Mac portal.

7) Tracking.Tracking this year will again by through YB Tracking. The graphical tracking site will be launched when registration opens Thursday, and at that time you will be able to ‘buy’ the race in the iOS and Android Apps (at no cost). For those of you who are using racing software such as Expedition, or want the low-bandwidth text data, it will be available at http://cf.yb.tl/links/chicagomack2016 once registration opens. Also, the Scratch Book is now available for download. 

 Please upload a picture of your boat by logging into your competitor account, and take a few minutes to update your boat story.

8) Docking.

Pre-Race:  If docking at any of CYC’s facilities, please read the NOR and SIs carefully. Boats may need to be moved, so at least one crew member who can move the boat must remain on the boat between 0800 and 2000.  And you will need to provide contact information on a CYC hang-tag displayed on the back of your boat.

Post race:  

  • For those docking at St. Ignace Marina or Straits State Harbor, you’ll be using the Touch and Go dock to turn in your finish report and transponder, but remember you have about 10 minutes to stay there.  Star Line ferry information can be found on the CYCRTM website

  • For those docking on the Island, the Zone Map can be viewed in the Scratch Book, second to last page.  At registration you’ll be given your preliminary zone assignment, but these assignments are subject to change. You must follow the directions of the docking crew when arriving, and you may be docked in a completely different location than shown. Please download and read this docking letter to improve your docking experience.

9) Parking and deliveries. There will be no parking at CYC Monroe’s Station during the Race. Paid parking is located in the lots just west of the club in Millennium Park. At Belmont Station, the boaters’ lot is restricted to people with passes. There is a pay lot adjoining the boaters lot.  Please do not ship items for delivery to our front desk; we are not equipped to receive and store items. Look here for a list of local UPS Stores which can accept deliveries.

As always, thanks to our friends at Wintrust and our other great sponsors, Line Honors, Mt. Gay, Grand Hotel, Michigan Avenue Magazine, Sunology, Harken, Star Line and Sam Adams. Without all of their support, it would be hard to put on this race. Please patronize all of them and thank them for their support of the Mac!

See you at registration!

Don Maxwell

Chairman

108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust

 

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM. 


15-Jul-16 - 09:40am
The Sailing Instructions and digital Scratch Book have been posted. They can be located on the Official Race Website

We regret the error in our July 9 email for the link for the Harken Tech Team inspections.  Please see below for the updated link:
If you find you have any questions about your rigging, please know that the Harken Tech Team will be available to help. Harken inspects, repairs, and maintains the fleet at every Volvo Ocean Race stop over around the world. They’re at the dock and on the deck at every TP-52 Super Series event in the Mediterranean. And for the first time, the Harken Factory Technical Support Team will be on location July 20 thru 23 at Chicago Yacht Club’s Monroe Station before the Race to Mackinac.

You’ve invested a lot to get to the starting line. Doesn’t it make sense to let the Harken Tech Team make a comprehensive, professional inspection of your Harken equipment before you leave for the course? If repairs are indicated, team members are right there to do world-class maintenance of any indicated equipment issues. Reserve your inspection now! 

Cheers,

Don Maxwell
Chairman
108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


14-Jul-16 - 10:25am

Coast Guard "Cardinal Points" for 2016 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

The Ninth Coast Guard District wishes you a warm welcome to the 2016 Chicago Yacht Club Race Mackinac. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable voyage. The Mac Committee has provided you with excellent materials on how to be best prepared and we'd like to supplement that with some Coast Guard basics.

IN AN EMERGENCY: If an emergency occurs during the race, such as a person overboard, medical problem, taking on water, or disabling damage from storm, and assistance from the Coast Guard is required, we recommend you contact us via VHF-FM channel 16. You do not need to know what the closest Coast Guard station is -- we will determine that -- simply call "Mayday, mayday, mayday, Coast Guard, this is [vessel name] on channel 16, over." During your initial contact, we ask that you provide the following information:

Location (GPS coordinates and/or geographic reference)

Nature of distress

Number of persons on board

Description of your vessel

If you have an EPIRB or PLB (preferred over SPOT devices) on board, activate that as well because the SARSAT satellite system has global coverage beyond VHF-FM or cellular antenna range. Launching of flares or displaying of other visual signaling devices should also be considered. Use of cellular telephones should be considered a tertiary means of distress alerting.

WHAT TO EXPECT Once the Coast receives your distress call, we can decide what the closest response units are, what capabilities to bring and approximately how long it will take to get to your location. The Coast Guard communications watch stander on the other end of the radio may have additional questions for you to further ascertain your situation. For those accustomed to police or fire units responding within a few minutes in your city, be aware that Coast Guard boats and helicopters may take longer to reach your location because we may have to transit dozens or even hundreds of miles. Do your best to stabilize your situation in the meantime. The Coast Guard can also provide basic first responder medical care from our boats or helicopters, but paramedic-level (and greater) medical support must be provided from land-based resources. Please be aware that we do not have divers with subsurface or SCUBA capability. Our helicopters carry a rescue swimmer who can conduct rescues on or near the surface only. If subsurface rescue may be required, let us know that as soon as possible because SCUBA capability must come from other agencies and can take hours to coordinate and transport.

RESCUE 21 The Coast Guard recently installed the Rescue 21 communications system around the Great Lakes, greatly increasing our reception and transmission capability. For race participants, your procedure for contacting us remains unchanged - see the "Mayday" call guidance in the "In an emergency" paragraph above. For our part, Rescue 21 allows us to rapidly obtain a line of bearing from our radio towers to the location of the VHF-FM caller. This helps us home in on your position more quickly and easily, and also helps us catch hoax callers. Again, you do not need to know where our towers or stations are - call us on VHF-FM channel 16 and we will work with you on a case-by-case basis. In addition, all participating members are required to monitor their VHF-FM radios.

IN CASE OF STORMS If severe storms do occur, it is up to race participants to decide whether to continue their courses or to divert toward cover or safe harbors. The Coast Guard cannot make that decision for you, and we are prohibited from providing specific sailing directions (courses to steer, etc.) to you. The Coast Guard communications watch stander can, however, transmit to you published/charted navigational aids, hazards and information that may be helpful in making your decision.

A WORD ABOUT HYPOTHERMIA Even if air temperatures during the race days are warm and seasonable, be advised that lake temperatures will likely be cold enough in many locations to cause moderate to severe hypothermia within hours. Participants should dress themselves with those water temperatures in mind - and of course, wear their personal flotation device. Hypothermia is an insidious killer that catches unprepared people in the water off guard, so you stack the deck in your favor by wearing a survival suit, dry suit, wet suit or anti-exposure coveralls.

COAST GUARD PATROL COMMANDER The Coast Guard Cutter MOBILE BAY (WLB 214) will be serving as patrol commander during the Chicago Mackinac. In an emergency, however, we recommend you hail us per the "Mayday" procedures above because MOBILE BAY (WLB 214) may not be within radio range of your position.

NINTH COAST GUARD DISTRICT "SAR ETHOS.” The men and women of the Ninth Coast Guard District take our search and rescue (SAR) responsibilities very, very seriously. In fact, our philosophy, or "SAR Ethos" is to treat every potential victim as we would our own family. So know that if you get in trouble out there, we will do our very best. Good luck!


GREAT LAKES SEARCH AND RESCUE LINE - 1-800-321-4400

Joint Rescue Coordination Center Cleveland
Ninth Coast Guard District
1240 E. 9th Street
Cleveland, OH 44199

1-216-902-6117/6118/6109
ninthdistrictcommandcenter@uscg.mil


12-Jul-16 - 06:00am

Mackinac Skippers:

We have a developing situation on Mackinac Island that requires your assistance and cooperation.  As everyone who has been docking on the Island over the past few years has observed, the Arnold and coal docks are deteriorating.  This past winter was especially hard on them.  Portions of the piers that are needed to safely dock our boats, including several large sections of dock and supports beneath them, are under water or altogether missing. 

There will be less docking available on the island this year, despite CYC having purchased sections of Versadock last year to remedy sections of the docks that were under water.  This year, CYC sent up people up multiple times to inspect the condition of all docks and determine what can be done to accommodate as much of our fleet as possible. CYC is working to augment the Versadocks significantly this year; however, this will still not fix the problem, since some sections of the Island piers are completely missing.

Thus, we are looking for volunteers to dock off-Island.  Please read on below for the details. 

The Mackinac race is a unique experience with desirable docking locations on both ends.  Unfortunately, as the organizing authority, we are limited in our ability to control these parts of the race and are constrained by geography and Mother Nature (who would have thought higher water was going to be a bad thing?).

We understand that for many skippers, docking on the Island is a significant part of the regatta experience and we are doing our best to accommodate as many boats as possible.  This year we estimate that even after our best attempts at repairs, we will be losing about 20-25 docking locations.  

We are looking for volunteers to dock at either Straits Harbor in Mackinaw City, or St. Ignace.  For those who have never done this, we do everything we can to make this work well:

  • There is a touch-and-go dock on the Island to discharge crew.
  • CYC covers the cost of docking at the other harbors.
  • Star Line’s regularly scheduled ferry service from the Island to Mackinaw City leaves the Island at 10:30pm EDT on Monday and Tuesday nights, and we have a reduced rate for race participants. 
  • Star Line is running late-night ferries from the Island to St. Ignace, at a reduced rate for race participants: 
    • Monday night, 7/25 11pm EDT, and
    • Tuesday night 7/26 at midnight EDT

If you have the flexibility to dock off-Island we would greatly appreciate your assistance.  If we have an insufficient number of volunteers, we will assign off-Island docking based on the date and time of skippers’ payments of entry fees.

If you are willing to dock off-Island, please send an email to our Race Coordinator.

We’re doing everything we can to accommodate as many boats as possible on the Island.  Thank you for your understanding and assistance in this situation.

Don Maxwell

Chairman

108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

 

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


09-Jul-16 - 10:24am
Dear Racers:

With just two weeks to go, we know you are in the throes of getting things ready for the Race. We thought it would be helpful to give you a heads-up on elements that are currently missing for several boats, or historically are often missed by racers.

Missing Profile information:
Every boat needs to have a fully completed Profile in the online race system to be able to register for the race. There are two items that many boats have yet to complete:

Hull ID numbers: The hull ID is a long number, much like a VIN number on a car. You must include this number in our online system.
MMSI number: This needs to be entered into your DSC-capable, GPS enabled radio, and entered into the race system.

These two pieces of information are recent requirements to the online registration, so are perhaps being overlooked by racers. Now is the time! Your profile isn’t complete until all information is provided.

Crew Changes:
We know it happens….at the last minute, a crew member can’t do the race and the skipper has to find a substitute. Be sure to make the corresponding changes in the online race database. Skippers can do this any time, even at registration if need be.

It is crucial that we know the information for every member of the crew aboard your boat.

Equipment Changes:
The rule of thumb here is if it wasn’t included as part of your ORR certificate process, then don’t use it. However, we understand there may be extenuating circumstances, so there may be exceptions if approval is received PRIOR to the race from the Chief Measurer.

Top Inspection Issues:

As you know, World Sailing and US Sailing have upped the safety requirements for coastal and offshore sailing, and the MSRs need to follow where the sport is going on this subject. The following list are items that people often get tripped up on, and we wouldn’t want anyone to get penalized during a post race inspection.

1) Emergency Steering Method
2) EPIRB - Properly registered
3) Flares - SOLAS
4) VHF - DSC Capable and connected to GPS
5) Storm Sails
6) Functioning engine with fuel - you’d be surprised
7) PFD - Inflatables all need Crotch Straps

We encourage you to have our Safety Inspection Team conduct a pre-race inspection of your boat. And, of course, we will again be conducting post-race inspections on the Island. Please read the CMSRs today and make sure you’ll pass inspection with flying colors, either in Chicago or on the Island.

Harken Tech Team Live:

If you find you have any questions about your rigging, please know that the Harken Tech Team will be available to help. Harken inspects, repairs, and maintains the fleet at every Volvo Ocean Race stop over around the world. They’re at the dock and on the deck at every TP-52 Super Series event in the Mediterranean. And for the first time, the Harken Factory Technical Support Team will be on location July 20 thru 23 at Chicago Yacht Club’s Monroe Station before the Race to Mackinac.
 
You’ve invested a lot to get to the starting line. Doesn’t it make sense to let the Harken Tech Team make a comprehensive, professional inspection of your Harken equipment before you leave for the course? If repairs are indicated, team members are right there to do world-class maintenance of any indicated equipment issues. Reserve your inspection now!
 
Cheers,

Don Maxwell
Chairman
108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


06-Jul-16 - 11:35am
Dear Fellow Invited Competitor:

On behalf of the Chicago Yacht Club and our friends at Wintrust, you as an invited competitor and one guest are cordially invited to attend the Warning Gun Party.

WARNING GUN PARTY
Thursday, July 21, 2013
6:30 pm - 8 pm
Chicago Yacht Club Monroe Station
To view the invitation online, visit: Invitation Link


RSVP by July 14, 2016
312.861.7777 (CYC members may RSVP online)


Enjoy complimentary food and beverages. Space is limited to the first 400 reservations. Business casual. This invitation is non-transferable and limited to the invited competitor and one guest, whose name must be provided when you RSVP.

Please note that parking is not available at the club during Race week. Parking is available at the East Monroe Garage (also called the Millenium Lakeside Garage), accessible from Columbus Drive.

Cheers,

Don Maxwell
Chairman
108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


05-Jul-16 - 11:16am
Dear Fellow Sailor:

Three weeks from now, 330 boats will begin the 108th running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust! Here’s what you need to know today to get ready for this great event. There’s a lot of content here, but we’re trying not to fill up your inbox with many emails, so please read this one carefully.

First, a big thanks goes out to our friends at Wintrust, the presenting sponsor of the 108th CYC Race to Mackinac. Wintrust is a true community bank, and it’s great that they’re supporting one of the most historic events in our Lake Michigan community! Wintrust Link

Schedule of Events: We all know the competition is on the water, but there’s plenty of fun on land both before and after the Race. Visit the Official Race Website for details of all social events.

Join us for the Sailors Party on Friday night after the Skipper’s Meeting at CYC-Monroe and celebrate your team’s finish on Tuesday afternoon on Mackinac Island. The Mac Website has all the details. For other ideas of things to see and do and places to stay and eat on the Island, visit Mackinac Island Link

Ashore Thing: Take a seat in the Chicago Yacht Club grandstands at Navy Pier on Saturday, to watch the parade of boats head to the starting line. Visit the Line Honors and Chicago Yacht Club tents between 10am-2pm with your friends and family. Thanks to our friends at Michigan Avenue Magazine for helping bring this great event to the City of Chicago! Michigan Avenue Magazine Link

Porch Party: For your family and friends on the Island, tickets to the Sunday Porch Party are now available for sale. Visit the Mac website for details and to purchase tickets. Tickets must be bought in advance and will be held at the door. Porch Party Link

The Grand Hotel: Celebrate the race in a Grand way. Follow the race and results at Cawthorne's Village Inn located downtown or The Gate House at the bottom of Grand Hill, open for lunch and dinner with outdoor seating. Grand Hotel Link

Star Line Ferry: Take the only fast, frequent, fun and friendly Hydro-Jet Ferry service to Mackinac Island, the official Ferry Line for the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. Save time and money! Use the #CYCRTM promo code for discounted round trip tickets of $17/adult and $8/child at Star Line Link Additional ferry times may be available on race days, so check their web page for details.

Bus Back: Bus back tickets are available for purchase now. We're offering early and late bus options. Visit Bus Back Link for more details and to make your reservation (required). The final destination for all buses will be Chicago Yacht Club – Monroe Station.

YB Tracking: Follow your racers after the start via YB Tracking (Formerly Yellowbrick). Race tracking will go live on Thursday, July 21, when registration opens. A link to tracking will be on the Mac homepage. On iOS and Android, the best experience is via the YB App. Download it for free from your App Store. On July21, you’ll be able to ‘buy’ the race, but at no cost to you; CYC is covering the cost of this for our racers and families and friends.

Gear: Order your official crew gear in advance from Linehonors. Much of it can be personalized to your boat, but act fast if you want delivery before the Race. Line Honors will be present at both Chicago and the Island selling Mac Gear. Visit Line honors to order.

Race Updates: Check your email inbox weekly for race updates, go to the Official Race Website or follow us on Facebook for more frequent updates.

Be Social! Please share your experience of getting ready for the Mac and racing in this annual classic! Follow us on our social media accounts and share your pictures and stories with your fellow racers, your family and friends, and the world:
a. Instagram @racetomackinac
b. Facebook: Facebook
c. Twitter @racetomackinac
d. YouTube: Link

If your boat or team has a Twitter account, please follow @RaceToMackinac so we can follow you back. If you send us a DM, we will send you a link to a presentation on tips for using Twitter before, during and after the Race. It’s fun and can make the race more exciting for family, friends and the public.

As always, direct any questions you have to Race Coordinator
Cheers,

Don Maxwell
Chairman
108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


03-Jun-16 - 06:08am
Mackinac Skippers,

A quick reminder that the entry deadline is tonight at midnight.

To be registered and avoid any late entry fee of $500, fifty percent (50%) of your crew must have completed their online profile, including their online waiver. In reviewing the entry this morning, there are a large number of boats who have not met this requirement.

I’d like to encourage you to take a minute and review your entry to be sure that you and your crew have met the requirements of the entry deadline (NOR Section 5) Race Documents

Thanks for your help.

Cheers,

Don Maxwell
Chairman
108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


27-May-16 - 09:39am
Mackinac Skippers,

As you know, we have been monitoring the situation at US Sailing regarding the issuing of ORR Certificates. The process is moving forward, and they are issuing certs. However, it is taking some time and we are concerned that all of the certs for Mac skippers may not be available by the entry deadline of June 3, 2016.

Because of this, we are extending the deadline for uploading the ORR Certificate to June 21, 2016. We have posted NOR Amendment #1 on the RTM web page. Race Documents

Please note that this change affects only the ORR Certificate requirement, and that all other requirements of the NOR (entry fee, crew list, tracker application, etc.) still need to be completed by the entry deadline of June 3, 2016.

Cheers,

Don Maxwell
Chairman
108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


24-May-16 - 11:21am
Mac Sailors,

Welcome to the 108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Wintrust! You’ve been added to the crew of one of our 321 entrants in the 2016 edition of our Race. On behalf of all my fellow members of the Chicago Yacht Club, I am very happy you are joining us this summer.

1) Crew Profile:

It is extremely important that you keep your crew profile up to date in our system. Your skipper sent you an invitation to join their crew via email. That information contained login information. Please keep it in a safe place. Log in now to make sure that your crew profile is 100% accurate and 100% complete. This also helps your boat comply with the entry deadline of June 3. In particular, be sure that your emergency contact person is correct and that their contact information is accurate. We take this very seriously; your boat will not be allowed to race if your crew profile is not complete and your emergency contact information isn’t provided. Please also read and accept the terms of the waiver. Again, fully completing this form and accepting the terms of the waiver is required for your boat to race. If you forgot your login, you must contact your skipper. We cannot provide it to you. We do not share or sell your personal information with anyone outside the Chicago Yacht Club without your permission.

2) Race Gear and Apparel:

Our friends at Line Honors are ready to accept your orders for all sorts of official Mac apparel and gear. Virtually all items can be customized with your boat’s name or logo. Visit their Mac page at Line Honors to see what’s available and to place an order.

3) Safety Requirements:

There are some important items of personal safety equipment that will be required for all crew. Please familiarize yourself with the Chicago Mac Safety Regulations (CMSR) for details. The document can be found on the Race to Mackinac web page for by following this Link

4) The Trip Back:

CYC will be running the traditional ‘bus back from the Mac’ on Wednesday after the Race. Stay tuned to the Mac Website and social medial pages for an announcement when those tickets will be available for purchase.

For alternate ideas on getting back from the Island, please see the “Trip Back Guide” on the Mac web page for more information, or follow this Link

5)Social Events:

We will be running all the normal social events both in Chicago and on the Island. Stay tuned to these emails, or follow us on social media to learn more. The events calendar on the Mac Website will be updated as details firm up, so that’s another great place to check.

Cheers,

Don Maxwell
Chairman
108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


24-May-16 - 10:48am
Mackinac Skippers:

A few quick notices to keep you up to date.

1) The Race Entry Deadline is fast approaching. By June 3, you must have completed the steps outlined in Section 5 of the Notice of Race (and particularly paragraphs 5.1 through 5.5) or you will be assessed the late entry fee. Please take five minutes now to review Section 5 of the Notice of Race and log into your competitor page to make sure you’ve completed all necessary steps.

Link to Competitor Page

2) We are continuing to monitor the ORR certification process. US Sailing has told us that the process is up and running, and that they are working through the boats in system. Please be sure to follow up regarding your own certificate, and be sure to have them uploaded to your competitor profile before the entry deadline.

3) Official race gear is now available from Line Honors Yacht Racing Outfitters. Line Honors can also provide custom embroidery with your yacht’s information.

Follow the link to order: Line Honors

Cheers,

Don Maxwell
Chairman
108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


13-May-16 - 09:04pm
Mackinac Skippers:

There has been a situation evolving that may affect those of you who have already applied and received your 2016 ORR Certificates.

The following statement was issues from US Sailing this morning:

“Early this week an issue was discovered regarding the calculation of the component in ORR ratings associated with the drag attributed to propellers.  The problem resulted from two separate factors, the first being attributed to a data conversion error in the process that supplies the measurement inputs to the ORR Velocity Prediction Program (VPP).  Upon correction of the error, a second error was discovered specifically regarding the propeller factors for boats racing with strut or sail drives.  Both of these issues have been resolved and thorough testing has been conducted to ensure all propeller drag factors are correct.
 
Concurrent to the propeller issues, a decision was made to change the reference boat that is used to calculate the Time on Time ratings for the Chicago-Mac race.  The reference boat had been changed for the 2016 season. Upon review of the early certificates it was decided that the change in reference boat created too much confusion for some Chi-Mac racers who could no longer accurately gauge the relative rating change from ORR certificates issued in previous years.  The reference boat used to calculate the Chicago-Mac ratings has now been reverted to the 2015 standard.

As a result of the above factors all 2016 ORR certificates issued before May 13th are being re-issued. All certificates issued before May 13th  are considered invalid and should be discarded.

What this means to CYC Mackinac Skippers:

1. If you have not applied for your 2016 Certificate - On May 9th, US Sailing sent out an email to all boat owners who have had a valid certificate since 2010. Follow the instructions to revalidate your certificated online, and then upload it to your certificate to your CYC Mack entry.

2. If you have already received your 2016 Certificate - All certificates dated before 5/13/16 are invalid. US Sailing will automatically send you a new certificate. You will need to update your CYC Mack entry with your new certificate. If you have two certificates, either by email or from your online profile, be sure to only use the one dated on or after 05/13/16

Thank you for your help in this matter. We are closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates if necessary.

If you have questions about your ORR Certificate, please direct them to the US Sailing Offshore Office at offshore@ussailing.org

If you have questions about your entry for the 2016 CYC Race to Mackinac, please direct them to racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org

Cheers,

Don Maxwell
Chairman
108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac, or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


11-Apr-16 - 04:54pm
Dear Fellow Competitor:

As we gear up for the 108th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust, media interest in the Mac is also building. Many media outlets would like to speak with Mac sailors with interesting stories about the past and about preparations for this year.

If you would be interested in sharing your stories of the Mac with members of the press, please take a few minutes to answer the questions in the attached survey. The answers may be shared with appropriate media. If you are not interested in talking with the media, simply do not answer this survey. The survey should take you five minutes or less.

The survey is located here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2016MacSkipperSurvey

Please respond by May 1, 2016. We value our sailors' privacy, so we never share your contact information without your consent. If you respond, you may be contacted by a representative of the Club staff or our PR firm for media inquiries.

Thank you for taking the time to help us tell the story of this amazing race!

Don Maxwell
Chairman
108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust


31-Mar-16 - 09:57am
Dear Racers,

This is a quick reminder that today is the last day to take advantage of the special Early Bird Pricing. Get your boat registered before midnight tonight and take advantage of the $2 per foot discount!

Cheers,

Don Maxwell
Chairman
108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

P.S. As always, we encourage you to like us on Facebook for the latest information on the race - https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.

21-Mar-16 - 11:02am
Registration Update:

As of this morning, I’m pleased to announce that we have 237 yachts registered for the race!

On April 1st the “Early Bird” Entry Fee Price Deadline. In order to take advantage of the $2 per foot discount on your entry fee, don’t delay to get your boat entered in the race.

As a reminder to potential One-Design sections, April 1st is also the deadline for your class to request One-Design status. Fleet Captains should send in their request and a copy of your class rules to chiefmeasurer@cycracetomackinac.com

Upcoming Events:

First Aid & CPR with Sally Barkow
When: Saturday, March 26 – 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Chicago Yacht Club Belmont Station
Registration: http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/events/event/?eventid=301
Sally Barkow was the primary medic for Team SCA during the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. She will pass on some of the training and real-life experiences from the Race to help you understand emergencies on the water. Chuck is a certified CPR and First Aid instructor and CYC's Keelboat Director. He will certify you under the Red Cross certification.

Navigation & Weather in the 21st Century with Anderson Reggio & Chris Bedford
When: Sunday, April 24 – 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Chicago Yacht Club Belmont Station
Registration: http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/events/navigation--weather-in-the-21st-century/
Anderson was the back-up navigator for Team Alvimedica in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race and is the current navigator for Spookie, the TP52 that is lighting the distance race world on fire. Chris is the Mac's meteorologist and the winner of the last Volvo working with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. The two of them will present on how to use what you already have to forecast weather and what is out there that you can purchase to help you get around the course faster.

US Sailing Safety at Sea with Hands-On Training
When: Saturday, April 30-Sunday, May 1
Where: Jackson Park Yacht Club
Registration: ussailing.org/education/safety-at-sea/find-a-seminar-near-you/
If your crew needs to attend Safety at Sea to meet the recommendations of CMSR 76, refer them to Jackson Park Yacht Club’s two-day course offering. This one day course is presented in a classroom environment and meets U.S. Sailing requirements. A second day with hands-on practice is being offered for those students pursuing World Sailing training (formerly known as ISAF).

Cheers,

Don Maxwell
Chairman
108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


02-Feb-16 - 11:49am
On February 1, the invitations went out for the 2016 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Wintrust. I’m excited to announce that in the first 24 hours we have already seen over 70 boats sign up!

If you have competed in the race in the last four years, but didn’t receive an invitation, please contact our Race Coordinator at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org

If you are considering entering the Mac for the first time, we urge you to submit your request for invitation promptly. There is no cost associated with the request, and this will give our selections team the opportunity to review your proposed entry and provide you feedback as early as possible. See the notice of race on the Mac website for more details.

The Official Race Hat is available for purchase by Skippers and Crew. There is early discounted pricing on the hat of $12.95 for the customized version with you boat name and sail number. By the end of the week, we will also be offering the Official Hat without the customizing for the early discounted pricing of $8 per hat.

A couple of important items to put on your list:

1. Rule 55 - See NOR:

In keeping with the national trend of supporting Clean Regattas and being environmentally friendly, this year we are enforcing Rule 55, “A competitor shall not intentionally put trash in the water”. This run mostly affects boats who band their spinnakers. If you currently use rubber bands or yarn to band your spinnaker, I would suggest contacting your sail maker to discuss alternative options.

2. ORR Rating Certificates:

Skippers should also contact the appropriate rating agency today to get their 2016 ORR or GLMRA ratings certificate. As ORR gains popularity, there are more boats applying and I want to encourage you to apply early!

Cheers,

Don Maxwell
Chairman
108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

For the latest information on the race - like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


15-Jan-16 - 09:47am
Dear Mackinac Sailors:

Despite the cold winter weather, the Mackinac Committee has been hard at work preparing for the 108th running the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, this year presented by our good friends at Wintrust.

The Notice of Race and the Mackinac Safety Regulations will be published today, January 15th, on our website at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/race-documents/. The Invitations to Skippers will be emailed out at the end of the month. If you competed in one of the past four races, you can expect to get one. If your email or contact information has changed, please log in to your account and update.

If you are interested in doing the race for the first time, you need to submit a Request for Invitation. Details on how this process works will be in the NOR.

For many Mid-west sailors, the Chicago Strictly Sail Show at McCormick Place signals the beginning of the sailing season, at least mentally. There are a few items at the show that I would like to bring to your attention.

The Mackinac Committee is putting on two seminars. Please join us for Mac Strategies at 3:30 and What’s new in the Mac at 4:45. Both will be in the South Hall room 101b.

In addition, the Chicago Yacht Club will have their booth at S2100. We will have volunteers at the booth that should be able to help answer some of your questions. More information on the sail show can be found at www.chicagoboatshow.com.

Lastly, the Chicago Yacht Club Pink Pony Party will be Saturday at the Belmont Station. The Pony will be making its annual appearance from the Island.

For additional updates, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Don Maxwell
Chairman

Chairman
108th CYCRTM


01-Oct-15 - 01:31pm
Dear Fellow Mac Sailors:

It’s that time of the year; the sailing season is approaching its end and the gales of the fall are starting to blow in Chicago. As we have done for ten years or more, those of us in the Mac community will be gathering the first Saturday in November to celebrate the winners of this summer’s Mac and to share stories and memories of yet another great race. Whether you won or not, it is a great party and should not be missed.

Tickets are now available for sale. I look forward to seeing you November 7.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust



Please join us for the 2015 Mac Awards Celebration on November 7

The Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Committee invites you to the 2015 Race to Mackinac Awards Celebration on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at CYC’s Monroe Station. Please join us to toast the teams, trophies and traditions of the 107th Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust.

Open House: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Awards Presentation: 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Après Party: 8:30 p.m. onward

Heavy appetizers and cocktails

Dance and mingle

On behalf of Chicago Yacht Club and the Race to Mackinac Organizing Committee, we look forward to celebrating your successes in the 2015 Race to Mackinac. If you are a part of our annual sailing race in any way, come share your stories as this is an event you won’t want to miss.

To make a reservation, click here http://tinyurl.com/2015RTMAwards or call 312-861-7777. A list of frequently asked questions is below.

Please note: Tickets are limited. Please do not miss the opportunity to attend this event; make your reservation today. 72-hour notice required for cancellations.




2015 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Awards Celebration Frequently Asked Questions

When and where is the event?

Saturday, November 7, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Monroe Station. The club is located at 400 E. Monroe Chicago, IL 60603 (Monroe Street and Lake Shore Drive).

Where do I park?

The Club will offer discounted parking vouchers (available at the front desk) for guests in the Lakeside Garage across the street from Monroe Station. Enter on Columbus Drive between Monroe and Randolph streets.

Can I invite my crew and other guests?

Absolutely. But please, no children under 12. We encourage you to make reservations as soon as possible as space will be limited.

Will there be a sit-down dinner?

While there will be tables, the evening is more of an open house. Food will be served in a station buffet with ample beverages of your choice. This format allows guests to walk around and take photos with trophies and friends. The presentation will be held from the stage with professional photographers, and winners will have their own area for photos with their plaques and burgees. The event will culminate in an after party with music.

How do I make reservations?

The best way is online, via http://tinyurl.com/2015RTMAwards. Alternatively you may call the Chicago Yacht Club front desk at 312-861-7777. CYC members may use their member charge. All other guests must pay with a Visa or MasterCard via PayPal.

What is the reservation deadline?

The early rate of $65 is good through October 16. From October 17 through November 4, tickets will be $85. If available, tickets at the door will be $100 per person. Remember that tickets are sold first-come, first-served. Tickets are limited and the event will sell out, so please act quickly to buy your tickets.

Can I pay for my crew?

Yes, we recommend streamlining your RSVPs through one person to make sure you don't miss anyone.

What is the dress code?

This is a semi-formal event. Most men wear a jacket and tie, and most women prefer a dress or other appropriate outfit.

I have special dietary needs. Can I be accommodated?

There will be ample selections, including a variety of options for vegetarians.

Is there an open bar?

You will have some drink tickets included in the overall ticket. Additional drink tickets will be available for purchase.

I placed in this year's race. Will I receive a trophy at this event?

If you are an invited competitor who placed in the race, trophies are available for your team. Your skipper should place the order by October 10 by emailing Don Glasell at dongla1520@sbcglobal.net.

I didn't place in this year's race. Can I still attend?

Yes, we would love to have you join us!

What about the trophy hug?

If you are a trophy winner, you will receive a separate email with details about "The Hug" in a week or so.

I'm traveling from out of town. Where should I stay?

If you are a current member of US Sailing, please access their website and sign in to access member discounts with Hilton Hotels. There are a number of discounted options within walking distance of CYC - Monroe Station.


01-Oct-15 - 11:40am
Dear Fellow Mac Sailors:

It’s that time of the year; the sailing season is approaching its end and the gales of the fall are starting to blow in Chicago. As we have done for ten years or more, those of us in the Mac community will be gathering the first Saturday in November to celebrate the winners of this summer’s Mac and to share stories and memories of yet another great race. Whether you won or not, it is a great party and should not be missed.

Tickets are now available for sale. I look forward to seeing you November 7.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust



Please join us for the 2015 Mac Awards Celebration on November 7

The Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Committee invites you to the 2015 Race to Mackinac Awards Celebration on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at CYC’s Monroe Station. Please join us to toast the teams, trophies and traditions of the 107th Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust.

Open House: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Awards Presentation: 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Après Party: 8:30 p.m. onward

Heavy appetizers and cocktails

Dance and mingle

On behalf of Chicago Yacht Club and the Race to Mackinac Organizing Committee, we look forward to celebrating your successes in the 2015 Race to Mackinac. If you are a part of our annual sailing race in any way, come share your stories as this is an event you won’t want to miss.

To make a reservation, click here http://tinyurl.com/2015RTMAwards or call 312-861-7777. A list of frequently asked questions is below.

Please note: Tickets are limited. Please do not miss the opportunity to attend this event; make your reservation today. 72-hour notice required for cancellations.




2015 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Awards Celebration Frequently Asked Questions

When and where is the event?

Saturday, November 7, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Monroe Station. The club is located at 400 E. Monroe Chicago, IL 60603 (Monroe Street and Lake Shore Drive).

Where do I park?

The Club will offer discounted parking vouchers (available at the front desk) for guests in the Lakeside Garage across the street from Monroe Station. Enter on Columbus Drive between Monroe and Randolph streets.

Can I invite my crew and other guests?

Absolutely. But please, no children under 12. We encourage you to make reservations as soon as possible as space will be limited.

Will there be a sit-down dinner?

While there will be tables, the evening is more of an open house. Food will be served in a station buffet with ample beverages of your choice. This format allows guests to walk around and take photos with trophies and friends. The presentation will be held from the stage with professional photographers, and winners will have their own area for photos with their plaques and burgees. The event will culminate in an after party with music.

How do I make reservations?

The best way is online, via http://tinyurl.com/2015RTMAwards. Alternatively you may call the Chicago Yacht Club front desk at 312-861-7777. CYC members may use their member charge. All other guests must pay with a Visa or MasterCard via PayPal.

What is the reservation deadline?

The early rate of $65 is good through October 16. From October 17 through November 4, tickets will be $85. If available, tickets at the door will be $100 per person. Remember that tickets are sold first-come, first-served. Tickets are limited and the event will sell out, so please act quickly to buy your tickets.

Can I pay for my crew?

Yes, we recommend streamlining your RSVPs through one person to make sure you don't miss anyone.

What is the dress code?

This is a semi-formal event. Most men wear a jacket and tie, and most women prefer a dress or other appropriate outfit.

I have special dietary needs. Can I be accommodated?

There will be ample selections, including a variety of options for vegetarians.

Is there an open bar?

You will have some drink tickets included in the overall ticket. Additional drink tickets will be available for purchase.

I placed in this year's race. Will I receive a trophy at this event?

If you are an invited competitor who placed in the race, trophies are available for your team. Your skipper should place the order by October 10 by emailing Don Glasell at dongla1520@sbcglobal.net.

I didn't place in this year's race. Can I still attend?

Yes, we would love to have you join us!

What about the trophy hug?

If you are a trophy winner, you will receive a separate email with details about "The Hug" in a week or so.

I'm traveling from out of town. Where should I stay?

If you are a current member of US Sailing, please access their website and sign in to access member discounts with Hilton Hotels. There are a number of discounted options within walking distance of CYC - Monroe Station.


09-Sep-15 - 02:23pm
Dear Fellow Mac Sailor:

Each year, we survey all our sailors to get their feedback on the Mac. As we start our planning process for 2016, we take to heart your feedback.

Please take 10 minutes to complete our survey; your responses are anonymous. The survey closes on September 18, 2015. Please click here to take the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2015MacCrewSurvey

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback, and we look forward to seeing you at the Mac awards event on November 7, and on the line in July, 2016!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust

PS Please note that if you were an invited competitor, you received a separate survey on the entry process, ratings rule, and other matters relevant to the skipper. Please be sure to answer both surveys.


09-Sep-15 - 08:51am
Dear Fellow Mac Sailor:

Although we’ve been blessed with some warm weather over the past few weeks, the inevitable signs of fall are starting to appear. As always, we will be holding our Mac awards celebration the first Saturday in November, so please put on your calendar:

107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac
Awards Celebration
November 7, 2015
Chicago Yacht Club Monroe Station

As in past years, this will be a chance for the winners to celebrate, but regardless of whether you won a trophy or not, it is a great opportunity to celebrate the 2015 Mac and to look forward to next year’s race with your fellow competitors. It will be a great evening of fun, food, drinks and friends.

Tickets will be available for purchase soon via the Mac website, www.cycracetomackinac.com, and the event will sell out. I will send you an additional email with the link to make reservations when that is ready.

As always, reach out with any questions you may have.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust


11-Aug-15 - 01:53pm
Mac Racers:

There’s still time to submit your photos and two minute videos to the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Media Contest! Entries will be published on the Chicago Yacht Club website, and winners will receive a piece of $750 worth of prizes.

Categories:
- Best Overall Photo
- Best Sunrise/Sunset Photo
- Best Funny Photo
- Best Photo of Your Own Boat
- Best Photo of Someone Else's Boat
- Best Teamwork Photo
- New for 2015: Best Video Under Two Minutes

Requirements: High resolution, boat name, sail number, section number, contact name, contact phone, contact email. Videos can be sent using a file transfer, Dropbox, Google Drive or URL.

Submit to: cycintern@chicagoyachtclub.org

Deadline: Monday, August 24 9 a.m.

Thanks!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust


08-Jul-15 - 01:49pm
Coast Guard "Cardinal Points" for 2015 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

The Ninth Coast Guard District wishes you a warm welcome to the 2015 Chicago Yacht Club Race Mackinac and Super Mac. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable voyage. The Mac Committee has provided you with excellent materials on how to be best prepared and we'd like to supplement that with some Coast Guard basics.

IN AN EMERGENCY. If an emergency occurs during the race, such as a person overboard, medical problem, taking on water, or disabling damage from storm, and assistance from the Coast Guard is required, we recommend you contact us via VHF-FM channel 16. You do not need to know what the closest Coast Guard station is -- we will determine that -- simply call "Mayday, mayday, mayday, Coast Guard, this is [vessel name] on channel 16, over." During your initial contact, we ask that you provide the following information:

• Location (GPS coordinates and/or geographic reference),

• Nature of distress,

• Number of persons on board and

• Description of your vessel.

If you have an EPIRB or PLB (preferred over SPOT devices) on board, activate that as well because the SARSAT satellite system has global coverage beyond VHF-FM or cellular antenna range. Launching of flares or displaying of other visual signaling devices should also be considered. Use of cellular telephones should be considered a tertiary means of distress alerting.

WHAT TO EXPECT. Once the Coast receives your distress call, we can decide what the closest response units are, what capabilities to bring and approximately how long it will take to get to your location. The Coast Guard communications watch stander on the other end of the radio may have additional questions for you to further ascertain your situation. For those accustomed to police or fire units responding within a few minutes in your city, be aware that Coast Guard boats and helicopters may take longer to reach your location because we may have to transit dozens or even hundreds of miles. Do your best to stabilize your situation in the meantime. The Coast Guard can also provide basic first responder medical care from our boats or helicopters, but paramedic-level (and greater) medical support must be provided from land-based resources. Please be aware that we do not have divers with subsurface or SCUBA capability. Our helicopters carry a rescue swimmer who can conduct rescues on or near the surface only. If subsurface rescue may be required, let us know that as soon as possible because SCUBA capability must come from other agencies and can take hours to coordinate and transport.

RESCUE 21. The Coast Guard recently installed the Rescue 21 communications system around the Great Lakes, greatly increasing our reception and transmission capability. For race participants, your procedure for contacting us remains unchanged - see the "Mayday" call guidance in the "In an emergency" paragraph above. For our part, Rescue 21 allows us to rapidly obtain a line of bearing from our radio towers to the location of the VHF-FM caller. This helps us home in on your position more quickly and easily, and also helps us catch hoax callers. Again, you do not need to know where our towers or stations are - call us on VHF-FM channel 16 and we will work with you on a case-by-case basis. In addition, all participating members are required to monitor their VHF-FM radios.

IN CASE OF STORMS. If severe storms do occur, it is up to race participants to decide whether to continue their courses or to divert toward cover or safe harbors. The Coast Guard cannot make that decision for you, and we are prohibited from providing specific sailing directions (courses to steer, etc.) to you. The Coast Guard communications watch stander can, however, transmit to you published/charted navigational aids, hazards and information that may be helpful in making your decision.

A WORD ABOUT HYPOTHERMIA. Even if air temperatures during the race days are warm and seasonable, be advised that lake temperatures will likely be cold enough in many locations to cause moderate to severe hypothermia within hours. Participants should dress themselves with those water temperatures in mind - and of course, wear their personal flotation device. Hypothermia is an insidious killer that catches unprepared people in the water off guard, so you stack the deck in your favor by wearing a survival suit, dry suit, wet suit or anti-exposure coveralls.

COAST GUARD PATROL COMMANDER. The Coast Guard Cutter HOLLYHOCK (WLB 214) will be serving as patrol commander during the Chicago Mackinac. In an emergency, however, we recommend you hail us per the "Mayday" procedures above because HOLLYHOCK (WLB 214) may not be within radio range of your position.

NINTH COAST GUARD DISTRICT "SAR ETHOS." The men and women of the Ninth Coast Guard District take our search and rescue (SAR) responsibilities very, very seriously. In fact, our philosophy, or "SAR Ethos" is to treat every potential victim as we would our own family. So know that if you get in trouble out there, we will do our very best. Good luck!


GREAT LAKES SEARCH AND RESCUE LINE - 1-800-321-4400.

Joint Rescue Coordination Center Cleveland
Ninth Coast Guard District
1240 E. 9th Street
Cleveland, OH 44199

1-216-902-6117/6118/6109
ninthdistrictcommandcenter@uscg.mil


08-Jul-15 - 06:24am
Dear Fellow Sailor:

Here’s the final piece in our Mac Weather Series. Mark Thornton, the author of these pieces, is also providing daily weather forecasts here during the race: http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/CYC/CYCForecast.html

Race Meteorologist Chris Bedford has been posting video forecasts on the Mac Facebook page leading up to the race. The first was posted yesterday, and the second early this morning. Follow the Mac on Facebook for more video updates (you do NOT need to create a Facebook account to view these videos). https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac. Chris is also providing a lot of weather information including GRIBS via his Mac portal at http://www.sailwx.com/chimac.html

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust


Safety Thursday – Weather Resources, Part 2

By Mark Thornton - LakeErieWX

Introduction
This Safety Thursday article, the second in a two part series, focuses on the challenges of monitoring weather conditions on the racecourse. A companion webpage containing hyperlinks to the resources presented in this and the previous article can be found here: http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/RaceToMackinac/CYCWeatherResources.html.

Monitoring the evolution of weather patterns and reviewing updated forecast data after the race has started can help you adjust your strategy based upon whether an off-shore or in-shore route holds the best chance for a steady breeze. In addition to aiding your strategic goals, checking the weather regularly and remaining apprised of National Weather Service watches and warnings will spare you from being surprised by thunderstorms, a relatively common occurrence across the Great Lakes during July.

ACCESS TO DATA

Introduction
There is no shortage of weather data on the Internet. The sheer volume of data, combined with the ease of access, may contribute to a case of ‘data overload’ in the days preceding the Mac. However, once you are on the racecourse and your trusty Wi-Fi connection is no longer available, you will likely find yourself quickly transitioning from ‘data overload’ to ‘data deprivation’. There are technological solutions to address your data deprivation, but each possesses its own set of problems.

VHF Radios
VHF radios are a reliable and relatively inexpensive method of obtaining basic weather information. Modern marine VHF radios contain a “WX” button used to select the seven channels (WX1 to WX7) dedicated to receiving weather observations and forecasts.

Through its NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) program, the National Weather Service (NWS) continuously transmits NWS general and marine forecasts, regional weather observations, and severe weather watches and warnings in the VHF range. The NWR transmissions are automatically rendered from typed text to audio and, unless interrupted by warnings of severe weather, cycle repeatedly through information of interest to mariners and non-mariners, these include:

• Synoptic Overview – a description of the large-scale weather pattern affecting the region where the NWR transmitter is located.
• General Forecast – a non-marine forecast for the next four days divided into 12-hour periods.
• General Observations – local and regional meteorological observations such as barometric pressure, temperature, wind speed, wind direction, etc.
• Near Shore Marine Forecast – a forecast for waters within five nautical miles from shore.
• Extended Forecast – a general forecast for the next five to seven days.
• Marine Observations – wind and wave observations from nearby buoys and waterfront stations.
• Climate Summary – a review of the local and regional climate data, such as high and low temperatures, total precipitation, etc.

Because this information is presented in a continuous loop, you may have to listen to the broadcast for several minutes or more until it returns to the marine-related portion of the program. I find that it is helpful to take notes as you listen to the forecast.

Several NWR transmitters, each operating on an assigned frequency so as not to interfere with nearby stations, serve the waters of Lake Michigan. The range of each transmitter is approximately 25 miles, however, this range may be diminished by the height or placement of the antennae, operational integrity of the station’s equipment, or weather conditions. The distance at which you are able to receive a NWR broadcast is also dependent upon the equipment onboard your vessel. The height and quality of your antenna and condition of the coaxial cable and ancillary fittings connecting it to your fixed VHF radio all influence the quality of your reception. Handheld VHF radios have a much shorter effective range than fixed units.

There are six NWS offices with County Warning Areas (CWA) covering a portion of Lake Michigan -- -- Chicago, IL; Syracuse, IN; Milwaukee, WI; Green Bay, WI; Grand Rapids, MI; and Gaylord, MI. Each NWS office is responsible for preparing the weather information that is broadcast by the NWRs located in their CWA. The marine observations and forecasts you hear on your VHF radio are specifically prepared for the portion of Lake Michigan falling within the NWS’s warning area.

Since the NWR system broadcasts weather information for a specific portion of the Lake, and the operational limit of the transmission is approximately 25 miles, you will need to select the WX channel associated with the NWR transmitter closest to your location. This is particularly important if a severe thunderstorm prompts the issuance of a watch or warning for a portion of the Lake. A map showing the location and associated WX channel of the NWR transmitters serving Lake Michigan can be found here: http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/RaceToMackinac/NWR%20Locations.jpg, while a map showing the marine zones for each NWS office is located here: http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/RaceToMackinac/NWSMarineZones.html.

Cellular Internet
Although your VHF radio is a reliable source of weather information, it does not provide the ability to access Doppler radar or the wide array of weather forecast graphics discussed in my previous Safety Thursday article. Accessing the Internet or creating a Wi-Fi hotspot using a cellular connection, provides access to the weather resources and Doppler radar, but cellular access more than 10 miles offshore is typically unreliable. It is possible to improve cellular reception by installing an external antennae and signal booster; however this technology only improves an existing signal and therefore provides limited value in areas where shore-based cellular access is spotty – such as northern Michigan.

Cellular Internet should not be your primary source of weather information. However, when it is available, Internet access provides the ability to view Doppler radar imagery – a particularly useful resource if severe thunderstorms are expected to impact the racecourse.

Satellite Weather Data
Accessing weather information via XM satellite offers many advantages over VHF and cellular, but at a relatively high cost. A typical XM setup requires a satellite antennae, receiver, a display device (such as laptop or chartplotter), and a monthly subscription from a provider of meteorological data. The cost of the antennae, receiver and software typically exceeds $1,000, and data subscriptions can reach $50 per month.

If cost isn’t a barrier, satellite technology avoids the broadcast range limitations of both VHF and cellular Internet and assures reliable, consistent access to weather data – including Doppler radar -- regardless of your location on Lake Michigan. You’ll be limited to the products and resources offered by your data provider, but this limitation is more than outweighed by reliable access.

MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS

Barometers
An accurate barometer, particularly a digital version, is a relatively-inexpensive, low-tech method of monitoring large-scale weather patterns and the potential for severe weather. Typically, falling barometric pressure, particularly rapidly-falling barometric pressure, announces the approach of a squall line or cluster of thunderstorms. Your on-board barometer may provide your first clue that the atmosphere is brewing some excitement.

National Weather Service Terminology
The National Weather Service uses a variety of terms to simplify the forecast process and warn the public about the potential for hazardous weather. Misunderstanding this terminology may lead to poor decision-making that places you and your crew at increased risk during inclement weather. Several terms of interest to the marine community are presented below:

• Near Shore Marine Forecast: Issued for the Great Lakes from the shoreline out to five nautical miles.
• Offshore Marine Forecast: A marine forecast for waters beyond five nautical miles from shore.
• Small Craft Advisory: There is no precise definition of a small craft. Thresholds governing the issuance of small craft advisories are specific to geographic areas. Any vessel that may be adversely affected by Small Craft Advisory criteria should be considered a small craft. Sustained winds or frequent gusts (on the Great Lakes) between 22 and 33 knots inclusive, and/or seas or waves greater than 4 feet may prompt the issuance of a Small Craft Advisory
• Watch: A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location, and/or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so that those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.
• Warning: A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or other event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property.
• Marine Weather Statement: A National Weather Service product that provides mariners with details on significant or potentially hazardous conditions not otherwise covered in existing marine warnings and forecasts. Marine weather statements are also used to supplement special marine warnings.
• Special Marine Warning: A warning product issued for potentially hazardous weather conditions usually of short duration (up to 2 hours) producing sustained marine thunderstorm winds or associated gusts of 34 knots or greater; and/or hail 3/4 inch or more in diameter; and/or waterspouts. Also used for short duration small-scale events such as a strong cold front, gravity wave, squall line, etc., lasting less than 2 hours and producing winds or gusts of 34 knots or greater.
• Severe Thunderstorm: A thunderstorm that produces a tornado, winds of at least 58 mph (50 knots), and/or hail at least 1" in diameter. A thunderstorm wind equal to or greater than 40 mph (35 knots) and/or hail of at least 1" is defined as approaching severe status.
• High Wind Warning: Issued when high winds may pose a hazard or are life threatening. The criteria vary from state to state. In Michigan, the criteria is sustained non-convective (not related to thunderstorms) winds greater than or equal to 40 mph lasting for one hour or longer, or winds greater than or equal to 58 mph for any duration.
• Gale Warning: A warning of sustained surface winds, or frequent gusts, in the range of 34 knots (39 mph) to 47 knots (54 mph) inclusive, either predicted or occurring, and not directly associated with a tropical cyclone.
• Storm Warning: A warning of sustained surface winds, or frequent gusts, in the range of 48 knots (55 mph) to 63 knots (73 mph) inclusive, either predicted or occurring, and not directly associated with a tropical cyclone.

Doppler Weather Radar
There is no better tool for tracking the development and movement of thunderstorms than Doppler radar from the NWS. The NWS maintains the only nationwide network of radar stations and freely shares its raw data and imagery with the public. The stations are strategically located to ensure that all areas are served and to allow overlap in the event that a station fails. There are six NWS stations collecting data over Lake Michigan: Chicago, IL; Syracuse, IN; Grand Rapids, MI; Milwaukee, WI; Green Bay, WI; and Gaylord, MI (a map of these stations may be found here).

A few important facts about radar imagery:

• You will need a reliable cellular or satellite connection to view NWS radar data.
• Radar imagery can be viewed on each NWS office’s webpage, or through a third-party application purchased for your smartphone.
• Radar imagery is NOT live. The process of scanning the atmosphere and organizing the data typically takes four to six minutes. A fast-moving thunderstorm or squall line can easily cover ten miles or more between image updates. A rapidly developing thunderstorm may strengthen dramatically between image updates. Most radar applications will display the time of the image to allow you to determine how ‘stale’ the data is. If you are using radar to monitor the approach of threatening weather, keep in mind it may be much closer and much different than it appears on the outdated image.
• The quality of a radar signal degrades as distance from the site increases. When you are monitoring approaching storms, select the radar site closest to the storms in question rather the site closest to your location (click here for a map of the NWS radar sites).

CONCLUSION
With the 107th Mac just around the corner, I would like to wish you a safe and speedy trip to the Island.
I would also like to thank the CYC Mac Committee for the opportunity to contribute to the Safety Thursday series.

About the Author
Mark Thornton began sailing on Lake Erie in 1994 and he currently owns Osprey, a 1985 C&C 35. His interest in weather forecasting grew from his experiences racing and cruising on the lake. In addition to sailing and weather forecasting, Mark maintains a website devoted to Great Lakes meteorology (www.LakeErieWX.com) and enjoys publishing summaries of interesting Great Lake weather events and teaching basic weather forecasting skills to sailors.

Questions regarding this article are encouraged and should be directed to LakeErieWX@gmail.com.

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


07-Jul-15 - 10:42pm
Fellow Mac Skippers:

Here are a few last-minute items as you all make your way to Chicago and to the Start Line. There is a lot of important information in here, so please read carefully.

If you don’t currently follow us on social media, please do so now. @RaceToMackinac on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac. Tag your own posts #CYCRTM. We will post the most current news there.

1) Boarding Pass. You may now print your ‘boarding pass’ - your pre-race sign in certificate and waiver. Do not print this until all other information is 100% accurate and complete, as once you print it, you will be locked out from making any further changes. If you need to change anything after printing, email our race coordinator.

2) Crew changes. After you print your boarding pass, you can still make changes to your crew. Please read the Notice of Race carefully on this. In addition to changing your crew in the system, you must also email the race coordinator to notify her. 100% of your crew must be accounted for and accurate; this is a safety issue. If we discover any discrepancy in your list versus who sails, we will take that very seriously and it could jeopardize your results in 2015 and the likelihood of being invited back in the future. Please see NOR Section 5.12.

3) Hats and Race Gear. If you have ordered 2015 Race to Mackinac hats, they will be available at the Line Honors tent during race registration at the Chicago Yacht Club, Monroe Station. Please have an ID or signed authorization to pick-up the hats. Line Honors will also be selling Mac gear and safety apparel in their tent at Monroe - please check them out!

4) Registration. Registration hours in Chicago have been published in the NOR Section 5.11 since January 2015. Please take note of them and make sure you are there before registration closes. Every year, we have a few competitors who seem to have a hard time making it during our published hours. Section 5.11 of the NOR provides a solution to this problem for you - designating in writing someone else to register for you. Please read it now and take advantage of it so you don’t have to rely on the kindness of our volunteers to stay late past registration hours, as there’s no guarantee they can or will do this.

5) Weather. Race Meteorologist Chris Bedford will this year be posting video forecasts on the Mac Facebook page leading up to the race. The first was posted this morning. Follow the Mac on Facebook for more video updates. https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac. Chris is also providing a lot of weather information including GRIBS via his Mac portal at http://www.sailwx.com/chimac.html. Additionally, our friends at PredictWind will be providing a complimentary subscription to the boats that finish in the middle of their sections so they can improve in 2016! http://www.predictwind.com.

6) YB Tracking. The graphical tracking site will be launched when registration opens Thursday, and at that time you will be able to ‘buy’ the race in the iOS and Android Apps (at no cost). For those of you who want the low-bandwidth text data, it will be available at http://cf.yb.tl/links/chicagomack2015 once registration opens. Please share this with your navigator. Please also note that the Smart Scratch Sheet is now available for download at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/ChiMac15_Smart_Scratchsheet_7.7.2015.xls

7) Parking and getting around. There will be no parking at CYC Monroe’s Station during the Race. Paid parking is located in the lots just west of the club in Millennium Park. Likewise, at Belmont Station, the boaters’ lot is restricted to people with passes. There is a pay lot adjoining the boaters lot. Please do not ship items for delivery to our front desk, as we are not equipped to receive and store items for you or your crew. A list of local UPS Stores which can accept deliveries for you is at http://www.theupsstore.com/Pages/locations.aspx. Finally, please consider using public transportation, taxis, Uber, or our bike share service, Divvy (http://www.divvybikes.com), to get around Chicago. You will be much happier if you do.

8) Boat stuff. West Marine’s Rigging Truck will be onsite to help you get prepared with everything you need to win on the water! Orders placed through the Rigging Truck will receive complimentary delivery to the event site.  To place an order please call (312) 255-1464 choose option 3 and tell Associate you’re a MAC Racer.

9) Docking. If docking at any of CYC’s facilities, please read the NOR and SIs carefully. In particular, NOR section 13.5 reads “The Dockmaster may direct boats to move periodically. At least one crew member must remain on the boat between 0800 and 2000. This crew member must be capable of moving the boat if necessary. Additionally, CYCMC will provide each boat with a ‘contact tag’ that shall be competed and displayed on the boat’s stern pulpit. The tag shall contain accurate contact information for the boat’s skipper and/or crew.” Preliminary docking locations on the Island can be viewed at http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/mackharbor/index.cfm, but these assignments are subject to change. You must follow the directions of the docking crew when arriving, and you may be docked in a completely different location than shown. Please download and read this docking letter to improve your docking experience. http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/Docking_letter_to_skippers_2015.pdf

As always, thanks to our friends at Wintrust and our other great sponsors, Veuve Clicquot, Mt. Gay, Line Honors, BMO Harris, Inmarsat, Michigan Avenue Magazine, Sam Adams, The Grand Hotel, Sunology and Star Line Ferry. Without all of their support, it would be hard to put on this race. Please patronize all of them and thank them for their support of the Mac!

See you at registration!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman, 107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust


07-Jul-15 - 01:29pm
Last week, we published a “Safety Thursday” on the climatology of Lake Michigan. Like all Safety Thursdays, these are available on the “Safety” tab under “The Race” on the Mac website.

Today and tomorrow, we will publish two more weather-related articles by Mark Thornton.

Additionally, Race Meteorologist Chris Bedford will this year be posting video forecasts on the Mac Facebook page leading up to the race. The first was posted this morning. Follow the Mac on Facebook for more video updates. https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac. Chris is also providing a lot of weather information including GRIBS via his Mac portal at http://www.sailwx.com/chimac.html

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust



Safety Thursday - Weather Resources, Part 1

By Mark Thornton - LakeErieWX

Introduction

Sailing and weather are intrinsically linked. Experienced Mac sailors understand that developing a pre-race weather forecast and monitoring its evolution on the racecourse is an important strategic and safety aspect of participating in the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac. Misjudging the wind forecast can quickly send you to the back of your fleet, while failing to properly assess the risk for severe weather can unnecessarily jeopardize the safety of the crew.

This Safety Thursday article is the first of a two-part series and focuses on helpful resources for developing your pre-race forecast. The second article will discuss the more challenging task of monitoring weather developments after the starting gun. A companion webpage containing hyperlinks to the resources presented in these articles can be found here: http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/RaceToMackinac/CYCWeatherResources.html

The Big Picture

Large-Scale Dynamics

Your Mac forecast should begin with an understanding of the large-scale weather features. Is a low pressure system expected to transit Lake Michigan during the race? If so, when is the warm and/or cold front and accompanying wind shift expected to arrive? Is the system expected to produce strong winds, large waves, or thunderstorms? Or, will the Mac be dominated by the fluky, thermally-driven lake and land breezes associated with a high pressure system?

NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center (WPC) (http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov) produces a variety of products that focus on predicting the development and evolution of large-scale weather features. The WPC’s surface forecasts are divided into short-term and long-term periods with the short-term period covering the first 2 ½ days of the forecast period (in 12-hour intervals) and the long-term period covering days three through seven in 24-hour intervals. By carefully reviewing the forecasts in chronological order, you can determine how large-scale weather features will affect the racecourse, and then use the data to chart the fastest course to Mackinac.

Graphics published by the WPC contain a variety of unique symbols and meteorological shorthand to show the anticipated position of high pressure systems, low pressure systems and their accompanying frontal boundaries, and additional features such as ridges, troughs and squall lines. Sailors who are unfamiliar with this meteorological shorthand are encouraged to review the legend published by the WPC (http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/html/fntcodes2.shtml).

WPC products, along with the majority of weather forecasting materials available on the Internet, are based on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) sometimes called Zulu Time (Z). Converting from GMT (or Z) to Central Time during the summer is straightforward – simply subtract five hours from GMT/Z. Below is the legend for a 24-hour surface forecast which provides an opportunity to review the GMT/Z conversion process and other nomenclature used to describe the graphics.

The first line contains the acronyms for the various NOAA entities that contributed to the preparation of the forecast. The second and third lines describe the parameters that are included in the forecast product. The term Issued in the fourth line provides the time and date the graphic was published.

Precipitation

The WPC also issues Quantitative Precipitation Forecast Graphics (QPF) (http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/qpf/qpf2.shtml) which show the amount of liquid precipitation anticipated across the country. This product covers the first three days of the forecast period in 24-hour increments, and combines days four through five and six through seven into two separate 48-hour forecasts.

Thunderstorms

Storm Prediction Center

Thunderstorms, and the associated hazards of downburst winds, lightning, and locally higher wave heights, are a relatively common occurrence across the Great Lakes during the summer. Forecasting the location, timing and type of severe weather that is expected to develop across the United States is one of meteorology’s most challenging tasks – a task assigned to the staff of NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma.

Note: It is important to understand that the NWS defines a severe thunderstorm as one that produces 1” diameter hail, a wind gust of at least 58 mph, or a tornado. Although frequent lightning is an obvious hazard to sailors, it is not a factor in meeting the threshold of a severe thunderstorm.

SPC Convective Outlooks

Each day, the SPC issues Convective Outlooks for days 1, 2, and 3, and a combined Outlook for days 4 through 8 (http://www.spc.ncep.noaa.gov). The Outlooks contain a graphic that identifies the areas of the country where organized storm development is expected, along with a narrative describing the details of the risk.

The Convective Outlooks present the risk by category – Slight, Moderate and High – based upon the statistical probability of severe weather occurring within 25 miles of any given point in the highlighted area. A description of the risk categories used by the SPC can be found on its FAQ page. Because the risk of severe weather affecting a specific location on any given day is very small, even a Slight risk deserves a sailor’s respect, as it represents a significant increase in the potential for severe weather. It should be noted that even thunderstorms that fail to meet the NWS’s severe threshold often present a significant risk to mariners in the form of strong winds and frequent lightning.

Although SPC Convective Outlooks are an excellent resource for identifying the areas at risk for severe weather and displaying the geographic progression of the risk over time, they are written for meteorologists and therefore tend to be rather technical in nature.

In addition to the traditional Convective Outlooks, the SPC also publishes Thunderstorm Outlooks (http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/exper/enhtstm/) which identify the regions at risk for any strength of thunderstorms and the probability of development. In contrast to the one-day period covered by Convective Outlooks, each Thunderstorm Outlook only cover a 4-hour period.

Hazardous Weather Outlook

In contrast to the Convective and Thunderstorm Outlooks from the SPC, Hazardous Weather Outlooks (HWO) are issued in text form by each local office of the National Weather Service (NWS) and describe the risk of severe weather for the general public. HWOs are issued each day and address the overall probability, geographic coverage, storm type (single cell storms, squall line, etc.), and timing of severe weather for the current day along with a combined summary of days 2 through 7.

While SPC Convective and Thunderstorm Outlooks cover the entire United States, Hazardous Weather Outlooks focus exclusively on the County Warning Area (CWA) assigned to each NWS office. There are six NWS offices with CWAs that cover a portion of Lake Michigan -- Chicago, IL; Syracuse, IN; Milwaukee, WI; Green Bay, WI; Grand Rapids, MI; and Gaylord, MI. In order to assess the risk of severe weather where you intend to sail, you must consult the HWO of the NWS office which has responsibility for that area of the lake.

MARINE FORECASTS

Text Forecasts
The Chicago NWS office is responsible for issuing off-shore (beyond 5 nautical miles) marine forecasts for all of Lake Michigan. Several times each day, NWS Chicago publishes a text version of the marine forecast which begins with a synopsis of the current weather pattern and a forecast covering the next several days. This synopsis is followed by a forecast of wind and wave conditions covering a five-day period. Because conditions often vary dramatically across the expanse of Lake Michigan, the text wind and wave forecast focuses on pre-determined regions that allow mariners to quickly obtain the forecast for their area.


Graphic Forecast Products from the NWS

The NWS offices surrounding the Great Lakes cooperatively maintain an excellent website devoted to marine weather forecasting (http://www.crh.noaa.gov/greatlakes/). While the home page provides forecasts for the entire Great Lakes basin, the data for an individual lake can be accessed by clicking the appropriate hyperlink along the left-hand column of the home page. The graphics, which are designed for the recreational community, are easy to interpret and don’t require a conversion from GMT to local time.

The forecasts extend for 4 ½ days in three-hour increments for the following meteorological parameters:

• Wave Height: in feet and shown using color-shading and values at selected stations.
• Wave Period: the time interval between each wave presented in seconds using color-shading and numerical values at selected stations.
• Wind Speed & Direction: in knots, using standard wind barbs, color-shading and numerical values at selected stations.
• Wind Gust: in knots, using color-shading and values at selected stations.
• Weather: color-shading is used to indicate if precipitation is expected during the three-hour period covered by the graphic. In addition, a short text code is provided at selected stations to describe the type of weather that is expected. For example, the appearance of a “T” in the code indicates that thunderstorms are forecast for the 3-hour period.
• Surface Water Temperature: in degrees Fahrenheit, presented using color-shading and values at selected stations.

Other Graphic Marine Forecast Products

Gridded Binary files (GRIBs) pack a lot of information into a small file size and are a convenient method of obtaining marine forecasts. Chris Bedford, of Sailing Weather Services, provides low resolution GRIB files free to Chicago-Mac participants (see link above) or higher resolution files on a subscription basis. Routing software, such as Expedition, while relatively expensive, integrate navigation, yacht performance and weather data into a single race-management interface.

There are many sources of computer model wind and wave forecasting resources on the Internet. While offering the advantages of higher resolution and shorter time intervals, these products require conversion from GMT to local time and are published without modification by a meteorologist. Several of these products are available on the Chicago-Mac Resource page.


CONCLUSION

A Plan For The Mac

Now is the perfect time to investigate and get comfortable with the resources presented in this article and on the Mac resource webpage (http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/RaceToMackinac/CYCWeatherResources.html). There is no better way to learn a new skill than practicing. I encourage you to prepare a trial forecast for the upcoming weekend. In addition to analyzing the graphics and making the necessary GMT conversions, these practice forecasts will allow you to witness how high and low pressure systems evolve and how the speed and direction of the wind changes in response.

The accuracy of weather forecasts diminishes as the forecast period increases. For example, a forecast valid in 48 hours is typically more accurate than one valid in 7 days. For this reason, beginning the preparation of your official Mac forecast more than a week before the start isn’t recommended.

I typically start a daily review of the WPC surface forecasts and SPC Convective Outlooks a week before an event and will often save the graphics in a folder to compare to later forecasts. This allows me to track the movement of the large scale weather systems across the country and gauge the changes in the forecast from day to day. I typically begin a daily analysis of the wind and wave forecasts on Monday or Tuesday for a weekend event.

The final forecast should be based upon the most current forecast data available and is usually prepared the morning of the event. If you have been analyzing the forecast for the preceding week and using the data to steadily hone in on your strategy, the creation of your final forecast shouldn’t be too time-consuming. And hopefully it won’t reveal any surprises.

Looking Ahead
Managing the forecast and keeping tabs on rapidly deteriorating conditions becomes far more difficult once you are offshore. In part two of this series, we’ll investigate the resources available after the starting gun has sounded.

About the Author
Mark Thornton began sailing on Lake Erie in 1994 and he currently owns Osprey, a 1985 C&C 35. His interest in weather forecasting grew from his experiences racing and cruising on the lake. In addition to sailing and weather forecasting, Mark maintains a website devoted to Great Lakes meteorology (www.LakeErieWX.com) and enjoys publishing summaries of interesting Great Lake weather events and teaching basic weather forecasting skills to sailors.

Questions regarding this article are encouraged and should be directed to LakeErieWX@gmail.com.


Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


05-Jul-15 - 10:18pm
Dear Fellow Mac Sailor:

I hope you all had a great Independence Day! This week, we’ll all be doing our last-minute prep work and gathering in Chicago, getting ready for the 107th Mac. Here are a few last-minute items as you all make your way to Chicago and to the Start Line.

Crew Information

Please make sure your crew information in our system is complete and accurate, including a valid phone number and valid emergency contact information. It is extremely important that we have accurate contact and emergency information in the unlikely event of an emergency. We take this seriously; your boat can be penalized if crew information is not accurate. Help yourself and your crew by making sure it’s complete. All fields must be completed (other than emergency notes) or your skipper will not be able to check in at registration in Chicago.

Clean Regatta

We are working with the the non-profit organization Sailors for the Sea, to become a recognized Clean Regatta.  The Sailors for the Sea has established a checklist of sustainable practices for regatta organizers and participants.  More information on the checklist can be found at http://sailorsforthesea.org/sites/default/files/2015_CR_Checklist.pdf. Take a look at the checklist; there are many ways you, as a sailor in the race, help our sustainability efforts. For example, every boat will be provided a plastic bag to collect recyclable materials.  On Mackinac Island there will be recycling bins for that material.  Please use them so the recyclable items do not end up in a landfill.  We will also have drinking water stations in Chicago and on the Island.  Please bring reusable water bottles and use them instead of single-use plastic water bottles.  If you are staying downtown before the race, you might even consider renting a Divvy bike to get to the Yacht Club instead of a cab. One of the largest Divvy bike stations is located right in front of CYC’s Monroe Station, and another is convenient to CYC’s Belmont Station. Of course there are many other common sense actions that you can take to help us preserve our wonderful Lake Michigan for future generations.

Star Line Ferry

Take the only fast, frequent, fun and friendly Hydro-Jet Ferry service to Mackinac Island, the official Ferry Line for the Chicago Yacht Club. Save Time and Money! Purchase discounted tickets online with the promo code “CYCRTM” at MackinacFerry.com

Social activities

Details of the Friday Night Racers party, the Sailor Celebration on the Island, and other social events in Chicago and on the Island, are posted at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/events/. Check it out. New this year is the relocated Tuesday Sailor Celebration. We heard your feedback and moved the party from the Tea Garden at the Grand down hill a bit to a new venue. The new location should provide better airflow and a great view of the straits and the Bridge.

Fan’s Guide

We have put together a Fan’s Guide to following the Mac which you can share with friends and family. Send them to http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/fans-guide/. We urge all of you, your friends and family to follow us on social media for the latest information. Encourage them as well to go to Ashore Thing: http://www.upshiftcreative.com/ashorething/.

YB Tracking

We are once again working with YB Tracking (formerly Yellowbrick) to track the race. The link will go live on the Mac website when registration opens on Thursday July 9. For the best experience from an iOS or Android device, download the Yellowbrick App from the appropriate store. The app is free, and CYC is covering the cost of the race that you need to ‘buy’ within the app. The Mac will be available on July 9 from within the app.

Social Media

If you don’t currently follow us on social media, please do so now. @RaceToMackinac on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac. Tag your own posts #CYCRTM. If your boat has a twitter feed or Facebook page, please email a link to communications@chicagoyachtclub.org. so we can follow you. If you are on Twitter, send us a DM @RaceToMackinac and we’ll respond with a ‘how to’ powerpoint written by a fellow Mac sailor and communications expert on how to maximize use of Twitter during the Race.

Bus Back

It is not too late to buy tickets back from the Mac on our Bus. Visit http://tinyurl.com/qxf2uh4 right away.

Mount Gay

The Mount Gay Rum Punch is the original drink of summer. Look for recipes at in-store displays for our Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum One-Two Punch and Mount Gay Eclipse Rum Kill Devil’s Punch.

Getting around Chicago

We strongly urge you to take public transit, taxis, a car share service such as Uber, or a Divvy bike as you go to and from Monroe Station and Belmont Station during race week. There is no parking at the Club during the Race, and there are continual street closures around the City. Allow extra time to get around. See our Chicago Visitor’s Guide for more information at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/shore-events/visitors-guide/.

That’s it for now. Previous emails to crew are archived on the Website at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/news/. We encourage you to read through those which may answer other questions you have. Otherwise, we encourage you to direct questions to your skipper.

See you in Chicago in a couple of days!


Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust


05-Jul-15 - 10:02pm
Dear Fellow Invited Competitor:

This week, many of you will be finalizing the readying of your boats: going over your final checklists, safety regulations, and food and drink lists, and otherwise preparing your boats and crews for the 107th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust.

I would ask you to review one additional list with your crew, delivery crews, and other guests on the Island -- a list of rules regarding conduct during the Race. The overwhelming majority of our sailors behave very well and have a good time, in Chicago and on the Island. Unfortunately, we have had occasional problems with crew members or delivery crew acting inappropriately. Inappropriate conduct on the part of you or your crew will cause difficulties for you as Invited Competitors.

You as invited competitor are responsible for the conduct of your crew in Chicago, on the water, and on the Island. The Notice of Race, Section 6, makes you responsible for the conduct of the entire crew before, during and after the Race while at race-related locations. You are subject to protest or having your invitation for next year withdrawn if you or your crew engage in inappropriate conduct.

We are guests on Mackinac Island for a few days each summer. Many of the people you interact with on the Island call it home. Please treat them respectfully, as you would like to be treated in your own hometown. We want to be welcome back! To avoid any issues, please keep the following rules in mind:

1. Both during and after the Race, you will be interacting with our outstanding volunteers and Club staff. They are terrific people who will be giving a lot of their time over the next couple of weeks to make this a great experience for all. Please treat them with respect and courtesy. If you encounter a situation in which our Race Committee members or Club staff members cannot assist you, please do not argue with or berate them. Instead, ask to speak with me, personally, or our Principal Race Officer, Helle Getz, my vice Chair, Sarah Renz, or any member of the Mac Committee. We will have a zero tolerance policy regarding disrespectful behavior towards any of our volunteers or CYC staff.

2. Please follow all directions from CYC Dock masters and CYC Staff while docking in Chicago. They are working to arrange safe dockage for everyone who will be docking at our facilities. They need your cooperation, and the cooperation of your crews, to make this happen. Our zero tolerance policy will apply here as well. Any disrespectful behavior towards our volunteers or staff will be dealt with harshly.

3. This year we will again be using a zone system for docking on Mackinac Island. This system places similar boats together. It’s designed to get you docked and to the bars and parties as quickly as possible. However, to make it work, you have to follow our plan and not everyone can get a slip, even if it’s empty at the moment. Every space on the Island is assigned and accounted for. Please cooperate with our docking officials on the Island. I have asked our docking officials to report any failure to cooperate or any inappropriate behavior directly to me; disregarding instruction may result in your boat being uninvited in subsequent years as well as protest.

4. No swimming is allowed in Mackinac Island Harbor. This is for your safety and that of others. There are too many boats moving about, and the risk of stray electrical current is all too real.

5. Michigan law prohibits open containers of alcohol on the public way. If a police officer approaches you or your crew, and asks you to spill out the Mount Gay and tonic that you just purchased, please do so promptly. (Note that this also applies to the grounds outside of the Grand Hotel during our sailors' party.)

6. The school, which is adjacent to the Grand Hotel, is a drug and alcohol free zone. We strongly recommend that you stay away from this area during our sailors' party.

7. Please do not walk in the streets. While they may look pedestrian safe because there are no cars, you can easily be hit by a bicycle or by a horse and carriage. Stay on the sidewalks.

8. Keep sails and other banners away from horses, as they are easily frightened. When drying sails, stay as far away from the streets as possible. A flapping sail or banner can cause a really bad situation.

9. Departure time from all harbors is 1 PM EDT on Wednesday after the Race. Please make sure that you depart at or before this time unless you have made prior arrangement with the Harbor Master. Your boat must be gone by then, not just starting to get ready to go. I will be present to enforce this deadline. Failure to depart on time will result in your invitation for future races being withdrawn. Remember that rafts start breaking up much earlier in the day. Please be considerate of your neighbors in your raft by being at the harbor and available by 0700, as is required in the Sailing Instructions. Talk with each other in advance to make things easier.

Failure to follow these rules can result in disqualification from this Race and not being invited to future Races. Crew members and guests are expected to follow these rules, but ultimately it is the Skipper who is responsible. Don't be that guy or gal who gets your boat uninvited to race next year!

Please help us make the 107th Race a great experience for everyone. We look forward to seeing you on the start line next week!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust


01-Jul-15 - 10:21pm
Dear Fellow Mac Skippers:

Next week, we’ll be gathering in Chicago for the start of the 107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust. Here’s what you need to know now.

Official Notice Board

Please be sure to monitor the official notice board and the race documents page of the Mac website for important information. The official notice board is here. http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/2015-official-notice-board/. We have published the Sailing Instructions, the Start Order, and several amendments to the NOR, so please take the time to review these carefully.

Pre-Race Docking in Chicago

Please see section 13 of the NOR if you wish to dock at the Chicago Yacht Club’s facilities in Chicago before the Race. Section 13.2 describes how to request docking in Chicago. Docking is complimentary for those boats not already moored in the Chicago Harbor system, subject to the limitations set out in the NOR. All boats will be subject to rafting. If you want a guaranteed slip, we suggest you promptly contact the Chicago Harbor System so you can make a transient reservation at one of their harbors, at your expense. See http://www.chicagoharbors.info.

Post-Race Docking

Our docking team is doing what it can to accommodate everyone’s requested docking preference for after the race.Varying types of boats entered and natural factors such as water levels cause docking plans to vary from year to year, so remember that you may be in a different location than in 2014 or prior years. We ask everyone to be patient as we try to fit 250 boats into a harbor designed for 60. We expect all skippers and crew to strictly and pleasantly follow all docking instructions given to them by our excellent team of volunteers who manage docking. Anyone who does not comply with their requests will be asked to dock at St. Ignace or Straits Harbor and will jeopardize their chances of participating in future races. I have asked that any lack of cooperation be immediately reported to me. Please also be sure to bring sufficient dock lines, spring lines and fenders with you to raft up to 10 deep. Please carefully read section 17 of the Sailing Instructions today. If you want to switch your preference to Straits Harbor or St. Ignace, we are happy to accommodate; just reach out to the race coordinator.

Crew Lists and Waivers

Take five minutes now to log into your competitor profile to confirm that your crew list is complete and that all crew have completed their forms and waivers. You will not be able to check in during registration in Chicago if your crew list is not complete. To enter your crew list, after logging in as a competitor, visit ‘Enter or Update your crew list’ Make sure all of your crew has been invited. Remember, you must invite yourself as well! You are both an invited competitor and a crew member. For each crew member who is not marked as ‘complete,’ click on “email crew for update” button to automatically send them an email to complete the process. Having Issues? First watch the video tutorial on completing your crew waivers that we put together last year. The procedure is the same this year. Visit http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/reminder-new-crew-waiver-procedures/ All crew must have all fields filled in (including position on the boat) other than emergency notes. They must accept the terms of the waiver. Any minors must send in the minor waiver as instructed. Do this now to save grief next week.

Boarding Pass

You will need to print out your ‘boarding pass’ (also known as the Pre-Race Sign In Certificate and Waiver) and bring it with you to check in in Chicago. This will be available for printing on July 3. You cannot print it until you have completed all steps in Section 5 of the NOR, so please take 5 minutes to review the NOR requirements in Section 5 to see that your entry is complete. Everything on your competitor homepage should be green. If anything is red, it is incomplete and needs your attention. Please note that once you print your boarding pass, you may no longer make any changes to your entry or crew list without contacting our race coordinator. Please note that once you print your boarding pass, you may no longer make any changes to your entry or crew list without contacting our race coordinator. Printers will be available at Monroe Station during registration if you need to print your pass then, but we urge you to do so at home to avoid lines. Contact our Race Coordinator with any questions.

West Marine
Come check out the West Marine Rigging Trailer at the CYC Monroe Station Parking Lot. Be sure to visit our NEW, larger Chicago Flagship location which has a team of knowledgeable Associates ready to serve you. Find a store near you or shop online 24/7 at WestMarine.com -- as always, take advantage of FREE shipping to your local store. West Marine -- For Your Life on the Water!

Boat Picture and Story

Please upload a picture of your boat by logging into your competitor account. These are used in YB Tracking when people track your boat. Please also take a few minutes to update your boat story.’ Click on ‘update your information. Tell us what’s special about your boat, about your crew, and about your Mac experiences. We’ll use this information during the Parade of Boats and elsewhere. Please update before July 6.

Social Events

Please note that the Tuesday party has changed venues. It’s just a little down the hill towards town from where it has been for the past few years. Porch Party tickets are now available for purchase on the Mac Website for your shore crew, and tickets for the bus back to Chicago are also available. Please visit the Mac website for more detail.

Skippers Meetings

We strongly encourage you to attend one of the two skippers meetings held on Friday, July 19, at Monroe Station. The early one is at 0900 and the late one at 1700. Important information about the Race will be presented at both meetings, and race meteorologist Chris Bedford will be presenting a pre-race weather briefing at both meetings. I hope you and your watch captains will attend one of the meetings. We will also attempt to post video of the meetings on our YouTube and Facebook feeds after the meetings are over (an hour or two later). See the Mac website for links to those feeds.

Thanks everyone! As always, reach out if you have any questions.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust


29-Jun-15 - 04:06pm
Dear Fellow Mac Skipper:

Amendment Number 2 to the Mac Notice of Race has been published on the Mac website. Please look for it under “Race Documents.” It modifies paragraph 14.1 of the original NOR. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with it and all of the Race Documents.

http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/race-documents/


Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust


29-Jun-15 - 03:50pm
Dear Fellow Mac Competitor:

With just two weeks to go, many boats are undergoing their pre-race inspections, and of course post-race inspections will be conducted once again on the Island.

Our inspection teams have been doing these races for years, so we wanted to take a few minutes to help you out by pointing out the Top 5 mistakes they see in both pre-race and post-race inspections. Of course, you need to read and fully comply with the entire applicable Chicago Mac Safety Regulations (CMSRs), but reading this email may help you avoid making the same mistakes that many others have in the past.We’d be thrilled if 100% of the fleet passed both pre- and post-race inspections!

Top Five Inspection Issues

1) Flares. A good number of competitors do not have SOLAS-grade flares. In particular, the handheld flares are an issue. The 4 parachute flares and the 4 hand held flares must all conform to SOLAS requirements. Look for the words “SOLAS grade” or “SOLAS approved” on the box or in the product name. The inexpensive USCG-compliant flares do not meet the Mac requirements. See CMSR 65.

2) Radios. This year, we are requiring that the ships 25W radio be DSC capable, be connected to a GPS, and have an MMSI number properly registered and programmed. We have seen many boats that have the correct radio and have it hooked up to the GPS, but who have not properly programmed or registered their radio with an MMSI number. See CMSR 36.

3) Storm Jib. Each boat must carry a separate storm jib suitable for the boat. Many boats do not. See CMSR 68 for the details. This must be a separate sail; you cannot roll up your roller-furling jib and claim it is a storm sail.

4) Reflective Sailboard. See the requirements of CMSR 39. These must be strictly followed. Remember, our finish line is over a mile long, and the Race Committee needs to be able to see your numbers at night, from far away. Please make sure your sailboard strictly complies with the requirements of this so we can finish you accurately.

5) Engines. We had a disturbing number of boats finish at the Island without a functioning auxiliary engine. The CMSRs require you to have a functioning engine (CMSR 33) with sufficient fuel (CMSR 35) and that it be in good working order at the finish (CMSR 3). Boats without functioning engines are subject to protest. Additionally, we cannot provide towing services to competitors at the Island. Commercial towing services may be available in these circumstances via hail on Ch. 16 or prior arrangement.

….and a bonus:

6) Crotch or Thigh Straps. 2015 is the first year we’ve had this requirement, and it’s an easy one to overlook. Read the requirements of CMSR 70 (subparagraph 3). These straps must be fitted and attached at all times. If your PFD doesn’t have them, act now to get them retrofitted. Don’t let down your whole crew when the post-race inspection comes. Make sure your personal equipment is compliant (CMSR 70-74).

Help us help you get to the line without difficulty; at the other end, help us help you get to the Pony! Please read the CMSRs today and make sure you’ll pass inspection with flying colors, either in Chicago or on the Island. http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/race-documents/.

Thanks.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust


26-Jun-15 - 10:34am
Dear Fellow Mac Sailor:

As we gear up for the 107th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, media interest in the Mac is also building. Many media outlets would like to speak with Mac sailors with interesting stories about the past and about preparations for this year.

If you would be interested in sharing your stories of the Mac with members of the press, please take a few minutes to answer the questions in the attached survey. The answers may be shared with appropriate media. If you are not interested in talking with the media, simply do not answer this survey.  The survey should take you five minutes or less.

The survey is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9KQVD3Z

Thank you for taking the time to help us tell the story of this amazing race!

Please respond by 6 p.m. July 1, 2015.  We value our sailors' privacy, so we never share your contact information without your consent.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust


25-Jun-15 - 10:02pm
Safety Thursday - The Weather of Lake Michigan

By Mark Thornton - LakeErieWX

Introduction

Sailing and weather are intrinsically linked. Experienced Mac sailors understand that developing a pre- race weather forecast and monitoring its evolution on the racecourse is an important strategic and safety aspect of participating in the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac. Misjudging the wind forecast can quickly send you to the back of your fleet, while failing to properly assess the risk for severe weather can unnecessarily jeopardize the safety of the crew.

This Safety Thursday article is the first of a two-part series and focuses on the climatology of Lake Michigan and typical conditions for the middle of July. This is a great way to start thinking about the forecast and your weather strategy.

Since this article is so graphics-heavy, rather than replicating it here, please go to http://www.lakeeriewx.com/CaseStudies/CYCMacClimatology/CYCMacClimatology.html. The full text of the article along with all graphics are available there.

Next Week’s Article will cover more practicalities of developing a forecast and monitoring conditions during the race.

About the Author
Mark Thornton began sailing on Lake Erie in 1994 and he currently owns Osprey, a 1985 C&C 35. His interest in weather forecasting grew from his experiences racing and cruising on the lake. In addition to sailing and weather forecasting, Mark maintains a website devoted to Great Lakes meteorology (www.LakeErieWX.com) and enjoys publishing summaries of interesting Great Lake weather events and teaching basic weather forecasting skills to sailors.

Questions regarding this article are encouraged and should be directed to LakeErieWX@gmail.com.

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


25-Jun-15 - 12:26pm
Dear Fellow Mac Skippers:

We’re all deep in the swing of Mac preparation, but don’t forget the other big event of the Chicago sailing season - the Verve Cup Offshore, August 7-9, 2015.

Early registration ends on July 10, but we’d advise you to register now so you don’t forget during the hubbub of Mac Week.

Information on the regatta and the notice of race is here: http://tinyurl.com/pngql78

Register today! I’ll see you on the line in August.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust


25-Jun-15 - 10:30am
Dear Fellow Mac Sailor:

Many of you race with us every year, and thus are familiar with our Safety Thursday series. For those of you new to the race, this is a weekly email focused on offshore racing safety. We all want to have fast and fun races, but a safe race is the most important thing of all.

Rather than repeating the emails we’ve sent out the past few years and flooding your inboxes, we want to direct you to the Mac website, where all the Safety Thursday articles from the past few years are archived. Visit http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/safety/. It’s worth looking back on those as a refresher before the Race.

Over the remaining Thursdays until the race, we will be sending articles focused on the greatest risk to offshore sailors - weather. Understanding the weather can help you be safe, and it can help you win. We urge you to read and share these articles with your crew.

Later today, you’ll receive the first of our weather series.


Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust


22-Jun-15 - 11:38am
Skippers:

If you have not yet RSVPed to the Warning Gun Party (Thursday July 9), please do so right away. Later today, the event will open up to all CYC members. It is first-come, first-served and it sells out quickly.

Thanks.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust


21-Jun-15 - 03:25pm
Dear Fellow Sailor:

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Three weeks from now, the first finishers will be arriving at the island in the 107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust! Here’s what you need to know today to get ready for this great event. There’s a lot of content here, but we’re trying not to fill up your inbox with many emails, so please read this one carefully.

Crew Profiles. Please check to be sure that your crew profile is complete, that all required information has been provided, and that you have accepted the terms of the waiver. If your crew profile isn’t complete, your skipper cannot register in Chicago. If you’ve lost your login info, please contact your skipper; only he or she can send it to you. If you have fellow crew members who aren’t receiving this email, it’s because the skipper hasn’t added them to the crew yet or used a bad email address. Please help your boat and your fellow crew – make sure everyone on the crew has a completed crew profile. Skippers - remember you, too, have your own crew profile!

Chicago Mac Safety Regulations. Your skipper has probably been working his or her way through the Chicago Mac Safety Regulations. Have you read them? Have you verified that your personal equipment meets the CMSR standards? If your boat is inspected, you can hurt your entire team if your equipment doesn’t meet the requirements of the CMSRs. They’re available for download under Race Documents at the Mac Website, www.cycracetomackinac.com. Pay particular attention to CMSR 70-74. Please note that there is a change to the PFD requirement this year - we now require crotch straps or thigh straps to be fitted and attached at all times. http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/race-documents/

Gear. Its not too late to order crew gear from our friends at Line Honors. Much of it can be personalized to your boat, but act fast if you want delivery before the Race. Deadline for personalized gear order is June 26. Line Honors will be present at both Chicago and the Island selling a wide variety of great gear with the Mac logo on it. Visit http://www.linehonors.com/club-event-gear/chicago-yacht-club/official-race-to-mackinac-gear/.

Bus Back. Bus back tickets are available for purchase now. We're offering early and late bus options. Visit http://tinyurl.com/qxf2uh4 for more details and to make your reservation (required) for a specific bus.

Social Media. Please share your experience of getting ready for the Mac and racing in this annual classic! Follow us on our social media accounts and share your pictures and stories with your fellow racers, your family and friends, and the world:

a. Instagram @racetomackinac
b. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac
c. Twitter @racetomackinac
d. Flickr https://www.flickr.com/groups/cycracetomackinac/
e. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkTI9HQ-DQY

If your boat or team has a Twitter account, please follow @RaceToMackinac so we can follow you back. If you send us a DM, we will send you a link to a presentation on tips for using Twitter before, during and after the Race. It’s fun and can make the race more exciting for family, friends and the public.

The Grand Hotel. Celebrate the race in a grand way. Follow the race and results at Cawthorne's Village Inn located downtown or The Gate House at the bottom of Grand Hill, open for lunch and dinner with outdoor seating. See you on Mackinac, Chicago Yacht Club!

Social Events for Competitors. We all know the competition is on the water, but there’s plenty of fun on land both before and after the Race. Visit the Mac website for details of all social events – www.cycracetomackinac.com. Once again, the party of the season will be held at CYC’s Monroe Station on Friday night before the Race. Don’t miss it. On the Island, we’ll again be celebrating another great race on Tuesday, July 14, in a new location - Woodfill Park, near the Grand Hotel and overlooking the Mackinac Bridge. The Mac Website has all the details. For other ideas of things to see and do and places to stay and eat on the Island, visit http://www.mackinacisland.org.

Ashore Thing. Saturday, while you parade past the end of Navy Pier in the parade of boats, your friends and family can enjoy a fun day at Ashore Thing - http://www.upshiftcreative.com/ashorething/. It’s a fun event for adults and kids, and it’s a great way for your family and friends to send you off. Thanks to our friends at Michigan Avenue Magazine for helping bring this great event to the City of Chicago!

Porch Party. For your family and friends on the Island, tickets to the Sunday Porch Party are now available for sale. Visit the Mac website for details and to purchase tickets. Tickets must be bought in advance and will be held at the door. http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/shore-events/porch-party/

Tracking. Again this year, we are happy to announce that your friends and family can track you in the Mac via YB Tracking (Formerly Yellowbrick). Race tracking will go live on Thursday, July 9, when registration opens. A link to tracking will be on the Mac homepage (last year’s race is still up if you want to relive it). On iOS and Android, the best experience is via the YB App. Download it for free from your App Store. On July 9, you’ll be able to ‘buy’ the race, but at no cost to you; CYC is covering the cost of this for our racers and families and friends.

Wintrust A big thanks goes out to our friends at Wintrust, the presenting sponsor of the 107th CYC Race to Mackinac. Wintrust is a true community bank, and it’s great that they’re supporting one of the most historic events in our Lake Michigan community! http://www.wintrust.com

That’s it for now. As always, direct any questions you have to your skipper or, if he or she cannot help, to racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust


18-Jun-15 - 01:12pm
Dear Fellow Invited Competitor:

On behalf of the Chicago Yacht Club, I would like to invite you and one guest to join me for the Warning Gun Party, presented by Wintrust.

The Warning Gun Party
Thursday, July 9, 2015
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Monroe Station

Complimentary Food and Beverages
Dress is business casual
Space is limited to the first 350 reservations

This invitation is valid for invited guest plus 1 and is not transferrable

CYC Members should RSVP via this link: http://tinyurl.com/qzss7e5

Non-members should RSVP via CYC’s Front Desk, 312-861-7777

A PDF of the invitation is here: http://tinyurl.com/pnyu3a2. Please make your reservation promptly as this event quickly sells out each year.

See you in three weeks!


Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust


16-Jun-15 - 09:04am
Dear Fellow Skipper:

Thank you for being one of 324 skippers entered into the Mac! A month from today we'll all be celebrating yet another great Mac race!

Here are some things you should be working on now. As always, these emails are archived on the Mac website under News.

Entry Deadline Compliance

Please carefully read section 5 of the NOR, even if you think you already know it. Make sure you have complied with all requirements of entry. Many of you have not - in particular, a good number of you have not accepted the terms of the tracking waiver (simply clicking on the blue link on your competitor home page, reading and accepting the terms, clicking a box and submitting). A fair number of you have also not completed the minimum crew list requirements. You must have a preliminary crew list of at least 50% of your crew, but not less than 5 for monohulls/3 for multihull. Each of these crew members must have logged in and have agreed to the waiver. ALL FIELDS must be completed (other than emergency notes). You must assign a crew position to each crew member (even if it is just ‘crew’). Make sure you have completed the entry requirements today. See http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/race-documents/

Technology

Join me and other members of the Mac Committee at the Apple Store on North Michigan Avenue today, June 16 at 6 pm. We will talk about why the Mac is considered one of the world's top races and how Apple technology is used by racers to increase speed and safety as they sail up Lake Michigan and into Lake Huron.  Make your reservation here http://www.apple.com/retail/northmichiganavenue/ for this free event.

Inspections

Pre-race inspections are now underway. If you were selected for inspection, you should have received an email from our chief inspector, but remember per the NOR it is your responsibility to make sure you have made arrangements for inspections. If you believe you were to have a pre-race inspection but haven’t heard from the chief inspector, please reach out now. Our chief inspector is waiting to hear from over 40 of you in response to emails she sent. See the NOR for details.

CMSR Changes

Speaking of inspections, remember that there were several significant changes to the CMSR this year. Please carefully review the safety regulations now. A guide highlighting the changes is also available for download from the Mac website under Race Documents. Two changes in particular may involve some work on your part. First, all inflatable PFDs must have crotch straps or thigh straps fitted and attached at all times. Second, your 25W permanently installed VHF radio must have DSC capability, must be connected to a GPS, and must be properly programmed with an MMSI number. Both of these changes were ‘warned’ in the 2014 CMSRs. Please take time today to make sure your boat and crew are properly equipped. If you have any questions on the radio change, please immediately contact your marine electronics specialist. Making changes to radios can take some time and expertise; it is definitely not something you want to be doing Thursday of Mac week! Please also be sure to enter your MMSI number into your record on the Mac website. You will not be able to print your boarding pass or Register if your MMSI has not been entered. Likewise, add-on crotch and thigh straps for popular PFDs are available for purchase from the usual sources but may be in short supply, so we urge you and your crew to order these today.

Social Events

Please keep an eye on your mailbox and the Mac Website for more details on social events surrounding the race. Skippers plus one guest will receive a complimentary, non-transferrable invitation to the Warning Gun party Thursday evening at CYC’s Monroe Station. This event is open only to skippers and CYC members and is space-limited, so please respond quickly to the emailed invitation to secure your spot. Other traditional social events such as the porch party and the Sailor’s Celebration on the Island after the race will be announced on the website as well. Please note that, in response to your survey feedback, we have moved the party down the hill towards the water to hopefully provide better air circulation and views. http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/events/ for more information.

Crew Lists and waivers

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to make sure that your crew list is complete and accurate. A complete and accurate crew list is required by the NOR, and you will be unable to check in at registration if it is not done. To enter your crew list, after logging in as a competitor, visit "Enter or Update your crew list" Make sure all of your crew has been invited. Remember, you must invite yourself as a crew member as well! You are both an invited competitor and a crew member. For each crew member who is not marked as ‘complete,’ click on "email crew for update" button to as them via email to complete the process.  Having issues? First watch the video tutorial on completing your crew waivers that we put together in 2013. The procedure is the same this year. Visit http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/reminder-new-crew-waiver-procedures/ 

Gear

Our friends at Line Honors stand by to take your order for customized Mac crew gear. Order soon for pre-race delivery. Visit http://www.linehonors.com/club-event-gear/chicago-yacht-club/official-race-to-mackinac-gear/.

Pre-Race Docking

Complimentary pre-race docking is available in Chicago for entered boats not normally moored in the Chicago harbor system. Please carefully read Section 13 of the Notice of Race on docking, which explains some of the important limits of complimentary pre-race docking. We encourage you to reach out to the dockmaster now at dockmaster@chicagoyachtclub.org to reserve a spot in Chicago. E-mail reservations must include the name of the boat, the name of the Person-In-Charge, the estimated date and time of arrival, the boat's home port, a cell phone contact number for the Person-In-Charge, boat’s LOA and beam and the preferred docking location (Monroe or Belmont). We encourage you to consider docking at our station at Belmont Harbor.

Post-race Docking

Complimentary post-race docking is available for all competitors in the Mac who are not continuing on to do the Super Mac. See Section 13 of the Notice of Race for more information. You selected your preferred post-race docking location when you entered the race - Mackinac Island, St. Ignace or Straits Harbor. Our docking team will do everything it can to accommodate everyone's first choice. Please note that ALL boats are subject to rafting and NO ONE is guaranteed any particular location or harbor, no matter how many times in the past you may have docked in a certain spot. Our goal is to maximize the number of boats which can be assigned their first choice. Super Mac Competitors - please note that by entering the Super Mac, we assume you are not docking after the Chicago Mac but rather are docking in Pt. Huron. If you change your mind and drop out of the Super Mac, we cannot guarantee you docking after the finish of the Chicago Mac. If you do not complete the Super Mac and wish to dock near the finish, you will have to make your own arrangements with the harbors in the area. Straits Harbor can generally accommodate boats without too much problem.


That’s it for now. As always, stay tuned to the Mac Facebook Page, Twitter feed and website for the most current information.


Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust

PS If you didn’t see it already, check out and share the recently-released video we put together on the Mac. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkTI9HQ-DQY


11-Jun-15 - 11:24am
Dear Fellow Skipper:

Thank you for being one of 324 skippers entered into the Mac! The racing division starts one month from today!

Here are some things you should be working on now. As always, these emails are archived on the Mac website under News.

Entry Deadline Compliance

Please carefully read sections 5.1 through 5.6 of the NOR, even if you think you already know it. Make sure you have complied with all requirements of entry. Many of you have not. In particular, a good number of you have not accepted the terms of the tracking waiver (simply clicking on the blue link on your competitor home page, reading and accepting the terms, clicking a box and submitting). A fair number of you have also not completed the minimum crew list requirements. You must have a preliminary crew list of at least 50% of your crew, but not less than 5 for monohulls/3 for multihull. Each of these crew members must have logged in and have agreed to the waiver. ALL FIELDS must be completed (other than emergency notes). You must assign a crew position to each crew member (even if it is just ‘crew’). Make sure you have completed the entry requirements today.

Technology

Join Matt Gallagher and other members of the Mac Committee at the Apple Store on North Michigan Avenue on June 16 at 6 pm. They will talk about why the Mac is considered one of the world's top races and how Apple technology is used by racers to increase speed and safety as they sail up Lake Michigan and into Lake Huron.  Make your reservation here: http://apple.co/1Gyj7Jw for this free event.

Inspections

Pre-race inspections are now underway. If you were selected for inspection, you should have received an email from our chief inspector, but remember per the NOR it is your responsibility to make sure you have made arrangements for inspections. If you believe you were to have a pre-race inspection but haven’t heard from the chief inspector, please reach out now. Our chief inspector is waiting to hear from over 40 of you in response to emails she sent. See the NOR for details.

CMSR Changes

Speaking of inspections, remember that there were several significant changes to the CMSR this year. Please carefully review the safety regulations now. A guide highlighting the changes is also available for download from the Mac website under Race Documents. Two changes in particular may involve some work on your part. First, all inflatable PFDs must have crotch straps or thigh straps fitted and attached at all times. Second, your 25W permanently installed VHF radio must have DSC capability, must be connected to a GPS, and must be properly programmed with an MMSI number. Both of these changes were ‘warned’ in the 2014 CMSRs. Please take time today to make sure your boat and crew are properly equipped. If you have any questions on the radio change, please immediately contact your marine electronics specialist. Making changes to radios can take some time and expertise; it is definitely not something you want to be doing Thursday of Mac week! Please also be sure to enter your MMSI number into your record on the Mac website. You will not be able to print your boarding pass or Register if your MMSI has not been entered. Likewise, add-on crotch and thigh straps for popular PFDs are available for purchase from the usual sources but may be in short supply, so we urge you and your crew to order these today.

Social Events

Please keep an eye on your mailbox and the Mac Website for more details on social events surrounding the race. Skippers plus one guest will receive a complimentary, non-transferrable invitation to the Warning Gun party Thursday evening at CYC’s Monroe Station. This event is open only to skippers and CYC members and is space-limited, so please respond quickly to the emailed invitation to secure your spot. Other traditional social events such as the porch party and the Sailor’s Celebration on the Island after the race will be announced on the website as well. Please note that, in response to your survey feedback, we have moved the party down the hill towards the water to hopefully provide better air circulation and views.

Crew Lists and waivers

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to make sure that your crew list is complete and accurate. A complete and accurate crew list is required by the NOR, and you will be unable to check in at registration if it is not done. To enter your crew list, after logging in as a competitor, visit "Enter or Update your crew list" Make sure all of your crew has been invited. Remember, you must invite yourself as a crew member as well! You are both an invited competitor and a crew member. For each crew member who is not marked as ‘complete,’ click on "email crew for update" button to as them via email to complete the process.  Having issues? First watch the video tutorial on completing your crew waivers that we put together in 2013. The procedure is the same this year. Visithttp://www.cycracetomackinac.com/reminder-new-crew-waiver-procedures/ 

Gear

Our friends at Line Honors stand by to take your order for customized Mac crew gear. Order soon for pre-race delivery. Visit http://www.linehonors.com/club-event-gear/chicago-yacht-club/official-race-to-mackinac-gear/.

Pre-Race Docking

Complimentary pre-race docking is available in Chicago for entered boats not normally moored in the Chicago harbor system. Please carefully read Section 13 of the Notice of Race on docking, which explains some of the important limits of complimentary pre-race docking. We encourage you to reach out to the dockmaster now at dockmaster@chicagoyachtclub.org to reserve a spot in Chicago. E-mail reservations must include the name of the boat, the name of the Person-In-Charge, the estimated date and time of arrival, the boat's home port, a cell phone contact number for the Person-In-Charge, boat’s LOA and beam and the preferred docking location (Monroe or Belmont). We encourage you to consider docking at our station at Belmont Harbor.

Post-race Docking

Complimentary post-race docking is available for all competitors in the Mac who are not continuing on to do the Super Mac. See Section 13 of the Notice of Race for more information. You selected your preferred post-race docking location when you entered the race - Mackinac Island, St. Ignace or Straits Harbor. Our docking team will do everything it can to accommodate everyone's first choice. Please note that ALL boats are subject to rafting and NO ONE is guaranteed any particular location or harbor, no matter how many times in the past you may have docked in a certain spot. Our goal is to maximize the number of boats which can be assigned their first choice. Super Mac Competitors - please note that by entering the Super Mac, we assume you are not docking after the Chicago Mac but rather are docking in Pt. Huron. If you change your mind and drop out of the Super Mac, we cannot guarantee you docking after the finish of the Chicago Mac. If you do not complete the Super Mac and wish to dock near the finish, you will have to make your own arrangements with the harbors in the area. Straits Harbor can generally accommodate boats without too much problem.


That’s it for now. As always, stay tuned to the Mac Facebook Page, Twitter feed and website for the most current information.


Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust

PS If you didn’t see it already, check out and share the recently-released video we put together on the Mac. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkTI9HQ-DQY


04-Jun-15 - 08:12am
Dear Fellow Mac Sailor:

Welcome to the 107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Wintrust! You’ve been added to the crew of one of our 324 entrants in the 2015 edition of our Race. On behalf of all my fellow members of the Chicago Yacht Club, I am very happy you are joining us this summer.

About every two weeks, from now until the Race starts, I’ll be sending out emails to all crew members in the race. For more up to date information, and for more detail, I urge you to periodically check our website, www.cycracetomackinac.com, and to follow us on social media on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac) and Twitter @RaceToMackinac. Much of the information in these emails is of vital importance, so please do take the time to read them when you get them.

Crew Profile

It is extremely important that you keep your crew profile up to date in our system. Your skipper sent you an invitation to join their crew via email. That information contained login information. Please keep it in a safe place. Log in now to make sure that your crew profile is 100% accurate and 100% complete. This also helps your boat comply with the entry deadline of June 5. In particular, be sure that your emergency contact person is correct and that their contact information is accurate. We take this very seriously; your boat will not be allowed to race if your crew profile is not complete and your emergency contact information isn’t provided. Please also read and accept the terms of the waiver. Again, fully completing this form and accepting the terms of the waiver is required for your boat to race. If you forgot your login, you must contact your skipper. We cannot provide it to you. We do not share or sell your personal information with anyone outside the Chicago Yacht Club without your permission.

Race Gear and Apparel

Our friends at Line Honors are ready to accept your orders for all sorts of official Mac apparel and gear. Virtually all items can be customized with your boat’s name or logo. Visit their Mac page at http://www.linehonors.com/club-event-gear/chicago-yacht-club/official-race-to-mackinac-gear/ to see what’s available and to place an order.

Safety Changes

There were several changes to the Chicago Mac Safety Regulations this year. All crew should familiarize themselves with the entire CMSRs, which are posted on the Race Documents page of the Mac website. The one that all crew members need to know is a change to CMSR 70, which requires that all inflatable PFDs used in the Mac must have thigh or crotch straps fitted and attached at all times. If your PFD didn’t come with such straps, there are relatively inexpensive add-on crotch and thigh straps available for most brands from all the usual sources (West Marine, Defender, Landfall, etc). Don’t delay in ordering these so you have them well before the race. Don’t be the person who gets the whole boat protested because you don’t have the proper equipment! Visit http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/race-documents/ to download the appropriate CMSRs. Read them today!

Bus Back

CYC will be running the traditional ‘bus back from the Mac’ on Wednesday after the Race. Stay tuned to the Mac Website and social medial pages for an announcement when those tickets will be available for purchase.

Social Events

We will be running all the normal social events both in Chicago and on the Island. Stay tuned to these emails, or follow us on social media to learn more. The events calendar on the Mac Website will be updated as details firm up, so that’s another great place to check.

Presenting Sponsor

We are pleased to welcome Wintrust as presenting sponsor of the 107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. "As Chicago's Bank, Wintrust is delighted to present the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac," said Wintrust CEO and founder Ed Wehmer. "The Race is a century-old tradition here in Chicago. We are proud and honored to be a part of it." As presenting sponsor, Wintrust will play a key role in the Race to Mackinac and host many of the race’s major events, including the kickoff Warning Gun Party in Chicago and the Sailor’s Celebration on the grounds of the Grand Hotel. If you are a customer of Wintrust, thank them for their support. If you’re not, visit a Wintrust location today and tell them you appreciate their support of the Mac.

Again, thanks for joining us this summer. Stay tuned for more information.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust


01-Jun-15 - 10:16am
Dear Fellow Invited Competitor:

As you know, the entry deadline for the 107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac is this Friday, June 5. Please take five minutes today to ensure that you are in full compliance with the NOR by that date. Log into your competitor page at http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/register/index.cfm.

Confirm the following:

1) Have you accepted your invitation to Race by submitting your entry application? (NOR Sec. 5.1)?

2) Have you paid your entry fee? (NOR Sec. 5.2)?

3) Have you submitted a preliminary crew list and are those crew profiles completed by your crew including completion of the waiver (NOR Sec. 5.3)?

4) Have you agreed to the terms of the Race Tracking Application (NOR Sec. 5.4)?

5) Have you submitted your valid 2015 ORR or GLMRA certificate via upload as a PDF? (NOR Sec. 5.5)?

Completion of these steps by the entry deadline is required to avoid the late entry fee. If our past experience is a guide, the items most likely to trip up skippers are items 3 and 5, crew lists and ratings certificates. Please review all the requirements but pay special attention to those items. Confirm that our system shows that you have completed all these steps.

As always, we stand by ready to help. Contact the Race Coordinator with any questions you may have.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust

PS Please see the Notice of Race for details. This email is a courtesy only and the race documents govern the race.


29-May-15 - 05:02pm
Dear Fellow Mac Skippers:

Here are a few brief action items for you.

1) An Amendment to the Notice of Race has been published. Please review it. It is available via the Race Documents tab of the Mac website, or here: http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/race-documents/.

2) The Race Entry Deadline is fast approaching. By June 5, you must have completed the steps outlined in Section 5 of the Notice of Race (and particularly paragraphs 5.1 through 5.5) or you will be assessed the late entry fee. Please take five minutes now to review Section 5 of the Notice of Race and log into your competitor page at http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/register/index.cfm to make sure you’ve completed all necessary steps.

3) A critical part of complying with Section 5 of the NOR is uploading a valid 2015 ratings certificate (ORR or GLMRA as appropriate). Many of you have not done so as of today. Please be sure to obtain and upload your valid ratings certificate. If you don’t have it yet, check with your appropriate ratings office to make sure that you will have it in hand in time to comply with the NOR.

Thanks!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust


13-May-15 - 02:21pm
Dear Fellow Mac Skipper:

Here is our May skippers' update. You will also be receiving in the next few days an email aimed at crew members; since you are all crew on your own boats as well, you'll get this email separately. Please read both of these updates carefully. We're trying to keep them as short and sweet as we can. Please read the whole email as doing so may save you a lot of time and grief down the road.


Entry Information

You are among 312 boats already entered in the Mac, with more entering each week. Please take a minute to log into your competitor page via the 'Competitor login' link on the Mac home page. Look for the color red. Anything in red is incomplete and requires your attention. In particular, Contact information for yourself, your crew and emergency contacts is vital; please make sure that it is complete and accurate and that we have unique, valid email addresses and phone numbers for all crew including yourself. Remember - you must be listed as a crew member on your own boat. http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/register/index.cfm


Pre-race safety inspections

If your boat has been selected for pre-race inspection, it will be noted in red in your entry screen. Please see Section 18 of the Notice of Race. You must complete your pre-race inspection in order to Race. You will receive further information on this directly from our Chief Inspector. If you believe you have been selected for pre-race inspection but haven't heard from anyone by June 1, please contact the Chief Inspector at chiefinspector@cycracetomackinac.com to arrange your pre-race inspection. Once again, inspections will be available in Chicago, the Detroit area, and selected other locations around Lakes Michigan and Huron.


Race Gear and Apparel

Our friends at Line Honors are ready to accept your orders for all sorts of Mac apparel and gear. Virtually all items can be customized with your boat's name or logo. Line Honors will be featuring products from Gill, Helly Hansen, Musto & Zhik, with the official Mac apparel available at all regattas and at http://www.linehonors.com/club-event-gear/chicago-yacht-club/official-race-to-mackinac-gear/


Race Hats

You had the opportunity to order custom race hats for your crew when you entered the race; the official race hat will be embroidered with your boat name and sail number and shipped to your home. These hats will be a symbol of participation in this great race (we expect to offer a few non-personalized hats in each skipper’s bag as well). If you missed your chance at registration or want to order more, visit your competitor portal and click on the link in the lower right. Hats must be ordered by Memorial Day to guarantee pre-race delivery. http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/register/index.cfm


Super Mac

Twenty-one boats are already entered in the 2015 Super Mac, being run with our friends at Bayview and Pt. Huron Yacht Clubs. Interested in the ultimate fresh water distance challenge? It's not too late to enter the Super Mac! The NOR and more information are here: http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1376


Grand Prix Invitational

The inaugural Chicago Yacht Club Grand Prix Invitational is now open for registration. It combines three days of course racing in Chicago over the 4th of July weekend with the distance racing challenge of the Mac. Enjoy everything Chicago has to offer as well as fun racing. See the Mac website for more details and for entry information. Any racing boat entered in the Mac who wants to enjoy some top-quality course racing as a warmup should enter. Thanks to our friends at the ORA, an introductory HPR certificate will be free for all entrants. Visit http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1261 to register or for more information visit http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/grand-prix/2015-cyc-grand-prix-invitational/

Pre-Race Docking

Complimentary pre-race docking is available in Chicago for entered boats not normally moored in the Chicago harbor system. For competitors entered in the Grand Prix, complimentary docking will be available between the end of the Grand Prix and the start of the Mac. Please carefully read Section 13 of the Notice of Race on docking, which explains some of the important limits of complimentary pre-race docking. We encourage you to reach out to the dockmaster now at dockmaster@chicagoyachtclub.org to reserve a spot in Chicago. E-mail reservations must include the name of the boat, the name of the Person-In-Charge, the estimated date and time of arrival, the boat's home port, a cell phone contact number for the Person-In-Charge, boat’s LOA and beam and the preferred docking location (Monroe or Belmont). We encourage you to consider docking at our station at Belmont Harbor.

Post-race Docking

Complimentary post-race docking is available for all competitors in the Mac. See Section 13 of the Notice of Race for more information. You selected your preferred post-race docking location when you entered the race - Mackinac Island, St. Ignace or Straits Harbor. Our docking team will do everything it can to accommodate everyone's first choice. Please note that ALL boats are subject to rafting and NO ONE is guaranteed any particular location or harbor, no matter how many times in the past you may have docked in a certain spot. Our goal is to maximize the number of boats which can be assigned their first choice. Super Mac Competitors - please note that by entering the Super Mac, we assume you are not docking after the Chicago Mac but rather are docking in Pt. Huron. If you change your mind and drop out of the Super Mac, we cannot guarantee you docking after the finish of the Chicago Mac. If you do not complete the Super Mac and wish to dock near the finish, you will have to make your own arrangements with the harbors in the area. Straits Harbor can generally accommodate boats without too much problem.

That's it for now. More information will be coming soon. As always, reach out to our Race Coordinator with any questions at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.


Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust


PS As always, we encourage you to follow us on Twitter @ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac (https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac)


21-Apr-15 - 02:23pm
The ice has finally disappeared at the southern end of the lake and I see boats in Chicago's Belmont Harbor - both signs of spring and that the Mac is right around the corner! Here is your April Mac Skippers' update.

Super Mac Registration Opens

We are pleased to announce that the Notice of Race has been published for the 2015 Super Mac, and registration is now available. The Super Mac is the ultimate distance challenge in the Great Lakes. We are thrilled to be running this race with our friends at the Bayview Yacht Club and Pt. Huron Yacht Club. To register or to see the Notice of Race, visit http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1376

Register for the Grand Prix today

If adding 250 miles to your Mac race isn't your cup of tea, but you'd like some exciting course racing as a warm-up for the Mac, then we encourage you to enter the Grand Prix Invitational. Included in your entry fee is free docking at CYC's Belmont Station between the Grand Prix course racing days and the start of the Mac. With a free HPR introductory certificate being offered to all entrants, this race is great for a wide variety of racing boats, from the very large to the smaller end of our Mac fleet. Getting the HPR certificate is easy once you've obtained your ORR certificate. We've received interest from Farr 40s, Swan 42s, TP52s, J/88s and J/111s among others, but virtually any racing boat in the Mac could compete and enjoy three great days of racing. To register or for more information, visit the regatta site on Yachtscoring at http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1261

Complete Your Entry

If you haven't done so already, log into your entry via the Competitor Login link and make sure it is complete. Be sure to enter all your crew members' information on your crew list and review the other entry requirements. Upload your 2015 ORR or GLMRA certificate as soon as you receive it. If you see anything in the color red, your entry isn't complete. Save yourself some time in July by taking care of this today. Visit http://www.cycracetomackinac.com.

Docking - In Chicago and on the Island

Per the Notice of Race, entered competitors are entitled to free docking in Chicago before the Race and in a harbor near the finish. To reserve a spot in Chicago, please follow the requirements of the NOR and email the Dockmaster after May 15. Post-race docking will be assigned by our docking team based on the preference you expresssed when you registered, the date you paid your entry fee, and our goal of accomodating the maximum number of boats we can in the limited space of Mackinac Island Harbor. ALL BOATS are subject to rafting and may be rafted in the harbor, on the Arnold Dock, or on the coal dock. All boats must be willing to accept any location on the Island that they're assigned. If you require a guaranteed slip, or you are unhappy with where you have been placed in past years, the way to solve the issue is to request St. Ignace or Straits Harbor - we can accomodate you there in a slip, not rafted with anyone. Also, remember that you must carry sufficient fenders, lines and boards to protect your boat if rafted.

Wintrust Named Presenting Sponsor

In case you missed the news, Wintrust has been named as Presenting Sponsor of the 107th Race to Mackinac. I am very happy to welcome them to our Race. If you are a customer, thank them for supporting our sport; if you're not a customer, you should consider talking with a Wintrust representative. See http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/wintrust-signs-on-as-presenting-sponsor-of-the-2015-race-to-mackinac/

Race Gear - Order yours today!

Official 107th Race to Mackinac gear is available for order today from our friends at Line Honors. Visit their online shop for a wide variety of technical and casual clothing from great manufacturers such as Gill, Helly Hanson & Musto. Most gear can be customized with your boat's name or logo. Visit http://linehonors.com/chicago-yacht-club/race-to-mackinac/ and order today.

Reminder on CMSR Changes

As a reminder, there are several changes to the Chicago Mac Safety Regulations this year which affect both the personal equipment you and your crew must carry AND the equipment on your boat. In particular, review the requirements for DSC radios, as that may involve some work on your end to get your boat ready. Also new this year is a requriement for crotch or thigh straps for inflatable PFDs. For a summary, see http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/Whats_New_107th_Mac.pdf

Social Media

For the latest updates, be sure to follow the Mac on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/racetomackinac). We're trying to avoid over-stuffing your email inboxes, so please follow us on social media for the latest news.

That's it for now. Please stay tuned for your next update in early May. As always, reach out via the race coordinator with any questions - racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust


13-Apr-15 - 02:41pm
Dear Fellow Sailors:

I am pleased to let you know that Wintrust has signed on as presenting sponsor for the 107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. The full press release is below.

Wintrust is a great organization with strong roots in Chicagoland. I’m very happy to welcome them to our extended community of the Mac!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Wintrust
#CYCRTM


Wintrust Named Presenting Sponsor of the 107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

CHICAGO (April 13, 2015) — The Chicago Yacht Club announced that Wintrust has been named as the presenting sponsor of the 2015 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. The Race to Mackinac is the premier long-distance sailing race on the Great Lakes and is known around the world for the challenge that it provides to sailors. The 107th running of this iconic event will begin on Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11 just east of Chicago Harbor Lighthouse. The Race to Mackinac ends at Mackinac Island, Michigan, off Round Island Lighthouse.

"As Chicago's Bank, Wintrust is delighted to present the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac,” said Wintrust CEO and founder Ed Wehmer. “The Race is a century-old tradition here in Chicago. We are proud and honored to be a part of it.”

As presenting sponsor, Wintrust will play a key role in the Race to Mackinac and host many of the race’s major events, including the kickoff Warning Gun Party in Chicago and the Sailor’s Celebration on the grounds of the Grand Hotel.

“We are thrilled to welcome Wintrust as Presenting Sponsor of the Race to Mackinac,” said Greg Miarecki, commodore of the Chicago Yacht Club and a veteran of 29 Mackinac Races. “Wintrust is an important member of the Chicagoland community, and we look forward to working together to deliver a memorable race this July.”

“Many of the sailors participating in the Race to Mackinac live or work in the communities Wintrust serves in Northern Illinois, Northwest Indiana and Southern Wisconsin. We’re part of each other’s communities,” noted Matthew Gallagher, chairman of the 107th Race to Mackinac.

This summer Wintrust will also co-sponsor two of Chicago Yacht Club’s annual philanthropic activities: its Special Needs Cruise and Sight Impaired Cruise. These events benefit nearly 200 Chicagoland residents who have special needs or are sight impaired.

“Serving the community is a key part of who we are. We're thrilled to be working with the Chicago Yacht Club to expand those efforts,” added Wehmer.

About the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

At 333 miles (289.4 nautical miles), the Race to Mackinac is the oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world. ‘The Mac’ starts at the Chicago Lighthouse just off Navy Pier and continues to Mackinac Island. In the 106th running of the Race to Mackinac in 2014, 317 boats competed in the sixth consecutive sellout of the Race. The Race can be followed online via Facebook, Twitter (#CYCRTM), Instagram, and the race tracking app. See more at cycracetomackinac.com.

About the Chicago Yacht Club

The Chicago Yacht Club has been part of the Chicago boating community since it was founded in 1875. Today, CYC is the premier social and racing destination for Chicago boaters and is ranked as one of the top 10 yacht clubs in the U.S. by the Platinum Club of America. A membership of 1,400 boating enthusiasts plan and participate in dozens of social, educational and racing events held throughout the year at our Monroe and Belmont stations — both located on Chicago’s iconic lakefront. There are opportunities for every member of the family to find something to enjoy at the Chicago Yacht Club. Learn more at chicagoyachtclub.org.

About Wintrust

Wintrust Financial Corporation a financial holding company with assets of more than $20 billion whose common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Built on the “HAVE IT ALL” model, Wintrust offers sophisticated technology and resources of a large bank while focusing on providing service-based community banking to each and every customer. Wintrust operates fifteen community bank subsidiaries, now with over 145 banking locations located in the greater Chicago and southern Wisconsin market areas. Additionally, the Company operates various non-bank business units including one of the largest commercial insurance premium finance companies operating in the United States and Canada, a company providing short-term accounts receivable financing and value-added out-sourced administrative services to the temporary staffing services industry, a business unit engaging primarily in the origination and purchase of residential mortgages for sale into the secondary market throughout the United States, and companies providing wealth management services. Learn more at www.wintrust.com

Media Contact
Dwight Jenson
jenson@chicagoyachtclub.org


01-Apr-15 - 08:50am
Dear Fellow Mac Skippers:

This is no joke! There are three important deadlines in the Notice of Race that fall on April 1, today.

a) Early bird pricing. You must pay the entry fee no later than the end of the day today to receive the discounted rate for entry. After today, it goes up $2/foot LOA; if you are switching boats, pay for your current boat today and we'll adjust pricing later for your new boat.

b) One-design section request deadline - A class representative must request that a one-design section be formed, if sufficient entries are received. Please see NOR Section 4.4. We have not heard from many traditional one-design classes, so we urge the class representatives or fleet representatives to follow the NOR and request their one-design sections today.

c) Division Formation Deadline. Based on entries through today, we will form divisions. See NOR Section 4.3.

Please contact the race coordinator, racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org, with any questions. Our early April Skipper newsletter will be sent soon, but I wanted to remind you of these important deadlines this morning. As always, please see the NOR which trumps anything in this email.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman, 107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


16-Mar-15 - 03:01pm
Dear Fellow Mac Racers:

I wanted to remind you of two important dates coming up soon:

a) This Saturday, March 21, race Meteorologist Chris Bedford is presenting a seminar on distance race weather and strategy. This session is highly recommended for all Mac racers, and is open to the sailing community. In addition to forecasting for the Mac, Chris was the meteorologist for Team Oracle and numerous other AC programs and is currently supporting Team Abu Dhabi in the Volvo Ocean Race. The session is from 1 pm to 5 pm at CYC's Belmont Station. The event will sell out, so purchase your tickets today athttp://www.cycracetomackinac.com/events/event/?eventid=260.

b) If you are entering a boat in the Mac, early-bird pricing ends on April 1. If you pay after April 1, entry fees go up. See the Notice of Race. We urge you to enter and pay promptly to avoid these higher rates. If you need to request an invitation, do so today.

As always, thank you for participating in the Mac. Please reach out to us at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org with any questions.

Matt Gallagher
Chair
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


02-Mar-15 - 02:28pm
Dear Fellow Mac Skippers:

I think there's more ice on the water than there was the last time I wrote you in early February, but nonetheless sailing season is right around the corner. Here are some important points for Mac skippers to remember in March. Feel free to circulate this to your crew. We are trying to keep this newsletter as short and sweet as possible, minimizing the flood into your inbox. Please read this carefully as it has a lot of information. These skipper newsletters will be archived at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/news/

Entry Information

Entries are running ahead of pace from last year, with over 200 boats already entered. If you haven't accepted your invitation and paid, please do so promptly to reserve your place. Entry fees go up if you haven't paid by April 1, so please pay now to avoid the higher rate. Please also fill out your preliminary crew list as soon as possible and ask your crew to update their information. Contact information for yourself, your crew and emergency contacts is vital; please make sure that it is complete and accurate and that we have unique, valid email addresses and phone numbers for all crew including yourself. http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/register/index.cfm

Weather Seminar With Chris Bedford; Safety at Sea Seminars

Race Meteorologist Chris Bedford will be doing a Mac weather seminar at Chicago Yacht Club on March 21, open to all Mac racers. Chris is a world-class meteorologist with clients such as Team Oracle and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. We highly recommend this seminar for distance racers. See the Mac site for more details and to register for that event. http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/events/weather-for-distance-racing--race-committee/

If your crew needs to attend Safety at Sea to meet the recommendations of CMSR 76, there are two courses available on the Great Lakes in March (one at Columbia Yacht Club on March 7 and one at South Shore Yacht Club on March 14) and one at Bayview Yacht Club on April 25. Offshore (1 full day) Safety at Sea Certificates are good for 5 years. For a complete list of courses nationwide, see http://www.ussailing.org/education/safety-at-sea/find-a-seminar-near-you/.

Race Gear and Apparel

The Chicago Yacht Club is pleased to announced that Line Honors-Yacht Racing Outfitters (Lake Geneva, WI) has been appointed as the Official Retailer of the Chicago Yacht Club for Technical Clothing & Official Regatta apparel. Line Honors will be on-site for numerous regattas including the Grand Prix regatta, Chicago Mackinac Race, Verve Regattas & more. Custom crew gear will be available for order soon. Line Honors will be featuring products from Gill, Helly Hansen, Musto & Zhik, with the official Chicago Yacht Club regatta apparel available at all regattas and at www.linehonors.com/brand/CYC.html.

Super Mac

We are pleased to announce that we will be running a Super Mac Race this summer in conjunction with our friends at the Bayview Yacht Club. Start in Chicago and finish in Pt. Huron! If you can resist the temptation of the Pink Pony and fudge and want to race 568 statue miles, this race is for you! Keep your eye on the Mac website for more information. The NOR should be published within the month and registration will open shortly thereafter. http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/super-mac-to-be-run-in-july-2015/

Grand Prix Invitational

The inaugural Chicago Yacht Club Grand Prix Invitational is now open for registration. It combines three days of course racing in Chicago over the 4th of July weekend with the distance racing challenge of the Mac. Enjoy everything Chicago has to offer as well as fun racing. See the Mac website for more details and for entry information. The race is suitable for all higher-performance boats doing the Mac, but all are welcome. Thanks to our friends at the ORA, an introductory HPR certificate will be free for all entrants. http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/grand-prix/2015-cyc-grand-prix-invitational/

Safety Regulation Changes

As a reminder, there are changes to the Mac Safety Regulations every year. We encourage you to download and read the 2015 edition from the Mac Website. We have also put together a guide to the more signifiant changes to the CMSRs (and the NOR) that you can download from the Race Documents page. We want to draw your attention to the change to VHF radios (the change was pre-announced in 2014, effective 2015). Your permanently mounted VHF must now be DSC-capable, have a MMSI number programmed, and be connected to a GPS. See the CMSRs for more details. Look into this now on your boat, in the off season, to save yourself a scramble in June. Another significant change requires inflatable PFDs to be fitted with crotch straps or thigh straps. Check yours now to see if they are compliant or if you need to purchase new PFDs or an add-on kit to yours (available for many inflatable PFDs). http://bit.ly/1vNGPMV. Full CMSRs at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/race-documents/

Notice of Race Changes

There are also changes to the Notice of Race each year, and competitors should read the 2015 version of the document carefully. Again, available via Race Documents is a guide highlighting some of the more significant changes, including discounted pricing if paid before April 1. In 2015, the Royono Trophy will be awarded to the first boat - mono or multihull - starting on Saturday to cross the line (the Cruising Division will maintain its own First to Finish trophy). This change recognizes that high-performance multihulls are on the leading edge of our sport, and it encourages boats of that type to come race the Mac. http://bit.ly/1vNGPMV. Full NOR at: http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/race-documents/

Grand Hotel Room Deal

Once again, our friends at the Grand Hotel are offering a special room rate for Mac racers. If you’ve never stayed at the Grand before, take this opportunity to do so; it’s a special place on the Island. See the news story for details. Reserve soon as the rooms sell out quickly. http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/grand-hotel-offers-special-room-rate-for-mac-racers/

ORR Certificates

If you are racing a monohull boat, you are required to upload your valid 2015 ORR Certificate in PDF form to the race website before the entry deadline. Please take action to renew or obtain your certificate now, as it can take some time to have them issued. If you are simply revalidating your certificate from last year, made no changes to your boat or equipment, and just need the 2015 version, your revalidation form should be sent in right away and no later than April 10. If you need a new certificate or new measurement or otherwise need to work with a measurer, you must contact an ORR measurer via email (and cc offshore office and race coordinator) no later than April 10 to set up measurement. All measurement data must be to the Offshore Office no later than May 22, 2015, in order to have the certificate back in your hands by the entry deadline. For further information, visit http://offshore.ussailing.org or email offshore@ussailing.org. The 2015 ORR Rulebook is available for download at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/race-documents/

Race Hats

You had the opportunity to order custom race hats for your crew when you entered the race; the official race hat will be embroidered with your boat name and sail number and shipped to your home. These hats will be a symbol of participation in this great race (we expect to offer a few non-personalized hats in each skipper’s bag as well). If you missed your chance at registration or want to order more, visit your competitor portal and click on the link in the lower right. A mid-April deadline will be announced for hat orders, so please order yours soon. http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/register/index.cfm

That’s it for March. As always, reach out via our race coordinator (racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org) with any questions, and follow us via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/racetomackinac) for the latest updates. Good luck with getting your boat ready for the spring, and I’ll be back in touch in April.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


01-Mar-15 - 10:39am
Dear Fellow Racer:

If the old proverb 'March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb' is correct, we should have a beautiful spring ahead of us. A month from now, we’ll be working on our boats in the yard, getting them ready for the spring. Hopefully entering your boat in the Mac is on your Spring to-do list.

We wanted to remind you that entry fees go up if not paid by April 1, 2015. Please accept your invitation and pay by this date to avoid higher entry fees. If you have already accepted your invitation, be sure to pay by April 1 to avoid the higher fee. This change and others from 2014 are highlighted in a document at http://bit.ly/1vNGPMV.

I hope to see you on the line in July.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

P.S. As always, reach out via our race coordinator (racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org) with any questions, and follow us via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/racetomackinac) for the latest updates.


03-Feb-15 - 02:16pm
Dear Fellow Sailor:

On January 29, invitations went out to 491 returning skippers for the 107th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. In just five days, over 100 skippers have already accepted their invitations to race. We've also received over twenty five requests for invitation from new entrants, with new ones coming in every day. Both of these numbers are well ahead of last year's pace. We're thrilled that so many sailors want to compete in this year's edition of our race!

If you are considering entering the Mac for the first time, we urge you to submit your request for invitation promptly. There is no cost associated with the request, and this will give our selections team the opportunity to review your proposed entry and provide you feedback as early as possible. See the notice of race on the Mac website for more details.

If you are a skipper and were expecting an invitation but didn't receive one, please check your spam folder; please also log into the race management system via the Mac website, www.cycracetomackinac.com, and make sure we have a valid email address for you. If you need further help, reach out to our race coordinator, racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org. We urge you to accept your invitation promptly and pay the entry fee, as the healthy demand we are facing already indicates that we may be forced to limit entries or to deny entrants their first choice of docking. If we are forced to do this, we will use date of payment as the determining factor in allowing entries or assigning harbor of choice (Island,St. Ignace, or Straits). As added incentive to register early, entry fees are lower if paid before April 1.

Skippers should also contact the appropriate rating agency today to get their 2015 ORR or GLMRA ratings certificate. Do not delay in renewing or obtaining your certificate!

This is the last email you'll receive from us regarding entry in the 2015 Mac unless you are listed as an invited competitor or crew member on one of our participating boats. Starting in March, I'll be emailing skippers monthly with important information regarding their entries, and starting in April we'll be emailing crew members monthly as well with information that will help make the race enjoyable and safe for them. Skippers should accept their invitation and complete their preliminary crew list as soon as possible by entering their proposed crew members' names and contact information in the system, so their crew receive important communications regarding the race.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, reach out to us via email or follow us on social media for the most up-to-date information. Follow us on Twitter @RaceToMackinac or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac.

Sincerely

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

P.S. The Notice of Race for the inaugural CYC Grand Prix Regatta, a lead-in course racing event before the Mac, will be published shortly. Visit the Mac website, or follow us on social media, for more information on the Grand Prix.


14-Jan-15 - 10:44am

We apologize if you received this twice; this corrects a bad web link.

Dear Fellow Mac Racers:

I am pleased to let you know that the Notice of Race for the 107th running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac has been published at our website at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/race-documents/. Also released this morning is the Chicago Mackinac Safety Regulations for both monohull and multihull boats. The Notice of Race for the Inaugural Chicago Yacht Club Grand Prix Invitational will be released shortly.

We expected emailed invitations to returning skippers to go out before the end of January. Generally, if you competed in one of the four most recent race, you should expect to receive an invitation to compete in 2015 to the email address we have in our system for you. If you have changed email addresses, please log in and update it as soon as possible so you can be sure to receive your invitation.

For new entrants, our selections subcommittee is standing by to review requests for invitation; see the Notice of Race for details. If you are racing for the first time in 2015, we urge you to start your request for invitation now.

If you have any questions, attend one of our seminars at Strictly Sail (http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/top-picks-for-presentations-at-the-chicago-boat-show-/) or email our race coordinator, racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

I hope to see you at the boat show or at the Pink Pony Party Saturday night (http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/events/pink-pony-party-2015/)!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

P.S. As always, we encourage you to like us on Facebook for the latest information on the race - https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


14-Jan-15 - 08:49am
Dear Fellow Mac Racers:

I am pleased to let you know that the Notice of Race for the 107th running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac has been published at our website, www.cycracetomakinac.com, under 'Race Documents.' Also released this morning is the Chicago Mackinac Safety Regulations for both monohull and multihull boats. The Notice of Race for the Inaugural Chicago Yacht Club Grand Prix Invitational will be released shortly.

We expected emailed invitations to returning skippers to go out before the end of January. Generally, if you competed in one of the four most recent race, you should expect to receive an invitation to compete in 2015 to the email address we have in our system for you. If you have changed email addresses, please log in and update it as soon as possible so you can be sure to receive your invitation.

For new entrants, our selections subcommittee is standing by to review requests for invitation; see the Notice of Race for details. If you are racing for the first time in 2015, we urge you to start your request for invitation now.

If you have any questions, attend one of our seminars at Strictly Sail (http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/top-picks-for-presentations-at-the-chicago-boat-show-/) or email our race coordinator, racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

I hope to see you at the boat show or at the Pink Pony Party Saturday night (http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/events/pink-pony-party-2015/)!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

P.S. As always, we encourage you to like us on Facebook for the latest information on the race - https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


09-Jan-15 - 01:50pm
Dear fellow Mac Racers:

Happy New Year! In 182 days, we will be sailing out to the start line of the 107th running of the greatest freshwater distance race in the world, the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac(tm). I am excited by the opportunity I have been given to help organize this great Race once again. I look forward to keeping you all up to date with what's going on with the Mac - and I look forward to racing with you in July!

Next week, we'll be releasing the Mac's Notice of Race and Chicago Mac Safety Regulations, as well as the Notice of Race for the inaugural Chicago Yacht Club Grand Prix Invitational Regatta. If you own or race on a Farr 40, TP52, Swan 42, or any other boat that races under HPR, you won't want to miss this lead-in regatta the weekend before the Mac. It will provide great high-performance buoy racing followed by the distance challenge of the Mac. Check out the Mac website next week for more details on both our distance classic and our new high-performance regatta.

When the race documents are published for the Mac and the Grand Prix next week, we'll announce it on our website and via social media. We expect invitations to returning skippers to be emailed out before the end of the month, and for those of you entering a new boat in the race, you may start the process of requesting an invitation via the regatta website as soon as the NOR is published.

Once again, the Pink Pony is visiting from the Island - don't miss it! On Saturday, January 17, join me at Chicago Yacht Club's Belmont Station to kick off the 107th Mac in style at the Pink Pony Party. There will be music, food and drinks, and plenty of great conversation with our sailing friends. The party starts at 7 pm and goes on well into the night. For details, see the Mac Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac, and thanks to CYC's Associates Committee for organizing this great party.

Starting next Wednesday, the Chicago Boat, RV and Strictly Sail opens at Chicago’s McCormick Place (http://www.strictlysailchicago.com). Along with the new venue, CYC and the Mac Committee are bringing new seminars to the show -- all free to attendees. Here is a rundown of the Mac-specific seminars we'll be offering this year:

Friday, 6 pm - First Time Mac (David Hughes & Ted Anderson)

Saturday, 10:30 am - Demystifying the CMSRs (Ron White, David Hughes & Lisa Curcio-Gaston)

Saturday, 2 pm - What’s new in the Mac / Introducing the CYC Grand Prix (Matt Gallagher & the Mac Committee)

Saturday, 3:30 pm - Mac Strategy (Don Maxwell)

Sunday 10:30 am Macquest - (Sarah Renz)

Sunday 11:45 am - Racing Rules for Cruisers/New Racers (Ted Jones)

All of these seminars are free with admission to the show, and they provide an excellent opportunity to get your questions answered in the off-season as you get ready for the 2015 Mac. I'll be around most of the show, as will many of my colleagues on the Mac Committee. Track us down and say hello! For more detailed information on the seminars, see http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/top-picks-for-presentations-at-the-chicago-boat-show-/. As always, you can reach out to us via our dedicated race coordinator, Sean, at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org

On behalf of all of us at Chicago Yacht Club and its Race to Mackinac Committee, thank you for joining us for the race of the season, a destination like no other, the adventure of a lifetime!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

P.S. As always, we encourage you to like us on Facebook for the latest information on the race - https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


06-Oct-14 - 10:48am
Dear Fellow Mac Sailor:

The harbors are starting to empty and there’s a chill in the air, signifying the end to another great season of sailing on Lake Michigan. The end of the boating season is a time to reflect on memories of racing the Mac in 2014.

Please join me and your fellow competitors, our families and friends in celebrating another memorable Race to Mackinac at the Mac Awards Celebration on November 1, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. at Chicago Yacht Club’s Monroe Station. Tickets are available for purchase now, and the event will sell out quickly, so do not delay in purchasing a ticket.

To order tickets or for more information, visit:

http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/reserve-your-space-for-the-2014-mac-awards-celebration-on-november-1/

Act quickly as this event will sell out. I look forward to seeing you in Chicago on November 1 to share memories and celebrate victories in the 106th running of our annual classic.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


16-Jul-14 - 11:14am
Dear Fellow Invited Competitor:

This is a courtesy email to let you know that Sailing Instruction Amendment #2 has been published on the Official Notice Board at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/race-documents/.

As a reminder, the Official Notice Board is online this year. Please monitor it. We will attempt to notify you via email as a courtesy when items are published, but it is your responsibility to monitor it.

Thanks.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


15-Jul-14 - 08:13pm
Dear Fellow Mac Racer:

Boats are starting to arrive at Monroe Station, the club buzzes with staff and volunteers getting ready for our guests - sure signs that Mac Week is here. On behalf of all the members and staff at Chicago Yacht Club, welcome to Chicago and to our Club. We’re happy you are participating in the 106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, the highlight of the summer for all of us.

Here are a few last-minute items as you all make your way to Chicago and to the Start Line. If you don’t currently follow us on social media, please do so now. @RaceToMackinac on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac. Tag your own posts #CYCRTM. We will post the most current news there.

1) Social activities. Details of the Friday Night Racers party, the Sailor Celebration on the Island, and other social events in Chicago and on the Island, are posted at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/events/. Check it out. New this year is a family night at our Belmont Station Wednesday night (open to CYC members and Mac Racers and their families). I’ll be there with my kids and hope to see you there as well.

2) Fan’s Guide. We have once again put together a Fan’s Guide to following the Mac which you can share with friends and family. Send them to http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/fans-guide/. We urge all of you, your friends and family to follow us on social media for the latest information. Encourage them as well to go to Ashore Thing: http://www.upshiftcreative.com/ashorething/.

3) Yellowbrick Tracking. We are once again working with Yellowbrick to track the race. The link will go live on the Mac website when registration opens on Thursday. For the best experience from an iOS or Android device, download the Yellowbrick App from the appropriate store. The app is free, and CYC is covering the cost of the race that you need to ‘buy’ within the app. The Mac will be available on July 17 from within the App.

4) Bus Back. It is not too late to buy tickets back from the Mac on our Bus. Visit https://www.chicagoyachtclub.org/rtm. Prices go up on July 19, so act now.

5) Ferries. We have arranged discounts with Starr Ferry, which is offering racers, friends and families an unlimited 2 day pass for $30.00 per person, or a round trip rate of $18 for adults, $9 for children 5-12. Refer to the promo code ‘YACHT.’

6) West Marine Photo Contest. The West Marine Photo Contest is up and running again. Visit http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/submit-your-best-mac-photos-to-the-west-marine-photo-contest-/ for more details. Submit your photos!

7) Getting around Chicago. We strongly urge you to take public transit, taxis, a car share service such as Uber, or a Divvy bike as you go to and from Monroe Station and Belmont Station during race week. There is no parking at the Club during the Race, and there are continual street closures around the City. Allow extra time to get around. See our Chicago Visitor’s Guide for more information at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/shore-events/visitors-guide/.

8) Crew Information. Please make sure your crew information in our system is complete and accurate, including a valid phone number and valid emergency contact information. It is extremely important that we have accurate contact and emergency information in the unlikely event of an emergency. We take this seriously; your boat can be penalized if crew information is not accurate. Help yourself and your crew by making sure it’s complete.

Previous emails to crew are archived on the Website at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/news/. We encourage you to read through those which may answer other questions you have. Otherwise, we encourage you to direct questions to your skipper.

Again, thanks for joining us in racing the Mac. I hope you have a great time at the parties and some fantastic competition on the water, and I’ll see you on the Island.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac



10-Jul-14 - 05:18pm
The US Coast Guard Offers Their ‘Cardinal Points’ for the
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

The Ninth Coast Guard District wishes you a warm welcome to the 106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac.
We hope you have a safe and enjoyable voyage. The Race Committee has provided you with excellent materials on how to be best prepared and we'd like to supplement that with some Coast Guard basics.

IN AN EMERGENCY. If an emergency occurs during the race, such as a person overboard, medical problem, taking on water, or disabling damage from storm, and assistance from the Coast Guard is required, we recommend you contact us via VHF-FM channel 16. You do not need to know what the closest Coast Guard station is -- we will determine that -- simply call ‘Mayday, mayday, mayday, Coast Guard, this is [vessel name] on channel 16, over.’ During your initial contact, we ask that you provide the following information:

• Location (GPS coordinates and/or geographic reference),
• Nature of distress,
• Number of persons on board and
• Description of your vessel.

If you have an EPIRB or PLB (preferred over SPOT devices) on board, activate that as well because the SARSAT satellite system has global coverage beyond VHF-FM or cellular antenna range. Launching of flares or displaying of other visual signaling devices should also be considered. Use of cellular telephones should be considered a tertiary means of distress alerting.

WHAT TO EXPECT. Once the Coast receives your distress call, we can decide what the closest response units are, what capabilities to bring and approximately how long it will take to get to your location. The Coast Guard communications watch stander on the other end of the radio may have additional questions for you to further ascertain your situation. For those accustomed to police or fire units responding within a few minutes in your city, be aware that Coast Guard boats and helicopters may take longer to reach your location because we may have to transit dozens or even hundreds of miles. Do your best to stabilize your situation in the meantime. The Coast Guard can also provide basic first responder medical care from our boats or helicopters, but paramedic-level (and greater) medical support must be provided from landbased resources. Please be aware that we do not have divers with subsurface or SCUBA capability. Our helicopters carry a rescue swimmer who can conduct rescues on or near the surface only. If subsurface rescue may be required, let us know that as soon as possible because SCUBA capability must come from other agencies and can take hours to coordinate and transport.

RESCUE 21. The Coast Guard recently installed the Rescue 21 communications system around the Great Lakes, greatly increasing our reception and transmission capability. For race participants, your procedure for contacting us remains unchanged - see the ‘Mayday’ call guidance in the ‘In an emergency’ paragraph above. For our part, Rescue 21 allows us to rapidly obtain a line of bearing from our radio towers to the location of the VHF-FM caller. This helps us home in on your position more quickly and easily, and also helps us catch hoax callers. Again, you do not need to know where our towers or stations are - call us on VHF-FM channel 16 and we will work with you on a case-by-case basis.

IN CASE OF STORMS. If severe storms do occur, it is up to race participants to decide whether to continue their courses or to divert toward cover or safe harbors. The Coast Guard cannot make that decision for you, and we are prohibited from providing specific sailing directions (courses to steer, etc.) to you. The Coast Guard communications watch stander can, however, transmit to you published/charted navigational aids, hazards and information that may be helpful in making your decision.

A WORD ABOUT HYPOTHERMIA. Even if air temperatures during the race days are warm and seasonable, be advised that lake temperatures will likely be cold enough in many locations to cause moderate to severe hypothermia within hours. Participants should dress themselves with those water temperatures in mind - and of course, wear their personal flotation device. Hypothermia is an insidious killer that catches unprepared people in the water off guard, so you stack the deck in your favor by wearing a survival suit, dry suit, wet suit or anti-exposure coveralls.

NINTH COAST GUARD DISTRICT ‘SAR ETHOS.’ The men and women of the Ninth Coast Guard District take our search and rescue (SAR) responsibilities very, very seriously. In fact, our philosophy, or ‘SAR Ethos’ is to treat every potential victim as we would our own family. So know that if you get in trouble out there, we will do our very best. Good luck!

GREAT LAKES SEARCH AND RESCUE LINE - 1-800-321-4400.

Joint Rescue Coordination Center Cleveland
Ninth Coast Guard District
1240 E. 9th Street
Cleveland, OH 44199

1-216-902-6117/6118/6109
ninthdistrictcommandcenter@uscg.mil

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


10-Jul-14 - 04:41pm
Dear Fellow Mac Skipper:

We are one week from registration in Chicago. Here are the things you should be thinking about now. For more detail, see prior emails from me archived at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/news/.

1) Crew List and Crew Waivers. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to make sure that your crew list is complete and accurate. Make sure all crew have accepted your invitation and have signed their waivers. See my prior emails archived under ‘News’ on the Mac website if you are having trouble. The Notice of Race requires a complete, accurate crew list with all required information. We expect strict compliance with this requirement.

2) Boarding Pass. You will need to print out your ‘boarding pass’ (also known as the Pre-Race Sign In Certificate and Waiver) and bring it with you to check in in Chicago. This will be available for printing on July 11. You cannot print it until you have completed all steps in Section 5 of the NOR. Everything on your competitor homepage should be green. If anything is red, it is incomplete and needs your attention. If anything is red on your homepage, you cannot print your boarding pass or check in in Chicago. Please note that once you print your boarding pass, you may no longer make any changes to your entry or crew list without contacting our race coordinator. Printers will be available at Monroe Station during registration if you need to print your pass then, but we urge you to do so at home to avoid lines. Contact our Race Coordinator with any questions.

3) Pre-Race Inspections. If you have been selected for pre-race inspection (see your competitor login - if red, you are selected), please immediately contact our chief inspector to make arrangements to be inspected. chiefinspector@cycracetomackinac.com.

4) Pre-Race Docking in Chicago. Please see section 13 of the NOR if you wish to dock at the Chicago Yacht Club’s facilities in Chicago before the Race. We encourage you to consider our Belmont Harbor station for prerace docking. It has excellent facilities, is well protected from lake swell, and offers a quiet, casual atmosphere. We are working to secure discounts for taxis or shared cars, and we have discounts available for Divvy, Chicago’s excellent new shared bike service (www.divvybikes.com), to enable you to get around the City better. A shuttle will also run at certain times between Belmont and Monroe Stations. Our staff at Belmont welcomes you during Mac week. Contact our dock master as specified in the NOR to arrange docking at either of our facilities, or to switch between them.

5) GLORe Study. You are being asked to participate in a medical research study on injuries that may be sustained as a result of offshore racing in the Great Lakes. Your participation is voluntary and confidential. Skippers are requested to fill out and return the GLORe medical survey on the Island to GLORe volunteers after finishing. The injury and illness survey data are compiled to gain a deeper understanding of injuries and illnesses that occur during the Great Lake races, which may help racers better prepare for future events. The results of this study may make racing safer for all of us. For details, see http://tinyurl.com/oqnw7v3.

6) Warning Gun Party. If you haven’t done so already, please RSVP for the Warning Gun Party as soon as you can. See the invitation you received last week for details. The event does sell out, so please act promptly.

7) Skippers Meetings. We strongly encourage you to attend one of the two skippers meetings held on Friday, July 19, at Monroe Station. The early one is at 0900 and the late one at 1700. Important information about the Race will be presented at both meetings, and race meteorologist Chris Bedford will be presenting a pre-race weather briefing at both meetings. I hope you and your watch captains will attend one of the meetings. We will also attempt to post video of the meetings on our YouTube and Facebook feeds after the meetings are over (an hour or two later). See the Mac website for links to those feeds.

I hope you have a safe delivery to Chicago next week, and I look forward to seeing you at the Warning Gun Party.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


We encourage you to follow the Race on Facebook. We will be posting advanced looks at the weather and all sorts of other information about Mac week events and the Race. Visit https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac and ‘like’ our page.


09-Jul-14 - 11:54am
Dear Fellow Invited Competitor:

This weekend, many of you will be finalizing the readying of your boats: going over your final checklists, safety regulations, and food and drink lists, and otherwise preparing your boats and crews for the 106th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac.

I would ask you to review one additional list with your crew, delivery crews, and other guests on the Island -- a list of rules regarding conduct during the Race. The overwhelming majority of our sailors behave very well and have a good time, in Chicago and on the Island. Unfortunately, we have had occasional problems with crew members or delivery crew acting inappropriately. Inappropriate conduct on the part of you or your crew will cause difficulties for you as Invited Competitors.

You as invited competitor are responsible for the conduct of your crew in Chicago, on the water, and on the Island. The Notice of Race, Section 6, makes you responsible for the conduct of the entire crew before, during and after the Race while at race-related locations. You are subject to protest or having your invitation for next year withdrawn if you or your crew engage in inappropriate conduct.

We are guests on Mackinac Island for a few days each summer. Many of the people you interact with on the Island call it home. Please treat them respectfully, as you would like to be treated in your own hometown. We want to be welcome back! To avoid any issues, please keep the following rules in mind:

1. Both during and after the Race, you will be interacting with our outstanding volunteers and Club staff. They are terrific people who will be giving a lot of their time over the next couple of weeks to make this a great experience for all. Please treat them with respect and courtesy. If you encounter a situation in which our Race Committee members or Club staff members cannot assist you, please do not argue with or berate them. Instead, ask to speak with me, personally, or our Principal Race Officer, Janet Crabb, or any one of our Vice Chairs. We will have a zero tolerance policy regarding disrespectful behavior towards any of our volunteers or CYC staff.

2. Please follow all directions from CYC Dockmasters and CYC Staff while docking in Chicago. They are working to arrange safe dockage for everyone who will be docking at our facilities. They need your cooperation, and the cooperation of your crews, to make this happen. Our zero tolerance policy will apply here as well. Any disrespectful behavior towards our volunteers or staff will be dealt with harshly.

3. This year we will again be using a zone system for docking on Mackinac Island. This system places similar boats together. It’s designed to get you docked and to the bars and parties as quickly as possible. However, to make it work, you have to follow our plan and not everyone can get a slip, even if it’s empty at the moment. Every space on the Island is assigned and accounted for. Please cooperate with our docking officials on the Island. I have asked our docking officials to report any failure to cooperate or any inappropriate behavior directly to me; disregarding instruction may result in your boat being uninvited in subsequent years as well as protest.

4. No swimming is allowed in Mackinac Island Harbor. This is for your safety and that of others. There are too many boats moving about, and the risk of stray electrical current was highlighted in the June 12 Safety Thursday.

5. Michigan law prohibits open containers of alcohol on the public way. If a police officer approaches you or your crew, and asks you to spill out the Mount Gay and tonic that you just purchased, please do so promptly. (Note that this also applies to the grounds outside of the Grand Hotel during our sailors' party.)

6. The school, which is adjacent to the Grand Hotel, is a drug and alcohol free zone. We strongly recommend that you stay away from this area during our sailors' party.

7. Please do not walk in the streets. While they may look pedestrian safe because there are no cars, you can easily be hit by a bicycle or by a horse and carriage. Stay on the sidewalks.

8. Keep sails and other banners away from horses, as they are easily frightened. When drying sails, stay as far away from the streets as possible. A flapping sail or banner can cause a really bad situation.

9. Departure time from all harbors is 1 PM EDT on Wednesday, July 23. Please make sure that you depart at or before this time unless you have made prior arrangement with the Harbor Master. We will be present to enforce this deadline. Failure to depart on time will result in your invitation for future races being withdrawn. Remember that rafts start breaking up much earlier in the day. Please be considerate of your neighbors in your raft by being at the harbor and available by 0700, as is required in the Sailing Instructions. Talk with each other in advance to make things easier.

Failure to follow these rules can result in disqualification from this Race and not being invited to future Races. Crew members and guests are expected to follow these rules, but ultimately it is the Skipper who is responsible. Don't be that guy or gal who gets your boat uninvited to race next year!

Please help us make the 106th Race a great experience for everyone. We look forward to seeing you on the start line next week!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackianc


08-Jul-14 - 02:37pm
Fellow Mac Racers:

Today is the last day to buy tickets for the Bus Back from the Mac at the 'early bird' pricing. After today, ticket prices go up from $95.00 to $110.00. Save yourself $15 and buy your ticket today.

To buy tickets, visit:

https://www.chicagoyachtclub.org/rtm

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


03-Jul-14 - 11:26am
Dear Fellow Mac Sailor:

In two weeks, we’ll all be converging on Chicago, getting ready for the 106th running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. Here are a few items that all Mac crew members and skippers should be thinking about now.

1) Social Media. Please share your experience of getting ready for the Mac and racing in this annual classic! Follow us on our social media accounts and share your pictures and stories with your fellow racers, your family and friends, and the world:

a. Instagram @racetomackinac – New in 2014
b. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac
c. Twitter @racetomackinac
d. Flickr https://www.flickr.com/groups/cycracetomackinac/

2) Social Events for Competitors. We all know the competition is on the water, but there’s plenty of fun on land both before and after the Race. Visit the Mac website for details of all social events – www.cycracetomackinac.com. Once again, the party of the season will be held at CYC’s Monroe Station on Friday night before the Race. Don’t miss it. On the Island, we’ll again be celebrating another great race on Tuesday, July 22, in the Tea Garden of the Grand Hotel. The Mac Website has all the details. For other ideas of things to see and do and places to stay and eat on the Island, visit http://www.mackinacisland.org.

3) Ashore Thing. Saturday, while you parade past the end of Navy Pier in the parade of boats, your friends and family can enjoy a fun day at Ashore Thing - http://www.upshiftcreative.com/ashorething/. It’s a fun event for adults and kids, and it’s a great way for your family and friends to send you off.

4) Porch Party. For your family and friends on the Island, tickets to the Sunday Porch Party are now available for sale. Visit the Mac website, http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/shore-events/porch-party/, for details and to purchase tickets. Tickets must be bought in advance and will be held at the door.

5) Crew Profiles. Please check to be sure that your crew profile is complete, that all required information has been provided, and that you have accepted the terms of the waiver. If your crew profile isn’t complete, your skipper cannot register in Chicago. If you’ve lost your login info, please contact your skipper; only he or she can send it to you. If you have fellow crew members who aren’t receiving this email, it’s because the skipper hasn’t added them to the crew yet or used a bad email address. Please help your boat and your fellow crew – make sure everyone on the crew has a completed crew profile.

6) CMSRs. Your skipper has probably been working his or her way through the Chicago Mac Safety Regulations. Have you read them? Have you verified that your personal equipment meets the CMSR standards? If your boat is inspected, you can hurt your entire team if your equipment doesn’t meet the requirements of the CMSRs. They’re available for download under Race Documents at the Mac Website, www.cycracetomackinac.com. I draw your particular attention to CMSR Monohull 67-71 and Multihull 69-73

7) Tracking. Again this year, we are happy to announce that your friends and family can track you in the Mac via Yellowbrick. Race tracking will go live on Thursday, July 17, when registration opens. A link to tracking will be on the Mac homepage (last year’s race is still up if you want to relive it). On iOS and Android, the best experience is via the Yellowbrick App. Download it for free at http://www.yellowbrick-tracking.com/?page_id=2624. On July 17, you’ll be able to ‘buy’ the race, but at no cost to you; CYC is covering the cost of this for our racers and families and friends.

8) Gear. Its not too late to order crew gear from Crowley’s, but act fast. A wide variety of high-quality crew gear from our friends at Gill are available at http://store.crowleys.com/servlet/-strse-Race-to-Mackinac-Gear/Categories. Much of it can be personalized to your boat, but act fast if you want delivery before the Race.

9) Bus Back. Bus back tickets are available for purchase now. We're offering early and late bus options. Visit https://www.chicagoyachtclub.org/rtm for more details and to make your reservation (required) for a specific bus.

That’s it for now. As always, direct any questions you have to your skipper or, if he or she cannot help, to racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org. I’ll be back in touch next week. Have a good weekend on the water and a Happy 4th of July!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


02-Jul-14 - 10:22am
HYPERthermia – How to Recognize, Treat and Prevent

By Ben Komar

My bout of hyperthermia on last year’s Chicago Mac was something I never experienced before. I’m active, in good shape and know how to hydrate since I’m an avid cyclist. For me hydration wasn’t the issue. I spent too much time in the sun without a hat and covered up too much at night due to the biting flies. My core temperature peaked AFTER the race on the delivery trip back to Chicago. I got to the point where I couldn’t think clearly so I handed the boat over to another for the return trip. It took 2 days and a cold hotel room before I felt normal again. I had no idea what I was experiencing until after the event. That’s why I wrote the article. No one should ever have to experience hyperthermia armed with a little knowledge and preparation.

Definition - Hyperthermia is elevated body temperature due to failed thermoregulation that occurs when a body produces or absorbs more heat than it dissipates. Extreme temperature elevation then becomes a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment to prevent disability or death. The most common causes include heat stroke and adverse reactions to drugs (such as antihistamines and diuretics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperthermia - cite_note-Harrisons-8). The former is an acute temperature elevation caused by exposure to excessive heat, or combination of heat and humidity, that overwhelms the heat-regulating mechanisms.

Signs & Symptoms - Hyperthermia is defined as a temperature greater than 99.5–100.9 °F. Body temperatures above 104 °F can be life-threatening. Other symptoms include muscle cramps, fatigue, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, and weakness. The heart rate may be elevated, and the skin is reddened. The skin may be moist if sweating is still occurring, or it may be dry if sweating has stopped. Confusion and mental changes may develop, and seizures can occur with brain damage. In severe heat stroke the person may be confused, hostile, or exhibit seemingly intoxicated behavior. Heart rate and respiration rate will increase as blood pressure drops and the heart attempts to maintain adequate circulation. The decrease in blood pressure can then cause blood vessels to contract resulting in a pale or bluish skin color in advanced cases. Eventually, organ failure, unconsciousness and death will result.

Treatment - Treatment for heat exhaustion includes recognizing the symptoms, stopping the activity, and moving to a cooler environment. Rehydration with water or a sports drink is the cornerstone of treatment for heat exhaustion. Move out of the sun. Make sure the person is adequately hydrated. Keep water on the head using a soaked cloth or wetted sweat band. Rest in a cool place. Remove excess clothing. Cool the person with air movement and water mist. Active cooling methods, such as sponging the head, neck, and trunk with cool water, remove heat from the body and thereby speed the body's return to normal temperatures. If symptoms get worse, apply ice or cold compresses to the neck, armpits and groin. Immerse in tepid or cool water if the condition is extreme.

Hyperthermia that results from drug exposure requires prompt cessation of that drug, and occasionally the use of other drugs as counter measures. Fever-reducing drugs such as acetaminophen and aspirin have value in treating hyperthermia. Always consult with a physician before cessation or administration of drugs.

When the body temperature reaches about 104 °F, or if the affected person is unconscious or showing signs of confusion, hyperthermia is considered a medical emergency that requires treatment in a proper medical facility.

Prevention - Stay adequately hydrated with cool water combined with an electrolyte balancing drink. Avoid drinks containing caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar and energy drinks because they will actually cause you to lose more fluid. Avoid hot, heavy meals. Avoid direct exposure to the sun. Wear a vented wide brimmed hat, a sweat band and cooling cloth over the neck. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Wear sunscreen to protect skin from the sun's harmful rays. Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. Use mosquito netting or a light sheet when sleeping with biting flies.

References:
http://www.sailingcourse.com/cruising/emergencies.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-stroke/basics/prevention/con-20032814
http://www.great-lakes-sailing.com/heat_stroke.html
http://www.healthcentral.com/encyclopedia/408/271.html
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/149546-overview
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperthermia
http://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/hyperthermia/heatprecautions.php
http://navymedicine.navylive.dodlive.mil/archives/5465
http://www.public.navy.mil/comnavsafecen/Pages/acquisition/heat_stress.aspx
http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=54429
http://warmweatherworkwear.com/

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


01-Jul-14 - 01:57pm
Dear fellow invited competitor:


Here’s our early July update for things you should be thinking about for your entry in the Chicago Mac. We have just over two weeks to race day. Here’s what owners should be working on now.

1) Crew List and Crew Waivers. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to make sure that your crew list is complete and accurate. A complete and accurate crew list is required by the NOR; we take this very seriously and you will jeopardize your race this year and future invitations if your crew list is not complete and accurate. To enter your crew list, after logging in as a competitor, visit ‘Enter or Update your crew list’ Make sure all of your crew has been invited. Remember, you must invite yourself as well! You are both an invited competitor and a crew member. For each crew member who is not marked as ‘complete,’ click on “email crew for update” button to automatically send them an email to complete the process. Having Issues? First watch the video tutorial on completing your crew waivers that we put together last year. The procedure is the same this year. Visit http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/reminder-new-crew-waiver-procedures/

2) Boarding Pass. You will need to print out your ‘boarding pass’ (also known as the Pre-Race Sign In Certificate and Waiver) and bring it with you to check in in Chicago. This will be available for printing on July 11. You cannot print it until you have completed all steps in Section 5 of the NOR, so please take 5 minutes to review the NOR requirements in Section 5 to see that your entry is complete. Everything on your competitor homepage should be green. If anything is red, it is incomplete and needs your attention. Please note that once you print your boarding pass, you may no longer make any changes to your entry or crew list without contacting our race coordinator.

3) Pre-Race Inspections. If you have been selected for pre-race inspection (see your competitor login - if red, you are selected), please immediately contact our chief inspector to make arrangements to be inspected. chiefinspector@cycracetomackinac.com. It is your responsibility to schedule the inspection with our inspector. We are offering inspections at a wide variety of times and locations to minimize the difficulty this may cause you.

4) Customizable Race Gear . Logoed Race Gear is available now from Crowley’s Online - http://store.crowleys.com/servlet/-strse-Race-to-Mackinac-Gear/Categories. Check it out and order soon for pre-race delivery. Crowley’s can customize gear with your boat name or logo.

5) Hats. As a reminder, each skipper bag will have 3 complimentary Race hats. If you would like to order more hats so each of your crew members can have one, we have set up a site where you can order them online. This offer is ONLY for skippers in the Mac. Please do not share this link, as hats may not be ordered by non-competitors. Our hat vendor can also add your boat name or logo to the hat if you’d like. Visit http://macracehats.myshopify.com/ for more details. Order by July 3 for pre-race delivery. Again, this is limited to skippers of Mac entrants.

6) Pre-Race Docking in Chicago. Please see section 13 of the NOR if you wish to dock at the Chicago Yacht Club’s facilities in Chicago before the Race. Section 13.2 describes how to request docking in Chicago. Docking is complimentary for those boats not already moored in the Chicago Harbor system, subject to the limitations set out in the NOR. All boats will be subject to rafting. If you want a guaranteed slip, we suggest you promptly contact the Chicago Harbor System so you can make a transient reservation at one of their harbors, at your expense. See http://www.chicagoharbors.info.

7) Post-race docking. Our docking team is working hard on the docking plan for the Island. We are doing everything we can to grant everyone their desired harbor. A certain number of boats - determined by date their entry fee was paid - may be denied their first choice. If you are in this category, you have already been contacted. If you haven’t been contacted already, then we intend to put you in the harbor of your choice subject to matters beyond our control. Our docking team has put together a handy tip sheet on how to dock on the island - see http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/Docking_letter_to_skippers_2014.pdf

8) Warning Gun Party. You should have received earlier today an invitation to the Warning Gun Party at CYC on Thursday evening of Mac week. This complimentary party is limited to Mac Skippers (plus one guest) and CYC members. It routinely sells out, so we urge you to RSVP promptly.

9) Sailing Instructions and Start Times. The Sailing Instructions and Start Times (Published as ASI #1) are now available. They can be found on our website under Race Documents.



That’s it for now. I’ll touch base with you next week. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please reach out via racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

PS You will soon receive a second email addressed to all crew – including yourself – that highlights some matters of general interest to all racers, but here’s what you need to know as an owner.


PPS All these updates are being posted on the Mac Website, under News.


26-Jun-14 - 11:53am
Dear Fellow Mac Skipper:

This is a friendly reminder that registration for the 2014 Verve Cup is open. We would love to see all of you join us in Chicago again in early August for the Verve. The link for registration is below.


https://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_registration_form.php?regatta_id=7775


Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


19-Jun-14 - 02:48pm
We offer the following as an encore presentation from April 4, 2013

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning
By Mario Vittone

The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the couple swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. ‘I think he thinks you’re drowning,’ the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. ‘We’re fine, what is he doing?’ she asked, a little annoyed. ‘We’re fine!’ the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ‘Move!’ he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, ‘Daddy!’

How did this captain know – from fifty feet away – what the father couldn’t recognize from just ten? Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, ‘Daddy,’ she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.

The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC). Drowning does not look like drowning – Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene Magazine, described the instinctive drowning response like this:

Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.

Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.

Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.

From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.

(Source: On Scene Magazine: Fall 2006 (page 14))

This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble – they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the instinctive drowning response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long – but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.

Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:

-Head low in the water, mouth at water level
-Head tilted back with mouth open
-Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
-Eyes closed
-Hair over forehead or eyes
-Not using legs – Vertical
-Hyperventilating or gasping
-Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
-Trying to roll over on the back
-Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder.

So if a crew member falls overboard and everything looks OK – don’t be too sure. Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning. They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck. One way to be sure? Ask them, ‘Are you alright?’ If they can answer at all – they probably are. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them. And parents – children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.

Reprinted by permission
from http://mariovittone.com/2010/05/154/, courtesy of the author. Mario Vittone has been heading offshore since 1985. His first experience with at-sea emergencies came that first year as ship’s company aboard the USS Coral Sea, a WWII era aircraft carrier. Joining the Coast Guard in 1991 he worked at Training Center Cape May before transferring to the Cutter Point Franklin as a helmsman and small boat coxswain. He graduated from Helicopter Rescue Swimmer School in 1994 and began his career as a rescue swimmer with two tours at Air Station Elizabeth City, one at Air Station New Orleans, then finally as an instructor and course developer at the Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City, NC. He recently retired from the U.S. Coast Guard following four years as a vessel inspector and accident investigator in Norfolk, Virginia.

Mario is a leading expert on immersion hypothermia, drowning, sea survival, and safety at sea. His writing has appeared in Yachting Magazine, SaltWater Sportsman, MotorBoating Magazine, Lifelines, On-Scene, and Reader’s Digest. He has developed courses for municipal rescue teams and the military on search and rescue tactics and open ocean survival. In 2007, he was named as the Coast Guard Active Duty Enlisted Person of the Year and was named as the 2009 recipient of the Alex Haley Award for Journalism. Mario lives with his family in Coastal Virginia, and when he’s not writing about the water he can be found on his 32 foot St. Tropez, making sure she stays above it.

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


18-Jun-14 - 02:15pm
Dear fellow invited competitor:


Here’s our mid-June update for things you should be thinking about for your entry in the Chicago Mac. On Monday, you received an email update for Crew members (you are, after all, a crew member as well as a skipper!). I am not going to duplicate the information in there, but I ask that you please read it as well. You’ll hear back from me around the end of the month. All these updates are being posted on the Mac Website, under News.

1) Deadlines. Please complete your entry before the late entry deadline if you intend to Race this year. See the NOR for details. We strongly recommend that you double-check the requirements of the NOR and your entry now to make sure you are all set.

2) Customizable Race Gear . This year, we’re proud to be working with Gill NA and our friends at Crowley’s to offer a wide-range of high quality apparel and other crew year. It’s available now from Crowley’s Online - http://store.crowleys.com/servlet/-strse-Race-to-Mackinac-Gear/Categories. Check it out and order soon for pre-race delivery. Crowley’s can customize gear with your boat name or logo.

3) Hats. This year, we are proud to introduce our own race hat, in place of the hodge-podge of hats we’ve been distributing in the past from our various sponsors. The hat – only available to competitors in the Mac – will be a symbol of your participation in the greatest race on the Great Lakes. Each skipper bag will have 3-4 complimentary hats. If you would like to order more hats so each of your crew members can have one, we have set up a site where you can order them online. This offer is ONLY for skippers in the Mac. Please do not share this link, as hats may not be ordered by non-competitors. Our hat vendor can also add your boat name or logo to the hat if you’d like. Visit http://macracehats.myshopify.com/ for more details. Order soon for pre-race delivery. Again, this is limited to skippers of Mac entrants.

4) Crew List and Crew Waivers. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to make sure that your crew list is complete and accurate. A complete and accurate crew list is required by the NOR, and you will be unable to check in at registration if it is not done. To enter your crew list, after logging in as a competitor, visit “Enter or Update your crew list” Make sure all of your crew has been invited. Remember, you must invite yourself as well! You are both an invited competitor and a crew member. For each crew member who is not marked as ‘complete,’ click on “email crew for update” button to as them via email to complete the process.

Having Issues? First watch the video tutorial on completing your crew waivers that we put together last year. The procedure is the same this year. Visit http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/reminder-new-crew-waiver-procedures/

5) Weather Data. A critical part of any well-prepared team is a thorough awareness and understanding of the weather conditions along the course. Not only will good weather preparation give your team a potential tactical advantage, but it will also help keep you safe on a lake where the weather can be quite volatile.??Once again, Sailing Weather Service (SWS) Chief Meteorologist Chris Bedford will be at the skippers' meetings on Friday, July 18th, to provide a race weather briefing. As in previous years, SWS has put together a complimentary online weather portal providing information specific to Lake Michigan (www.sailwx.com/chimac). In addition to access to NOAA satellite, radar, forecast imagery and text products, GRIB weather forecast data which can be used in your onboard routing and navigation software is also provided. With just over a month to the start, it is a good time to start familiarizing yourself with the available weather data and practicing weather preparation for the race.??

Chris Bedford will be in Chicago from Thursday, July 18th, through Saturday, July 20th. If you would like to meet personally with Chris and discuss the race weather forecast as it pertains to your boat, please contact him well ahead of time to set up an appointment: cbedford@sailwx.com??Head over to www.sailwx.com/chimac now to check out the 2014 CYC Race to Mackinac Weather Portal.

6) Pre-Race Docking. Please see section 13 of the NOR if you wish to dock at the Chicago Yacht Club’s facilities in Chicago before the Race. Section 13.2 describes how to request docking in Chicago. Docking is complimentary for those boats not already moored in the Chicago Harbor system, subject to the limitations set out in the NOR. All boats will be subject to rafting. If you want a guaranteed slip, we suggest you promptly contact the Chicago Harbor System so you can make a transient reservation at one of their harbors, at your expense. See http://www.chicagoharbors.info.

7) Post-race docking. Now that the entry deadline has passed, our docking team is putting together a docking plan for the Island. We will do everything we can to accommodate everyone’s expressed preference (Mac Island, St. Ignace or Straits). However, as indicated in earlier emails, demand for docking on the Island is running higher than average this year and we almost certainly will be denying some boats their chosen harbor. As we indicated in earlier emails (March 5; April 1; April 17; and May 4), we will be using the date you paid for your entry in determining which boats will be denied their choice of harbor. We will contact you next week if it appears that you cannot be accommodated at your chosen harbor. We regret the necessity to do this, but we are constrained by the physical limits of the harbor at the Island.


That’s it for now. I’ll touch base with you again around July 1. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please reach out via racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


16-Jun-14 - 01:30pm
Dear fellow sailor:

Welcome to the 106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac! You have been listed as a crew member on one of the 333 yachts that are racing this summer. We’re happy to have you join us.

Those of you have raced before are used to a large numbers of emails from us as we approach the race. We’re trying to cut down the volume of emails, but we do ask that you take the time to carefully read the ones we send; they contain information that will help make your race more enjoyable and safer – and it will save me sending you and you reading a bunch of emails scattered around. My next crew update will be around July 1. Crew updates will be archived on the Mac website at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/news/

Here are some things you should be thinking about now, about a month before the Race.

1) Gear. This year, we’re proud to be working with Gill NA and our friends at Crowley’s to offer a wide-range of high quality apparel and other crew year. It’s available now from Crowley’s Online - http://store.crowleys.com/servlet/-strse-Race-to-Mackinac-Gear/Categories. Check it out and order soon for pre-race delivery.

2) Bus Back. Tickets for the Bus Back from the Mac are now available for purchase online. Visit the Mac website, www.cycracetomackinac.com, and look towards the lower left of the page for the link to purchase tickets. We listened to your feedback, and in addition to offering the regular morning buses, we plan on offering a later bus, departing in the afternoon. When you buy your tickets, you are buying a ticket for a specific bus, and tickets are non-transferable between people or between bus times. We hope that this lets you enjoy your stay on the Island just a bit more.

3) Crew Information. If you received this email, it means your skipper listed you as a crew member on his boat. However, remember that you must accept this invitation, fill out all the required information and accept the terms of the waiver. If 100% of your crew do not do this, you will not be allowed to race! So please, if you haven’t done so already, accept the invitation from your skipper, provide all required information and accept the terms of the waiver. If you lost your invitation email, you must contact your skipper to get it resent. Our staff does not have the ability to do this. Only the skipper can do so, by clicking on ‘email crew for update.’ This will also send your login credentials to you. Please do this today to save your whole boat a hassle come registration time!

4) Social activities. Once again, CYC will be throwing great parties before and after the Race. Friday night July 18, the party of the year will be at CYC’s Monroe Station. Saturday, while we’re all racing, Michigan Avenue Magazine will once again be hosting Ashore Thing – the Parade of Boats – for our family and friends. See http://www.upshiftcreative.com/ashorething/. Sunday, the folks on the Island will be treated to the Porch Party. Tuesday, we’ll all gather again at the Grand Hotel’s Tea Garden for the Sailor Celebration, to celebrate another great race up north. For details of all social events, visit the Mac webpage, www.cycracetomackinac.com. We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac) or Twitter @RaceToMackinac for the latest information. Any specific questions you have should be directed to your skipper.

Again, we’re very happy you are joining us to be part of the 106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac! See you in Chicago or on the Island!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


12-Jun-14 - 06:00pm
Never swim in a fresh water marina where shore power is available

There is a killer in our fresh water marinas that you cannot see, it is virtually undetectable. A lifejacket will not save you. This killer will likely kill anyone that enters the water in an attempt to save you. The killer is Alternating Current (AC)…Electricity. The danger is Electric Shock Drowning. This is particularly a fresh water risk as salt water is exponentially more conductive than fresh water. In fresh water, current is hindered from returning to its source and will seek out more conductive conduits such as the human body.

It takes less than 100 milliamps (mA) to kill a swimmer in fresh water. As little as 6 mA will cause a painful shock and loss of muscle control. More and more, what had generally been classifies as drowning are being accurately diagnosed as Electric Shock Drowning. Even if you are able to accurately test the water before you jump in, there is no way of knowing if the leakage is tied to the activation of a refrigeration unit or dehumidifier that can go on at any second.

We all have been taught that electricity and water do not mix, however, many of us seem to forget just how much electricity runs through the docks and into some rather creative electric systems on the boats occupying the slips. Having grown up sailing on boats that eventually migrated from a mooring to a slip, I have sailed on a number of boats with electrical systems that were not originally designed for shore power. Researching this topic, I immediately had flashbacks to a number of jury-rigged electrical systems that resembled a bird’s nest.

The first step is awareness, then strict adherence to a no swimming policy, followed by a thorough review of power cables as well as your total electrical system. By completely isolating the AC shore power system and assuring that all connections are properly grounded and that all AC on the shore power system is returned to the source. To the extent that the boat has an AC generator system, the same must be done for the boat’s AC system.

There are two methods to assure that your boat is not leaking AC into the water. The first is to install an Isolation Transformer and the second is to install Ground Fault Protection similar to the GFI that are required in our kitchens and bathrooms.

Below I have included links to several websites that offer a more detailed explanation of the problem as well as solutions. There is also an Electric Shock Drowning Facebook page. As sailors, we are constantly assessing risks with potential gain. I cannot think of any potential gain that justifies the potential risk of instant death.

Electric Shock Drowning Website: http://www.electricshockdrowning.org/

ABYC webinar http://www.abycinc.org/whyabyc/esd_I.cfm

ESD Explained http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/assets/pdf/electric-shock-drowning-explained.pdf

Hidden danger in fresh water http://www.lifesaving.com/node/1045

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


09-Jun-14 - 07:42am
Dear Fellow Mac Skipper:

I hope you had a nice weekend and, if you were competing in the Chicago NOOD, that you had a good couple of days of racing.

This is our final reminder that the entry deadline for the 106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac is June 13, which is this Friday. Per the NOR, by that date you must have completed all the steps laid out in Sections 5.1 through 5.5 of the NOR. If you have not, a $500.00 late entry fee will be automatically applied; there will be no exceptions made to this fee. The Notice of Race is available at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/2014_Chicago_Mac_NOR.pdf. Please review it today to be sure you are fully compliant.

If you have questions, please first check the archive of the emails I’ve sent out to fellow invited competitors, available at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/news/. You may also email our Race Coordinator at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org. As always, the NOR and other Race Documents govern the race and trump any advice given by me or our Race Coordinator, which is simply a courtesy.

Please check today to see that you have completed the steps set out in Sec 5.1 – 5.5. Thanks!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


05-Jun-14 - 07:37pm
Safety Thursdays -First Aid Kits and Ditch Bags

The Mac safety regulations require yachts competing in the Mac to carry First Aid Kits and First Aid Manuals (Monohull MSR 45 & 46, Multihull MSR 49 & 50). Skippers are responsible for ensuring that a kit suitable for the race and the number of people on board is carried and maintained. Remember that many medical supplies have expiration dates, so that 10 year old kit may no longer be ‘suitable’ for the conditions of the race. Take the time to examine and inventory your kit. You should consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate contents of a kit for your boat, but many commercially-prepared kits are available, including by way of example:

http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/MedAire_First_Responder_Kit_-_Mackinac.pdf - Speci?cally prepared for the Mac race

http://www.adventuremedicalkits.com/products.php?catname=Marine&cat=8 - Adventure Medical Marine Line

http://www.oceanmedix.com/?_siteid=oceanmedix&_sessid=ce6410db468648cc2d17cc74f9866faa&action=cat&catid =medkits - A wide variety of kits

http://www.landfallnavigation.com/medicalequip.html - Another wide assortment of kits.

In addition to bandages, splints and the like, most kits carry much routine items which may be of use - bandages, allergy pills, anti-itch cream, seasickness pills, sunburn pain relief lotions and the like. Each crew member should be familiar with the location of and contents of the kit, since virtually anyone could be called to use it. Your kit should also contain a good ?rst aid manual, as is required by the MSRs. Many are available, either as part of the kit or from Amazon or similar bookstores. You should familiarize yourself with the manual now, before you really need it. The last thing you want to do is be thumbing through a table of contents in a real emergency! If assembling your own kit, we strongly encourage you to discuss it with a health care professional. Good resources for learning include:
http://www.boatingmag.com/boatingsafety/tips/safety-tip/marine-?rst-aid-kits

http://www.equipped.com/medical.htm

http://www.thesailingfoundation.org/SAS2012Docs/SAS%20Medical.pdf

Kits do not carry prescription drugs or other advanced equipment, such as AEDs. If your particular crew requires such equipment, you should consult with a physician now, before you go. You should be familiar with the health history of your whole crew, and any speci?c health needs of an individual crew member should be addressed with the skipper (or if you have a physician, nurse, paramedic or EMT or the like on your crew, with that person). If crew members have con?dentiality concerns, or if they have serious health issues, a good practice is to keep their health history in a sealed envelope, in the possession of the skipper, to be opened only in the event of emergency. In addition to an appropriate medical kit, you should encourage your crew to have proper ?rst aid training. Although our race is not governed by the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations, they are instructive. They require that 3 members of the crew have medical training equivalent to or greater than the Red Cross First Aid course. This is probably a good standard for most Mac boats as well. Find out in advance who on your crew has this training. If no one does, we encourage you to get trained.

Ditch Bags

The Multihull MSRs require multihulls to carry a ditch bag (“calamity pack”) (MSR 14). While not a requirement for Monohulls, having one on such yachts is also a good idea. Multihulls are required to carry pyrotechnic signals per MSR, a handheld VHF, a GPS, a ?ashlight, cutting tools and an EPIRB/PLB. This equipment would be invaluable in the case of a capsize, and it would be also of tremendous value if your crew was forced to abandon ship into a life raft. The MSRs list minimum equipment requirements, but good sailors would supplement this list. Other items to consider carrying in the ditch bag include a ?rst aid kit, ‘space’ blankets, a knife, spare batteries for the ?ashlight and handheld VHF, a signal mirror, a whistle, and sunscreen. A good article (with link to related articles) on ditch bags is at
http://www.equipped.com/abndonship.htm

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race. Nothing in this article should be considered medical advice, and you should always consult with a physician prior to commencing any physical exertion including sailing to ensure that you are safe to do so.


29-May-14 - 05:04pm
Dear Fellow Mac Skipper:

With only 50 days to the Race, I am sure that you are well into your preparations for the 106th running of our annual classic. Thank you again for choosing to join us! As we are about to enter June, here are a few points that you should be thinking about now:

1. Deadlines The entry deadline is June 13. Please be sure you have completed all steps set out in the NOR, sections 5.1 through 5.5, by that date. If you have not, you will be assessed a $500.00 late entry fee. No exceptions will be made. The late entry deadline is June 20. If you haven’t completed all requirements as set out in the NOR by that date, you will only be allowed to race at the discretion of the Committee.

2. Ratings Certificates If you have not already submitted your application/renewal information to US Sailing or the GLMRA for your ratings certificate, please do so immediately. US Sailing indicates that they’ll be able to issue your ORR certificate before the entry deadline if you have submitted all information to them by today, May 29. Please help them help you. Please note that the only valid way to submit your ratings certificate to us is via upload from your competitor login. Email, fax, US Mail, etc. are not valid methods of submission under the NOR. While we’ll try to help where we can, you are required to fully comply with the NOR. Please be sure to sign your certificate before uploading.

3. Crew Lists Please make sure your crew list is complete and accurate, and please make sure your crew members have logged in, provided all required information, and accepted the terms of the waiver. An accurate crew list is required under the NOR, and if your crew members haven’t done what they need to, you will be unable to register in Chicago.

4. Boat Picture We encourage you to upload a picture of your boat to your competitor page. These photos are used on Yellowbrick’s tracking site, and they may be used in the Race program as well. Boats that don’t upload a photo will be represented by Duckzilla - http://bit.ly/TU406U.

5. Crew Gear This year, we are we are thrilled to be working with Gill NA to provide high quality crew gear and apparel. Gill is working with our friends at Crowley’s to meet your every need. See their store at http://store.crowleys.com/servlet/-strse-Race-to-Mackinac-Gear/Categories to order your gear today. They can work with you to customize the gear with your boat’s name or logo.

6. Safety Regulations Now is the time to break out the applicable Chicago Mac Safety Regulations (CMSRs) to verify that your boat is in compliance. They are available for download from http://bit.ly/1k10Atz.. As a courtesy, major changes are highlighted in bold. We urge you to read these today to avoid the last-minute scramble in July. If you are subject to pre-race inspection, please reach out to the Race Coordinator now to start on that process. See your competitor login to determine if you are subject to inspection.

7. Number boards Help our Race Committee help you! Please review the requirements in the CMSR for reflective sailboards. If yours doesn’t meet the requirements of the CMSR, please contact your sail maker now to get one made. These need to be visible at night, from a long distance away, so please follow the requirements of the CMSR exactly. Remember, we cannot finish you if we cannot see your numbers.!

8. Rooms A handful of rooms are still available at the Grand Hotel at the Club’s special rate. The Chicago Yacht Club Rate of $324.00 per night plus taxes and service charges provides for up to four to a room and includes a fabulous breakfast (Please confirm the rate when you make your reservation). There is no minimum number of nights required at Grand Hotel and rooms that are paid in advance will be held regardless of when you arrive. Consider staying at Grand Hotel. It's a great place. Call the Grand to make a reservation at 1-800-33-GRAND

That’s it for now. More information will be coming soon. As always, reach out to our race coordinator with any questions – racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org. See you on the water!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

??P.S. As always, we encourage you to like us on Facebook for the latest information https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac. Follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.

Please note that this email is intended as a courtesy only. The race is governed by the Notice of Race and other official race documents as set out on the regatta’s website, www.cycracetomackinac.com. Any conflict will be resolved in favor of those race documents.


29-May-14 - 11:32am
Safety Thursday - Crew Overboard

It is every sailor’s nightmare - being lost overboard, particularly at night or in adverse conditions. Preventing a crew overboard (COB) (or man overboard - MOB) situation is the focus of many of the Mac Safety Regulations (MSR) - for example, MSR 13 (lifelines); MSR 40 (Jackstays); MSR 70 (Harnesses and Tethers); and others. The Cruising Club of America has a good briefing on preventing COB situations at http://www.cruisingclub.org/pdfs/ sas_dy_man_overboard_prevention.pdf.

We also encourage you to read the CCA’s “Tips for the Victim” at http://www.cruisingclub.org/pdfs/sas_dy_victim_tips_crew_overboard.pdf. The most important point is: always have a PFD on. This dramatically enhances your chance of survival and recovery.

This safety Thursday focuses on what happens when those prevention methods aren’t sufficient and a crew member goes overboard. (All references are to monohull MSRs, but there are equivalent multihull ones). This article will discuss the MSRs applicable to helping in MOB situations, as well as a discussion of techniques that each crew should practice before they need it.
Equipment MSR 61 requires a man overboard pole and flag, with a lifebuoy, self-igniting light, a whistle and drogue attached and be ready for instant use. An inflatable MOB system such as the MOM-8A fulfills this requirement if properly serviced and equipped. Whether you choose inflatable or rigid, this device should be instantly deployed when a person goes overboard. It serves two main functions: (a) it provides flotation for the person in the water; and (b) it aids in locating the crew member, via light, sound and visual methods. Particularly in heavy seas or at night, picking out a small human head amongst the waves is very challenging. A MOB pole or MOM-8A provides an easy-to-see target.

MSR 60 requires a Lifesling (http://www.thesailingfoundation.org/new_lifesling.htm). A Lifesling consists of a flotation horseshoe attached to a floating line. A hoist and tackle system is an option. The Lifesling is used once the COB is located, to provide floatation and a method of returning them to the boat. See: http://www.cruisingclub.org/pdfs/safety_lifesline_prep_guide.pdf An excellent video on the use of a Lifesling is available online and should be watched by all sailors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnhjOhWD4j0
MSR 63 requires a heaving line, readily accessible in the cockpit. This is another device that can be used to help bring a crew member back to the boat once they’re located in the water.
Do not underestimate the difficulty of recovery of a crew member even when the boat is close nearby. A COB will not be able to easily swim in an inflated PFD, or if injured - a heaving line will provide those on the boat with a mechanism for bringing the COB back to the boat.

Finally, MSR 76 requires a personal safety knife. This is useful to the person in the water when they are attached to the boat but don’t want to be! For example, if tangled in rigging or being dragged along by their tether. We recommend you re-read last year’s Safety Thursday on personal safety knives. (http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/ Issue_8_-_Personal_Safety_Knives.pdf)
Technique The proper technique for MOB situations is beyond the scope of this article. However, here are some considerations. There are several methods for recovery. For a good overview, see this article: http://www.sailingmagazine.net/how-to/technique/1371-crew-overboardrecovery.html. ISAF Offshore Regulation D provides a good summary of the quick stop method (http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/OSR2012AppD09122011-%5b11754%5d.pdf); the quick stop technique is strongly recommended in the MSRs. No matter which technique you use for recovery, there are some common steps that should be taken upon recognition of a COB situation.

1. Shout Man Overboard and hit the MOB function on your chart plotter if at the helm.

2. Deploy the MOB pole or MOM-8A immediately, and get any other floatation possible in the water (to aid the victim and to provide a visual reference to where the COB occurred).

3. Assign one or more crew members to maintain eye contact with the victim and point at them constantly.

4. Call a Mayday on the VHF and/or depress the “distress” button if DSC equipped - a COB is a mayday situation in all but the calmest conditions, and even then it should be called as Pan Pan.

All competitors should render appropriate aid as required by the Racing Rules of Sail and by law. From there, boat handling depends on the method for COB recovery you choose. All techniques involve getting the boat slowed down, back to the victim, and stopped near the victim in order to allow for recovery. Your crew should have a discussion of which technique is appropriate. The “quick stop” method recommended in MSR74 is detailed
ISAF Offshore Special Regulation. We urge your crew, and particularly all your helmsmen, to have a discussion of what technique is appropriate for your boat and crew. Once you get the crew member to the boat, getting them aboard can be a new challenge. Any victim will likely be in some level of shock, and an injured victim may not be able to help themselves. Additionally, getting a crew member on board a boat with high transom and sides may be challenging even if they are uninjured. Your crew should talk through how this would be done, and you should consider carrying a block and tackle to assist in Lifesling-aided recovery. A final point: Do not go into the water to assist the person unless absolutely necessary. If the victim is unable to board or needs further assistance and someone must go into the water, make sure that person is wearing a PFD and is attached to the boat with a line.

Required Drill

Do not forget the requirements of MSR 72 - each crew must perform an annual MOB practice with at least two-thirds of the racing crew participating. A form certifying compliance must be downloaded, signed by the crew, and kept onboard in event of inspection on the Island. The MOB form can be downloaded from http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/2013_crew_overboard_cert.pdf

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


28-May-14 - 02:00pm
Dear Fellow Sailor:

If you have yet to enter the 106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, now is the time. Lake levels are up, and so is the number of competitors already entered in the race. We are quickly approaching capacity.

The entry deadline is June 13, 2014. The cruising division start is July 18, and all other divisions start July 19. Invite your friends and family to watch from Navy Pier at Ashore Thing starting at 10 a.m. on July 19, or follow along via Yellowbrick tracking. See www.cycracetomackinac.com for more details.

If you want to race in 2014, accept your invitation today, or if you didn’t receive one, request an invitation now. See the Notice of Race for more information - http://bit.ly/1k10Atz.

I hope to see you on the line in July!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

P.S. Follow us on Facebook for the latest information https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, hashtag #CYCRTM.

Order your 106th Mac gear now - http://store.crowleys.com/servlet/-strse-Race-to-Mackinac-Gear/Categories


22-May-14 - 01:14pm
Our topic today is pre-race safety inspections. A minimum of 25% of the entrants will be subject to Pre-Race Inspection. All new boats entering the race will automatically be selected for pre-race inspection. In accordance with the Notice of Race it is the responsibility of the Owner or Person in Charge to schedule their inspection. In addition to new boats, boats switching divisions or with a new invited competitor will be subject to prerace inspection, and all boats are subject to random pre-race inspection. Additionally, any boat entered in the race can request a prerace inspection at their option. It’s a great opportunity to ensure that your boat fully complies with the safety equipment rules.

Pre-race inspections are intended to help ensure that all boats comply with the Mac Safety Regulations (MSRs), while at the same time helping to educate our fleet about those requirements of the MSRs and other safety topics. Upon completion of the Pre-Race Inspection we will tell you either that the boat passed pre-race inspection, or we will ask you to correct any deficiencies and report their correction back to us. The inspector will determine if a re-inspection is necessary and it can be scheduled at that time. Remember that it is responsibility of the invited competitor to schedule the inspection and that you cannot complete Pre-Race Sign In until you have passed inspection. The pre-race inspection is not intended to be an adversarial experience, but rather a cooperative and educational one. We want to work with our sailors to help them be as safe as possible while on the Lake.

In the past, items that have been inspected included things such as SOLAS flares, proper PFDs, EPIRBs/PLBs and the like. However, the inspector can check for any item or matter covered by the MSRs. The Mackinac Safety Regulations (MSR) and the Safety and Seamanship Checklist are the documents of record for safety issues for the Race to Mackinac. We advise that you use both of these documents as checklists to ensure that you have complied with all of the safety and seamanship requirements prior to the inspection.

Inspections can take place at the CYC Monroe Station or the CYC Belmont Station’s docks. We will also schedule inspections at your dock or mooring at Monroe, DuSable, Belmont, Montrose, and Burnham harbors. If there is sufficient demand we plan to schedule inspections on specific days in Milwaukee, WI; Muskegon, MI; Holland, MI, and in the Detroit area. We will announce these plans in late May or early June. If the boat is fully prepared, a prerace inspection can be completed in about an hour.

To determine if an inspection is required, the invited competitor should log into the record for their boat in the Race Management system (‘Competitor login’ on the Race’s website). Look for the line ‘Inspection: Pre-race Inspection’. It will either say ‘Not selected or completed’ or ‘required’. If it is required, the invited competitor must arrange the inspection by emailing chiefinspector@cycracetomackinac.com You should hear back within 72 hours. We will also make best efforts to reach out to the invited competitor in each boat where inspection is required.

Upon completion of the Pre-Race Inspection we will tell you that the boat passed or we will ask you to correct any deficiencies and report their correction back to us. The inspector will determine if a re-inspection is necessary and it can be scheduled at that time. Remember that it is your responsibility to schedule the inspection and that you cannot complete Pre-Race Sign In until you have passed inspection.

Please direct any questions you may have to racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


16-May-14 - 02:32pm
Dear Fellow Mac Skipper:

The harbors are filling up and it’s beginning to feel (a little) like summer, despite the snow (!) we had in Chicago early this morning. With just a little over 2 months to Race Day, I hope your preparations are going well.

We have been receiving a lot of questions about the ratings certificate process, so I wanted to try to answer them all here for all competitors. As always, this is just a courtesy, and you should refer to the official race documents for further information.

Thank you for your help in making your entry into the Mac as smooth as possible.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac



Q. I have received two ORR certificates from US Sailing. Why?

A. There was a glitch in the US Sailing Computer system that issued ORR certs. It was discovered in early April. Out of an abundance of caution, US Sailing sent out replacement certificates. Therefore, ORR Certificates issued before April 12, 2014, are not valid. Valid ORR certificates are dated April 12, 2014, or thereafter. If you have already uploaded your certificate and it is dated before April 12, please upload the replacement one you have received in the mail. If you did not receive one, please contact the Offshore Office of US Sailing – offshore@ussailing.org.

Q. I want to mail/fax/hand in my certificate to someone instead of uploading it. How do I do this?

A. The Notice of Race (NOR) requires that you upload your certificate to the Race’s website via your competitor login. No other form of submission is valid. See NOR Section 5.5.

If you have technical difficulties in how to do this, we encourage you to discuss this with your crew. Converting to PDF and uploading is a fairly straightforward process from a technical point of view.

We appreciate that this may cause difficulty for a few of you, and we are sorry for this, but please understand that there is a single person acting as Race Coordinator for all races held at the Chicago Yacht Club, and to require that one person to track down each scrap of paper, fax, email, etc. would undoubtedly cause delay and inaccuracy. While we will make best efforts to upload any certificates he receives via fax or email or US mail, it is your responsibility to fully comply with the NOR.

If you mail or deliver the ORR certificate to us any way other than via upload to the website, you run the risk of being hit with the late entry fee if it does not get uploaded properly. Therefore, we strongly urge you to comply with the NOR by uploading it yourself.

Q. OK I uploaded my certificate, how can I tell if it was properly uploaded?

A. Log into your invited competitor portal. Look about ½ way down on the left under ‘Rating Certificate’

• If it says in green ‘Received – Pending Approval’ then you have uploaded a file and it is subject to review. To look at the file to verify it uploaded correctly, click on ‘Click here to view your current certificate on file.’ You can see the document exactly as we do. If it is viewable to you, and it’s an ORR cert dated April 12, 2014, or thereafter, you’re all set. We’ll review it in coming weeks and let you know if there are any issues. If the file cannot be read, or if it is dated earlier than April 12, 2014, you can upload a new file via the ‘Click here to upload a new digital copy’

• If it says ‘Approved’ then your certificate has been reviewed by our team and is considered valid. If for some reason you need to upload a new certificate after this point, you must contact the race coordinator for further instruction.

• If it says ‘not received’ in red, then you have not yet uploaded an ORR certificate. Please click on the ‘Upload a Rating Certificate’ link to upload yours as soon as possible.


Q. I still don’t have my ORR certificate from US Sailing. Help!

Questions about the status of your application, starting a new application, or other questions about a ratings certificate should be directed to the appropriate rating agency, as indicated in Section 7 of the Notice of Race. Our Club and our Committee do not issue certificates.

If you have a monohull, we strongly urge you to be sure that all necessary information (renewal or application, sail measurements, other measurements, etc.) are in the hands of the Offshore office no later than May 29, 2014. The Offshore Office informs us that they should be able to return your certificate to you by June 13 if you have submitted a complete, accurate application with all necessary supporting information by May 29. If you submit it after that date, there is no guarantee that they will be able to issue your ORR certificate in time, and you run the risk of being charged the late entry fee.


Please note that this communication is intended as a courtesy only, highlighting several aspects of the official race documents. In all cases, for official guidance you should refer to the official race documents as published on the Mac website, www.cycracetomackinac.com.


16-May-14 - 11:33am
By Jack Toliver

Recent reports of the rescue of Eric and Charlotte Kaufman and their young daughters aboard Rebel Heart nearly 1000 miles off the coast of Mexico underscore the fact that although an EPIRB will summon life saving assistance, they are not there to save your boat. When making such a passage, it is necessary to be able to fix everything and improvise a solution for nearly every possible impairment that does not sink the vessel. High on the list of such impairments is steering.

Steering with any impairment will require an emphasis in balancing the boat with sail trim to minimize pressure on the helm. A powered up Main will point the bow into the wind, powering up a Jib or Genoa will push the bow down. Alternative steering is likely to require significantly reduced sail area.

Every sailboat must have an alternate form of steering. In the event that you have a wheel, this may be as simple as an emergency tiller. Most sailboats are delivered with an emergency tiller system. Every sailor should break out this emergency tiller and learn how to deploy and use this emergency system. This process will confirm the following:
1) All of the parts have survived the multiple extra equipment purges.
2) Each member of the crew knows exactly how to engage the emergency tiller.
3) Each member of the crew knows exactly how effective the emergency tiller is at steering the boat and how to balance the boat with significantly less steering leverage.
4) How to rig lines that will handle the preponderance of the forces necessary to steer the boat.

Above and beyond the scope of an emergency tiller, each boat must have a system to steer the boat in the event that the rudder is lost.

The best solution is to bring a spare rudder and train the crew on the process for replacing the rudder as illustrated by the crew of 2013 RTM competitor, il Mostro in the following video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqoaeCYGQeg Unfortunately, this method does require dual rudders as well as a canting keel.

Lacking the professional crew, there are three directions that one may choose to follow. 1) Spinnaker pole & floorboard, 2) Stern mounted cassette or SOS Rudder, 3) Drogue. In researching the topic, it would appear that each solution has significant flaws and limitations. In crafting a solution for my J 109 for the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac (CYC-RTM), I accept the notion that I will not likely be navigating Grays Reef in a blow or sailing more than 50 to 75 miles in the event that I loose my rudder. I do not have an inordinate mandate to finish the race or die trying. In the event that I loose steering within the proximity of a rocky lee shore, I will drop anchor. My solution must either enable me to get to the nearest port under power in adverse conditions or complete the race in moderate to favorable conditions.

Spinnaker Pole Solution
Using the Spinnaker pole as the rudderstock, A floorboard or v-berth support board is mounted to the end of the spinnaker pole with 3 u-bolts; 2 u-bolts around the pole and a 3rd, smaller u-bolt through the jaws to prevent the boards from twisting. The pole is lashed to the backstay with large Velcro straps or sail ties. The inboard end is attached to a halyard providing downward pressure to the outboard end as well as an additional safety line. Chain can also be added to the outboard end to provide additional bite and stability in the water. Sheets led to winches are used to stabilize the inboard end and control the tiller.

Stern Mounted Cassette
A cassette box is mounted to the transom such that it can pivot. An epoxy & carbon fiber rudder drops vertically through the box and is pinned in place (similar to a Flying Tiger). I even saw a 39' Nelson Marek that mounted a bracket to hold the cassette and rudder system from a Flying Tiger to its transom. http://www.selfsteer.com/products/sos/index.php

Drogue
The often-criticized practice of steering with a drogue appears to have received a revival of sorts. Perhaps it has simply been refined to the point that it is highly effective. I offer my quick and dirty high points and links to an excellent video as well as a pdf of the same material.
1) Use the appropriate size and type of drogue. Michael Keyworth of Brewers Cove Haven in Barrington, RI demonstrated the use of a 30-inch GaleRider to steer his rudderless Swan 44.
2) Attach 10 feet of 3/8 chain between the bridle and the drogue.
3) Attach the bridle to the boat with snatch blocks amidships (not at the stern) to enable the boat to rotate on its keel.
http://bermudarace.com/emergency-steering-drogue-new-approach/ http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/Steering%20without%20a%20Rudder.pdf

The clear choice for me is the drogue, as it requires no additional equipment. Although I have no intention of launching my boat without a rudder, I am looking forward to learning to steer my boat with a drogue.

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


15-May-14 - 10:26pm
By Jack Toliver

Recent reports of the rescue of Eric and Charlotte Kaufman and their young daughters aboard Rebel Heart nearly 1000 miles off the coast of Mexico underscore the fact that although an EPIRB will summon life saving assistance, they are not there to save your boat. When making such a passage, it is necessary to be able to fix everything and improvise a solution for nearly every possible impairment that does not sink the vessel. High on the list of such impairments is steering

Steering with any impairment will require an emphasis in balancing the boat with sail trim to minimize pressure on the helm. A powered up Main will point the bow into the wind, powering up a Jib or Genoa will push the bow down. Alternative steering is likely to require significantly reduced sail area.

Every sailboat must have an alternate form of steering. In the event that you have a wheel, this may be as simple as an emergency tiller. Most sailboats are delivered with an emergency tiller system. Every sailor should break out this emergency tiller and learn how to deploy and use this emergency system. This process will confirm the following:
1) All of the parts have survived the multiple extra equipment purges.
2) Each member of the crew knows exactly how to engage the emergency tiller.
3) Each member of the crew knows exactly how effective the emergency tiller is at steering the boat and how to balance the boat with significantly less steering leverage.
4) How to rig lines that will handle the preponderance of the forces necessary to steer the boat.

Above and beyond the scope of an emergency tiller, each boat must have a system to steer the boat in the event that the rudder is lost.

The best solution is to bring a spare rudder and train the crew on the process for replacing the rudder as illustrated by the crew of 2013 RTM competitor, il Mostro in the following video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqoaeCYGQeg Unfortunately, this method does require dual rudders as well as a canting keel.

Lacking the professional crew, there are three directions that one may choose to follow. 1) Spinnaker pole & floorboard, 2) Stern mounted cassette or SOS Rudder, 3) Drogue. In researching the topic, it would appear that each solution has significant flaws and limitations. In crafting a solution for my J 109 for the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac (CYC-RTM), I accept the notion that I will not likely be navigating Grays Reef in a blow or sailing more than 50 to 75 miles in the event that I loose my rudder. I do not have an inordinate mandate to finish the race or die trying, in the event that I loose steering within the proximity of a rocky lee shore, I will drop anchor. My solution must either enable me to get to the nearest port under power in adverse conditions or complete the race in moderate to favorable conditions.

Spinnaker Pole Solution
Using the Spinnaker pole as the rudderstock, A floorboard or v-berth support board is mounted to the end of the spinnaker pole with 3 u-bolts; 2 u-bolts around the pole and a 3rd, smaller u-bolt through the jaws to prevent the boards from twisting. The pole is lashed to the backstay with large Velcro straps or sail ties. The inboard end is attached to a halyard providing downward pressure to the outboard end as well as an additional safety line. Chain can also be added to the outboard end to provide additional bite and stability in the water. Sheets led to winches are used to stabilize the inboard end and control the tiller.

Stern Mounted Cassette
A cassette box is mounted to the transom such that it can pivot. An epoxy & carbon fiber rudder drops vertically through the box and is pinned in place (similar to a Flying Tiger). I even saw a 39' Nelson Marek that mounted a bracket to hold the cassette and rudder system from a Flying Tiger to its transom. http://www.selfsteer.com/products/sos/index.php

Drogue
The often-criticized practice of steering with a drogue appears to have received a revival of sorts. Perhaps it has simply been refined to the point that it is highly effective. I offer my quick and dirty high points and links to an excellent video as well as a pdf of the same material.
1) Use the appropriate size and type of drogue. Michael Keyworth of Brewers Cove Haven in Barrington, RI demonstrated the use of a 30-inch GaleRider to steer his rudderless Swan 44.
2) Attach 10 feet of 3/8 chain between the bridle and the drogue.
3) Attach the bridle to the boat with snatch blocks amidships (not at the stern) to enable the boat to rotate on its keel.
http://bermudarace.com/emergency-steering-drogue-new-approach/
http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/Steering%20without%20a%20Rudder.pdf

The clear choice for me is the drogue, as it requires no additional equipment. Although I have no intention of launching my boat without a rudder, I am looking forward to learning to steer my boat with a drogue.

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


08-May-14 - 05:19pm
By Mark Thornton

Introduction

This Safety Thursday article, the second in a two part series, focuses on the challenges of monitoring weather conditions on the racecourse. A companion webpage containing hyperlinks to the resources presented in this and the previous article can be found here. The first article was published on May 30, 2013. I hope that you found an opportunity to review the resources presented, familiarized yourself in their interpretation and have prepared a few practice forecasts.

Monitoring the evolution of weather patterns and reviewing updated forecast data after the race has started can help you adjust your strategy based upon whether an off-shore or in-shore route holds the best chance for a steady breeze. In addition to aiding your strategic goals, checking the weather regularly and remaining apprised of National Weather Service watches and warnings will spare you from being surprised by thunderstorms, a relatively common occurrence across the Great Lakes during July.

ACCESS TO DATA

Introduction
There is no shortage of weather data on the Internet. The sheer volume of data, combined with the ease of access, may contribute to a case of ‘data overload’ in the days preceding the Mac. However, once you are on the racecourse and your trusty Wi-Fi connection is no longer available, you will likely find yourself quickly transitioning from ‘data overload’ to ‘data deprivation’. There are technological solutions to address your data deprivation, but each possesses its own set of problems.

VHF Radios
VHF radios are a reliable and relatively inexpensive method of obtaining basic weather information. Modern marine VHF radios contain a ‘WX’ button used to select the seven channels (WX1 to WX7) dedicated to receiving weather observations and forecasts.

Through its NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) program, the National Weather Service (NWS) continuously transmits NWS general and marine forecasts, regional weather observations, and severe weather watches and warnings in the VHF range. The NWR transmissions are automatically rendered from typed text to audio and, unless interrupted by warnings of severe weather, cycle repeatedly through information of interest to mariners and non-mariners, these include:

* Synoptic Overview – a description of the large-scale weather pattern affecting the region where the NWR transmitter is located.
* General Forecast – a non-marine forecast for the next four days divided into 12-hour periods.
* General Observations – local and regional meteorological observations such as barometric pressure, temperature, wind speed, wind direction, etc.
* Near Shore Marine Forecast – a forecast for waters within five nautical miles from shore.
* Extended Forecast – a general forecast for the next five to seven days.
* Marine Observations – wind and wave observations from nearby buoys and waterfront stations.
* Climate Summary – a review of the local and regional climate data, such as high and low temperatures, total precipitation, etc.

Because this information is presented in a continuous loop, you may have to listen to the broadcast for several minutes or more until it returns to the marine-related portion of the program. I find that it is helpful to take notes as you listen to the forecast.

Several NWR transmitters, each operating on an assigned frequency so as not to interfere with nearby stations, serve the waters of Lake Michigan. The range of each transmitter is approximately 25 miles, however, this range may be diminished by the height or placement of the antennae, operational integrity of the station’s equipment, or weather conditions. The distance at which you are able to receive a NWR broadcast is also dependent upon the equipment onboard your vessel. The height and quality of your antenna and condition of the coaxial cable and ancillary fittings connecting it to your fixed VHF radio all influence the quality of your reception. Handheld VHF radios have a much shorter effective range than fixed units.

There are six NWS offices with County Warning Areas (CWA) covering a portion of Lake Michigan -- -- Chicago, IL; Syracuse, IN; Milwaukee, WI; Green Bay, WI; Grand Rapids, MI; and Gaylord, MI. Each NWS office is responsible for preparing the weather information that is broadcast by the NWRs located in their CWA. The marine observations and forecasts you hear on your VHF radio are specifically prepared for the portion of Lake Michigan falling within the NWS’s warning area.

Since the NWR system broadcasts weather information for a specific portion of the Lake, and the operational limit of the transmission is approximately 25 miles, you will need to select the WX channel associated with the NWR transmitter closest to your location. This is particularly important if a severe thunderstorm prompts the issuance of a watch or warning for a portion of the Lake. A map showing the location and associated WX channel of the NWR transmitters serving Lake Michigan can be found here, while a map showing the marine zones for each NWS office is located here.

Cellular Internet
Although your VHF radio is a reliable source of weather information, it does not provide the ability to access Doppler radar or the wide array of weather forecast graphics discussed in my previous Safety Thursday article (click here). Accessing the Internet or creating a Wi-Fi hotspot using a cellular connection, provides access to the weather resources and Doppler radar, but cellular access more than 10 miles offshore is typically unreliable. It is possible to improve cellular reception by installing an external antennae and signal booster; however this technology only improves an existing signal and therefore provides limited value in areas where shore-based cellular access is spotty – such as northern Michigan.

Cellular Internet should not be your primary source of weather information. However, when it is available, Internet access provides the ability to view Doppler radar imagery – a particularly useful resource if severe thunderstorms are expected to impact the racecourse.

Satellite Weather Data
Accessing weather information via XM satellite offers many advantages over VHF and cellular, but at a relatively high cost. A typical XM setup requires a satellite antennae, receiver, a display device (such as laptop or chartplotter), and a monthly subscription from a provider of meteorological data. The cost of the antennae, receiver and software typically exceeds $1,000, and data subscriptions can reach $50 per month.

If cost isn’t a barrier, satellite technology avoids the broadcast range limitations of both VHF and cellular Internet and assures reliable, consistent access to weather data – including Doppler radar -- regardless of your location on Lake Michigan. You’ll be limited to the products and resources offered by your data provider, but this limitation is more than outweighed by reliable access.

MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS

Barometers
An accurate barometer, particularly a digital version, is a relatively-inexpensive, low-tech method of monitoring large-scale weather patterns and the potential for severe weather. Typically, falling barometric pressure, particularly rapidly-falling barometric pressure, announces the approach of a squall line or cluster of thunderstorms. Your on-board barometer may provide your first clue that the atmosphere is brewing some excitement.

National Weather Service Terminology
The National Weather Service uses a variety of terms to simplify the forecast process and warn the public about the potential for hazardous weather. Misunderstanding this terminology may lead to poor decision-making that places you and your crew at increased risk during inclement weather. Several terms of interest to the marine community are presented below:

* Near Shore Marine Forecast: Issued for the Great Lakes from the shoreline out to five nautical miles.
* Offshore Marine Forecast: A marine forecast for waters beyond five nautical miles from shore.
* Small Craft Advisory: There is no precise definition of a small craft. Thresholds governing the issuance of small craft advisories are specific to geographic areas. Any vessel that may be adversely affected by Small Craft Advisory criteria should be considered a small craft. Sustained winds or frequent gusts (on the Great Lakes) between 22 and 33 knots inclusive, and/or seas or waves greater than 4 feet may prompt the issuance of a Small Craft Advisory
* Watch: A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location, and/or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so that those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.
* Warning: A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or other event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property.
* Marine Weather Statement: A National Weather Service product that provides mariners with details on significant or potentially hazardous conditions not otherwise covered in existing marine warnings and forecasts. Marine weather statements are also used to supplement special marine warnings.
* Special Marine Warning: A warning product issued for potentially hazardous weather conditions usually of short duration (up to 2 hours) producing sustained marine thunderstorm winds or associated gusts of 34 knots or greater; and/or hail 3/4 inch or more in diameter; and/or waterspouts. Also used for short duration small-scale events such as a strong cold front, gravity wave, squall line, etc., lasting less than 2 hours and producing winds or gusts of 34 knots or greater.
* Severe Thunderstorm: A thunderstorm that produces a tornado, winds of at least 58 mph (50 knots), and/or hail at least 1’ in diameter. A thunderstorm wind equal to or greater than 40 mph (35 knots) and/or hail of at least 1’ is defined as approaching severe status.
* High Wind Warning: Issued when high winds may pose a hazard or are life threatening. The criteria vary from state to state. In Michigan, the criteria is sustained non-convective (not related to thunderstorms) winds greater than or equal to 40 mph lasting for one hour or longer, or winds greater than or equal to 58 mph for any duration.
* Gale Warning: A warning of sustained surface winds, or frequent gusts, in the range of 34 knots (39 mph) to 47 knots (54 mph) inclusive, either predicted or occurring, and not directly associated with a tropical cyclone.
* Storm Warning: A warning of sustained surface winds, or frequent gusts, in the range of 48 knots (55 mph) to 63 knots (73 mph) inclusive, either predicted or occurring, and not directly associated with a tropical cyclone.

Doppler Weather Radar
There is no better tool for tracking the development and movement of thunderstorms than Doppler radar from the NWS. The NWS maintains the only nationwide network of radar stations and freely shares its raw data and imagery with the public. The stations are strategically located to ensure that all areas are served and to allow overlap in the event that a station fails. There are six NWS stations collecting data over Lake Michigan: Chicago, IL; Syracuse, IN; Grand Rapids, MI; Milwaukee, WI; Green Bay, WI; and Gaylord, MI (a map of these stations may be found here).

A few important facts about radar imagery:

* You will need a reliable cellular or satellite connection to view NWS radar data.
* Radar imagery can be viewed on each NWS office’s webpage, or through a third-party application purchased for your smartphone.
* Radar imagery is NOT live. The process of scanning the atmosphere and organizing the data typically takes four to six minutes. A fast-moving thunderstorm or squall line can easily cover ten miles or more between image updates. A rapidly developing thunderstorm may strengthen dramatically between image updates. Most radar applications will display the time of the image to allow you to determine how ‘stale’ the data is. If you are using radar to monitor the approach of threatening weather, keep in mind it may be much closer and much different than it appears on the outdated image.
* The quality of a radar signal degrades as distance from the site increases. When you are monitoring approaching storms, select the radar site closest to the storms in question rather the site closest to your location (click here for a map of the NWS radar sites).

CONCLUSION
With the 106th Mac just around the corner, I would like to wish you a safe and speedy trip to the Island.
I would also like to thank the CYC Mac Committee for the opportunity to contribute to the Safety Thursday series.

About the Author
Mark Thornton began sailing on Lake Erie in 1994 and he currently owns Osprey, a 1985 C&C 35. His interest in weather forecasting grew from his experiences racing and cruising on the lake. In addition to sailing and weather forecasting, Mark maintains a website devoted to Great Lakes meteorology (www.LakeErieWX.com) and enjoys publishing summaries of interesting Great Lake weather events and teaching basic weather forecasting skills to sailors.

Questions regarding this article are encouraged and should be directed to LakeErieWX@gmail.com.


Forecasting Resources • Weather Forecasting Seminar & Presentations • Articles & Case Studies

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


04-May-14 - 05:51pm
Dear fellow Mac skipper:

It seems that spring may finally be here. The harbors are filling up as the boat yards are emptying out, and ferry service has resumed to the Island. The pictures of ice in the harbor that we’re seeing on Facebook are a bit unsettling, but it will be long gone come this July.

As we move into May, I wanted to remind my fellow competitors of several things they should be doing now to prepare for the race:

1) Docking. Demand for docking space in Mac Island harbor is extremely high. We will be forced to deny some boats their chosen harbor based on the physical constraints of the harbor. As previously stated, we will be determining which boats are denied their choice of harbor based on the date they paid their entry fee. If you haven’t paid yet, we urge you to do so immediately. If you are uncertain if you paid, log into your competitor account (competitor login link on the home page). If your Entry Fee Payment show as ‘paid’ or ‘being processed,’ you are all set. If it shows anything else, our records show you as unpaid. If we are wrong, contact the race coordinator immediately. Otherwise, please pay your entry fee promptly to maximize your chance of getting assigned to your chosen harbor. This is our last warning on this topic, as the harbor is already essentially at capacity. While on this topic, please be sure to make sure your harbor of choice is correctly selected. Please also be sure that your ‘Docking LOA’ is accurate. This includes everything from the tip of your bowsprit to the back of the transom or grill or whatever hangs off the back of your boat. We are looking for the actual amount of space your boat would take from the furthest point forward to the furthest point aft. Having an accurate measure for this figure allows our docking team to do its job and will help you avoid an unexpected trip to St. Ignace if your boat doesn’t fit in the space allotted.

2) Ratings. If you haven’t done so already, please immediately take action to renew or obtain your ratings certificate. I sent all skippers an email about this a few weeks ago, setting out deadlines and processes to help you meet the firm June 13 deadline to upload your valid certificate. For more details, see http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/reminder-to-competitors-regarding-ratings-certificates/. As a reminder, if you haven’t uploaded a valid ORR or GLMRA certificate by June 13, you will be assessed a $500 late entry fee. No exceptions will be made to this deadline.

3) Crew Information. Please be sure to enter crew information for those sailing with you on the Mac. Please take five minutes to do this today. The Notice of Race requires an accurate crew list. Please log into your Competitor screen and click on ‘Enter or update your crew list.’ From here, you need to enter each of your crew members’ names, email addresses and other contact info, even if they have raced with you in the past. Don’t forget to add yourself to the crew! Once you do this, each crew member will receive an email telling them how to log in, complete all required info, and accept the terms of the waiver. If they do not do this, you will be unable to check in at registration in Chicago! Remember, per the NOR, it is your responsibility to ensure that your crew has done this and that they have provided accurate information.

4) Complete your entry. While logged into your competitor account, please be sure that you have paid your entry fee; accepted your boat entry waiver; certified safety compliance; and accepted the satellite tracking registration agreement. All of these items are required before you register, and most involve just reading the document and clicking a box to accept the terms. Doing this now will ease your entry process. Remember, the NOR sets out certain steps that must be completed by the entry deadline to avoid the $500 late entry penalty. There will be no exceptions made to this deadline, so please save yourself some money and make sure you are fully compliant with the NOR today.

5) Boat Photo. If you haven’t done so already, please upload a photo of your boat via the competitor login. Boats that haven’t done so will be represented by Duckzilla - http://tinyurl.com/ozq4ska. Don’t be the duck! Upload a photo of your boat.

We will be sending out more information in the future via email to entrants in the 106th, but we also encourage all competitors and their crew to follow the race on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date. https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac or https://twitter.com/racetomackinac (@RaceToMackinac).

As always, if you have any questions or if anyone on our Committee can help you in any way, please reach out via email through the Race Coordinator – racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

Good luck launching your boats, and I hope to see you in the harbor soon!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

The information in this email is intended only as a courtesy, and all competitors should refer to the Notice of Race and other official race documents as set out on the race’s website, www.cycracetomackinac.com. Any conflict will be resolved in favor of the official race documents.


24-Apr-14 - 08:44pm
Chicago Yacht Club 106th Race to Mackinac

Safety Thursday - Weather Resources, Part 1

By Mark Thornton – LakeErieWX

Introduction Sailing and weather are intrinsically linked. Experienced Mac sailors understand that developing a pre-race weather forecast and monitoring its evolution on the racecourse is an important strategic and safety aspect of participating in the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac. Misjudging the wind forecast can quickly send you to the back of your fleet, while failing to properly assess the risk for severe weather can unnecessarily jeopardize the safety of the crew.

This Safety Thursday article is the first of a two-part series and focuses on helpful resources for developing your pre-race forecast. The second article will discuss the more challenging task of monitoring weather developments after the starting gun. A companion webpage containing hyperlinks to the resources presented in these articles can be found at http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing.

The Big Picture

Large-Scale Dynamics Your Mac forecast should begin with an understanding of the large-scale weather features. Is a low pressure system expected to transit Lake Michigan during the race? If so, when is the warm and/or cold front and accompanying wind shift expected to arrive? Is the system expected to produce strong winds, large waves, or thunderstorms? Or, will the Mac be dominated by the fluky, thermally-driven lake and land breezes associated with a high pressure system?

NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center (WPC) (http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov) produces a variety of products that focus on predicting the development and evolution of large-scale weather features. The WPC’s surface forecasts are divided into short-term and long-term periods with the short-term period covering the first 2 ½ days of the forecast period (in 12-hour intervals) and the long-term period covering days three through seven in 24-hour intervals. By carefully reviewing the forecasts in chronological order, you can determine how large-scale weather features will affect the racecourse, and then use the data to chart the fastest course to Mackinac.

Graphics published by the WPC contain a variety of unique symbols and meteorological shorthand to show the anticipated position of high pressure systems, low pressure systems and their accompanying frontal boundaries, and additional features such as ridges, troughs and squall lines. Sailors who are unfamiliar with this meteorological shorthand are encouraged to review the legend published by the WPC (http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/html/fntcodes2.shtml).

WPC products, along with the majority of weather forecasting materials available on the Internet, are based on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) sometimes called Zulu Time (Z). Converting from GMT (or Z) to Central Time during the summer is straightforward – simply subtract five hours from GMT/Z. Below is the legend for a 24-hour surface forecast which provides an opportunity to review the GMT/Z conversion process and other nomenclature used to describe the graphics.


The first line contains the acronyms for the various NOAA entities that contributed to the preparation of the forecast. The second and third lines describe the parameters that are included in the forecast product. The term Issued in the fourth line provides the time and date the graphic was published. In this example, the graphic was published at 1605Z or 11:05 am Central (1605Z minus 5 hours) on May 13, 2013. The fifth line indicates when the forecast is Valid, which is the date and time for which the forecast was prepared. The surface forecast shown above displays the surface weather features as they were expected to be at 1200Z / 7:00 am Central time on Tuesday, May 14, 2013.

Precipitation The WPC also issues Quantitative Precipitation Forecast Graphics (QPF) (http://www.hpc.ncep.gov/qpf/qpf2.shtml) which show the amount of liquid precipitation anticipated across the country. This product covers the first three days of the forecast period in 24-hour increments, and combines days four through five and six through seven into two separate 48-hour forecasts.

Thunderstorms

Storm Prediction Center Thunderstorms, and the associated hazards of downburst winds, lightning, and locally higher wave heights, are a relatively common occurrence across the Great Lakes during the summer. Forecasting the location, timing and type of severe weather that is expected to develop across the United States is one of meteorology’s most challenging tasks – a task assigned to the staff of NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma.

Note: It is important to understand that the NWS defines a severe thunderstorm as one that produces 1” diameter hail, a wind gust of at least 58 mph, or a tornado. Although frequent lightning is an obvious hazard to sailors, it is not a factor in meeting the threshold of a severe thunderstorm.

SPC Convective Outlooks Each day, the SPC issues Convective Outlooks for days 1, 2, and 3, and a combined Outlook for days 4 through 8 (http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/outlook/). The Outlooks contain a graphic that identifies the areas of the country where organized storm development is expected, along with a narrative describing the details of the risk.

The Convective Outlooks present the risk by category – Slight, Moderate and High – based upon the statistical probability of severe weather occurring within 25 miles of any given point in the highlighted area. A description of the risk categories used by the SPC can be found on its FAQ page (http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/#3.3) Because the risk of severe weather affecting a specific location on any given day is very small, even a Slight risk deserves a sailor’s respect, as it represents a significant increase in the potential for severe weather. It should be noted that even thunderstorms that fail to meet the NWS’s severe threshold often present a significant risk to mariners in the form of strong winds and frequent lightning.

Although SPC Convective Outlooks are an excellent resource for identifying the areas at risk for severe weather and displaying the geographic progression of the risk over time, they are written for meteorologists and therefore tend to be rather technical in nature.

In addition to the traditional Convective Outlooks, the SPC also publishes Thunderstorm Outlooks (http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/exper/enhtstm) which identify the regions at risk for any strength of thunderstorms and the probability of development. In contrast to the one-day period covered by Convective Outlooks, each Thunderstorm Outlook only cover a 4-hour period.

Hazardous Weather Outlooks In contrast to the Convective and Thunderstorm Outlooks from the SPC, Hazardous Weather Outlooks (HWO) are issued in text form by each local office of the National Weather Service (NWS) and describe the risk of severe weather for the general public. HWOs are issued each day and address the overall probability, geographic coverage, storm type (single cell storms, squall line, etc.), and timing of severe weather for the current day along with a combined summary of days 2 through 7.

While SPC Convective and Thunderstorm Outlooks cover the entire United States, Hazardous Weather Outlooks focus exclusively on the County Warning Area (CWA) assigned to each NWS office. There are six NWS offices with CWAs that cover a portion of Lake Michigan -- Chicago, IL; Syracuse, IN; Milwaukee, WI; Green Bay, WI; Grand Rapids, MI; and Gaylord, MI. In order to assess the risk of severe weather where you intend to sail, you must consult the HWO of the NWS office which has responsibility for that area of the lake. Click http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/NWSMarineZones.html for a map showing NWS responsibilities for Lake Michigan.

MARINE FORECASTS

Text Forecasts The Chicago NWS office is responsible for issuing off-shore (beyond 5 nautical miles) marine forecasts for all of Lake Michigan. Several times each day, NWS Chicago publishes a text version of the marine forecast which begins with a synopsis of the current weather pattern and a forecast covering the next several days. This synopsis is followed by a forecast of wind and wave conditions covering a five-day period. Because conditions often vary dramatically across the expanse of Lake Michigan, the text wind and wave forecast focuses on pre-determined regions that allow mariners to quickly obtain the forecast for their area. A chart showing these regions may be found at http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/NWSMarineZones. .

Graphic Forecast Products from the NWS The NWS offices surrounding the Great Lakes cooperatively maintain an excellent website devoted to marine weather forecasting (http://www.crh.noaa.gov/greatlakes). While the home page provides forecasts for the entire Great Lakes basin, the data for an individual lake can be accessed by clicking the appropriate hyperlink along the left-hand column of the home page. The graphics, which are designed for the recreational community, are easy to interpret and don’t require a conversion from GMT to local time.

The forecasts extend for 4 ½ days in three-hour increments for the following meteorological parameters:

• Wave Height: in feet and shown using color-shading and values at selected stations. • Wave Period: the time interval between each wave presented in seconds using color-shading and numerical values at selected stations. • Wind Speed & Direction: in knots, using standard wind barbs, color-shading and numerical values at selected stations. • Wind Gust: in knots, using color-shading and values at selected stations. • Weather: color-shading is used to indicate if precipitation is expected during the three-hour period covered by the graphic. In addition, a short text code is provided at selected stations to describe the type of weather that is expected. For example, the appearance of a “T” in the code indicates that thunderstorms are forecast for the 3-hour period. • Surface Water Temperature: in degrees Fahrenheit, presented using color-shading and values at selected stations.

Other Graphic Marine Forecast Products Gridded Binary files (GRIBs) pack a lot of information into a small file size and are a convenient method of obtaining marine forecasts. Chris Bedford, of Sailing Weather Services, provides low resolution GRIB files free to Chicago-Mac participants (http://031b7c.netsolhost.com/digitalprods/PAG/C2M) or higher resolution files on a subscription basis. Routing software, such as Expedition, while relatively expensive, integrate navigation, yacht performance and weather data into a single race-management interface.

There are many sources of computer model wind and wave forecasting resources on the Internet. While offering the advantages of higher resolution and shorter time intervals, these products require conversion from GMT to local time and are published without modification by a meteorologist. Several of these products are available on the Chicago-Mac Resource page (http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/MacResources.html).

CONCLUSION

A Plan For The Mac The next several weeks are a perfect time to investigate and get comfortable with the resources presented in this article and on the Mac resource webpage (http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/MacResources.html). There is no better way to learn a new skill than practicing. Over the next few Wednesdays, I encourage you to prepare a trial forecast for the upcoming weekend. In addition to analyzing the graphics and making the necessary GMT conversions, these practice forecasts will allow you to witness how high and low pressure systems evolve and how the speed and direction of the wind changes in response.

The accuracy of weather forecasts diminishes as the forecast period increases. For example, a forecast valid in 48 hours is typically more accurate than one valid in 7 days. For this reason, beginning the preparation of your official Mac forecast more than a week before the start isn’t recommended.

I typically start a daily review of the WPC surface forecasts and SPC Convective Outlooks a week before an event and will often save the graphics in a folder to compare to later forecasts. This allows me to track the movement of the large scale weather systems across the country and gauge the changes in the forecast from day to day. I typically begin a daily analysis of the wind and wave forecasts on Monday or Tuesday for a weekend event.

The final forecast should be based upon the most current forecast data available and is usually prepared the morning of the event. If you have been analyzing the forecast for the preceding week and using the data to steadily hone in on your strategy, the creation of your final forecast shouldn’t be too time-consuming. And hopefully it won’t reveal any surprises.

Looking Ahead Managing the forecast and keeping tabs on rapidly deteriorating conditions becomes far more difficult once you are offshore. In part two of this series, we’ll investigate the resources available after the starting gun has sounded.

About the Author Mark Thornton began sailing on Lake Erie in 1994 and he currently owns Osprey, a 1985 C&C 35. His interest in weather forecasting grew from his experiences racing and cruising on the lake. In addition to sailing and weather forecasting, Mark maintains a website devoted to Great Lakes meteorology (www.LakeErieWX.com) and enjoys publishing summaries of interesting Great Lake weather events and teaching basic weather forecasting skills to sailors.

Questions regarding this article are encouraged and should be directed to LakeErieWX@gmail.com.


18-Apr-14 - 11:41am
Dear Fellow Skipper:

Thank you for entering the Mac! We look forward to another exciting and fun year on the water – we start in just 90 days!

To make your entry process easier and get you to the start line smoothly, I wanted to take a minute to write you about your ratings certificate. Every year, we run into difficulties getting the certificates in a timely manner, so please take a moment now to read this. It will make your experience this summer easier.

The Notice of Race Sec. 5.5 requires that you have uploaded into our system a valid, final 2014 rating certificate no later than the entry deadline (this year, June 13, 2014). If it is uploaded after the entry deadline date, a $500 late entry fee will be applied; no exceptions will be made to this policy. If it is uploaded after June 20, 2014 (the late entry deadline) then your entry may be declined, and you will only be allowed to race if the Committee approves it. See the NOR for details. It is therefore incumbent on you to make sure you have the valid ratings certificate in a timely manner so you may upload it.

Since the fast majority of our fleet races monohulls, the rest of this email applies only to them. If you are a multihull racer, please immediately contact the GLMRA to obtain your ratings certificate.

For monohull racers, the rating certificate is issued by the Offshore Office of US Sailing. We work closely with our friends in the Offshore office to make the process as smooth as possible. Here are our suggestions to help you get your ORR certificate in a timely manner:

1) If you need a new ORR certificate for a boat that doesn’t already have one, or if you have made changes that require measurement, please immediately contact the Offshore office at offshore@ussailing.org to start the process of applying. In the event that you need your boat measured, please contact a measurer from the approved list at http://offshore.ussailing.org/Certified_Measurers.htm. As the measurement process can take time, and certain aspects are best done out of the water, we urge you to contact a local measurer no later than April 21, 2014.

2) If you have a previously-issued ORR certificate from 2013 or before, and made no changes that would affect your rating, please immediately submit your renewal application so the Offshore Office can issue your 2014 Certificate. Renewal forms are available at: http://offshore.ussailing.org/Assets/Offshore/ORR/2014+ORR+Revalidation+PDF.pdf

3) In all cases, we strongly urge you to be sure that all necessary information (application, sail measurements, other measurements, etc) are in the hands of the Offshore office no later than May 29, 2014. The Offshore Office informs us that they should be able to return your certificate to you by June 13 if you have submitted a complete, accurate application with all necessary supporting information by May 29. If you submit it after that date, there is no guarantee that they will be able to issue your ORR certificate in time, and you run the risk of being charged the late entry fee.

4) Once you have your valid 2014 ORR form (or GLMRA form) in hand, please follow the NOR by uploading it to your competitor portal – click on the link for “Upload your Rating Certificate” and upload the file as a PDF. Please contact our race coordinator if you have any questions on this process. Once the form is uploaded, it will be reviewed by our team.

Please take the time now to make sure that you’ve addressed getting your certificate in a timely manner. It will save you grief and money come June!

As always, please reach reach out to our race coordinator with any questions you have at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

Please note that this email is intended as a courtesy only. The Race is governed by the official race documents as published on the Race’s website including the Notice of Race, Chicago Mackinac Safety Regulations and the Sailing Instructions. Any conflict between this email and those documents will be resolved in favor of the race documents.


17-Apr-14 - 06:23pm
As a part of the last Saturday’s Safety at Sea Seminar, lots of attention was given to Personal Floatation Devices, or as most of us still call them Life Jackets. One statement that our moderator, Brian Adams made, stayed in my head for good- ‘The best PFD is the one you wear.’ There is so much wisdom in what sounds so obvious. Despite all this, we all see so many sailors just not wearing their life jackets. I know we all have done it. Below is an article that was once published during our 2012 Safety Thursdays series.

The most critical piece of safety equipment on any boat are personal floatation devices (PFDs), or life jackets. Most boating-related deaths involve people who are not wearing PFDs. The US Coast Guard estimates that about 80 percent of boating fatality victims would have survived if they were wearing PFDs. PFDs help in two ways. First, they keep you afloat. Second, particularly in the colder waters of the northern Lake, they keep more of your body above water and let you float using less energy, thus delaying the onset of hypothermia.

There are two interlocking sets of requirements regarding PFDs for the Mac. First, Federal and State Law requires the carriage of PFDs onboard. The US Coast Guard certifies PDFs and divides them into different Types. See www.uscgboating.org for more information. To meet USCG requirements, a boat must have a USCG-approved Type I, II, III or V for each person on board, plus one type IV throwable device. All states have laws concerning life jacket wear by children. You should be familiar with USGC requirements and state requirements, as these of course trump the Mac Safety Regs (MSRs).

The MSRs address PFD carriage and use as well. Multihull MSR 72 and Monohull MSR 67 spell out the requirements for PFD carriage. In summary, you must carry either a Type I USCG PFD or an inflatable PFD having at least 32 pounds of buoyancy designed to securely suspend an unconscious person face upwards at approximately forty-five (45) degrees to the water surface. All inflatable PFDs shall have a compressed gas inflation system. Inflatable PFDs need not have a water-activated auto-inflate system in order to satisfy this requirement.

Please note that if you choose to carry an inflatable that meets MSR requirements, it does not exempt you from USCG requirements. You may need to carry a USCG Type I, II or III in addition to the inflatable. Some inflatables are NOT USCG certified and thus do not count towards the USCG requirements.

?All PFDs must have a whistle, a waterproof light, reflective material, be marked with the boat or wearer’s name, and be compatible with the safety harness. Additionally, the MSRs this year require that each crew member carry a knife that can be opened with one hand (a subsequent ‘Safety Thursday’ will address knives). Give some thought of how you can reach this knife when wearing your PFD. Will the inflated PFD make it impossible for you to grab the knife in an emergency? We encourage you to orally inflate your PFD (if inflatable) to see just how easily you can find and use your knife in these circumstances.

Beyond the carriage requirements, the MSRs require that PFDs be worn at all times between sunset and sunrise, and at all other times unless the Person in Charge directs otherwise. (Competitors in the Double Handed division must wear PFDs at all time when out of the Cabin). This is common sense. A man overboard situation at night is much more serious in general than one during the day. Having adequate flotation is thus even more critical at night. However, we encourage all competitors and Persons in Charge to consider wearing a PFD at all times when out of the cabin. No one can predict when a MOB will occur.

Finally, now is the time to take 10 minutes to examine and maintain your PFD. If it is inflatable, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to test it. A good resource is also located at http://www.boatsafe.com/nauticalknowhow/testpfd.htm. It is critical that all PFDs be properly examined and tested at least annually. You won’t have time to do that when it comes time to use the PFD!

?Resources:

BoatUS Foundation: http://www.boatus.com/foundation/Findings/50/default.asp
USCG BoatSafe: http://www.uscgboating.org/


Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


17-Apr-14 - 05:24pm
Dear Fellow Competitors:

We are just over 100 days out from the running of the 106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. I wanted to give you three brief reminders:

(a) The One Design Section Request Deadline and Division Formation Deadline is tomorrow, April 18, 2014. See the Notice of Race. Class representatives, please be sure to follow the requirements of the NOR if your class wishes to race as a one-design section.

(b) Individual boat registrations are running at a much faster pace than last year. We already have 290 boats entered into the race, which represents a 15% increase over the same time last year. If you haven’t accepted your invitation already and paid, please do so immediately to secure your place in the race. The high demand will almost certainly force us to cap registration and will likely force us to deny some entrants their preferred harbor at the Island. The date you accept your invitation and the date you pay your entry fee will be used in determining whether or not you are accepted into the race and what harbor you will be assigned to on the Island, so please accept your invitation and pay promptly.

(c) If you haven’t started a request for invitation yet but intend to, please do so immediately. If you have a friend who is thinking of doing the race for the first time, encourage them to submit their request for invitation right away. Our Selections Committee will work promptly and diligently to review all requests.

All of us at the Chicago Yacht Club are excited that demand is so high, and we look forward to putting on another quality race with excellent on the water competition for all. Don’t miss your chance to race this July!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

P.S. As always, we encourage you to join us on Facebook for the latest information https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.

This email is intended as a courtesy only. The race is governed by the race documents as published on the race website including the Notice of Race, Chicago Mac Safety Regulations, Sailing Instructions, and other official documents and notices. Any conflict between this email and the official documents will be resolved in favor of those official documents.


10-Apr-14 - 02:23pm
Fellow Mac Racers:

Welcome to the first issue of ‘Safety Thursday 2014.’

We all enjoy getting out on the water and competing with our fellow sailors, but much more importantly, we all enjoy coming home safely to our friends and loved ones. The expression ‘safety is an attitude’ is a truism on the Mac Committee. Through the CMSRs, Safety Thursday, our Safety at Sea Seminar, our social media outreach, and our overall approach to the Race, we hope to encourage you to adopt this attitude as well.

Each Thursday from now until the Race, all competitors and crew in the Mac will get an emailed newsletter dedicated to a safety topic. On Facebook and Twitter, we hope to engage in a thoughtful and open discussion with the fleet on the topic we raise. Through this interaction, we hope that we can all become safer sailors, allowing us to enjoy this fantastic race even more. If you don’t already follow the Mac on Facebook and Twitter, we encourage you to do so now:

https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac
https://twitter.com/racetomackinac

In addition to many of the topics we covered last year, we intend to expand into new ones. What are we missing? Please send your suggestions for appropriate Safety Thursday topics to us via racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org. Our 2013 and 2012 newsletters are archived at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/safety/, and we will post the 2014 ones there as well. We encourage all of you to go back and re-read last years’ articles as a refresher.

Chicago Yacht Club’s goal is to encourage all of us to embrace safe sailing. It is important that every competitor hear this message. As recent events over the past few years have shown us, our decisions and actions on the water have far reaching implications. The impact of an unsafe crew isn’t just felt by them, it is felt by all of us who are compelled to come to their aid when they get themselves in trouble. We all benefit by having fellow competitors whose attitudes embrace safety as a mantra, because the first responder in the event of any incident will likely be us or one of our fellow sailors.

We hope that Safety Thursday can help you adapt a mindset of safety when on the water so we all can get to the Island fast and, most of all, safely!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


P.S. Please note that our April 12, 2014 Safety at Sea Seminar is sold out, and walk-ins will not be accepted. We strongly encourage all skippers and at least 30% of each crew to have current Safety at Sea training. Please consult the Offshore Office’s website for other class locations: http://offshore.ussailing.org/SAS/Seminars/SAS_Calendar.htm.

The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Chicago Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Chicago Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


01-Apr-14 - 06:14pm
Dear fellow Mac skipper:

It’s hard to believe that we’re just 108 days from the start of the Mac! With summer fast approaching, don’t miss your chance to do the Mac in 2014 . As of today, we have 256 competitors that have accepted their invitations to race, well ahead of last year's pace. We expect a bigger fleet than last year, with more excitement on the water and off.

If you have already accepted your invitation, thank you; you’ll be receiving more information via email shortly. To see a list of current entrants, click here: http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/entries.cfm.

If you have not already accepted your invitation to Race, we encourage you to do so promptly. Due to limits at Mackinac Island Harbor and the other harbors in the area, we may have to enforce a cap on entrants, and entrants are on a first-come-first-served basis. Additionally, priority will be given in harbor assignments based on, among other factors, the date that you accept your invitation and pay your entry fee.

If you did not receive an invitation but expected to, please contact our Race Coordinator at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org. He can help you sort it out, and he can answer any other questions you might have. If you would like to request an invitation because you haven’t raced recently, or if you have switched boats and thus are required to request a new invitation, visit http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/requestinfo.cfm. If you have a friend or dockmate who is considering doing the race, please encourage them to enter or request an inviation promptly. As always, we encourage you to read the Notice of Race on the official race website for complete details. www.cycracetomackinac.com.

We also strongly encourage you to renew your ORR certificate or apply for one now. If your boat needs to be measured, please contact a measurer promptly. Some measurement work needs to be done out of the water. See the US Sailing Offshore Office’s website to find a measurer in your area – http://offshore.ussailing.org/Certified_Measurers.htm.

As always, we stand ready to assist you. We want you to do the Mac, just like we do every year. Don’t miss your chance to race in the Mac this summer! Enter today.


Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

PS As always, we encourage you to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the latest news. Visit https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac and https://twitter.com/racetomackinac.


05-Mar-14 - 08:25pm
Dear fellow invited competitor:

Thank you for accepting your invitation to the 106th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac! I wanted to reach out with some more information to help you along with the entry process.

The Notice of Race, and particularly section 5, is your guide to completing your entry to the Mac. Please read and understand it. Visit the Race Documents section of our website, www.cycracetomackinac.com, to re-download the NOR. As always, the NOR and other race documents trump any advice given by email or otherwise.

Remember, you are not entered into the race until you have fully complied with the NOR. In particular, be aware of the entry deadline and related NOR requirements. Those steps set out in section 5.1 through 5.5 must be completed by the entry deadline (June 13, 2014). If they are not, you are not entered into the race and thus an automatic $500.00 late entry fee will be assessed and must be paid before racing. If those items aren’t competed by the late entry deadline (June 20, 2014), then you will only be allowed to race if the Committee approves, you pay the late entry fine, and meet such other conditions as our committee sets out. No exceptions will be made as to these deadlines.

I’d like to highlight a few points you should be considering right now:

Ratings Certificate
If you have not already applied for or renewed your ORR or GLMRA ratings certificate, we strongly encourage you to do so immediately. Instructions on how to do so are in the NOR. This is often the most time-consuming step of the process, so we encourage you to apply now and to work with the appropriate rating authority to make sure you have your certificate uploaded to our system before the entry deadline. If not uploaded by that date, the $500 late entry fee will be assessed.

Entry fee
Once you have accepted your invitation, please pay your entry fee promptly. In the event that we are unable to accommodate everyone at their chosen harbor at the end of the Race, the date you paid your entry fee is one factor that we will take into account in determining who will be denied their preference. Please pay promptly.

Safety at Sea
The Chicago Yacht Club is once again holding a US Sailing Sanctioned Safety at Sea Seminar. This year it will be held on April 12 at our Belmont Station. The Chicago Mac Safety Regulations strongly recommend that the skipper and 30% of your crew have a current Safety at Sea certification. Visit http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/events/2014-safety-at-sea-seminar/ for more details. We encourage you to share this information with your crew. I require 100% of my own crew to have a current certification, since the life they save as a result of this training may very well be yours or mine!

Crew List
If you raced last year, your crew list was NOT automatically carried forward. You need to invite your crew members to participate again this year (and remember, you need to invite yourself as well, as a crew member). To do this, log into your race portal via the Competitor Login link on our website, www.cycracetomackinac.com. From there, click on ’enter or update your crew list’. You can re-invite crew from last year or invite new crew members. Each crew member needs to click on the link that will be emailed to them by our system, and they need to update their information and accept the terms of the 2014 waiver. Your entry will not be complete if each crew member including yourself has not done this.

We know this is a complicated system, and as always, we stand by to help. Reach out via our race coordinator at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org. We will do our best to promptly answer any questions you have. We are also happy to connect you with an experienced Mac skipper volunteer to act as a mentor for you in the process. Reach out to the Race Coordinator for more information.

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

PS As always, we encourage you to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the latest news. Visit https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac and https://twitter.com/racetomackinac.


05-Mar-14 - 08:19pm
Dear fellow Mac skipper:

Invitations for the 106th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac went out about a month ago. As of today, we have 178 competitors that have accepted their invitations to race, well ahead of last year's pace.

To see a list of current competitors, click here:http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/entries.cfm. If you have already accepted your invitation, thank you; you’ll be receiving more information via email shortly.

If you have not already accepted your invitation to Race, we encourage you to do so promptly. Due to limits at Mackinac Island Harbor and the other harbors in the area, we may have to enforce a cap on entrants, and entrants are on a first-come-first-served basis. Additionally, priority will be given in harbor assignments based on, among other factors, the date that you accept your invitation and pay your entry fee.

If you did not receive an invitation but expected to, please contact our Race Coordinator at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org. He can help you sort it out, and he can answer any other questions you might have. If you would like to request an invitation because you haven’t raced recently, or if you have switched boats and thus are required to request a new invitation, visit http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/requestinfo.cfm. If you have a friend or dockmate who is considering doing the race, please encourage them to enter or request an inviation promptly. As always, we encourage you to read the Notice of Race on the official race website for complete details. www.cycracetomackinac.com.

Don’t miss your chance to race in the Mac this summer! Enter today.


Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

PS As always, we encourage you to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the latest news. Visit https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac and https://twitter.com/racetomackinac.


17-Jan-14 - 07:17pm
Dear fellow racers:

In 182 days, we will be sailing out to the start line of the 106th running of the greatest freshwater distance race in the world, the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. For my wife Emmy and me, racing our boat up Lake Michigan each July has become a cherished family tradition, and I’m eagerly looking forward to doing it again in 2014. I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to help organize this amazing race along with my friends on the Mac Committee and our dozens of volunteers and staff at the Chicago Yacht Club.

Earlier today, the Chicago Yacht Club’s Mac Committee published the Notice of Race and Chicago Mac Safety Regulations (CMSRs) for the 106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. They are available for download under the ‘Race Documents’ section of the Mac website, www.cycracetomackinac.com.

Also starting today, new entrants can start their request for invitation to enter the Mac; our Selections Committee is there to help you with submitting a new RFI and with understanding the best ways to prepare your boat and yourself for the Race. See the NOR for details. If you have competed in one of the last four races, invitations to returning competitors will be sent out before the end of January, so watch your email box.

Next week, NMMA brings the Strictly Sail show to Chicago’s Navy Pier (http://www.strictlysailchicago.com). Check in at the Chicago Yacht Club Booth and share with us your favorite tales of the Mac. At Strictly Sail, the Mac Committee will be presenting three seminars on Saturday, January 25:

• 10:30 am – Racing Rules for the Cruising Fleet. Join CYC Chief Judge and Mac Committee member Ted Jones for this seminar geared toward cruisers that race in the cruising divisions of various races including the Mac, the NOOD and Verve. The emphasis is on getting off the start line unscathed, sailing the course and finishing. ?Please bring a current copy of The Racing Rules of Sailing, or you should be able to purchase a copy at the Show. Please note this seminar is two hours.

• 3:30 pm – What’s New with the 106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. Matt Gallagher and other members of CYC's Mac Race Committee will provide an update on the 2014 Race - the 106th running of this annual classic. Our panel will present updates on safety rules, the notice of race, the parade of boats and other improvements to the oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world. Come have your questions answered by members of the organizing authority of the premier distance race of the summer on the Great Lakes.

• 4:45 pm – Your first Mac. Are you considering doing your first Chicago Mac Race? Have you thought about entering your boat for the first time? Or are you a buoy racer who is considering doing this bucket list port-to-port race? Join Race Vice?Chairs Sarah Renz and David Hughes and other members of the CYC Mac Committee for a discussion of doing the Mac for the first time. We will discuss preparation (both boat and crew); the process of requesting an invitation and entering the race; and the practicalities of doing this 289 nm annual distance classic. While aimed mainly at skippers, first-time crew will also benefit from this seminar.

All of these seminars are free with admission to the show, and they provide an excellent opportunity to get your questions answered in the off-season.

Finally, the Pink Pony is visiting from the Island again - don't miss it!? ?On Saturday, January 25, come to Chicago Yacht Club's Belmont Station to kick off the 106th Mac in style at the Pink Pony Party. There will be music, food and drinks, and plenty of great conversation with our sailing friends. The party starts at 7 pm and goes on well into the night. For details, see the Mac Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac .
?
On behalf of all of us at Chicago Yacht Club and its Race to Mackinac Committee, thank you for joining us for the race of the season, a destination like no other, the adventure of a lifetime!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

??P.S. As always, we encourage you to like us on Facebook for the latest information https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


17-Jan-14 - 06:41pm
Dear fellow racers:

In 182 days, we will be sailing out to the start line of the 106th running of the greatest freshwater distance race in the world, the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. For my wife Emmy and me, racing our boat up Lake Michigan each July has become a cherished family tradition, and I’m eagerly looking forward to doing it again in 2014. I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to help organize this amazing race along with my friends on the Mac Committee and our dozens of volunteers and staff at the Chicago Yacht Club.

Earlier today, the Chicago Yacht Club’s Mac Committee published the Notice of Race and Chicago Mac Safety Regulations (CMSRs) for the 106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. They are available for download under the ‘Race Documents’ section of the Mac website, www.cycracetomackinac.com.

Also starting today, new entrants can start their request for invitation to enter the Mac; our Selections Committee is there to help you with submitting a new RFI and with understanding the best ways to prepare your boat and yourself for the Race. See the NOR for details. If you have competed in one of the last four races, invitations to returning competitors will be sent out before the end of January, so watch your email box.

Next week, NMMA brings the Strictly Sail show to Chicago’s Navy Pier (http://www.strictlysailchicago.com). Check in at the Chicago Yacht Club Booth and share with us your favorite tales of the Mac. At Strictly Sail, the Mac Committee will be presenting three seminars on Saturday, January 25:

• 10:30 am. – Racing Rules for the Cruising Fleet. Join CYC Chief Judge and Mac Committee member Ted Jones for this seminar geared toward cruisers that race in the cruising divisions of various races including the Mac, the NOOD and Verve. The emphasis is on getting off the start line unscathed, sailing the course and finishing. ?Please bring a current copy of The Racing Rules of Sailing, or you should be able to purchase a copy at the Show. Please note this seminar is two hours.

• 3:30 pm – What’s New with the 106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. Matt Gallagher and other members of CYC's Mac Race Committee will provide an update on the 2014 Race - the 106th running of this annual classic. Our panel will present updates on safety rules, the notice of race, the parade of boats and other improvements to the oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world. Come have your questions answered by members of the organizing authority of the premier distance race of the summer on the Great Lakes.

• 4:45 pm – Your first Mac. Are you considering doing your first Chicago Mac Race? Have you thought about entering your boat for the first time? Or are you a buoy racer who is considering doing this bucket list port-to-port race? Join Race Vice?Chairs Sarah Renz and David Hughes and other members of the CYC Mac Committee for a discussion of doing the Mac for the first time. We will discuss preparation (both boat and crew); the process of requesting an invitation and entering the race; and the practicalities of doing this 289 nm annual distance classic. While aimed mainly at skippers, first-time crew will also benefit from this seminar.

All of these seminars are free with admission to the show, and they provide an excellent opportunity to get your questions answered in the off-season.

Finally, the Pink Pony is visiting from the Island again - don't miss it!? ?On Saturday, January 25, come to Chicago Yacht Club's Belmont Station to kick off the 106th Mac in style at the Pink Pony Party. There will be music, food and drinks, and plenty of great conversation with our sailing friends. The party starts at 7 pm and goes on well into the night. For details, see the Mac Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac .
?
On behalf of all of us at Chicago Yacht Club and its Race to Mackinac Committee, thank you for joining us for the race of the season, a destination like no other, the adventure of a lifetime!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

??P.S. As always, we encourage you to like us on Facebook for the latest information https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


08-Jan-14 - 09:27pm
Dear Fellow Mac Skipper:

Happy New Year! As I sit writing this in subzero weather in Chicago, it is almost hard to comprehend that in about 190 days, we will be starting the 106th running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. For my wife Emmy and me, racing our boat up Lake Michigan each July has become a cherished family tradition. It is truly the race of the season, a destination like no other, the adventure of a lifetime. I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to help organize this great race along with my friends on the Mac Committee and our dozens of volunteers and staff at the Chicago Yacht Club.

Like many of us, I was first encouraged to enter the race by fellow sailors, many of whom are today my closest friends. As a first-timer, there was nothing better than having friends who are also invited competitors who shared knowledge and experience. This made the whole adventure easier and more fun.

Do you have a friend, fellow club member or dock mate who has always talked about entering the Mac in their own boat? This year should be their year! The Mac Committee is launching a first-timers sponsorship rewards program. If you are an invited competitor to the race entering the Mac in 2014 and you sponsor a first-time entrant who starts the race this year, both you and your first-timer friend will receive $50.00 in CYC food and beverage tickets to be used during Mac Week in Chicago. We also hope that you will serve as a mentor for your friend, helping them through the process of entering the Mac and getting ready for the Race.

Pay it forward; help someone else experience the thrill and memories of a first timer's Race To Mackinac. Talk with your friends now and encourage them to do the Mac this year. For details on the program, see the Mac website at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/first-timer-program/, and as always, reach out to us via the Race Coordinator if you have any questions or need any help (racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org).

We will post the Notice of Race and Mac Safety Regulations for 2014 in mid-January. You’ll receive an email from us when they launch, which will also have information on the Pink Pony Party and our Strictly Sail schedule. I hope you can join us at one of our Strictly Sail presentations, or stop by and say hello at the Chicago Yacht Club booth at the show or at the party. I look forward to getting to know many of you over the coming two years and always encourage you to reach out with questions or suggestions you may have for us.


Stay warm!

Matt Gallagher
Chairman
106th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


P.S. As always, we encourage you to join us on Facebook for the latest information - https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac,or follow us on Twitter @RacetoMackinac, or search our hashtag #CYCRTM.


01-Nov-13 - 05:42pm

Dear Mac Racers:

This is one of my last official communications as Mac chairman. For those of you attending the Mac Awards Ceremony Saturday November 2nd at Chicago Yacht Club Monroe Station please note the following information regarding parking:

This event has been very well received. We have well over 380 RSVP’s for the awards. To best accommodate our guests we are strongly encouraging everyone who will be driving to park at the Millennium Lakeside Garage located at the corner of Monroe and Lake shore Drive. The entrance to the garage is located at Columbus Drive and Monroe. We will offer discounted parking vouchers for the garage that will be sold at the CYC front desk for $12. Those vouchers are only good at the Millennium Lakeside Garage. For more info on the garage please visit: http://www.millenniumgarages.com/east-monroe-street/.

Tickets for the event are still available for purchase online - http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/reserve-now-mac-awards-ceremony-112/. I hope all of you consider attending!

Lastly, it truly has been and adventure and a pleasure being the chairman of this great race for the past two years. This race is what it is because of YOU our racers and supporters. On Saturday our new Mac Chairman will publicly take the helm (although he has been hard at work since we returned). I hope that you will all continue to support him as you have done for me during these past two years.

Personally, I look forward to continuing to doing the race as a competitor and continuing to build memories, each special in their own way. As we’ve said before- come July we’ll be doing the Mac- because it IS what we do!

See you on the water!

Lou Sandoval
Past Chairman
104th & 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


28-Oct-13 - 06:34pm
Dear Fellow Sailor:

Our awards ceremony is coming up this weekend! I look forward to seeing many of you, my fellow Mac sailors and friends, to reminisce about the 105th Mac and to honor those who won. As you know, we listened to your feedback and brought the awards back to the Chicago Yacht Club’s Monroe Station, reduced the cost, and changed the format to make it more accessible to all our sailors and more fun for all our friends! Whether or not you won, I hope to see you on Saturday, November 2.

Today is the last day for discounted tickets, so buy yours now. Information on buying tickets and other details of the event are available here:

http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/reserve-now-mac-awards-ceremony-112/

Prices go up at midnight Chicago time so act now.

Also, the Club has arranged a discounted block of hotel rooms for our out of town friends at the nearby Palmer House hotel, but today is the last day to reserve your room, so act now. The Palmer House Hilton is offering a room rate of $219.00 per night. Make your reservations by calling 1.877.865.5321, and refer to


07-Oct-13 - 03:02pm


The Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Committee invites you to the 2013 Race to Mackinac Awards Celebration

Dear Skippers, Sailors, Family and Friends of the Mac Race,

You are all cordially invited to attend the revamped 2013 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Awards Celebration.

The committee has been hard at work on the revised format that will provide a celebratory awards ceremony and après party for an evening of memories.

The Award Celebration will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2013.

• 6:30pm – 8:30pm Awards Ceremony and presentations
• 8:30pm until ? Open House and après' Party- with SOUNDWAVE - DJ Dave Alvarez

Everyone is welcome and if you are in any way a part of our annual sailing tradition, you will want to be there! We have brought the celebration BACK to Monroe Station in an intimate environment with all the trophies and tradition and great attention by the Chicago Yacht Club staff. The Award presentation will provide ample recognition of your accomplishments in the 105th and make for a memorable evening for everyone. On behalf of Chicago Yacht Club and the Race to Mackinac organizing committee, we look forward to seeing everyone.

Click on this link or paste it into your browser to register:
http://tinyurl.com/2013-Mac-Awards-Registration

You can also call CYC's Front Desk, (312) 861-7777, to make reservations and with any questions.

Note: A FAQs is attached-below.

See you all very soon,

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot
'The race of the season, the adventure of a lifetime, a destination like no other.'





2013 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Awards Celebration - Frequently Asked Questions

1. When is the Event? Saturday, November 2, 2013, starting at 6:30 pm

2. Can I invite my crew and other guests? Absolutely. But please, no children under 12 and no infants. We encourage you to make reservations as soon as possible as space will be limited.

3. Is this a sit down dinner as in previous years? We've taken a different approach. While there will be tables we've opted for appetizer/ entre bar format with food stations throughout and ample beverages of your choice. You will be able to walk around, take photos with trophies you have one perhaps this year or in previous years in an open house setting. The presentation will be held from the stage with professional photographers and winners will have their very own 'green room' for photos with their plaques and burgees. The event will culminate into and after party with the music of SOUNDWAVE – where DJ Dave Alvarez will keep the mood lively. It will not be a formal sit down banquet style event as has been customary in previous years.

4. How do I make reservations? Call the Chicago Yacht Club Front Desk at 312-861-7777. Or click on/cut and paste this link into your browser - http://tinyurl.com/2013-Mac-Awards-Registration. CYC members may use their member charge. All other dinner guests must pay with a Visa or MasterCard (Sorry no other cards and no checks.), you can pay via PayPal by visiting:http://tinyurl.com/RTMpay

4. What is the reservation deadline? The early rate of $65 is good until Midnight on October 27th. From 10/28 until 11/1 it will be $70 and $75 at the door.

5. Can I pay for my crew? Yes, we recommend streamling your RSVP's through one person to make sure you don't miss anyone.

6. Where is the Chicago Yacht Club Monroe Station? The club is located at 400 E. Monroe Chicago, IL 60603

7. Where do I park? The club will offer discounted parking vouchers for guests (tickets available on site) in the Grant Park/Millennium Park Underground Lot (best value) – enter on Columbus Drive between Monroe and Randolph Streets.

8. What's the dress code? Most men wear a jacket and tie; most women prefer a dress or other appropriate outfit. Your standard sailing gear is not what you want to wear.

9. I'm a vegetarian/I have special dietary needs? There will be ample selections and a variety to meet vegetarian needs.

10. What about drinks? Is there an open bar? You will have some drink tickets included in your overall packet and additional drink tickets will be available for purchase.

11. What happens at 8:30pm ? We'll keep the atmosphere light and SOUNDWAVE with DJ Dave Alvarez will help us with that.

13. I placed in this year's race. Will I receive a trophy at this event? If you are the Invited Competitor in the race, you placed in the race and you make a reservation, you will receive your trophy at the celebration.

14. I didn't place in this year's race? Can I still attend? OF COURSE, we'd love to have you join us! Mi Club es Su Club! (my club is yours… )

15. What about the 'trophy hug'? If you won a trophy, you will be contacted via separate email regarding the opportunity to have your photo taken with your trophy earlier on November 2.


22-Aug-13 - 05:21pm
Fellow invited competitors:

In addition to the crew survey you should have just received, we have a second survey directed only to invited competitors. This asks questions that are unique to those of us who enter our own boats in the race. We ask you to please complete BOTH surveys - one as a crew member, and one as an invited competitor:

LINK TO INVITED COMPETITOR SURVEY: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LGXVTNY

We truly appreciate your feedback; we carefully read each survey response.

We also remind you to save the Date of November 2nd for our completely revamped Mac Awards/Trophy Hugging Open House. Stay tuned for RSVP details in the upcoming weeks.

Yours in Sportsmanship,

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 104 & 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


22-Aug-13 - 05:21pm
Dear Mac Sailors:

As the end of Summer approaches, we hope you are reliving your memories of the 105th Race for many, many months to come. The stories about this race will most likely speak to some of the glassy and beautiful sunsets we all saw while on the Lake.

With 330 days to go until the 106th Race to Mackinac, the committee is hard at work reviewing the 105th to find ways that we can improve upon your experience (weather aside!). The ultimate goal is to make the 106th even more memorable and more enjoyable. Far be it from us to rest on our laurels as we look to continue to make the “Mac’ the premiere international distance race. To accomplish this, there is a key ingredient: YOU!

A healthy part of this process is obtaining your feedback from your experience in this year’s race. Enclosed below you will find a link to the Crew Survey. The survey will be live until midnight September 5th. We ask that you take a few minutes to participate in the survey. Thank you in advance for taking the time to provide input on your experience.

LINK TO CREW SURVEY: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LGVFPSY

I’m sure I will see a few of you around Chicago Yacht Club or perhaps at one of our other remaining regattas. I personally want to thank you for your support of the Race to Mackinac, as I’ve stated before it is your support and participation that make the ‘Mac’ such a unique experience. Thank you ALL very much for that. We look forward to continuing to provide this great race to such a special location and we hope to see you back for the 106th!

We also remind you to save the Date of November 2nd for our completely revamped Mac Awards/Trophy Hugging Open House. Stay tuned for RSVP details in the upcoming weeks.

Yours in Sportsmanship,

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 104 & 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


22-Aug-13 - 05:21pm
Dear Mac Sailors:

As the end of Summer approaches, we hope you are reliving your memories of the 105th Race for many, many months to come. The stories about this race will most likely speak to some of the glassy and beautiful sunsets we all saw while on the Lake.

With 330 days to go until the 106th Race to Mackinac, the committee is hard at work reviewing the 105th to find ways that we can improve upon your experience (weather aside!). The ultimate goal is to make the 106th even more memorable and more enjoyable. Far be it from us to rest on our laurels as we look to continue to make the “Mac’ the premiere international distance race. To accomplish this, there is a key ingredient: YOU!

A healthy part of this process is obtaining your feedback from your experience in this year’s race. Enclosed below you will find a link to the Invited Competitor’s (substitute Crew Survey) Survey. The survey will be live until midnight September 5th. We ask that you take a few minutes to participate in the survey. Thank you in advance for taking the time to provide input on your experience.

LINK TO CREW SURVEY: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LGVFPSY

I’m sure I will see a few of you around Chicago Yacht Club or perhaps at one of our other remaining regattas. I personally want to thank you for your support of the Race to Mackinac, as I’ve stated before it is your support and participation that make the ‘Mac’ such a unique experience. Thank you ALL very much for that. We look forward to continuing to provide this great race to such a special location and we hope to see you back for the 106th!

We also remind you to save the Date of November 2nd for our completely revamped Mac Awards/Trophy Hugging Open House. Stay tuned for RSVP details in the upcoming weeks.

Yours in Sportsmanship,

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 104 & 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


23-Jul-13 - 10:38am
Dear Fellow Skipper:

As we’re all settling into our regular routines post Mac race, just a friendly reminder about the upcoming regatta registration deadline:

Verve Cup Regatta registration deadline is July 26. (A $75 late fee applies after July 26.) Registration can be done here: http://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=868

I hope to see you on the water for the Verve!

Lou Sandoval Chairman 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot


16-Jul-13 - 12:13pm
Dear Fellow Competitor:

Welcome to the Island - well, most of you at any rate.

Our historically-light wind race has led us to make a few changes to today's events.

First of all, the Sailors' Celebration is on as scheduled - 2 pm EDT in the Tea Garden at the Grand Hotel. I hope to see many of you there. At 3 pm, we will distribute awards for the following sections:

Cruising 1
Cruising 2
Turbo
Sections 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
J111
40.7
J109
Multihull
36.7

Additionally, we will award the Mac Trophy and the first to finish awards for all divisions.

A second award ceremony will be held this evening at 10 pm EDT in the park adjacent to the Race Committee's check-in tent. We hope to award the balance of the awards then.

We will continue to post updates via Facebook and the Official Notice Board at the tent.

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac.


11-Jul-13 - 07:26am
Dear Mac Racers:

We always find it amazing how despite having twelve months to plan for this race, it all seems to come down to the sixty days before the race. It’s not like this week sneaks up on us. If you’re like me, this date has been circled on the calendar for quite some time now.

The days have run down and lists seem to be endless, but nothing beats the excitement of Mac Week. In a couple of hours, check-in will be open for the 105th time this classic has been run.

The Chicago Yacht Club Staff has been hard at work finalizing all the little details. Our Race to Mackinac organizing committee has been putting in the final countless hours of time into making sure that few details are missed. Dozens of other volunteers from our dedicated Race Committee are have been working hard to welcome you to Chicago. From all of us here at the Chicago Yacht Club, we hope this is a memorable Mac for everyone.

I wanted to remind you all of a few new things that we will be having for the 105th. NEW, this year, the Mac Committee has obtained the ability for you and your friends and family to download the Yellow Brick Tracking app on your smartphone or tablet computer at no cost. The race subscription is available free of charge compliments of your Mac Committee. Please visit the app store for your respective tablet or smartphone and download it. You can also view the link on the Race website under “race tracking” from a desktop computer. Tracking should go live this afternoon.

A select group of boats will be equipped with bi-directional trackers that will allow them to update twitter feeds up the lake. This is a pilot program that will allow fans following you “virtually” to get a glimpse of what is going onboard. It’s a great way to be an ambassador for the sport. You never know who might be thinking “Next year is my year”. To see these updates, follow the race on Twitter @RaceToMackinac or visit the race's home page, www.cycracetomackinac.com.

A quick reminder to invited competitors to make sure that you finalize your last bit of details on the competitor record so that you are able to print out your boarding pass. Waivers, crew info and inspections need to be complete in order for you to check-in. If you cannot print your boarding pass, your entry is incomplete in some way.

Street Closures around Chicago Yacht Club

Being the big metropolitan city that we are, Chicago kicked off its Taste of Chicago yesterday, essentially across the street from our Monroe Station. Street closures will be in effect. Columbus will be closed from Balbo to Monroe; Jackson is closed from Michigan to Lake Shore Drive; and Congress is shut down from Michigan to Columbus.

We can expect getting to and from the club to be especially challenging this week. Please allow extra travel time. Thank you in advance for the patience you will need to employ.

So after all this work, it comes down to this. It’s Mac Time. All your hours of boat preparation, practice and waiting for this day in July… It’s here.

It has been a pleasure serving as your Mac Chairman the past two years. We try hard to put on a quality event for all. We truly value your support of this great race. Let me be one of the first to welcome you to Chicago and to “Mac Week” for the 105th running of the Race to Mackinac. We’re glad you came!

Have a safe and fun run up the Lake. When you catch that first magical glimpse of the Sun ducking over the horizon- You’ll know it was all worth it!

Why? Because it’s what we do!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


09-Jul-13 - 09:25pm
Dear Fellow Racers:

As all of us set off on our adventure this week, we leave behind friends, family and others who enjoy the adventure of the Mac vicariously through us. This year, we put together this 'Fan's Guide' so you can share it with those following along. We hope it's useful, and we encourage feedback.

Please forward this to your friends and family so they can follow along.

See you in a couple of days!


Lou Sandoval
Chairman
105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot


Fan's Guide to the 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

HOW CAN I SEE THE BOATS IN PERSON?

There are three ways to view some of the race boats before the race:

1) In the days leading up to the Race, many race boats are docked at the Chicago Yacht Club's Monroe Station, at the corner of Lake Shore Drive and Monroe in Chicago. While for safety reasons the Club's grounds are closed to the general public, the boats are easy to see from the lakeshore path just north of Monroe Street.

2) Ashore Thing, the Parade of Boats, on Saturday, July 13, from 10 am - 2 pm, provides a great opportunity for the public as well as family and friends to see the boats pass by the end of Navy Pier on their way to the start. Hosted by our friends at Michigan Avenue Magazine, this family-friendly event is the best way to watch the boats before the race. The event is free and open to the public, but we suggest you RSVP at http://www.upshiftcreative.com/ashorething/. Can't make it down to the Pier? The Parade of Boats will be televised and webcast by NBC: http://bit.ly/oPlOKo

3) On the water. If you have access to a boat, you can watch the racers start and head up the lake. However, please be aware that there is a safety zone around the start area which the USCG will be patrolling to keep spectators from interfering with racers. We also request that boaters stay well clear of the racing boats at all times, and that power boats in particular attempt to steer clear. Boat wakes and wind shadows can have a huge affect on a racing sailboat; please honor the race and common boating courtesy by keeping wakes to a minimum and staying at least 500 yards away from all racing boats.

HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE RACE ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

The Mac has a strong presence on both Facebook and Twitter. Leading up to and during the race, we will be posting frequent updates so our competitors, friends and family can stay tuned in with what's happening.

We encourage you to 'like' the race on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/chicagoYCRaceToMackinac and to follow the race on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/racetomackinac.

Additionally, many crew members and boats have their own Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as accounts on Instagram and other similar services. We encourage our racers to tag all their posts with the hashtag #CYCRTM to make it easy for you to find posts related to the race, but of course, ask your friends who are racing how to follow their boats.

We are encouraging all participants to tag their posts and Tweets and photos with #CYCRTM to make it easier for you to search for them.

WHAT COVERAGE IS BEING PROVIDED DURING THE RACE?

During the Race, experienced Mac racer and former race vice chairman Winn Soldani will be providing frequent video and written updates about the race on the Race's home page, wwww.cycracetomackinac.com. Follow along on the home page, or Facebook, to hear Winn's 'color commentary' about the Race. You can learn a lot about the strategy of long-distance racing as well as the history of the race and the weather affecting the sailors from Winn.

Winn will also be handing feedback and questions via our Facebook page, so we encourage you to follow the race there and post any questions you have for Winn.

In addition to Winn's commentary during the race, we have selected fifteen boats to act as on the water reporters. Using enhanced Yellowbrick tracking devices (see below), these boats will be able to post short updates to Twitter during the race. These updates will appear on the Race's Twitter feed. Follow us on Twitter, or view the feed on the Mac home page. We hope this on-the-water coverage will help bring the race home to all of you.

HOW CAN I TRACK THE BOATS?

For the second year, we have engaged Yellowbrick Tracking, the leading provider of tracking services for offshore yacht races. Each boat in the race will be equipped with a tracker that sends a 'ping' about every ten minutes through a satellite showing its location on the race course.

From your computer, tracking is available via a link at the top of the Mac homepage, www.cycracetomackinac.com. The link will go live sometime Thursday, so check after that. Yellowbrick relies on Flash technology, so the web page is incompatible with iOS (iPad and iPhone) and most Android devices. To track the race on those platforms, you'll need to download a free App from the appropriate App store. To download the app, visit this page:

http://www.yellowbrick-tracking.com/?page_id=2624

Once you download the App, you will need to 'buy' the Mac race from within the app. Although Yellowbrick charges for most races, the Mac Committee is covering this cost for our friends and families, so you will not be charged. The race will appear in available races sometime on Thursday.

We hope all of our friends and family have fun watching us and following along as we race up the Lake!


08-Jul-13 - 03:22pm
Dear fellow racer:

We are pleased once again to be working with our great presenting sponsor, Veuve Clicquot. The anchor in their logo says it all, and a glass of Veuve when you arrive after a long race cannot be beat.

Check out their 'Month of Clicquot' specials around the Chicagoland area, extending the celebration of the 105th:

http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/MonthofClicquotEmail.pdf

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot

PS We encourage you to


08-Jul-13 - 12:45pm
Dear Mac Skippers:

The start times for the 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac have been posted on our website as 2013 Sailing Instructions Amendment #1. They can be found on our website under Race Documents.

The sailing instructions have also been posted, as have the Smart Scratch Sheets, also available via the website under Race Documents.

Should you have any questions, please contact racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

See you very soon!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot


03-Jul-13 - 08:00am
Dear fellow competitor:

Welcome to the last Safety Thursday of 2013, released a day early due to the Independence Day holiday tomorrow. This last Safety Thursday comes courtesy of our friends in the US Coast Guard, who do an amazing job supporting our race and making mariners everywhere safer. Our thanks go out to them!

All of our Safety Thursdays from 2013 and 2012 are archived on the Mac website at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/safety/. We encourage you to go back and take a look at past issues if you haven't read them. Our goal at the Chicago Yacht Club is now and has always been to provide a fun, fast and safe race for all our competitors.

We hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July. If out on the water, enjoy yourself and be safe! Remember, the most important thing you can do to make boating safer is wear a life jacket!

See you in Chicago next week!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, Presented by Veuve Clicquot

---------------------------------


Coast Guard 'Cardinal Points' for 2013 Race to Mackinac

The Ninth Coast Guard District wishes you a warm welcome to the 2013 Race to Mackinac. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable voyage. The Race Committee has provided you with excellent materials on how to be best prepared and we'd like to supplement that with some Coast Guard basics.

IN AN EMERGENCY

If an emergency occurs during the race, such as a person overboard, medical problem, taking on water, or disabling damage from storm, and assistance from the Coast Guard is required, we recommend you contact us via VHF-FM channel 16. You do not need to know what the closest Coast Guard station is -- we will determine that -- simply call 'Mayday, mayday, mayday, Coast Guard, this is [vessel name] on channel 16, over.' During your initial contact, we ask that you provide the following information:

• Location (GPS coordinates and/or geographic reference),
• Nature of distress,
• Number of persons on board and
• Description of your vessel.

If you have an EPIRB or PLB (preferred over SPOT devices) on board, activate that as well because the SARSAT satellite system has global coverage beyond VHF-FM or cellular antenna range. Launching of flares or displaying of other visual signaling devices should also be considered. Use of cellular telephones should be considered a tertiary means of distress alerting.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Once the Coast receives your distress call, we can decide what the closest response units are, what capabilities to bring and approximately how long it will take to get to your location. The Coast Guard communications watch stander on the other end of the radio may have additional questions for you to further ascertain your situation. For those accustomed to police or fire units responding within a few minutes in your city, be aware that Coast Guard boats and helicopters may take longer to reach your location because we may have to transit dozens or even hundreds of miles. Do your best to stabilize your situation in the meantime. The Coast Guard can also provide basic first responder medical care from our boats or helicopters, but paramedic-level (and greater) medical support must be provided from land- based resources. Please be aware that we do not have divers with subsurface or SCUBA capability. Our helicopters carry a rescue swimmer who can conduct rescues on or near the surface only. If subsurface rescue may be required, let us know that as soon as possible because SCUBA capability must come from other agencies and can take hours to coordinate and transport.
?
RESCUE 21

The Coast Guard recently installed the Rescue 21 communications system around the Great Lakes, greatly increasing our reception and transmission capability. For race participants, your procedure for contacting us remains unchanged - see the 'Mayday' call guidance in the 'In an emergency' paragraph above. For our part, Rescue 21 allows us to rapidly obtain a line of bearing from our radio towers to the location of the VHF-FM caller. This helps us home in on your position more quickly and easily, and also helps us catch hoax callers. Again, you do not need to know where our towers or stations are - call us on VHF-FM channel 16 and we will work with you on a case-by-case basis.

IN CASE OF STORMS

If severe storms do occur, it is up to race participants to decide whether to continue their courses or to divert toward cover or safe harbors. The Coast Guard cannot make that decision for you, and we are prohibited from providing specific sailing directions (courses to steer, etc.) to you. The Coast Guard communications watch stander can, however, transmit to you published/charted navigational aids, hazards and information that may be helpful in making your decision.

A WORD ABOUT HYPOTHERMIA

Even if air temperatures during the race days are warm and seasonable, be advised that lake temperatures will likely be cold enough in many locations to cause moderate to severe hypothermia within hours. Participants should dress themselves with those water temperatures in mind - and of course, wear their personal flotation device. Hypothermia is an insidious killer that catches unprepared people in the water off guard, so you stack the deck in your favor by wearing a survival suit, dry suit, wet suit or anti-exposure coveralls.

COAST GUARD PATROL COMMANDER

The Coast Guard Cutter ALDER will be serving as patrol commander during the race. In an emergency, however, we recommend you hail us per the 'Mayday' procedures above because ALDER may not be within radio range of your position.

NINTH COAST GUARD DISTRICT 'SAR ETHOS.'

The men and women of the Ninth Coast Guard District take our search and rescue (SAR) responsibilities very, very seriously. In fact, our philosophy, or 'SAR Ethos' is to treat every potential victim as we would our own family. So know that if you get in trouble out there, we will do our very best. Good luck!

GREAT LAKES SEARCH AND RESCUE LINE - 1-800-321-4400.

Joint Rescue Coordination Center Cleveland Ninth Coast Guard District
Cleveland, OH 44199
1-216-902-6117/6118/6109
ninthdistrictcommandcenter@uscg.mil

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.

Safety Thursday emails are (c) 2013 Chicago Yacht Club and its Race to Mackinac Committee unless otherwise noted. They may be used or shared pursuant to the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 license as set out at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/


02-Jul-13 - 06:59pm
Dear Fellow Invited Competitor:

On behalf of the Chicago Yacht Club and our friends at Veuve Clicquot, you as an invited competitor and one guest are cordially invited to attend the Warning Gun Party.



WARNING GUN PARTY
Thursday, July 11, 2013
6 pm - 8 pm
Chicago Yacht Club Monroe Station


RSVP by July 10, 2013
312.861.7777 (CYC members may RSVP online)


Enjoy complimentary food and beverages. Space is limited to the first 450 reservations. Business casual - no shorts. This invitation is non-transferable and limited to the invited competitor and one guest, whose name must be provided when you RSVP.

Please note that parking is not available at the club during Race week. Parking is available at the East Monroe Garage (also called the Millenium Lakeside Garage), accessible from Columbus Drive.

To view the invitation online, visit: http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/WarningGunFINALINVITEFORBLAST.pdf

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, Presented by Veuve Clicquot


02-Jul-13 - 03:31pm
Dear Fellow Racers:

This weekend, many of you will be finalizing the readying of your boats: going over your final checklists, safety regulations, and food and drink lists, and otherwise preparing your boats and crews for the 105th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. I would ask you to review one additional list with your crew, delivery crews, and other guests on the Island -- a list of rules regarding conduct during the Race.

In prior years, we have had problems with crew members acting inappropriately. Inappropriate conduct on the part of you or your crew can cause difficulties for you as Invited Competitors. Tip to the wise- ‘Don’t be that guy (or gal)! Skippers- You are ultimately responsible for the conduct of your crew.

We are guests on Mackinac Island for a few days each summer. Many of the people you interact with on the Island call it home. Please treat them respectfully, as you would like to be treated in your own hometown. We want to be welcome back! To avoid any issues, please keep the following rules in mind:

1. Please follow all directions from CYC Dock masters and CYC Staff while docking in Chicago. They are working to arrange safe dockage for everyone who will be docking at our facilities. They need your cooperation, and the cooperation of your crews, to make this happen. We use a zone system in Chicago, just like we do on the Island, so please follow instructions from our staff. We have many volunteers that take time out of their day to day to help with the race. We will have a zero tolerance policy regarding disrespectful behavior towards any of our volunteers or CYC staff. Again, “Don’t be that boat”.

2. Both during and after the Race, you will be interacting with our outstanding Race Committee volunteers and Club staff. They are terrific people who will be giving a lot of their time over the next couple of weeks to make this a great experience for all. Please treat them with respect and courtesy. If you encounter a situation in which our Race Committee members or Club staff members cannot assist you, please do not argue with or berate them. Instead, ask to speak with me-the Race Chair, our Principal Race Officer, Janet Crabb, or any one of our Vice Chairs, Matt Gallagher, Jim Murray, Jay Muller or John Zienda. Our zero tolerance policy will apply here as well. Any disrespectful behavior towards our volunteers or staff will be dealt with harsly.

3. This year we will again be using a zone system for docking on Mackinac Island. This system places similar boats together. It’s designed to get you docked and to the bars and parties as quickly as possible. However, to make it work, you have to follow our plan and not everyone can get a slip, even if it’s empty at the moment. Every space on the Island is assigned and accounted for. Please cooperate with our docking officials on the Island. I have asked our docking officials to report any failure to cooperate or any inappropriate behavior directly to me; disregarding instruction may result in your boat being uninvited in subsequent years.

4. NO swimming is allowed in Mackinac Island Harbor. This is for your safety and that of others.

5. Michigan law prohibits open containers of alcohol. If a police officer approaches you or your crew, and asks you to spill out the Mount Gay and tonic that you just purchased, please do so without debating with them. (Note that this also applies to the grounds outside of the Grand Hotel during our sailors' party.) If I have to come and bail you out on Wednesday morning, we are both going to be really unhappy. So don’t be ‘that guy’.

6. The school, which is adjacent to the Grand Hotel, is a drug and alcohol free zone. We strongly recommend that you stay away from this area during our sailors' party.

7. Please do not walk in the streets. While they may look pedestrian safe because there are no cars, you can easily be hit by a bicycle or by a horse and carriage. Stay on the sidewalks.

8. Keep sails and other banners away from horses, as they are easily frightened. When drying sails, stay as far away from the streets as possible. A flapping sail or banner can cause a really bad situation.

9. Departure time from all harbors is 1 PM EDT on Wednesday, July 17. Please make sure that you depart at or before this time unless you have made prior arrangement with the Harbor Master. We will be present to enforce this deadline.

Failure to follow these rules can result in disqualification from this Race and not being invited to future Races. Crew members and guests are expected to follow these rules, but ultimately it is the Skipper who is responsible. Don't be that guy or gal who gets your boat uninvited to race next year! Please help us make the 105th Race a great experience for everyone. We look forward to seeing you on the start line next week!

See You all VERY Soon! Good luck with your preparation.


Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


02-Jul-13 - 08:39am
Not all the fun occurs on the water! We have a wide variety of fun activities on the shore for adults and children alike. See below for details.

I hope to see you at one of these parties, either in Chicago or on the Island!

Lou Sandoval, Chairman
105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot

PS Please follow us on facebook by liking us at facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac, or follow us on Twitter @RaceToMackinac. Tag your tweets and instagram photos with #CYCRTM.

Pre-Race Party
Friday, July 12, 2013
7:00pm –11:30pm CDT
Monroe Station
Open to Race to Mackinac skippers, crew, families and friends, this high-energy party remains the place to be seen before the race…but no too late if you have an early boat call. Music From DJ Dave Alvarez - Soundwave, Inc.

Ashore Thing – Race to Mackinac Parade of Boats
Saturday, July 13, 2013
10:00am – 2:00pm CDT
East End of Navy Pier
Grandstand viewing of the Parade of Boats at the end of Navy Pier for friends and families. Details and RSVP at http://michiganavemag.com/ashorething. Brought to you by MICHIGAN AVENUE MAGAZINE and the Chicago Yacht Club.

The Grand Porch Party Presented by Veuve Clicquot
Sunday, July 14, Adults only
5:30pm – 7:30pm EDT
Tickets: $45 available at CYC Front desk or onsite
Grand Hotel Porch
Tickets are for sale at the CYC Monroe Station front desk and at the party for $45 each. No children. Coat and tie required. Ladies - hats encouraged! Tickets must be present for entry. Click here to purchase online: http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/shore-events/porch-party/

The Grand Children’s Party
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Children 3 and up
5:00pm – 8:00pm EDT
Grand Hotel (Lower Level)
Children will enjoy their own party with dinner and a movie while adults enjoy The Grand Porch Party. $35. Call the CYC to book your reservations at 312.861.7777, or book online at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/shore-events/sunday-childrens-party/. YOU MUST MAKE A RESERVATION BY JULY 5, 2013, TO ATTEND.

105th Race to Mackinac Sailor’s Celebration
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
2:00pm – 6:00pm EDT
Grand Hotel Tea Garden
2:00pm – 4:00pm EDT
Outdoor activities for children will be located next to the Sailor’s Celebration in the Tea Garden Family Area. Children must be supervised by an adult in this area.

For more details, see the Mac website at www.cycracetomackinac.com


01-Jul-13 - 06:38am
Dear Race to Mackinac Competitors, Skippers and Crew:

At the conclusion of the 104th we took your feedback as part of our annual participant’s survey. One of the issues that came up loud and clear was that the Crew Waiver process that we employed in 2012 was inadequate. Many requests came back asking for an simpler, online system through which to provide the crew information. Another point that came through loud and clear from skippers was that we should change the system that required skippers to manage their crew’s information and update that each year.

For the 105th, we have given you what you wanted. Each invited competitor is now able to issue their invite to crew members electronically. Each crew member is able manage and update their own info and complete their waiver. We kept up our end of the deal; now it’s time for you all to do yours.

As of today, only 22% of the boats entered have completed ALL the waivers for their crew. With 12 days to go until the race, this huge gap concerns us. It may also cause some of you to be very unhappy when it is time to register your boat starting July 11. Unless 100% of your crew has completed their required information and accepted the terms of the crew waiver, the skipper will be unable print out the pass necessary for checking in for the race. No exceptions can be made. If your crew do not complete 100% of their crew waivers before registration, you cannot check in. If you do not check in, you cannot race.

If you are one of the 68 boats to have completed 100% of your waivers, THANK YOU! If not, this is how you can help us help YOU. Please do the following TODAY to ensure that you will be ready to check in in Chicago next week :

1. Skippers/Invited competitors: After logging in as a competitor, visit “Enter or Update your crew list” Make sure all of your crew has been invited. For each crew member who is not marked as ‘complete,’ click on “email crew for update” button to as them via email to complete the process.

2. Crew Members: Accept the invite from your skipper and follow the instructions to update your info and complete your waiver. If you haven't received an emailed invitation to join your skippers crew, reach out to him or her immediately.

Having Issues? First watch the video tutorial on completing your crew waivers: http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/reminder-new-crew-waiver-procedures/

Technical problems? Almost all problems we've seen to date can be traced to one of four problems. 1. Check your spam settings and folders; some corporate spam filters entirely block emails from our system. Consider using a private email address such as gmail, yahoo or the like. 2. If you are returning crew from 2012, the invite will go to your email address used last year; if this needs to be updated, it must be done by your skipper, so please reach out to them. 3. Use a modern web browser. Any web browser released in the last 3 years should work just fine. Make sure yours is reasonably up to date. 4. Make sure the crew member's email address is correct. Skippers are the only ones who can change these.

Problems beyond that? Email racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org

We ask that over the next ten days you all make sure to handle the administration of your entries. Skippers/Invited Competitors- ultimately you are responsible for making sure ALL your information is accurate, complete and in by the deadlines as prescribed by the NOR , SI’s and official race documents.

We thank you in advance for your timely attention to this issue.

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago –very soon!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


30-Jun-13 - 09:51pm
Dear Fellow Skipper:

The Race Tracking Registration Agreement is now live and ready. As you all know, tracking is mandatory and there is no charge for it. Everyone will need to complete their agreement online.

Our friends at Yellowbrick will be back again, coming off a successful 104th Race. As you may recall, Yellowbrick’s web site relies on Flash technology and thus is incompatible with iPhones, iPads and many other mobile devices. If you intend to track the race from your device, we urge you to download the Yellowbrick App from the appropriate store now, install it and test it. This will help you avoid frustration on race day.

Last year, you were required to pay $2.99 to access the race on your mobile device. This year, the Chicago Yacht Club and the Mac Committee are covering this cost for our competitors, their friends and family, and our fans. The download will be free from within the Yellobrick app. The Chicago Mac plugin will be available for download a few days before the race. Encourage your crew, family and friends to download the App today through the links at http://www.yellowbrick-tracking.com/?page_id=2624

As to the tracker itself, we will not collect credit card information from you. Instead, you will be required to agree that you will turn in your tracker on the island as agreed or be subject to a $500 charge. See the online registration agreement for more details.

Tracker registration is very easy this year and occurs in two steps.

Step 1: From your desktop. Just log into the race registration system, click on ‘Maintain My Info’ and then click on Tracker Registration Agreement. Read the tracking agreement and select “I agree”. Please note: you will need to do this before attempting to print out your boarding pass to check-in for the race. We ask that you log in very soon and look to complete this no later than July 5, 2013. That’s all there is to this step. Just visit http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/register/index.cfm

Step 2: Race week. Print out your boarding pass and come to the check-in room. Our Race Committee team will hand you your skipper’s bag with transponder and ask you to sign the delivery manifest. You will receive instructions on how to activate the tracker and where to install it on your boat. Voila!

We also want to remind you of a few things relating to tracking that we have emailed you about in the past:

1) If you haven’t submitted a photo of your boat, please do so ASAP. Yellowbrick will be able to display it along with tracking info. You can upload it through your competitor login, or email the photo to our race coordinator, racecoordinator@chicagoyachtlcub.org. Please do this no later than July 5, or your boat will be represented by a giant yellow duck floating past the Round Island Light.

2) Twitter is integrated with Yellowbrick. Be sure to send the race coordinator your boat or crews’ twitter handles and tag your tweets #CYCRTM

We hope that you all agree that this registration process is much simpler than in previous years. Once you see the final tracking site and mobile app, I’m sure you will love it. Thank you in advance for your time and attention to this.

As always, email our race coordinator with any questions at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org

See you in Chicago soon!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac
Presented by Veuve Clicquot

PS If you haven't done so, now is an excellent time to review all your registration information via your competitor login. Have you submitted all your crew information, and have the crew all completed their waivers? Have you entered your docking LOA in your boat information screen? Do we have an accurate ORR certificate for you? Have you accepted the boat liability waiver and certified your compliance with the MSRs? Failure to complete any of these steps will stop you from printing your pre-race sign in form ('boarding pass') and will stop you from checking in in Chicago. We recommend that all these steps be completed by July 5, 2013.


27-Jun-13 - 10:14am
Dear Fellow Competitor:

The Sailing Instructions (SI) and scratch sheets have been published to the website, www.cycracetomackinac.com.

The SIs are available for download from the Race Documents section. We encourage you to download them and read them at your earliest convenience.

The scratch sheets are available under 'The Race' menu.

If you haven't done so already, please complete your crew waiver and provide all your information requested including your contact information and the contact information for an emergency contact not sailing in the race. Crew members should have received an email once their skipper lists them as crew on the boat. If you haven't received yours, please ask your skipper to send it/resend it today!

15 days to go! See you on the water!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, Chicago Yacht Club 105th Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot

P.S. Please remember to follow the Mac @RaceToMackinac on Twitter, and tag your tweets about the race with #CYCTRM. We also encourage you to like the race on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac. These are great sources of current information about the Race.


27-Jun-13 - 09:36am
It is every sailor’s nightmare - being lost overboard, particularly at night or in adverse conditions. Preventing a crew overboard (COB) (or man overboard - MOB) situation is the focus of many of the Mac Safety Regulations (MSR) - for example, MSR 13 (lifelines); MSR 40 (Jackstays); MSR 70 (Harnesses and Tethers); and others. The Cruising Club of America has a good briefing on preventing COB situations at http://www.cruisingclub.org/pdfs/sas_dy_man_overboard_prevention.pdf.

We also encourage you to read the CCA’s “Tips for the Victim” at http://www.cruisingclub.org/pdfs/sas_dy_victim_tips_crew_overboard.pdf. The most important point is: always have a PFD on. This dramatically enhances your chance of survival and recovery.

This safety thursday focuses on what happens when those prevention methods aren’t sufficient and a crew member goes overboard. (All references are to monohull MSRs, but there are equivalent multihull ones). This article will discuss the MSRs applicable to helping in MOB situations, as well as a discussion of techniques that each crew should practice before they need it.


Equipment

MSR 61 requires a man overboard pole and flag, with a lifebuoy, self-igniting light, a whistle and drogue attached and be ready for instant use. An inflatable MOB system such as the MOM-8A fulfills this requirement if properly serviced and equipped. Whether you choose inflatable or rigid, this device should be instantly deployed when a person goes overboard. It serves two main functions: (a) it provides flotation for the person in the water; and (b) it aids in locating the crew member, via light, sound and visual methods. Particularly in heavy seas or at night, picking out a small human head amongst the waves is very challenging. A MOB pole or MOM-8A provides an easy-to-see target.

MSR 60 requires a Lifesling (http://www.thesailingfoundation.org/new_lifesling.htm). A Lifesling consists of a flotation horseshoe attached to a floating line. A hoist and tackle system is an option. The Lifesling is used once the COB is located, to provide floation and a method of returning them to the boat. See http://www.cruisingclub.org/pdfs/safety_lifesline_prep_guide.pdf An excellent video on the use of a Lifesling is available online and should be watched by all sailors:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnhjOhWD4j0

MSR 63 requires a heaving line, readily accessible in the cockpit. This is another device that can be used to help bring a crew member back to the boat once they’re located in the water. Do not underestimate the difficulty of recovery of a crew member even when the boat is close nearby. A COB will not be able to easily swim in an inflated PFD, or if injured - a heaving line will provide those on the boat with a mechanism for bringing the COB back to the boat.

Finally, MSR 76 requires a personal safety knife. This is useful to the person in the water when they are attached to the boat but don’t want to be! For example, if tangled in rigging or being dragged along by their tether. We recommend you re-read last year’s Safety Thursday on personal safety knives. (http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/Issue_8_-_Personal_Safety_Knives.pdf)

Technique

The proper technique for MOB situations is beyond the scope of this article. However, here are some considerations. There are several methods for recovery. For a good overview, see this article: http://www.sailingmagazine.net/how-to/technique/1371-crew-overboard-recovery.html. ISAF Offshore Regulation D provides a good summary of the quick stop method (http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/OSR2012AppD09122011-%5b11754%5d.pdf); the quick stop technique is strongly recommended in the MSRs.

No matter which technique you use for recovery, there are some common steps that should be taken upon recognition of a COB situation.

1. Shout Man Overboard and hit the MOB function on your chart plotter if at the helm.

2. Deploy the MOB pole or MOM-8A immediately, and get any other floatation possible in the water (to aid the victim and to provide a visual reference to where the COB occurred).

3. Assign one or more crew members to maintain eye contact with the victim and point at them constantly.

4. Call a Mayday on the VHF and/or depress the “distress” button if DSC equipped - a COB is a mayday situation in all but the calmest conditions, and even then it should be called as Pan Pan. All competitors should render appropriate aid as required by the Racing Rules of Sail and by law.

From there, boat handling depends on the method for COB recovery you choose. All techniques involve getting the boat slowed down, back to the victim, and stopped near the victim in order to allow for recovery. Your crew should have a discussion of which technique is appropriate. The “quick stop” method recommended in MSR74 is detailed above in linked ISAF Offshore Special Regulation. We urge your crew, and particularly all your helmsmen, to have a discussion of what technique is appropriate for your boat and crew.

Once you get the crew member to the boat, getting them aboard can be a new challenge. Any victim will likely be in some level of shock, and an injured victim may not be able to help themselves. Additionally, getting a crew member on board a boat with high transom and sides may be challenging even if they are uninjured. Your crew should talk through how this would be done, and you should consider carrying a block and tackle to assist in Lifesling-aided recovery.

A final point: Do not go into the water to assist the person unless absolutely necessary. If the victim is unable to board or needs further assistance and someone must go into the water, make sure that person is wearing a PFD and is attached to the boat with a line.

Required Drill

Do not forget the requirements of MSR 72 - each crew must perform an annual MOB practice with at least two-thirds of the racing crew participating. A form certifying compliance must be downloaded, signed by the crew, and kept onboard in event of inspection on the Island. The MOB form can be downloaded from http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/2013_crew_overboard_cert.pdf

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


20-Jun-13 - 07:56am
By Mark Thornton

This Safety Thursday article, the second in a two part series, focuses on the challenges of monitoring weather conditions on the racecourse. A companion webpage containing hyperlinks to the resources presented in this and the previous article can be found here: http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/MacResources.html The first article was published on May 30, 2013 and can be found along with all other Safety Thursdays at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/safety/. I hope that you found an opportunity to review the resources presented, familiarized yourself in their interpretation and have prepared a few practice forecasts.

Monitoring the evolution of weather patterns and reviewing updated forecast data after the race has started can help you adjust your strategy based upon whether an off-shore or in-shore route holds the best chance for a steady breeze. In addition to aiding your strategic goals, checking the weather regularly and remaining apprised of National Weather Service watches and warnings will spare you from being surprised by thunderstorms, a relatively common occurrence across the Great Lakes during July.

ACCESS TO DATA

Introduction

There is no shortage of weather data on the Internet. The sheer volume of data, combined with the ease of access, may contribute to a case of ‘data overload’ in the days preceding the Mac. However, once you are on the racecourse and your trusty Wi-Fi connection is no longer available, you will likely find yourself quickly transitioning from ‘data overload’ to ‘data deprivation’. There are technological solutions to address your data deprivation, but each possesses its own set of problems.

VHF Radios

VHF radios are a reliable and relatively inexpensive method of obtaining basic weather information. Modern marine VHF radios contain a “WX” button used to select the seven channels (WX1 to WX7) dedicated to receiving weather observations and forecasts.

Through its NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) program, the National Weather Service (NWS) continuously transmits NWS general and marine forecasts, regional weather observations, and severe weather watches and warnings in the VHF range. The NWR transmissions are automatically rendered from typed text to audio and, unless interrupted by warnings of severe weather, cycle repeatedly through information of interest to mariners and non-mariners, these include:

• Synoptic Overview – a description of the large-scale weather pattern affecting the region where the NWR transmitter is located.
• General Forecast – a non-marine forecast for the next four days divided into 12-hour periods.
• General Observations – local and regional meteorological observations such as barometric pressure, temperature, wind speed, wind direction, etc.
• Near Shore Marine Forecast – a forecast for waters within five nautical miles from shore.
• Extended Forecast – a general forecast for the next five to seven days.
• Marine Observations – wind and wave observations from nearby buoys and waterfront stations.
• Climate Summary – a review of the local and regional climate data, such as high and low temperatures, total precipitation, etc.

Because this information is presented in a continuous loop, you may have to listen to the broadcast for several minutes or more until it returns to the marine-related portion of the program. I find that it is helpful to take notes as you listen to the forecast.

Several NWR transmitters, each operating on an assigned frequency so as not to interfere with nearby stations, serve the waters of Lake Michigan. The range of each transmitter is approximately 25 miles, however, this range may be diminished by the height or placement of the antennae, operational integrity of the station’s equipment, or weather conditions. The distance at which you are able to receive a NWR broadcast is also dependent upon the equipment onboard your vessel. The height and quality of your antenna and condition of the coaxial cable and ancillary fittings connecting it to your fixed VHF radio all influence the quality of your reception. Handheld VHF radios have a much shorter effective range than fixed units.

There are six NWS offices with County Warning Areas (CWA) covering a portion of Lake Michigan -- -- Chicago, IL; Syracuse, IN; Milwaukee, WI; Green Bay, WI; Grand Rapids, MI; and Gaylord, MI. Each NWS office is responsible for preparing the weather information that is broadcast by the NWRs located in their CWA. The marine observations and forecasts you hear on your VHF radio are specifically prepared for the portion of Lake Michigan falling within the NWS’s warning area.

Since the NWR system broadcasts weather information for a specific portion of the Lake, and the operational limit of the transmission is approximately 25 miles, you will need to select the WX channel associated with the NWR transmitter closest to your location. This is particularly important if a severe thunderstorm prompts the issuance of a watch or warning for a portion of the Lake. A map showing the location and associated WX channel of the NWR transmitters serving Lake Michigan can be found at http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/NWR%20Locations.jpg, while a map showing the marine zones for each NWS office is located at http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/NWSMarineZones.html.

Cellular Internet

Although your VHF radio is a reliable source of weather information, it does not provide the ability to access Doppler radar or the wide array of weather forecast graphics discussed in my previous Safety Thursday article (http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/SafetyThursdayWeatherResources-Part1.pdf). Accessing the Internet or creating a Wi-Fi hotspot using a cellular connection, provides access to the weather resources and Doppler radar, but cellular access more than 10 miles offshore is typically unreliable. It is possible to improve cellular reception by installing an external antennae and signal booster; however this technology only improves an existing signal and therefore provides limited value in areas where shore-based cellular access is spotty – such as northern Michigan.

Cellular Internet should not be your primary source of weather information. However, when it is available, Internet access provides the ability to view Doppler radar imagery – a particularly useful resource if severe thunderstorms are expected to impact the racecourse.

Satellite Weather Data

Accessing weather information via XM satellite offers many advantages over VHF and cellular, but at a relatively high cost. A typical XM setup requires a satellite antennae, receiver, a display device (such as laptop or chartplotter), and a monthly subscription from a provider of meteorological data. The cost of the antennae, receiver and software typically exceeds $1,000, and data subscriptions can reach $50 per month.

If cost isn’t a barrier, satellite technology avoids the broadcast range limitations of both VHF and cellular Internet and assures reliable, consistent access to weather data – including Doppler radar -- regardless of your location on Lake Michigan. You’ll be limited to the products and resources offered by your data provider, but this limitation is more than outweighed by reliable access.

MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS

Barometers

An accurate barometer, particularly a digital version, is a relatively-inexpensive, low-tech method of monitoring large-scale weather patterns and the potential for severe weather. Typically, falling barometric pressure, particularly rapidly-falling barometric pressure, announces the approach of a squall line or cluster of thunderstorms. Your on-board barometer may provide your first clue that the atmosphere is brewing some excitement.

National Weather Service Terminology

The National Weather Service uses a variety of terms to simplify the forecast process and warn the public about the potential for hazardous weather. Misunderstanding this terminology may lead to poor decision-making that places you and your crew at increased risk during inclement weather. Several terms of interest to the marine community are presented below:

• Near Shore Marine Forecast: Issued for the Great Lakes from the shoreline out to five nautical miles.

• Offshore Marine Forecast: A marine forecast for waters beyond five nautical miles from shore.

• Small Craft Advisory: There is no precise definition of a small craft. Thresholds governing the issuance of small craft advisories are specific to geographic areas. Any vessel that may be adversely affected by Small Craft Advisory criteria should be considered a small craft. Sustained winds or frequent gusts (on the Great Lakes) between 22 and 33 knots inclusive, and/or seas or waves greater than 4 feet may prompt the issuance of a Small Craft Advisory

• Watch: A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location, and/or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so that those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.

• Warning: A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or other event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property.

• Marine Weather Statement: A National Weather Service product that provides mariners with details on significant or potentially hazardous conditions not otherwise covered in existing marine warnings and forecasts. Marine weather statements are also used to supplement special marine warnings.

• Special Marine Warning: A warning product issued for potentially hazardous weather conditions usually of short duration (up to 2 hours) producing sustained marine thunderstorm winds or associated gusts of 34 knots or greater; and/or hail 3/4 inch or more in diameter; and/or waterspouts. Also used for short duration small-scale events such as a strong cold front, gravity wave, squall line, etc., lasting less than 2 hours and producing winds or gusts of 34 knots or greater.

• Severe Thunderstorm: A thunderstorm that produces a tornado, winds of at least 58 mph (50 knots), and/or hail at least 1' in diameter. A thunderstorm wind equal to or greater than 40 mph (35 knots) and/or hail of at least 1' is defined as approaching severe status.

• High Wind Warning: Issued when high winds may pose a hazard or are life threatening. The criteria vary from state to state. In Michigan, the criteria is sustained non-convective (not related to thunderstorms) winds greater than or equal to 40 mph lasting for one hour or longer, or winds greater than or equal to 58 mph for any duration.

• Gale Warning: A warning of sustained surface winds, or frequent gusts, in the range of 34 knots (39 mph) to 47 knots (54 mph) inclusive, either predicted or occurring, and not directly associated with a tropical cyclone.

• Storm Warning: A warning of sustained surface winds, or frequent gusts, in the range of 48 knots (55 mph) to 63 knots (73 mph) inclusive, either predicted or occurring, and not directly associated with a tropical cyclone.

Doppler Radar

There is no better tool for tracking the development and movement of thunderstorms than Doppler radar from the NWS. The NWS maintains the only nationwide network of radar stations and freely shares its raw data and imagery with the public. The stations are strategically located to ensure that all areas are served and to allow overlap in the event that a station fails. There are six NWS stations collecting data over Lake Michigan: Chicago, IL; Syracuse, IN; Grand Rapids, MI; Milwaukee, WI; Green Bay, WI; and Gaylord, MI (a map of these stations may be found at http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/NWSRadarLocations.jpg).

A few important facts about radar imagery:

• You will need a reliable cellular or satellite connection to view NWS radar data.
• Radar imagery can be viewed on each NWS office’s webpage, or through a third-party application purchased for your smartphone.
• Radar imagery is NOT live. The process of scanning the atmosphere and organizing the data typically takes four to six minutes. A fast-moving thunderstorm or squall line can easily cover ten miles or more between image updates. A rapidly developing thunderstorm may strengthen dramatically between image updates. Most radar applications will display the time of the image to allow you to determine how ‘stale’ the data is. If you are using radar to monitor the approach of threatening weather, keep in mind it may be much closer and much different than it appears on the outdated image.
• The quality of a radar signal degrades as distance from the site increases. When you are monitoring approaching storms, select the radar site closest to the storms in question rather the site closest to your location (click here for a map of the NWS radar sites).

CONCLUSION

With the 105th Mac just around the corner, I would like to wish you a safe and speedy trip to the Island.

I would also like to thank the CYC Mac Committee for the opportunity to contribute to the Safety Thursday series.

About the Author

Mark Thornton began sailing on Lake Erie in 1994 and he currently owns Osprey, a 1985 C&C 35. His interest in weather forecasting grew from his experiences racing and cruising on the lake. In addition to sailing and weather forecasting, Mark maintains a website devoted to Great Lakes meteorology (www.LakeErieWX.com) and enjoys publishing summaries of interesting Great Lake weather events and teaching basic weather forecasting skills to sailors.

Questions regarding this article are encouraged and should be directed to LakeErieWX@gmail.com.

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


17-Jun-13 - 12:50pm
Fellow Mac Skippers:

In addition to the changes to our crew list and waiver system, there were two other modifications made to our crew management system this year. We need your attention to these items now.

First, we request that you upload your ORR certificate as a PDF to the race management system. Again, this is done from your competitor login. We urge you to do this as soon as possible, so our Race Coordinator can input accurate ORR data for you.

Please be sure to upload your 2013 ORR certificate no later than June 19, 2013.

Second, we are requesting that all skippers upload a photo of their boat, via their competitor login. These photos will be used in conjunction with Yellowbrick Tracking and possibly other places. We urge you to get your boat represented. Those boats that do not upload photos will be represented by our unofficial mascot, Duckzilla. http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/Rubber_Duck_at_Round_Island_copy.jpg. Please upload your photo today! Please be sure you have the legal right to upload the photo. You can upload any size JPG file you have, but we suggest that you send one approximately 250 x 125 pixels in size. Please upload this photo by June 19 as well.

We also wanted to remind you once again that this year, the Chicago Yacht Club will be providing free of charge the mobile version of the Yellowbrick tracking system. Download install the Yellowbrick App (free) to your iOS or Android device, and the race will appear in the list of available races when registration opens.

Many racing programs have put together twitter feeds. If yours has one, please send us a message @RaceToMackinac, so we can follow it.

As always, please email our race coordinator with any questions, racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot

PS We encourage you to follow the Race on Twitter @RaceToMackinac, and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac, for the latest updates and news.


13-Jun-13 - 10:22am
Although chart plotters, laptops and handheld GPS are ubiquitous in today's sailing environment, paper charts are the ultimate backup navigation tool. GPS is great (and indeed is also required by the Race), but batteries fail, devices break, and satellites are on occasion unavailable or unreliable. Charts carry none of these downsides.

The Mac Safety Regulations (MSRs) require that each boat carry paper charts applicable to the Race. For the Chicago Mac, paper versions of NOAA Chart 14901 (Lake Michigan) and either 14880 (Straights of Mackinac) or 14881 (Mackinac Island) must be carried aboard.

Most boats also cary electronic charts in a laptop or chart plotter. While beyond the scope of this email, we strongly recommend that you ensure that the electronic charts onboard are up to date. Electronic charts are frequently updated and corrected. Be sure your boat's electronic charts are up to date. Much of the discussion below applies to both electronic and paper charts.

Now, let's turn to paper charts. In the US, charts are produced by NOAA. See http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/staff/chartspubs.html. Compared to other countries, our charts are extremely affordable and accurate. A good introduction to nautical charts is available at http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/learn_aboutcharts.html

Charts can be bought in one of two formats:

A. Traditional paper charts - these are updated periodically and have edition numbers and dates in the lower-left corner of the chart. The date is important - do not sail with an outdated chart. http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/paperchart.html

B. Print-on-demand charts. These charts are updated virtually to the date that the order is placed. They are generally more current than traditional paper charts. http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/pod/POD.htm

These charts can be ordered through NOAA-authorized vendors. The links above will take you to sites which link to authorized vendors.

A third option for paper charts is print-at-home, called 'Booklet Charts.' These charts can be downloaded and printed from http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/staff/BookletChart.html. However, be aware that the scale for these may not be accurate, depending on your printer, and the large number of pages may cause printing at home to be not as cost-effective as ordering a printed chart from a vendor.

A great advantage of Booklet Charts is that they're free. While the MSRs require paper charts 14901 and 14880/14881, Booklet Charts allow you to download and print or keep aboard other charts. The author of this article has Print-on-Demand versions of 14901, 14880 and 14881 on board to comply with the MSRs, but keeps PDF versions of a wide variety of Booklet Charts on his iPad in case of a need to go into an unfamiliar port. Remember - to comply with the MSRs, the charts must be printed on paper!

To help you interpret the symbols on the chart, you should download and save or print a copy of the free U.S. Chart No. 1: Symbols, Abbreviations and Terms used on Paper and Electronic Navigational Charts from http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/chartno1.htm. This will help you interpret virtually every symbol on the chart.

Other important resources:

1. The US Coast Pilot. This is a series of books covering the entire US coastline with important information on coastal navigation. They cover coast descriptions, anchorages, water levels dangers, and a lot of other information useful to navigators. They are updated weekly and free to download. CP6 covers the Great Lakes and can be downloaded from here: http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/nsd/cpdownload.htm

2. US Coast Guard Light Lists. This is a detailed list of navigational aids such as lights, buoys, beacons and the like. Produced by the USCG, the Great Lakes Light list can be downloaded from http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/lightLists/LightList%20V7.pdf

Both of these are excellent resources for the navigator.

There are a wide variety of inexpensive coastal navigation courses available online. One free one is available at http://www.sailingissues.com/navcourse0.html, but others are available for less than $50.00. It is a worthwhile exercise for all distance sailors to be able to understand how to fix a position, chart a course, and determine speed. These skills apply equally to paper charts and electronic navigation methods.

A few points to keep in mind:

1. NOAA, like all Federal government agencies, is running on leaner budgets than in the past. Thus, charts may not be as up to date as you'd like. Always keep a safe lookout and apply prudent judgment and seamanship. To learn more about updating, visit http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/learn_chartupdate.html.

2. Water levels. All depths indicated on nautical charts are reckoned from a selected level of the water called the sounding datum (sometimes referred to as the reference plane). Check the chart; the datum is shown. In the Great Lakes, the Plane of Reference is the International Great Lakes Datum (1985), and depths are generally in feet (as opposed to fathoms or meters). Depths shown on charts are the least depths to be expected under average conditions. Since the chart datum is generally a computed mean, the depth of water at any particular moment may be less than shown on the chart, particularly in years with low water levels. For more about soundings, visit http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/mcd/learnnc_soundingdatum.html.

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.



12-Jun-13 - 12:45pm
A Message from one of our Co-Sponsors, Crowley’s Yacht Yard.

Mac Skippers,

Order your Race to Mackinac gear now. Custom embroidery, colors and styles available. Show you crew you appreciate their contribution and give them a reminder of the adventure.

Contact Mike Travis of Crowley’s at 773 221-9990 ext 340 or mjt@crowleys.com to discuss your options. Go to http://store.crowleys.com/servlet/-strse-Race-to-Mackinac-Gear/Categories to see this year’s collection.

Please get your orders in promptly to ensure delivery before the race.


11-Jun-13 - 08:32am
Dear Fellow Skippers:

We are excited that you are one of well over 300 invited competitors joining us for the 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot.

This year, we made a significant change to how we as skippers handle crew management and waivers in the race management system. I’m sure we’re all happy to hear that we have simplified the process of crew management and crew waivers.

Please take a few minutes to read this email today, to make your life easier at registration in Chicago.

Here are the important points:

1. Gone are PDF, fax or email crew waivers in almost all cases. Instead, crew members get their own login to the system to manage their personal information and accept the terms of the waiver. The only exception is for minors, and for last-minute crew changes after you check in in Chicago.

2. Because of this change, you need to log in and enter each of your crew members’ names, email address and other contact info, even if they have raced with you before. Don’t forget to add yourself to your crew!

3. Once you do this, your crew will get an email telling them how to log in, complete all required info, and accept the terms of the waiver. If they do not do this, you will be unable to check in at registration in Chicago.

4. It is your responsibility, as invited competitor, to make sure all your crew has done this and that they have provided accurate, truthful information. See NOR 5.8 and 5.9.

5. Please note that minors will still be required to email in a minor's crew waiver, signed by their parent or guardian. This is explained as part of their crew login. Also, any post-check-in crew changes where you add a new crew member will require a signed Crew waiver. See the NOR. This may be submitted in paper form, or via scan, or even a photo from your smart phone of the completed form, sent to the email address noted in the NOR.

To help you understand this process better, we have put together a 10 minute video to demonstrate how this process works. It can be viewed online at http://youtu.be/XukqXw36ZxM.

If you haven’t done so already, this is also a great time to upload your 2013 ORR Certificate to the race management system. Please also upload a photo of your boat.

We urge you to review your crew list today and make sure that your crew list is accurate, that your crew members have done their part, and that you’re ready for registration in Chicago in a month!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot

PS If your boat is subject to mandatory pre-race inspection, or if you would like a voluntary one, please note that our inspection team will be in Macatawa on Tuesday June 25, and in Milwaukee on Friday, June 28. To arrange an inspection, please contact racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.


06-Jun-13 - 12:58pm
This article will cover two basic topics surrounding VHF radios - proper radio protocol and event ‘types’ in which to use these protocols, and Digital Selective Calling (DSC) and how it relates to the Race to Mackinac.

Radio Requirements and Procedure

VHF radio is still the best way to communicate on the Great Lakes. It is a proven technology and, unlike cell phones, communicates to all in range. This is of huge benefit when in distress, as any nearby mariner will become aware of the distress and come to your aid. With the implementation of Rescue 21 (http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/rescue21/dsc.asp), this is also the best way for boaters to seek US Coast Guard Assistance.

The Mac Safety Regulations (MSRs) require all boats to carry a permanently installed VHF Radio, as well as a backup handheld. These radios are critical safety devices, allowing boats to call for help when needed. All crew members should know how to use these radios, as it is impossible to predict who will be called upon to use them.

The sailing instructions also require all competitors to monitor channel 16 (the hailing and distress signal) throughout the race. The SIs impose additional requirements on use of the radio as part of the finish and docking procedures.

Radio Protocol
There are three levels of communication ‘urgency’ that we want to discuss in this article:
(a) Events that are of an emergency, possibly life threatening nature. These are MAYDAY events;
(b) Events of an urgent or potential to be escalated to MAYDAY events…these are PANPAN events;
(c) Events that are informational in nature…these are SECURITE events.

For each of these events, particularly for emergencies, following proper radio procedure is very important. Many boats have a cheat sheet posted next to their VHF. The USCG provides a distress form here that every boat should have on hand:, http://www.uscg.mil/pvs/docs/Brocures/MAYDAY.pdf.


If you hear a distress message from a vessel and it is not answered, then you must answer. If you are reasonably sure that the distressed vessel is not in your vicinity, you should wait a short time for others to acknowledge. You are also required to write down all details of all distress calls heard in a radio log. See http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=mtWatch for information on your obligations to keep a radio watch.

A false mayday call is a felony. MAYDAY should only be used in situations involving life-threatening emergencies on the boat you are on or an immediate risk of sinking. Examples of mayday situations would include fire onboard; sinking; a man overboard; sinking boat; or serious injury to a crew member requiring immediate aid.

For other, less serious events or events that may escalate to emergency status, or emergencies you observe on another boat, replace MAYDAY with PANPAN PANPAN PANPAN - the international code word for 'urgent' situations not currently risking the life of someone on your boat. This still communicates your potential need for assistance, just at a lower level of urgency. Examples of PANPAN situations would include a small fire that has already been extinguished; a man overboard recovery; an overdue vessel; an imminent collision alert; or a need for medical assistance for non-life threatening injuries. The Coast Guard still responds to PANPAN alerts, just at a lower level and will remain on standby in the event of escalation.

Finally, you will occasionally hear SECURITE SECURITE SECURITE - this is the lowest level of distress call, generally used for notifying nearby mariners of a hazard to navigation or weather or other safety-related issues.

For more information on VHF radio use, see:
http://www.uscg.mil/d1/prevention/NavInfo/navinfo/documents/A-Emergency_Procedures.PDF
http://www.boatus.com/boattech/casey/vhf-basics.asp
http://www.boatus.com/foundation/dsc/player.html
http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=mtBoater
http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg534/Contact_CG.asp


Digital Selective Calling (DSC) and Distress Call

All fixed-mount VHF radios sold after 1998 are required to have Digital Selective Calling (DSC) capability. As part of the Coast Guard’s Rescue 21 system, properly installed and registered DSC-VHF radios allow a boat in distress to instantly transmit via a single button a “mayday” digital distress call to all VHF radios in range. This distress message can contain the identity of the ship in distress as well as its location, as long as the radio is properly installed and registered. All commercial shipping monitors these calls, in addition to the USCG. This is the best, fastest way to summon help in most circumstances.

In order to be most effective, a VHF radio with DSC must be connected to a GPS receiver. Some newer radios have an integral GPS, but most require wiring to the boat’s GPS or electronic system (chart plotter). This allows the unit to transmit via the emergency key the current location of the boat as well as a distress signal. A DSC radio that is not connected to the GPS unit will still transmit a distress signal, but without location, key time is lost while rescuers search for you. Connecting the GPS to the radio is usually fairly straight-forward - consult your VHF manual or a marine electronics technician for help.

In addition to being properly installed, VHF-DSC radios need to be properly registered. To do this, you need to obtain an MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity) identity number. This MMSI number is permanently associated with the boat and can be obtained for free for US-registered boats from BoatUS: http://www.boatus.com/mmsi/

If you have already obtained your MMSI number, take 5 minutes now to verify that the information listed is correct for your boat, such as contact information, boat name and description, and emergency contact person. The MMSI number acts like a phone number for your boat. It identifies your boat when a distress signal is activated. Additionally, it allows you to have an individual radio conversations with specific boats via dialing their MMSI number.

Once you obtain your MMSI number for free, you need to program it into the radio. Follow the instructions in your manual.

The Mac Committee is requesting that all boats with DSC-capable radios obtain an MMSI number and then provide it to the Committee. Skippers - please update your record to add your MMSI number via the “competitor login” on the Mac web site. This would enable us to contact an individual boat if required via VHF-DSC and also serves as a database for the USCG in the event of a distress.

Please take the time this boating season to make sure your VHF-DSC radio is properly connected to a functioning GPS. Make sure you have obtained an MMSI number and programmed it into your radio.

Special thanks to Christopher Faris of the boat Alize for his help in preparing this article.

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.



06-Jun-13 - 09:03am
Dear Fellow Skipper:

This special edition of Safety Thursday goes out to only those of us who own the boats and pay the bills. You are required to carry insurance by NOR 4.5, and we are sure you already do, but do you really understand your insurance coverage? We're hoping this article from Ian Fisher, the Chicago Yacht Club's Judge Advovate, and his partner Jason Rosental will help you better understand this issue.

Separately, we want to make sure that Skippers are aware of changes made to how crew members are managed through the Race Management system. Some changes were made this year to simplify the process of waivers and crew management. We'll be providing more written information on the changes in the near future, but if you want to get a head start, check out the video introduction we put together at http://youtu.be/XukqXw36ZxM.

See you in Chicago in about a month!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot


Safety Thursday -- Insurance

By Ian H. Fisher and Jason M. Rosenthal

As boaters, our primary protection from catastrophe at sea is good seamanship, a sound vessel and appropriate equipment. But accidents still happen, and adequate insurance can help protect against financial catasrophe.

Protecting Yourself with the Right Coverage

Insurance is typically divided into first-party coverage and third-party (liability) coverage. First-party coverage provides reimbursement if your boat is damaged by a collision, fire, or other specific perils. Third-party, or liability, coverage protects you from lawsuits by others. One of the most important features of liability coverage is the insurer’s obligation to defend you against lawsuits, whether you are later found liable or not. In other words, most policies will pay for your lawyer to defend you. Liability coverage also has an indemnity obligation, which pays for any settlement or judgment covered by the policy.

When purchasing insurance coverage, you should consult a broker, who can help choose the best policy to protect you. Policies vary in terms of what they cover and, often more importantly, what they exclude. You should also choose the appropriate dollar amount of coverage. All boats in the Race to Mackinac must have a mimimun of $300,000 of coverage, but more may be appropriate for you. Finally, consider who is covered. For example, will the policy protect your crew if they are sued as a result of an accident on your boat? And, will the policy protect you if a crew member is hurt and sues you?

Using Your Insurance

Once you have insurance, you should utilize it when appropriate. A boater facing a loss should take prompt steps to maximize coverage and help obtain the coverage the boater purchased. Your policy may include losses beyond the obvious boat damage or personal injury, such as the costs of towing if your vessel is disabled or coverage for peronnal property aboard if you suffer a theft.

First, consider what policies may respond to the loss. Obviously, check your boat policy, but also look at your other policies. For example, does your homeowner’s policy contain a rider that includes coverage for boats, or does your umbrella policy provide additional limits of coverage? Also, consider whether another person’s policy might provide coverage—for example, a policy held by someone using your boat at the time of the accident.

Next, determine your immediate obligations as the insured. Typically, policies require the insured to provide prompt notice of any claims to the insurer. Similarly, the insured may need the insurer’s consent before agreeing to a settlement. Your insurance broker may be able to assist with this process.

Once the insurance company receives the notice of your claim, it will typically respond in writing to inform you that the claim is covered, that the claim is denied, or that it is continuing with its investigation. With liability insurance, the insurer will often agree to defend you under a “reservation of rights.” This means that the insurer will provide you with a lawyer, but says it is keeping open the possibility of denying your claim if it later decides that coverage does not exist. In this event, you may have a right to independent counsel of your choosing.

Hopefully, you will never need to make an insurance claim. However, having the right insurance coverage in place now could save you from serious financial harm later.

Ian Fisher is the Chicago Yacht Club’s Judge Advocate (its general counsel). When he is not representing the Club or sailing on Hiwassee, he is a partner at the business litigation firm of Schopf & Weiss LLP, where he helps his clients resolve their business disputes. Jason Rosenthal is the Managing Partner of Schopf & Weiss, where he focuses on representing corporate policyholders in insurance coverage disputes.


Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


30-May-13 - 10:22am
By Mark Thornton


Introduction

Sailing and weather are intrinsically linked. Experienced Mac sailors understand that developing a pre-race weather forecast and monitoring its evolution on the racecourse is an important strategic and safety aspect of participating in the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac. Misjudging the wind forecast can quickly send you to the back of your fleet, while failing to properly assess the risk for severe weather can unnecessarily jeopardize the safety of the crew.

This Safety Thursday article is the first of a two-part series and focuses on helpful resources for developing your pre-race forecast. The second article will discuss the more challenging task of monitoring weather developments after the starting gun. A companion webpage containing hyperlinks to the resources presented in these articles can be found here: http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/MacResources.html. A version of this blast with appropriate graphics will be uploaded to the Mac website at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/safety/

The Big Picture

Large-Scale Dynamics

Your Mac forecast should begin with an understanding of the large-scale weather features. Is a low pressure system expected to transit Lake Michigan during the race? If so, when is the warm and/or cold front and accompanying wind shift expected to arrive? Is the system expected to produce strong winds, large waves, or thunderstorms? Or, will the Mac be dominated by the fluky, thermally-driven lake and land breezes associated with a high pressure system?

NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center (WPC) (http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/) produces a variety of products that focus on predicting the development and evolution of large-scale weather features. The WPC’s surface forecasts are divided into short-term and long-term periods with the short-term period covering the first 2 ½ days of the forecast period (in 12-hour intervals) and the long-term period covering days three through seven in 24-hour intervals. By carefully reviewing the forecasts in chronological order, you can determine how large-scale weather features will affect the racecourse, and then use the data to chart the fastest course to Mackinac.

Graphics published by the WPC contain a variety of unique symbols and meteorological shorthand to show the anticipated position of high pressure systems, low pressure systems and their accompanying frontal boundaries, and additional features such as ridges, troughs and squall lines. Sailors who are unfamiliar with this meteorological shorthand are encouraged to review the legend published by the WPC (http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/html/fntcodes2.shtml).

WPC products, along with the majority of weather forecasting materials available on the Internet, are based on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) sometimes called Zulu Time (Z). Converting from GMT (or Z) to Central Time during the summer is straightforward – simply subtract five hours from GMT/Z. Below is the legend for a 24-hour surface forecast which provides an opportunity to review the GMT/Z conversion process and other nomenclature used to describe the graphics.

DOC/NOAA/NWS/NCEP/WPC
24-HR FORECAST OF FRONTS/
PRESSURE AND WEATHER
ISSUED: 1605Z MON MAY 13 2013
VALID: 1200Z TUE MAY 14 2013
FORECASTER: ZIEGENFELDER

The first line contains the acronyms for the various NOAA entities that contributed to the preparation of the forecast. The second and third lines describe the parameters that are included in the forecast product. The term Issued in the fourth line provides the time and date the graphic was published. In this example, the graphic was published at 1605Z or 11:05 am Central (1605Z minus 5 hours) on May 13, 2013. The fifth line indicates when the forecast is Valid, which is the date and time for which the forecast was prepared. The surface forecast shown above displays the surface weather features as they were expected to be at 1200Z / 7:00 am Central time on Tuesday, May 14, 2013.

Precipitation

The WPC also issues Quantitative Precipitation Forecast Graphics (QPF) (http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/qpf/qpf2.shtml) which show the amount of liquid precipitation anticipated across the country. This product covers the first three days of the forecast period in 24-hour increments, and combines days four through five and six through seven into two separate 48-hour forecasts.

Thunderstorms

Storm Prediction Center Thunderstorms, and the associated hazards of downburst winds, lightning, and locally higher wave heights, are a relatively common occurrence across the Great Lakes during the summer. Forecasting the location, timing and type of severe weather that is expected to develop across the United States is one of meteorology’s most challenging tasks – a task assigned to the staff of NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma. It is important to understand that the NWS defines a severe thunderstorm as one that produces 1” diameter hail, a wind gust of at least 58 mph, or a tornado. Although frequent lightning is an obvious hazard to sailors, it is not a factor in meeting the threshold of a severe thunderstorm.

SPC Convective Outlooks Each day, the SPC issues Convective Outlooks for days 1, 2, and 3, and a combined Outlook for days 4 through 8 (http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/outlook/). The Outlooks contain a graphic that identifies the areas of the country where organized storm development is expected, along with a narrative describing the details of the risk.

The Convective Outlooks present the risk by category – Slight, Moderate and High – based upon the statistical probability of severe weather occurring within 25 miles of any given point in the highlighted area. A description of the risk categories used by the SPC can be found on its FAQ page (http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/#3.3)

Because the risk of severe weather affecting a specific location on any given day is very small, even a Slight risk deserves a sailor’s respect, as it represents a significant increase in the potential for severe weather. It should be noted that even thunderstorms that fail to meet the NWS’s severe threshold often present a significant risk to mariners in the form of strong winds and frequent lightning.

Although SPC Convective Outlooks are an excellent resource for identifying the areas at risk for severe weather and displaying the geographic progression of the risk over time, they are written for meteorologists and therefore tend to be rather technical in nature.

Hazardous Weather Outlooks

In contrast to the Convective Outlooks from the SPC, Hazardous Weather Outlooks (HWO) are issued in text form by each local office of the National Weather Service (NWS) and describe the risk of severe weather for the general public. HWOs are issued each day and address the overall probability, geographic coverage, storm type (single cell storms, squall line, etc.), and timing of severe weather for the current day along with a combined summary of days 2 through 7.

While SPC Convective Outlooks cover the entire United States, Hazardous Weather Outlooks focus exclusively on the County Warning Area (CWA) assigned to each NWS office. There are six NWS offices with CWAs that cover a portion of Lake Michigan -- Chicago, IL; Syracuse, IN; Milwaukee, WI; Green Bay, WI; Grand Rapids, MI; and Gaylord, MI. In order to assess the risk of severe weather where you intend to sail, you must consult the HWO of the NWS office which has responsibility for that area of the lake. Click here for a map showing NWS responsibilities for Lake Michigan: http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/NWSMarineZones.html.

MARINE FORECASTS

Text Forecasts

The Chicago NWS office is responsible for issuing off-shore (beyond 5 nautical miles) marine forecasts for all of Lake Michigan. Several times each day, NWS Chicago publishes a text version of the marine forecast which begins with a synopsis of the current weather pattern and a forecast covering the next several days. This synopsis is followed by a forecast of wind and wave conditions covering a five-day period. Because conditions often vary dramatically across the expanse of Lake Michigan, the text wind and wave forecast focuses on pre-determined regions that allow mariners to quickly obtain the forecast for their area. A chart showing these regions may be found here: http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/NWSMarineZones.html

Graphic Forecast Products from the NWS

The NWS offices surrounding the Great Lakes cooperatively maintain an excellent website devoted to marine weather forecasting (http://www.crh.noaa.gov/greatlakes/). While the home page provides forecasts for the entire Great Lakes basin, the data for an individual lake can be accessed by clicking the appropriate hyperlink along the left-hand column of the home page. The graphics, which are designed for the recreational community, are easy to interpret and don’t require a conversion from GMT to local time.

The forecasts extend for 4 ½ days in three-hour increments for the following meteorological parameters:

• Wave Height: in feet and shown using color-shading and values at selected stations.
• Wave Period: the time interval between each wave presented in seconds using color-shading and numerical values at selected stations.
• Wind Speed & Direction: in knots, using standard wind barbs, color-shading and numerical values at selected stations.
• Wind Gust: in knots, using color-shading and values at selected stations.
• Weather: color-shading is used to indicate if precipitation is expected during the three-hour period covered by the graphic. In addition, a short text code is provided at selected stations to describe the type of weather that is expected. For example, the appearance of a “T” in the code indicates that thunderstorms are forecast for the 3-hour period.
• Surface Water Temperature: in degrees Fahrenheit, presented using color-shading and values at selected stations.

Other Graphic Marine Forecast Products
Gridded Binary files (GRIBs) pack a lot of information into a small file size and are a convenient method of obtaining marine forecasts. Chris Bedford, of Sailing Weather Services, provides low resolution GRIB files free to Chicago-Mac participants (http://www.sailwx.com/CHIMAC/index.html) or higher resolution files on a subscription basis.

Routing software, such as Expedition, while relatively expensive, integrate navigation, yacht performance and weather data into a single race-management interface.

There are many sources of computer model wind and wave forecasting resources on the Internet. While offering the advantages of higher resolution and shorter time intervals, these products require conversion from GMT to local time and are published without modification by a meteorologist. Several of these products are available on the Chicago-Mac Resource page (http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/MacResources.html).

CONCLUSION
A Plan For The Mac

The next several weeks are a perfect time to investigate and get comfortable with the resources presented in this article and on the Mac resource webpage (http://www.lakeeriewx.com/Racing/MacResources.html). There is no better way to learn a new skill than practicing. Over the next few Wednesdays, I encourage you to prepare a trial forecast for the upcoming weekend. In addition to analyzing the graphics and making the necessary GMT conversions, these practice forecasts will allow you to witness how high and low pressure systems evolve and how the speed and direction of the wind changes in response.

The accuracy of weather forecasts diminishes as the forecast period increases. For example, a forecast valid in 48 hours is typically more accurate than one valid in 7 days. For this reason, beginning the preparation of your official Mac forecast more than a week before the start isn’t recommended.

I typically start a daily review of the WPC surface forecasts and SPC Convective Outlooks a week before an event and will often save the graphics in a folder to compare to later forecasts. This allows me to track the movement of the large scale weather systems across the country and gauge the changes in the forecast from day to day. I typically begin a daily analysis of the wind and wave forecasts on Monday or Tuesday for a weekend event.

The final forecast should be based upon the most current forecast data available and is usually prepared the morning of the event. If you have been analyzing the forecast for the preceding week and using the data to steadily hone in on your strategy, the creation of your final forecast shouldn’t be too time-consuming. And hopefully it won’t reveal any surprises.

Looking Ahead

Managing the forecast and keeping tabs on rapidly deteriorating conditions becomes far more difficult once you are offshore. In part two of this series, we’ll investigate the resources available after the starting gun has sounded.

About the Author: Mark Thornton began sailing on Lake Erie in 1994 and he currently owns Osprey, a 1985 C&C 35. His interest in weather forecasting grew from his experiences racing and cruising on the lake. In addition to sailing and weather forecasting, Mark maintains a website devoted to Great Lakes meteorology (www.LakeErieWX.com) and enjoys publishing summaries of interesting Great Lake weather events and teaching basic weather forecasting skills to sailors. Questions regarding this article are encouraged and should be directed to LakeErieWX@gmail.com.

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


29-May-13 - 03:27pm
Dear Fellow Sailor:

Monday June 7 is the entry deadline for the 105th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. We already have over 300 boats entered in the race. Don't miss your chance to compete in this great event. After June 7, there is a $400 late entry penalty until June 14. After June 14, no new entries will be accepted. See the NOR for details.

Here is some information for invited competitors and those thinking of entering the race. If you haven't received an invitation but expected one, please contact our race coordinator immediately. Generally, those who competed in the 101st, 102nd, 103rd or 104th should have received an emailed invitation for the 105th.

If you need to request an invitation (either because you haven't competed since before the 101st, or because you have a new boat since the last time you competed), please complete a request for invitation immediately! It's not too late, but time is running out. The form for requesting an invitation is here: http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/requestinfo.cfm

Here are some 'to do' items for invited competitors:

1) Make sure you are actually entered into the race. You are not entered into the race until you have both accepted your invitation AND paid the entry fee. If you are uncertain if you are entered, you may check the list of current entries at http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/entries.cfm or email the Race Coordinator.

2) Once you have entered, be sure to check over your record in the race management system. Please make sure all information is accurate. This year we added a field for 'boat docking LOA' to assist our docking team in fitting together the jig saw puzzle that is docking on the Island. Please be sure to accurately fill in that field with the true overall length of your boat including any overhangs (prods or the like). This will help us in our efforts to get everyone docked where they want to be.

3) This year, we are handling crew information and waivers differently. All past crew members were 'cleared out' of the system. You will need to go in and re-add your crew's name and email addresses. They will then get an email requesting that they log in themselves, complete all required information, and agree to the waiver terms electronically. More information will be forthcoming on this to entrants in the 105th.

4) Upload a picture of your boat to the race management system. Anyone who doesn't will be represented by Duckzilla (see our Facebook page for a photo of Duckzilla).

5) Hopefully, you have already renewed your ORR certificate. If not, please do so immediately! Contact the Offshore Office of US Sailing for information on renewing your certificate. http://offshore.ussailing.org/ORR/ORR_Rating.htm. Once you have it, please upload the certificate as a PDF to the race management site.

We will be sending out more information in future days to entrants in the 105th. We also encourage all competitors and their crew to follow the race on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date. https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac or https://twitter.com/racetomackinac (@RaceToMackinac).

Of note: We have had a few people that have had docking related questions. Please direct your questions related to docking both on the island or in Chicago to docking@cycracetomackinac.com

As always, reach out to us via the Race Coordinator with any questions you may have or any help we can provide you. Our goal is to provide fun and safe world-class racing to all our competitors!

See you in Chicago!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot.


26-May-13 - 07:03am
Dear Fellow Mac Racers:


Happy Memorial Day weekend! I hope that you are getting to enjoy this holiday with your family, while reflecting on those who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our great nation. I want to remind you of a few deadlines that are forthcoming in the next two weeks, as well as touching on docking.

Deadlines

1. Enter the race. Enter the Mac race by the entry deadline of June 7; after that, you will need to pay a $400.00 late fee until the late entry deadline of June 14. After June 14, you cannot enter the race. Remember, you are not entered into the race until you accept your invitation AND you pay your registration fee. We are quickly approaching maximum capacity for the race, so we encourage you to enter now! If you have questions or wonder if you are successfully registered, email our race coordinator at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org

2. Yacht Club Challenge: Per NOR 15.2 for any yacht club having five or more boats sailing under their name you are eligible for the Yacht Club Challenge. As the 2012, winner, Milwaukee Yacht Club will tell you, it is a great honor. All you have to do is:

A. Have a minimum of five boats racing under your club name.
B. Eligible yacht clubs need to send an email to racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org from their commodore. The email should contain: the yacht club's name, the Commodore's name and rank, and the subject 'Yacht Club Challenge Entry.' There is no entry fee for the Challenge.

Docking for 2013

Many of you have been following the water level challenges on the Great Lakes. Our organizing committee has been hard at work collaborating with the State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Mackinac Island to identify locations to dock the fleet. It is our goal to find docking space for all boats in one of the three marinas available: Mackinac Island marina, Straits Harbor Mackinac City or St. Ignace.

How can you help? Here's our three step plan to make docking better for everyone:

Enter all boat info: The best way you can help us make sure all boats have a secure docking location is enter all requested information about your boat in the race management software. You are strongly encouraged to enter all the information as completely as possible related to the docking length of your vessel and the draft. Please note, this docking length is different from the LOA used to compute your entry fee. Docking length is the complete length of the boat including all extensions hanging over such as prods, bowsprits or other protrusions forward and aft of the hull. By being thorough and diligent in providing this information , you will be best able to help us with the docking plan. Additionally, please select a preference in the island harbor selection field if you are partial to either Mackinac City or St. Ignace. We are working with ferry operators on the island to provide more runs to and from those locations.

Come prepared: You will need to bring the appropriate docking gear, number of fenders , dock lines etc. to secure your vessel and to raft off, or to be rafted off of should the situation merit. If you have questions as to what you need, email our race coordinator.

Practice Patience and Good Sportsmanship: We all understand that it is sometimes a long race and you are tired upon arriving on the island. We ask you to be patient with our docking volunteers. You will be pre assigned a general docking location prior to leaving Chicago. In many cases, we may reposition boats from where they were located in past years, as the depth dimensions have changed. We're doing our best to make lemonade out of the lemons Mother Nature has given us. Smile and enjoy yourself; you will have made it to the island!

In general, this has been an odd Spring in the Midwest, hot one day, cold the next. It almost feels like summer will never come! We really appreciate your support of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac and look forward to another great running! It's what we do!

May you all have a Safe and Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Yours in Sportsmanship,


Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Vueve Clicquot

PS If you do not already follow our Race on Facebook or Twitter, we encourage you to do so. It's a great way of interacting with other racers and get information about the race. Follow us at https://twitter.com/racetomackinac, @racetomackinac, on Twitter, or like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac


23-May-13 - 02:39pm
One of the greatest fears of most mariners is fire aboard ship. Tight quarters, a ready supply of flammable materials, and difficulty in evacuation make fire on a ship a dangerous situation.

Any fire aboard a boat is a dangerous emergency and justifies a ‘mayday’ call on the radio and/or DSC emergency alert. Calling for outside help promptly can make the difference between safety and injury or death for crew members. Small fires can quickly spread onboard and can damage electrical systems, so it is important to immediately call for help while you can. You can cancel the ‘mayday’ call if you succeed in putting out the fire with your crews’ resources.

The best defense to fire is stopping it before it ever starts. Take commonsense steps to prevent fires. See http://www.seattle.gov/fire/pubEd/marine/boatOwners.htm and http://www.boatsafe.com/nauticalknowhow/091098tip.htm. Those with alcohol-fueled stoves should take extra precautions.

Boat US did a study of the causes of boat fires, which is very illuminating. See http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/fire/. The most common cause was electrical (55%), with the second most common engine issues (24%).

Fire extinguishers

If a fire starts, a fire extinguisher is the best resource onboard to stop it. Fire extinguishers are classified by the type of fire they are intended to put out:

Class A: Normal combustibles like paper, wood, cloth
Class B: Combustible liquids like alcohol and fuel
Class C: Electrical fires
Class D: Combustible metals

For example, an extinguisher rated for ABC would be effective for class A, B and C fires, but not D. A number preceding the letter indicates relative effectiveness. An extinguisher labeled 20BC would be twice as effective as a 10BC (generally because it has more chemical suppressant). 'US Coast Guard Approved' extinguishers are designed for a wet marine environment and must come with a mounting bracket. The USCG also refers to sizes differently - Size I or Size II.

US Coast Guard regulations (46 CFR 25) establish minimum requirements for fire extinguishers on board. For boats in the 26-40’ range, the minimum is two type B-I or one type B-II. For boats between 45 and 65 feet, the minimum is three type B-Is or one type B-II and one type B-I.

These should be viewed as minimums. Extinguishers should be mounted in easily-accessible locations near stoves, engines, grills and other locations where fire is likely. They should be mounted so that you don’t have to reach through a potential fire to get them.

The Boat US Foundation has done extensive testing of fire extinguishers. It is worth visiting their site at http://www.boatus.com/foundation/findings/46/. They recommend carrying tri-class extinguishers (1A:10BC) and carrying more than the minimum required by the USCG.

The Mac Safety Regulations (MSRs) require at least two operable fire extinguishers, readily accessible in different parts of the boat.

Another tool for fighting fires is a fire blanket. (An example is here: http://www.fbdusa.com/). These can be used to smother small fires. They are a useful supplement to a fire extinguisher.


Fighting the Fire

If a fire starts, your first step should be to immediately cut off the fuel to the fire. If it is a stove fire, cut the solenoid or turn off the propane tank. If an engine fire, turn off the engine, which will cut the fuel pump. If an electrical fire, cut off the circuit breakers to the affected system.

Simultaneously, all crew should put on PFDs if not already on, and a distress call should be made via either DSC emergency button or VHF-16 ‘mayday.’

Your next step depends on the type of fire. If a Class A fire (wood, paper, etc), you can douse with water or with an A-rated fire extinguisher. If a Class B (liquid) or C (electrical) fire, however, do NOT douse with water. Water would just spread the flames for a Class B fire and can risk electrocution in a class C fire. Use a BC rated fire extinguisher (or ABC rated) to put out the fire.

Be careful in fighting Class A fires with extinguishers rated for only Class BC. BoatUS Foundation testing has shown that such fires, when fought with the incorrect BC extinguishers, tend to flare up again once apparently out.

Boat US Foundation has an instructive video on fire extinguisher use, located at http://www.boatus.com/foundation/findings/46/. Take a few minutes to watch it now. Their testing found that many people did not use an extinguisher properly. Remember P-A-S-S. Pull the Pin. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. Squeeze the handle. Sweep the contents from side to side at the base of the fire.

If the fire is in the engine, aim the extinguisher through the smallest possible access hole to the engine compartment. This helps confine the fire to the engine compartment while at the same time reducing the amount of oxygen available for the fire. Most newer boats have a port specifically designed for this. Locate it now.


Final thoughts

Be sure that you check your fire extinguishers periodically (at least annually). Check according to manufacturer’s recommendation, including checking the firing mechanism for signs of damage or decay; checking the gauges to determine if the extinguisher is properly charged; and check the mounting to be sure it is properly located and that the extinguisher is firmly in the mounting but can be easily released.

Also watch for recalls of extinguishers. Like any mechanical product, they can be defective. There is even a recent USCG alert about counterfeit extinguishers. The USCG has a section on its Safe Boating site that list recalls - www.uscgboating.org. See also:

http://www.uscgboating.org/news/default.aspx?ArticleId=671
http://www.uscgboating.org/news/default.aspx?ArticleId=26




Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race. Safety Thursday emails are (c) 2013 Chicago Yacht Club and its Race to Mackinac Committee unless otherwise noted. They may be used or shared pursuant to the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 license as set out at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/


16-May-13 - 06:28pm
Dear fellow sailors:

The 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Committee is proud of our continued affiliation with Yellowbrick tracking. During last year's race, the team at Yellowbrick provided competitors, spectators, and the press with timely, accurate, and reliable updates on the racing action from the starting line through the finish line. We've received an enormous amount of positive feedback on their contributions to the race, and are delighted to announce two exciting developments:

• Yellowbrick will be providing their cutting-edge tracking solutions for both the 105th and 106th running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. As with the 104th, the live race view will be available to all via the regatta website, www.cycracetimackinac.com.

• The Chicago Yacht Club's Race to Mackinac Committee is making the tremendously popular iOS and Android apps available free of charge to race participants, their friends and family, and the general public. The newly upgraded Yellowbrick app, which incorporates the latest Google Maps interface and a number of performance upgrades designed to enhance the user experience, are available for download today in the Apple and Android app stores. The Mac Race-specific data will be available for download from within the Yellowbrick app after registration commences on July 11.

The Mackinac Committee continues to explore new and exciting ways to bring our race to the full range of mobile and desktop screens you use every day. We look to continue to include our entire Race to Mackinac Community in the on-the-water experience albeit through your electronic device. Stay tuned as we get closer to the race for further announcements!

Best Regards,


Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


10-May-13 - 10:55am
As we lead into this week's Safety Thursday email, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Andrew Simpson, his friends and Artemis teammates. Andrew lost his life yesterday while practicing for this year's America's Cup. http://tinyurl.com/d9dsgc4. On behalf of the entire Chicago Yacht Club, they have our deepest sympathy.

This tragic accident illustrates that the sport we all love has its dangers. Safety Thursday emails are intended to help us all recognize the risks and attempt to mitigate them, to make our own racing as safe as it can be.

Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Committee

PS We apologize for this email being a day late.

Safety Thursday - Tethers and Jacklines

Tethers are a key piece of safety equipment. When paired with an appropriate harness, they keep a sailor attached to his or her boat. Tethers can be attached to either a jackline or a padeye on the deck. Tethers are the best preventer of man overboard incidents.

The Farallones accident in 2012 emphasized the importance of staying attached to the boat in an emergency. See Par. 2.2 of the US Sailing Report at http://media.ussailing.org/AssetFactory.aspx?vid=18674 . Tethers combined with an appropriate harness/PFD and strong attachment to the boat is the key to staying with the boat in an emergency.

Multihull MSR 75 / Monohull MSR 70 require that each crew member “shall have a harness, and a safety line (tether) not more than seven (7) feet long with a snap hook at one end and a quick release shackle on the harness end that is releasable under heavy load.”

The language of the MSRs changed last year regarding the quick-release shackle at the harness end that is releasable under heavy load. It is critical that a sailor be able to disengage the harness under load in certain circumstances, such as when being dragged along the side of a boat after going over. “Cowhitch”-type attachments or shackles that cannot be released under load can be extremely dangerous and are thus prohibited on the Mac. Please note that one popular Spinlock-branded tether has a cowhitch at the body end of the tether and thus is not compliant with the Mac safety regulations.

In addition to the bare minimum requirements of the MSRs, there are other features you can look to in a tether. Some tethers include an indicator flag sewn in which will show when the tether has been subject to severe stress. Tethers which have undergone heavy load should be immediately replaced, and the indicator flag notifies you when this is necessary. Another feature to consider for is a tethers that has two ‘legs’ - generally one 1-meter and one 2-meters. This allows you to move about the boat without ever having to unclip.

US Sailing prescription under ISAF Special Regulation 5.02.4 recommends that tethers be employed whenever conditions warrant, and always in rough weather, or cold water, or at night, or under conditions of restricted visibility or when sailing short-handed.

Your tether must attach securely to a harness. Many harnesses are integrated with a PFD. There are few circumstances where you would want to wear a harness without a PFD, so these combined units make sense. It is strongly recommended that harnesses or PFD/harness combos be fitted with crotch straps or leg straps, to prevent an inflated PFD from riding up on your body while you are in the water. Harnesses must be adjusted by the crew member for a proper, tight fit.

A few hints on tether use:

*Never unclip someone else’s tether unless they ask you to.

*Attach your tether to a jackline or strong point before coming up from below deck, and never unclip until you are back below.

*Never attach a tether to a lifeline or stantion; they cannot withstand the loads.

*Jacklines must be attached to a through-bolted or welded deck plate. They should be made of stainless stel or webbing of equivalent strength.

*As a matter of courtesy to the off watch and your boat owner, don’t drag your tether hook on the deck. Lift it with one hand and drag it along the lifeline if possible.

*If your harness incorporates an inflatable PFD, try releasing your tether while the PFD is inflated. It is often extremely difficult to reach the shackle when the PFD is inflated.

*When attaching your safety knife, consider how you can reach it with a fully-inflated PFD and tether attached.

Some good resources on tethers and harnesses:

US Sailing Safety at Sea Studies - Safety Tips

http://offshore.ussailing.org/Assets/Offshore/SAS+Studies/safety+tips.pdf

US Sailing Harness & Tether Study (1999):

http://offshore.ussailing.org/Assets/Offshore/SAS+Studies/Safety+At+Sea+Studies.pdf

As always, if you have any questions, please contact our Race Coordinator at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.

Safety Thursday emails are (c) 2013 Chicago Yacht Club and its Race to Mackinac Committee unless otherwise noted. They may be used or shared pursuant to the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 license as set out at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/


07-May-13 - 04:58pm
Fellow sailors:

Spring is in the air, the harbors are filling, and if you're anything like me, your thoughts are to a day two months in the future when the 105th kicks off. To aid you in your planning, the Chicago Yacht Club's Mac Committee has engaged a world-renown meteorologist, Chris Chris Bedford, Chief Meteorologist at Sailing Weather Service. Here's a message from Chris that might help you in your planning for the Race.

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot

---
From Chris Bedford, Sailing Weather Service:

Its never too early to start preparing for the 105th CYC Race to Mackinac. A critical part of any well prepared team is a thorough awareness and understanding of the weather conditions along the route. Not only will good weather preparation give your team a potential tactical advantage, but it will also go a long way toward helping to keep you safe in a place where the weather can be quite volatile.

Once again, Sailing Weather Service (SWS) Chief Meteorologist Chris Bedford will be at the skippers' meetings on Friday, July 12th, to provide a race weather briefing. As a supplement to the weather briefing, the team at SWS provides a complimentary online weather portal providing information specific to Lake Michigan (www.sailwx.com/chimac). In addition to collections of NOAA imagery and low bandwidth NCEP GRIB data, the portal provides access to high-resolution SWS SmartGRIB hourly forecast graphics and GRIBs and high-resolution 3-hourly NOAA-NAM GRIB data. With two months until the start, it is a good time to start familiarizing yourself with the available weather data and practicing weather preparation for the race.

For those who would like to look at the weather during previous races, the SWS Mac Race portal also offers access to free low-resolution (0.25deg x 0.25deg, 6-hourly) downloads of historical GRIB data from every Race to Mackinac since 1990 through 2012. For serious racers, SWS can provide a quote for access to our proprietary high resolution historical data (0.1deg x 0.1deg, 1-hourly) as well.

Chris Bedford will be in Chicago from Thursday, July 11th, through Saturday, July 13th. If you would like to meet personally with Chris and discuss the race weather forecast as it pertains to your boat, please contact him well ahead of time to set up an appointment: cbedford@sailwx.com

Head over to www.sailwx.com/chimac now to check out the 2013 CYC Race to Mackinac Weather Portal. Look forward to seeing you at CYC in July!


25-Apr-13 - 12:31pm
First Aid

The Mac safety regulations require yachts competing in the Mac to carry First Aid Kits and First Aid Manuals (Monohull MSR 45 & 46, Multihull MSR 49 & 50).

Skippers are responsible for ensuring that a kit suitable for the race and the number of people on board is carried and maintained. Remember that many medical supplies have expiration dates, and standards change, so that 10 year old kit may no longer be ‘suitable’ for the conditions of the race. Take the time to examine and inventory your kit. You should consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate contents of a kit for your boat, but many commercially-prepared kits are available.

Spring is also a good time to check the expiration date on the medications and supplies in your first aid kit. Expired medications, in particular, can do more harm than good.

In addition to bandages, splints and the like, most kits carry much routine items which may be of use - bandages, allergy pills, anti-itch cream, seasickness pills, sunburn pain relief lotions and the like. Each crew member should be familiar with the location of and contents of the kit, since virtually anyone could be called to use it.

Your kit should also contain a good first aid manual, as is required by the MSRs. Many are available, either as part of the kit or from Amazon or similar bookstores. You should familiarize yourself with the manual now, before you really need it. The last thing you want to do is be thumbing through a table of contents in a real emergency!

If assembling your own kit, we strongly encourage you to discuss it with a health care professional. Good resources for learning include:

http://www.boatingmag.com/boatingsafety/tips/safety-tip/marine-first-aid-kits
http://www.equipped.com/medical.htm
http://www.thesailingfoundation.org/SAS2012Docs/SAS%20Medical.pdf

Kits do not carry prescription drugs or other advanced equipment, such as AEDs. If your particular crew requires such equipment, you should consult with a physician now, before you go. Take into account the medical needs of your crew. If crew members have specific health concerns, they should be discussed with the skipper in advance. A written medical history from any crew member with any medical condition, allergy or the like is an excellent idea. If privacy is a concern, the crew member can put the history in a sealed envelope, to be retained by the skipper and opened only in the event of need. An example of a medical history form is at http://www.ausport.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/316056/Medical_history_form.pdf

In addition to an appropriate medical kit, you should encourage your crew to have proper first aid training. Although our race is not governed by the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations, they are instructive. They require that 3 members of the crew have medical training equivalent to or greater than the Red Cross First Aid course. This is probably a good standard for most Mac boats as well. Find out in advance who on your crew has this training. If no one does, we encourage you to get trained.

Good sources for basic first aid training include:

The Red Cross (for basic First Aid training): http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class

NOLS (for more advanced wilderness first aid):
http://www.nols.edu/courses/find/byskill/wildernessmedicine.shtml



Ditch Bags

The Multihull MSRs require multihulls to carry a ditch bag (“calamity pack”) (MSR 14). While not a requirement for Monohulls, having one on such yachts is also a good idea. Multihulls are required to carry pyrotechnic signals per MSR, a handheld VHF, a GPS, a flashlight, cutting tools and an EPIRB/PLB. This equipment would be invaluable in the case of a capsize, and it would be also of tremendous value if your crew was forced to abandon ship into a life raft.

The MSRs list minimum equipment requirements, but good sailors would supplement this list. Other items to consider carrying in the ditch bag include a first aid kit, ‘space’ blankets, a knife, spare batteries for the flashlight and handheld VHF, a signal mirror, a whistle, and sunscreen.

A good article (with link to related articles) on ditch bags is at http://www.equipped.com/abndonship.htm

?Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race. Nothing in this article should be considered medical advice, and you should always consult with a physician prior to commencing any physical exertion including sailing to ensure that you are safe to do so.

Safety Thursday emails are (c) 2013 Chicago Yacht Club and its Race to Mackinac Committee unless otherwise noted. They may be used or shared pursuant to the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 license as set out at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/.


18-Apr-13 - 02:35pm
Competitors please note: A change was made in 2013 to the Mac Safety Regulations concerning PFDs, and more specifically banning belt pack PFDs from the Race. Please read this email carefully to avoid difficulty with inspections.


One most critical piece of safety equipment on any boat are personal floatation devices (PFDs), or life jackets. Most boating-related deaths involve people who are not wearing PFDs. The US Coast Guard estimates that about 80 percent of boating fatality victims would have survived if they were wearing PFDs.

The rate of wearing PFDs is still remarkably low. A 2012 survey shows that only about 22% of adult sailors wear PFDs. When looking at sailboats with cabins, that rate drops to 12%.

PFDs help increase odds of survival in a person overboard situation in two ways. First, they keep you afloat. Second, particularly in the colder waters of the northern Lake, they keep more of your body above water and let you float using less energy, thus delaying the onset of hypothermia.

There are two interlocking sets of requirements regarding PFDs for the Mac. First, Federal and State Law requires the carriage of PFDs onboard. The US Coast Guard certifies PDFs and divides them into different Types. See www.uscgboating.org for more information. To meet USCG requirements, a boat must have a USCG-approved Type I, II, III or V for each person on board, plus one type IV throwable device. All states have laws concerning life jacket wear by children. You should be familiar with USGC requirements and state requirements, as these of course trump the Mac Safety Regs (MSRs).

The MSRs address PFD carriage and use as well. Multihull MSR 72 and Monohull MSR 67 spell out the requirements for PFD carriage. In summary, you must carry either a Type I USCG PFD or an inflatable PFD having at least 32 pounds of buoyancy designed to securely suspend an unconscious person face upwards at approximately forty-five (45) degrees to the water surface. All inflatable PFDs shall have a compressed gas inflation system. Inflatable PFDs need not have a water-activated auto-inflate system in order to satisfy this requirement.

Please note that if you choose to carry an inflatable that meets MSR requirements, it does not exempt you from USCG requirements. You may need to carry a USCG Type I, II or III in addition to the inflatable. Some inflatables - notably the Spinlock Deckvest - are NOT USCG certified and thus do not count towards the USCG requirements. Remember - you are subject to inspection by the Mac Committee, but all boaters are subject to inspection by law enforcement officials as well.

Please note an important change to the PFD requirements for 2013. In past years, so-called 'belt pack' inflatable PFDs were permitted to be worn and counted as your MSR-compliant PFD. We eliminated this for 2013. This year and going forward, belt-pack PFDs will NOT count as the PFDs that are required to be carried and worn at night by the MSRs. The Committee made this change in response to numerous safety studies, most prominently that investigating the Farallones accident in 2012 (http://media.ussailing.org/AssetFactory.aspx?vid=18674). It has become clear that belt pack PFDs are inappropriate for offshore sailboat racing; in the event of a person going into the water, their ability to don and inflate such a PFD would be limited or nonexistent.

All PFDs must have a whistle, a waterproof light, reflective material, be marked with the boat or wearer’s name, and be compatible with the safety harness. Additionally, the MSRs require that each crew member carry a knife that can be accessed and opened with one hand, even when the PFD is inflated (a subsequent “Safety Thursday” will address knives). Give some thought of how you can reach this knife when wearing your PFD. Will the inflated PFD make it impossible for you to grab the knife in an emergency? We encourage you to orally inflate your PFD (if inflatable) to see just how easily you can find and use your knife in these circumstances.

Beyond the carriage requirements, the MSRs require that PFDs be worn at all times between sunset and sunrise, and at all other times unless the Person in Charge directs otherwise. (Competitors in the Double Handed division must wear PFDs at all time when out of the Cabin). This is common sense. A man overboard situation at night is much more serious in general than one during the day. Having adequate flotation is thus even more critical at night. However, we encourage all competitors and Persons in Charge to consider wearing a PFD at all times when out of the cabin. No one can predict when a MOB will occur.

Finally, now is the time to take 10 minutes to examine and maintain your PFD. If it is inflatable, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to test it. . It is critical that all PFDs be properly examined and tested at least annually. You won’t have time to do that when it comes time to use the PFD! Furthermore, a PFD that is inoperable or with an expired inflation cartridge is not in compliance with the MSRs.

Resources:

How to test your PFD:
http://www.boatsafe.com/nauticalknowhow/testpfd.htm

What to Carry on your life jacket:
http://www.yachtingmagazine.com/blog-post/cruising-chartering/yachting-life/life-jacket-extras-what-to-put-in-your-life-vests-pocket

BoatUS Foundation:
http://www.boatus.com/foundation/Findings/50/default.asp

USCG BoatSafe:
http://www.uscgboating.org/

USCG Life Jacket Use Study
http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/AssetManager/2012%20Life%20Jacket%20Wear%20Observation%20Study.pdf

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


11-Apr-13 - 06:24pm
Our topic today is pre-race safety inspections. A minimum of 25% of the entrants will be subject to Pre-Race Inspection. All new boats entering the race will automatically be selected for pre-race inspection. In accordance with the Notice of Race it is the responsibility of the Owner or Person in Charge to schedule their inspection. In addition to new boats, boats switching divisions or with a new invited competitor will be subject to prerace inspection, and all boats are subject to random pre-race inspection. Additionally, any boat entered in the race can request a prerace inspection at their option. It’s a great opportunity to ensure that your boat fully complies with the safety equipment rules.

Pre-race inspections are intended to help ensure that all boats comply with the Mac Safety Regulations (MSRs), while at the same time helping to educate our fleet about those requirements of the MSRs and other safety topics. Upon completion of the Pre-Race Inspection we will tell you either that the boat passed pre-race inspection, or we will ask you to correct any deficiencies and report their correction back to us. The inspector will determine if a re-inspection is necessary and it can be scheduled at that time. Remember that it is responsibility of the invited competitor to schedule the inspection and that you cannot complete Pre-Race Sign In until you have passed inspection. The pre-race inspection is not intended to be an adversarial experience, but rather a cooperative and educational one. We want to work with our sailors to help them be as safe as possible while on the Lake.

In the past, items that have been inspected included things such as SOLAS flares, proper PFDs, EPIRBs/PLBs and the like. However, the inspector can check for any item or matter covered by the MSRs. The Mackinac Safety Regulations (MSR) and the Safety and Seamanship Checklist are the documents of record for safety issues for the Race to Mackinac. We advise that you use both of these documents as checklists to ensure that you have complied with all of the safety and seamanship requirements prior to the inspection.

Inspections can take place at the CYC Monroe Station or the CYC Belmont Station’s docks. We will also schedule inspections at your dock or mooring at Monroe, DuSable, Belmont, Montrose, and Burnham harbors. If there is sufficient demand we plan to schedule inspections on specific days in Milwaukee, WI; Muskegon, MI; Holland, MI, and in the Detroit area. We will announce these plans in late May or early June. If the boat is fully prepared, a prerace inspection can be completed in about an hour.

To determine if an inspection is required, the invited competitor should log into the record for their boat in the Race Management system (“Competitor login” on the Race’s website). Look for the line “Inspection: Pre-race Inspection”. It will either say “Not selected or completed” or “required”. If it is required, the invited competitor must arrange the inspection by emailing chiefinspector@cycracetomackinac.com You should hear back within 72 hours. We will also make best efforts to reach out to the invited competitor in each boat where inspection is required.

Upon completion of the Pre-Race Inspection we will tell you that the boat passed or we will ask you to correct any deficiencies and report their correction back to us. The inspector will determine if a re-inspection is necessary and it can be scheduled at that time. Remember that it is your responsibility to schedule the inspection and that you cannot complete Pre-Race Sign In until you have passed inspection.

Please direct any questions you may have to racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


09-Apr-13 - 02:12pm
Fellow Mac Racers:

As the smell of bottom paint permeates the boat yard and the harbors slowly show signs of boats in them, we can’t help to think that in less than 100 days we will be shoving off to embark on the 105th running of our annual classic, affectionately referred to as ‘the Mac’. I wanted to provide a quick overview of what we have in store for you this year.

Registrations continue to arrive and the RFI queue has some very interesting boats requesting to participate. As we hit the 240+ registered boat mark and close in on the entry deadline, you will not want to be left behind, as we have another great race planned for 2013. Accept your invitation today, or if you haven't done so, start the Request for Invitation process now! It's not too late.

A quick reminder that the One-Design Section request deadline is in a couple of days - April 12, 2013. So if your fleet delegate has not sent your request in to our Chief Measurer, do so today; see the NOR for details.

Back by popular demand, the Yacht Club Challenge will be open to any club with at least five boats in the race (NOR 15.2). Who is in this year? Who will win it?

We will offer our ‘Adopt-a-Skipper’ program again this year. This program pairs first timers with experienced skippers, gives you a chance to have someone who can answer your questions and give advice as you prepare for your first race. If you're interested, please contact the Race Coordinator at the e-mail below. We want you in this race, and we want to be sure that you have a fantastic experience in Chicago, on the water and at the Island.

Celebrations: We have a full line-up of celebrations on the Chicago end and on the island. There will be plenty of activities for every member of your crew and family. ASHORE Thing will return again brought to you by our friends at Michigan Avenue Magazine. Watch the parade of boats from the end of Navy Pier. Stay tuned for more details. Be sure to follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/racetomackinac) for the most up-to-date information.

I’m sure I will see many of you at the Safety at Sea Seminar coming up on April 20th, just a few weeks away. If you have not made your reservations, what are you waiting for? See our website at www.cycracetomackinac.com for details on how to register.

For questions, issues or concerns, contact racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org

See you in Chicago very soon!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


04-Apr-13 - 06:17am
Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning
By Mario Vittone

The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the couple swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”

How did this captain know – from fifty feet away – what the father couldn’t recognize from just ten? Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.

The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC). Drowning does not look like drowning – Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene Magazine, described the instinctive drowning response like this:

Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.

Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.

Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.

From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.

(Source: On Scene Magazine: Fall 2006 (page 14))

This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble – they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the instinctive drowning response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long – but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.

Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:

-Head low in the water, mouth at water level
-Head tilted back with mouth open
-Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
-Eyes closed
-Hair over forehead or eyes
-Not using legs – Vertical
-Hyperventilating or gasping
-Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
-Trying to roll over on the back
-Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder.

So if a crew member falls overboard and everything looks OK – don’t be too sure. Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning. They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck. One way to be sure? Ask them, “Are you alright?” If they can answer at all – they probably are. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them. And parents – children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.

Reprinted by permission from http://mariovittone.com/2010/05/154/, courtesy of the author. Mario Vittone has been heading offshore since 1985. His first experience with at-sea emergencies came that first year as ship’s company aboard the USS Coral Sea, a WWII era aircraft carrier. Joining the Coast Guard in 1991 he worked at Training Center Cape May before transferring to the Cutter Point Franklin as a helmsman and small boat coxswain. He graduated from Helicopter Rescue Swimmer School in 1994 and began his career as a rescue swimmer with two tours at Air Station Elizabeth City, one at Air Station New Orleans, then finally as an instructor and course developer at the Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City, NC. He recently retired from the U.S. Coast Guard following four years as a vessel inspector and accident investigator in Norfolk, Virginia.

Mario is a leading expert on immersion hypothermia, drowning, sea survival, and safety at sea. His writing has appeared in Yachting Magazine, SaltWater Sportsman, MotorBoating Magazine, Lifelines, On-Scene, and Reader’s Digest. He has developed courses for municipal rescue teams and the military on search and rescue tactics and open ocean survival. In 2007, he was named as the Coast Guard Active Duty Enlisted Person of the Year and was named as the 2009 recipient of the Alex Haley Award for Journalism. Mario lives with his family in Coastal Virginia, and when he’s not writing about the water he can be found on his 32 foot St. Tropez, making sure she stays above it.


Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


28-Mar-13 - 05:11pm
Part of being a safe sailor is ensuring that you and your fellow crew members have adequate training before you ever set forth from the dock. The Mac Safety Regulations (MSRs) recognize this by strongly encouraging attendance at a US Sailing Safety at Sea Course (Monohull MSR 73, Multihull MSR 77). The MSRs strongly recommend that at least 30% of the crew including the skipper have a current Safety at Sea Certification issued by US Sailing in the last five year period. Safety at Sea attendance is also one of the factors looked at by the race's selections committee when determining whether to extend an invitation to a prospective competitor. Many other offshore regattas recommend or require attendance at these seminars for their participants.

US Sailing Sanction Safety at Sea (SAS) courses follow a curriculum developed by US Sailing from the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations (OSR). There are two types of courses: a one-day classroom seminar, and a two-day seminar that adds a day of practical, hands-on and in the water training. Full details are at http://offshore.ussailing.org/SAS/Seminars.htm.

In the Great Lakes, almost all SAS seminars offered are of the one-day variety. A full schedule of all such seminars nationwide is at http://offshore.ussailing.org/SAS/Seminars/SAS_Calendar.htm. The Chicago Yacht Club is hosting a SAS seminar on April 20, at its Belmont Station. For details, see http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/events/2013-us-sailing-safety-at-sea-seminar/.

In all such seminars, topics discussed include personal safety equipment; man overboard prevention and recovery; emergency communications; and search and rescue procedures. Most courses also cover storm tactics; abandoning ship and life rafts; hypothermia and medical issues; and fires onboard. Each SAS is tailored by the organizer for local conditions and events, so the Chicago area ones usually focus on the Mac.

It should be noted that SAS seminars are useful to cruisers and delivery crews as well as racers; we all face similar conditions and threats when sailing offshore.

The Mac Committee strongly encourages ALL crew in our race to attend a SAS seminar.

In addition to SAS, there are numerous other training opportunities which will make your race safer.

Although it is not a requirement of the race, we strongly encourage all crew to have several members trained in CPR and First Aid. Your local Red Cross is an easy and inexpensive way to obtain that training. American Red Cross Standard First Aid and CPR is recognized as fulfilling the ISAF OSR Senior First Aid Certification, so this would be a good class. We recommend that several people on each crew be trained to this level. To find a local class, visit http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class. In a later Safety Thursday we will cover the topic of medical issues and first aid more thoroughly, but now in the off season is the time to take the formal training you should have to prepare.

Other training that would improve safety would include weather training. All sailors are by nature amateur meteorologists, but formal training will help you anticipate changing weather conditions and react to them more quickly (as well as helping you sail faster!). Training is available from a wide variety of sources, from books all the way to full online coursework such as the Penn State Weather Certificate Program (http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/weather-forecasting-certificate/overview).

Chicago Yacht Club is hosting a one-day Advanced Wind Forecasting Seminar on April 6, 2013, which would be of great benefit to Mac skippers and navigators in racing more safely and quickly. For details, see http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/events/event/?eventid=171.

We hope you will join us online at our facebook page to continue the conversation on safety and safety training. Visit us at https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac. What other safety training do you recommend?

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


21-Mar-13 - 04:40pm
Fellow Mac Racers:

Welcome to the first issue of “Safety Thursday 2013.” As you may recall, we kicked off the concept of the Safety Thursday last year, dedicating one email a week to a safety topic relevant to the Mac. This year, we hope to make the Safety Thursday concept even more relevant to our fellow sailors by covering some new topics, revisiting old ones, and continuing the conversation via social media. If you don’t already follow the Mac on Facebook and Twitter, we encourage you to do so now:

https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac
https://twitter.com/racetomackinac

Each Thursday from now until the race, all competitors in the Mac will get an emailed newsletter dedicated to a safety topic. On Facebook and Twitter, we hope to engage in a thoughtful and open discussion with the fleet on the topic we raise. Through this interaction, we hope that we can all become safer sailors, allowing us to enjoy this fantastic race even more.

In addition to many of the topics we covered last year, we intend to expand into new ones including weather resources; charts; inspections and more. However, we want to hear what our fellow sailors want to learn about, so by all means, send your suggestions for appropriate Safety Thursday topics to us via racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

Our 2012 newsletters are archived at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/safety/, and we will post the 2013 ones there as well.

We encourage all of you to join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter; we can all learn from each other how to be safer and better sailors.

Chicago Yacht Club’s goal is to encourage all of us to embrace safe sailing. It is important that every competitor embrace this message. As recent events over the past few years have shown us, our decisions and actions on the water have far reaching implications. The impact of an unsafe crew isn’t just felt by them, it is felt by all of us who are compelled to come to their aid when they get themselves in trouble.

We hope that Safety Thursday can help you adapt a mindset of safety when on the water so we all can get to the Island fast and most of all safely!

Lou Sandoval
Chair, Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot



Invited Competitors please note: You may receive duplicate emails from us. These blasts go out to everyone who is an invited competitor an also to all crew members. Since all invited competitors are also crew members, you may receive some emails twice. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


24-Jan-13 - 06:16am
We apologize if you receive this email more than once; we are working with changes to our back office system which may result in duplicate emails being sent out. We expect to iron out these kinks shortly. Skippers - please share this email with your crews.

Fellow Mac Sailors and Friends:

On behalf of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Committee, I am very pleased to announce that the Notice and Conditions of Race (NOR) for the 2013 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot, is now available on our website. Simply go to www.cycracetomackinac.com; click on Race Documents and then click on Notice of Race (2013). The 2013 Mackinac Safety Regulations (MSRs) are also available on the “Race Documents” tab of the website.

The committee has been very hard at work in the off season preparing for another world class event for the 105th. Automatic Invitations which, with a few exceptions, go to competitors who have competed in at least one of the last four races, will go out during the last week of January. We encourage you to accept your invitation and pay your entry to assure your place on the 2013 race.

Invitations to those going through the RFI process will start going out on or about February 28, 2013. If you are requesting an invitation, please be sure your information is as complete as possible so that the Selections Committee can review your request without delays and without having to come back to you for more information. Please also make sure that you have reviewed the NOR for eligibility requirements.

We will be releasing a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) guide to the “105th” in the upcoming weeks. This year, we attempted to minimize changes to the MSRs in light of the extensive changes for the 104th. Our changes are concentrated around the elimination of ‘belt-pack’ PFD’s from the fleet. This specific Safety change can be found in MSR item # 67 for Monohulls and #72 for Multihulls. Numerous studies have indicated that these belt-pack PFDs are inappropriate for offshore racing.

We heard your feedback loud and clear on the crew waivers. We have automated that process on the website and have changed the process for managing crew information. Each sailor will be able to update and maintain their own info, including completing their own crew waiver. The invited competitor will be responsible for ensuring that all the info for the crew is complete and that waivers are completed online and submitted to the organizing authority.

As you have probably been reading in the press, water levels continue to be a challenge on the lake. We have been working with the Michigan DNR to identify a docking arrangement that will provide a place for everyone at Mac Island, St. Ignace or Mackinaw City. When invites go out we urge you to complete your registration fully, as that will be the basis for docking assignment along with the physical limitations available such as water depth. We thank you all in advance for your cooperation and flexibility in this exercise. We ask you to ‘think snow’ this winter- a lot of it!

As previously mentioned, we will be hosting two seminars at Strictly Sail this weekend to help guide you through some of the changes for 2013. On Saturday, January 26, we will be hosting a panel discussion on the 105th Mac at 2:15 pm. At 4:45 pm that same day, we will be hosting a seminar on “Doing your First Mac.” Tell your friends who might be interested in doing the Mac to attend both!

Saturday night, the Pink Pony journeys from the Island to Chicago to make an appearance at the Pink Pony Party. CYC members and guests, Mac skippers and their crew are invited to come to the party at the CYC station in Belmont Harbor from 6:00PM till Midnight. You must be 21 to attend.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact our Race Coordinator at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org

We look forward to seeing quite a few of you this weekend and in the months to come.
Best Regards,

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


22-Jan-13 - 01:23pm

Dear Friends: We apologize if you are getting this twice. We are making some changes to our back office system, and as a result many of our competitors and crew did not receive this email. We would greatly appreciate it if you could forward this email to all of your fellow crew. We hope to have the kinks worked out of our new system soon.


Dear fellow sailors and friends:

Happy New Year!

In about 170 days, we will be starting the 105th running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot. Although Mother Nature continually reminds us of the season we live in, it is never too early to think warm thoughts about sailing. With that in mind, I would like to personally invite all our friends and fellow sailors to partake in the official kick-off for the Race to Mackinac Season.

The Pink Pony is visiting from the Island again - don't miss it!

On Saturday, January 26, join us at Chicago Yacht Club's Belmont Station to kick off the 105th Mac in style at the Pink Pony Party presented by Veuve Clicquot. There will be music, food and drinks, and plenty of great conversation with our sailing friends. The party starts at 6 pm and goes on well into the night. For details, see the Mac Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac .

Strictly Sail Chicago

Strictly Sail Chicago starts up Thursday! We are sure we will see many of our competitors and friends at the show at Navy Pier, a highlight of the mid-winter for sailors in the Midwest. Stop by the Chicago Yacht Club booth any time during the show to learn a little more about our club. Additionally, the Chicago Yacht Club's Mac Committee will be presenting two seminars on Saturday, January 26:

a. At 2:15 pm, the Mac Committee will present a panel discussion on the 105th Running of the Mac. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers.

b. At 4:45 pm, the Mac Committee will be presenting a seminar on doing your first Mac for skippers thinking of entering for the first time. While aimed at potential entrants in the cruising division, the seminar is open to all.
For more information, visit http://www.strictlysailchicago.com


Notice of Race, MSRs and Requests for Invitation


We anticipate the release of the Notice of Race and the Mac Safety Regulations before Strictly Sail. Invitations for previous year participants will go out around the beginning of February. At this point, we do not foresee any major changes to the NOR other than a simplified method of getting crew waivers via an online system. The MSRs (a joint venture with the Bayview Mac) include only one substantive change - belt pack PFDs will not be permitted to count as the PFDs required in the MSRs. Additionally, the MSRs strongly recommend use of crotch straps for all PFDs.

As always, contact racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org if you have any questions.

On behalf of all of us at Chicago Yacht Club and its Race to Mackinac Committee, we are looking forward to yet another running of the greatest fresh water distance race in the world!

Lou Sandoval

Chairman, 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot
 


22-Jan-13 - 08:40am

Dear Skippers: We apologize if you are getting this twice. We are making some changes to our back office system, and as a result many of our crew did not receive this email. We would greatly appreciate it if you could forward this email to all of your crew. We hope to have the kinks worked out of our new system soon.


Dear fellow sailors and friends:

Happy New Year!

In about 170 days, we will be starting the 105th running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot. Although Mother Nature continually reminds us of the season we live in, it is never too early to think warm thoughts about sailing. With that in mind, I would like to personally invite all our friends and fellow sailors to partake in the official kick-off for the Race to Mackinac Season.

The Pink Pony is visiting from the Island again - don't miss it!

On Saturday, January 26, join us at Chicago Yacht Club's Belmont Station to kick off the 105th Mac in style at the Pink Pony Party presented by Veuve Clicquot. There will be music, food and drinks, and plenty of great conversation with our sailing friends. The party starts at 6 pm and goes on well into the night. For details, see the Mac Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac . The party is 21-and-over and limited to CYC members and guests, Mac skippers and their crew.

Strictly Sail Chicago

Strictly Sail Chicago starts up Thursday! We are sure we will see many of our competitors and friends at the show at Navy Pier, a highlight of the mid-winter for sailors in the Midwest. Stop by the Chicago Yacht Club booth any time during the show to learn a little more about our club. Additionally, the Chicago Yacht Club's Mac Committee will be presenting two seminars on Saturday, January 26:

a. At 2:15 pm, the Mac Committee will present a panel discussion on the 105th Running of the Mac. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers.

b. At 4:45 pm, the Mac Committee will be presenting a seminar on doing your first Mac for skippers thinking of entering for the first time. While aimed at potential entrants in the cruising division, the seminar is open to all.
For more information, visit http://www.strictlysailchicago.com


Notice of Race, MSRs and Requests for Invitation


We anticipate the release of the Notice of Race and the Mac Safety Regulations before Strictly Sail. Invitations for previous year participants will go out around the beginning of February. At this point, we do not foresee any major changes to the NOR other than a simplified method of getting crew waivers via an online system. The MSRs (a joint venture with the Bayview Mac) include only one substantive change - belt pack PFDs will not be permitted to count as the PFDs required in the MSRs. Additionally, the MSRs strongly recommend use of crotch straps for all PFDs.

As always, contact racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org if you have any questions.

On behalf of all of us at Chicago Yacht Club and its Race to Mackinac Committee, we are looking forward to yet another running of the greatest fresh water distance race in the world!

Lou Sandoval

Chairman, 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot
 


20-Jan-13 - 04:58pm
Dear fellow sailors and friends:

Happy New Year!

In about 170 days, we will be starting the 105th running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot. Although Mother Nature continually reminds us of the season we live in, it is never too early to think warm thoughts about sailing. With that in mind, I would like to personally invite all our friends and fellow sailors to partake in the official kick-off for the Race to Mackinac Season.

The Pink Pony is visiting from the Island again - don't miss it!

On Saturday, January 26, join us at Chicago Yacht Club's Belmont Station to kick off the 105th Mac in style at the Pink Pony Party presented by Veuve Clicquot. There will be music, food and drinks, and plenty of great conversation with our sailing friends. The party starts at 6 pm and goes on well into the night. For details, see the Mac Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac .

Strictly Sail Chicago

Strictly Sail Chicago starts up Thursday! We are sure we will see many of our competitors and friends at the show at Navy Pier, a highlight of the mid-winter for sailors in the Midwest. Stop by the Chicago Yacht Club booth any time during the show to learn a little more about our club. Additionally, the Chicago Yacht Club's Mac Committee will be presenting two seminars on Saturday, January 26:

a. At 2:15 pm, the Mac Committee will present a panel discussion on the 105th Running of the Mac. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers.

b. At 4:45 pm, the Mac Committee will be presenting a seminar on doing your first Mac for skippers thinking of entering for the first time. While aimed at potential entrants in the cruising division, the seminar is open to all.
For more information, visit http://www.strictlysailchicago.com


Notice of Race, MSRs and Requests for Invitation


We anticipate the release of the Notice of Race and the Mac Safety Regulations before Strictly Sail. Invitations for previous year participants will go out around the beginning of February. At this point, we do not foresee any major changes to the NOR. The MSRs (a joint venture with the Bayview Mac) include only one substantive change - belt pack PFDs will not be permitted to count as the PFDs required in the MSRs. Additionally, the MSRs strongly recommend use of crotch straps for all PFDs.

As always, contact racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org if you have any questions.

On behalf of all of us at Chicago Yacht Club and its Race to Mackinac Committee, we are looking forward to yet another running of the greatest fresh water distance race in the world!

Lou Sandoval

Chairman, 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


01-Nov-12 - 02:45pm
November 2, 2012 (CHICAGO) – The Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Committee is pleased to announce the category winners of the 2012 West Marine Mac Photo Contest. We’d like to thank everyone who participated. With over 300 photos entered, the Committee had a hard time picking the best ones.

The best overall photo winner will be announced at the Mac Awards dinner being held Saturday, November 3, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency. Well over 340 Mac competitors and their family and friends will be in attendance as we wrap up the 104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot.

The category winners are:

Landmark
Kristin Heinichen, Hornet
 
Teamwork
Dietrich Floeter, Relentless?

Another Boat
Jeff Kaloustian, Blitz
 
Funny
Viviana Fanizzo, Sirocco VI?

Sunset
Brad Fisher, Bad Dog
 
Own Boat
Stacie Norrman, Dark Island

The winning photographer in each category will receive a gift card valued at $100 from West Marine and the overall winner receives a $400 card. Winning photos and all the finalist photos in each category will be posted at www.chicagoyachtclub.org in the Photo Gallery and will be posted on the Mac's Facebook page. Congratulations and thanks again.


02-Oct-12 - 02:11pm
October 2, 2012

Dear Skippers, Sailors, Family and Friends of the Mac Race:

You are all cordially invited to attend the 2012 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Awards Dinner – A Celebration of Traditions.

The dinner will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2012 in the Crystal Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 East Wacker Drive, Chicago. The dinner is hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club Foundation. Cost per person is $85.00. Cocktails are at 6:00 PM, Dinner and Program at 7:00 PM and the After Party on the Island will begin at approximately 10:00 PM.

Who should attend? Everyone is welcome and if you are in any way a part of our annual sailing tradition, you should be there. As we have been reminded in recent years, we are one large community interconnected by this annual ‘get-together’ called the Race to Mackinac. We invite you to come and enjoy an evening of good cheer and celebrate all that is the Mac Race and all that makes this so much more than just a boat race. This is a celebration of the people behind the traditions that are the Race to Mackinac. This is a celebration about you!

On behalf of Chicago Yacht Club and the Race to Mackinac organizing committee, we look forward to seeing everyone.

Click on this link or paste it into your browser to register: http://tinyurl.com/RTMregister

You can also call CYC’s Front Desk, (312) 861-7777, to make reservations and with any questions.

Note: A FAQs is attached-below.

See you all very soon,

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 2012 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot



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


2012 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Awards Dinner

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When is the dinner? Saturday, November 3, 2012

2. Can I invite my crew and other guests? Absolutely. But please, no children under 12 and no infants. We encourage you to make reservations as soon as possible as space is limited.

3. How do I make reservations? Call the Chicago Yacht Club Front Desk at 312-861-7777. Or click on/cut and paste this link into your browser - http://tinyurl.com/RTMregister CYC members may use their member charge. All other dinner guests must pay with a Visa or MasterCard (Sorry no other cards and no checks.), you can pay via PayPal by visiting: http://tinyurl.com/RTMpay

4. What is the reservation deadline? October 30, 2012

5. Can I cancel or modify my reservation? Yes, but you must do so before 5:00 PM on November 1, 2012.

6. Where is the Hyatt located? In downtown Chicago, at 151 East Wacker Drive. Just east of Michigan Avenue and on the south side of the Chicago River. (About 4 blocks from Chicago Yacht Club’s Monroe Station)

7. Where do I park? The Hyatt offers discounted valet parking for dinner guests (tickets available at the dinner) at $28.00. There is also parking in the Hyatt off of Lower Wacker Drive and parking in the Grant Park/Millennium Park Underground Lot (best value) – enter on Columbus Drive between Monroe and Randolph Streets. The Hyatt is a short walk away.

8. What’s the dress code? Most men wear a jacket and tie; most women prefer a dress or other appropriate outfit. Your standard sailing gear is not what you want to wear.

9. I’m a vegetarian/I have special dietary needs? There is a vegetarian meal available. If you have other special needs, please let us know when you make reservations and we’ll work with you to accommodate.

10. What about drinks? Is there an open bar? Unfortunately, no open bar, but there will be plenty of cocktails and wine available before, during and after the dinner.

11. What happens after dinner? This year we are once again going to have an After Party at the Hyatt “On the Island” in Bistro 151 in the East Tower. Cash Bar. Stay and party with your fellow sailors. Please – no one goes into the water this year!

12. I want to sit with my crew – can we do this? Yes, however we strongly recommend that you have one person from your boat make a single reservation for your party.

13. I placed in this year’s race. Will I receive a trophy at this event? If you are the Invited Competitor in the race, you placed in the race and you make a dinner reservation, you will receive your trophy at the dinner.

14. I didn’t place in this year’s race? Can I still attend? Of course, we’d love to have you join us!

15. Will the Hyatt offer a special room rate for dinner guests? Yes, the Hyatt Regency is offering a room rate of $199.00 per night. Make your reservations by calling 1-800-233-1234, and refer to “Chicago Yacht Club Room Block.” Space is limited so please reserve ASAP. You may also reserve a hotel room via the Hyatt passkey: https://resweb.passkey.com/go/ChicagoYachtClub2012


13-Aug-12 - 09:40am
Dear Fellow Invited Competitor:

It was great seeing many of you at the Verve Cup this weekend.

I am writing to ask all of you who haven't yet responded to our survey to take 10 minutes to do so today. Over 100 skippers have already responded, but we are hoping for many more. This survey is a critical tool to help us understand how we are doing and how we can improve the Mac for next year.

Click here to take the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2012RTM

The survey closes on Wednesday at 11:59 pm, so please complete it today!

Thanks.

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot


06-Aug-12 - 03:40pm
Dear Fellow Mac Sailors:

By now many of you have made it back to your home ports, or perhaps you are indulging in a much deserved leisurely cruise home from Mackinac Island. We all will be reliving the memories and experiences of the 104th for many, many months to come. The stories will get richer each time they are told and the memories fonder.

With 340 days to go until the 105th Race to Mackinac, the committee is hard at work reviewing the 104th to find ways that we can improve upon your experience. The ultimate goal is to make the 105th even more memorable and more enjoyable. Far be it from us to rest on our laurels as we look to continue to make the “Mac’ the premiere international distance race. To accomplish this, there is a key ingredient - you.

A healthy part of this process is obtaining your feedback from your experience in this year’s race. Enclosed below you will find a link to the 2012 Race to Mackinac Survey. The survey will be live until 11:59 pm on August 15. We ask that you take a few minutes to participate in the survey. Thank you in advance for taking the time to provide input on your experience.

As an added incentive, we will be entering the names of those complete the survey by 11:59 pm on August 10 into a drawing for some Mac swag!

Click here to take the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2012RTM

I’m sure I will see a few of you around Chicago Yacht Club this weekend for the Verve Cup or perhaps at one of our other remaining regattas. I personally want to thank you for your support of the Race to Mackinac. As I’ve stated before it is your support and participation that make the ‘Mac’ such a unique experience. Thank you ALL very much for that.

We look forward to continuing to provide this great race to such a special location and we hope to see you back for the 105th!

Yours in Sportsmanship,

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


24-Jul-12 - 10:30am
Dear Fellow Competitors:

The 104th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac is over. Our last competitors have finished and thousands of us and our friends and families are celebrating a fun, fast and safe race on the Island. Many thousands more followed our race from around the world on social media and in their own way, became part of the race. On behalf of everyone at the Chicago Yacht Club, thank you all for taking part of this amazing annual tradition.

I hope to see all of you this afternoon at the Sailor's Celebration at the Grand Hotel's Tea Garden. Help us celebrate the adventure we all just completed. The party starts at 2 p.m. EDT. I hope to see you there.

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


20-Jul-12 - 08:28am
Dear Friends:

This year, the Chicago Yacht Club is pleased to provide live coverage of many race events, in conjunction with our friends at Sailing Anarchy and NBC 5. Live coverage will be available via our website here:

http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/press-room/live-coverage/

The schedule is on the web page now. Coverage will include interviews and the Skipper's meeting this afternoon and live coverage of the Parade of Boats and Racing section starts on Saturday. Please share this link with your friends and family ashore.

As always, our Facebook feed will be a great way to get race updates. Experienced Mac Racer Winn Soldani will be providing color commentary and analysis throughout the race on our Facebook page at facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac.

Finally, we encourage our racers to post updates from on the water. The best way is through Twitter. Tag your posts #CYCRTM and they'll be fed automatically to the Race's home page.

Good luck to all our competitors! See you on the Island!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot


19-Jul-12 - 10:29am
Fellow Skippers:

A second amendment to the sailing instructions has been issued. It is available for download from the Race Documents section of the website, or at this link:

http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/2012_Sailing_Instructions_Amendment__2_FINAL.pdf

Sail fast! See you on the Island!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, Presented by Veuve Clicquot


19-Jul-12 - 09:58am
Dear Mac Racers:

Well, it’s here. We’ve spent the past 12 months planning, planning and well…planning for the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot. Thanks to you, our racers, this is possible again for the 104th time in 114 years. There are very few traditions that last this long. Thank you for being a part of it.

I would be remiss if I did not compliment the fleet of loyal Mackinac racers for your adaptability and support of the improvements we have made in the Race for 2012. If there was a challenge, you met and exceeded it. If there was a requirement (such as Safety at Sea), you stepped up and looked to see what you could do to improve your understanding of the sport, no matter what level you are at. I think this ‘can do’ mindset exemplifies the Mac Racer mindset and defines why we do what we do each year for three to four days.

On behalf of the Chicago Yacht Club, I want to welcome our guests to Chicago! The Chicago Yacht Club staff and volunteers put in countless hours to ensure that this race goes off with as few issues as possible. I look forward to your camaraderie over the next couple of days.

As you check of your final list of to-do’s, please remember to finalize your contact information and that of your crews in the race management system. It’s a safety issue that we use to manage contacting family should an emergency arise. We’re particularly concerned about having working cell phone numbers, working e-mail addresses and good emergency contact information. Please make sure that your phone forwards to a live number. If it forwards to your office and all we hear is an outgoing message that you’re out of the office for the week that doesn’t help us or you. Thanks for attending to these details.

A friendly tip: Remember put your phone in airplane mode or hard off when you’re out of coverage. If your phone is dead when you get to the Island, we can’t contact you if we need to do so.

So in a couple of hours we will cut the ribbon on another race. Make it a great one- have fun, be safe. As life has taught us, this is a precious experience we enjoy. Relish in the moment; I can tell you I will be. If someone asks you what you’re going to be doing for the next few days… Let them know proudly. The Mac... because it’s what WE do!

Yours in Sportsmanship,

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, Chicago Yacht Club 104th Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


17-Jul-12 - 04:48pm
Dear Fellow Skippers:

We appreciate your cooperation in gathering waivers from your crew members for the Race this year. It is a new requirement of the Race, and we realize we announced this rather late in the game. We truly appreciate your hard effort in gathering these. The large majority of our boats have gathered all their waivers and already submitted them to the Race Coordinator. If yours were all received and they match up with your crew list, it will show as 'Crew Waivers - Received' - when you log in to the Mac Website.

If we haven't received all your crew waivers, or if they don't match your crew list exactly, you will NOT be able to print your pre-race sign in certificate and waiver. In this event, please bring ALL your crew waivers with you when you to to CYC Monroe to register before the race. We will be able to process your waivers at that time and then help you print your pre-race sign in certificate and waiver so you can complete your registration for the Race.

Again, thank you for your patience for this new procedure.

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
104th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot


16-Jul-12 - 12:34pm
Friends:

Mac Week is here! While many of us have the privilege of sailing in this amazing event, we all leave friends, families and loved ones ashore in the thousands. We have several ways you can help share the adventure of a lifetime with those fans cheering us on, sending us off from Chicago, or meeting us on the Island.

Here are three ways you can share this amazing experience with those on land: Video, still photo and social media.

Video

Captains, sailors and Filmmakers...our CYC membership and sponsorship team has assembled a channel on YouTube to collect and share user generated content UGC: ??The Purpose of the channel and content is to collect, centralize and share points of view of the Mac Race that our general public, members or prospective members may have access to for their entertainment, research or curiosity...??

We want your footage AND we want to teach you how to get amazing footage from the Award winning Cinematography team that produced The Arrival, from the 102nd Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot. We have a few assignments to give you for stories we are looking for. Now is your chance to tell your teams story in a way that has not been done before.

??Interested crews please meet at the Veuve Clicquot tent immediately following the Friday, July 20th Afternoon Skipper’s Meeting.??Things to bring to class:

1. Your camera and gear so we can help you calibrate for the best possible quality in your footage and give you tips for how to use it.

2. Technical Questions.

Story Assignments:

1. Celebrations. Your team celebrating the milestones of the race.
2. Challenges.
?3. Soliloquy. Talk to the camera and narrate parts of the race. Describe how it feels, looks, smells, tastes.
4. Leadership Moments. ?
5. Teamwork. Showcase your team working together. ?
6. Entertainment. How do you keep each other entertained. ?
7. Humor. What are the funny secrets of the race? Swatting flies, sunburn, swimming, creative things you do when there is no wind.
?8. Beauty. Sunsets, scenery, stars, time lapses, fog, trees, water, storms, clouds. We want to experience what you experience.
?9. Creative Angles and Points of view. We want really creative angles. Climb on the top of the mast, hang a camera in interesting place. Play around with a point of view that no one has seen before.

Please upload your footage to our Dropbox for sharing and download the instructions PDF on how to save and upload your content. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qqe81rm6u3ykjk4/rKf2hWshyA


Photo

Have your memories of the 104th Mac live on by entering your photos from the race in the West Marine Mac Photo Contest 2012

There are six categories of entry including:
(a) Best Photo of Own Boat
(b) Best Photo of Another Boat
(c) Best Photo of Sunrise/Sunset
(d) Best photo Passing a Mac Landmark
(e) Best Teamwork Photo
(f) Best Funny Photo.

The winner in each category will receive a $100 gift card from West Marine. The final prize - best overall photo from the 333-mile freshwater journey - receives a $400 gift card from West Marine. The entries will be published on the Chicago Yacht Club and Race to Mac Web sites, and the winners will receive their prizes at the Mackinac Awards Banquet this November.

To submit the best photos from your journey, e-mail communications@chicagoyachtclub.org or mail your entries to the club, Attn: Rachelle Treiber, Communications Director – 400 East Monroe St., Chicago, Illinois 60603. Make sure the photo is high resolution, and be sure to include the boat name, sail number, section number, contact name, contact phone number and contact e-mail. The entry deadline is August 7th, 2012


Social Media

We all saw the importance of social media to our race last year. Again this year, we will have Winn Soldani heading up the conversation on Facebook. We urge you and your friends, family and other fans of the race to ‘like’ the Mac at this link:

https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac

We encourage our racers to use Twitter to share their experiences from the water. Twitter is very low-bandwidth and thus can be easier to use from a boat on the Lake in areas with poor 3G/4G coverage.

For those of you who don’t know, Twitter is a ‘microblogging’ service. It allows you to send short, 140-character messages known as ‘tweets’. You’d be amazed by what you can fit in 140 characters if you get creative!

Signing up for an account is free, at www.twitter.com. The Twitter help center is very helpful in learning more about the service, https://support.twitter.com/.

Once signed up, you can ‘follow’ people of interest. Please follow the Mac at @RaceToMackinac. When you post messages about the race, please include somewhere in the message the following: #CYCRTM. This is called a hashtag, and it allows people to search for your posts easily.

We encourage all racers to sign up for Twitter and to tweet about the race! The best tweets each day with the hashtag #CYCRTM will be awarded some sweet Mac swag after the Race is over!

These are three easy and free ways you can share your experience in the Mac with those who are not lucky enough to get to Race.

See you on the water!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot


15-Jul-12 - 09:03pm
Dear Fellow Mac Racers:

We are happy to announce that our Race Tracking portal with Yellowbrick is live.

Our tracking team, under the leadership of Vice-Chair of Technology Jim Murray has been hard at work all year on this project. Thank you to Jim and his team for their support and diligence. You will find the link to the Yellowbrick tracking site at the bottom of this email. The link on the Race to Mackinac Homepage is also live now.

A few things you should know about the Yellowbrick tracking portal:

1. Browser Compatibility: We recommend that you use the latest generation browser available to view the tracking site on your computer. (e.g. Internet Explorer 8 or newer; Firefox; Safari; Google Chrome). Use of older browsers may lead to unpredictable results.

2. Flash Compatibility: The Yellowbrick tracking platform operates on an Adobe Flash platform. Because of incompatibilities between Apple's iOS products and Flash, the portal will not work on iOS (e.g. iPad, iPhone, Apple touch). For this we recommend that you download the app from the Apple iTunes Store. There is no charge for the Yellowbrick app itself. The 104th Race to Mackinac Race subscription data can be purchased for $2.99 (one purchase provides the race for all the iOS devices on your Apple Store account). You can buy the race subscription from inside the app. A similar App is available for Android devices in the Android Store. The text leader board in both of these apps is the lowest bandwidth option to view tracking on a mobile platform. Please note: Live data will not be available in the app until after registration starts on July 19th.

Remember, the tracking service is provided solely for entertainment purposes. It is not intended as a safety resource in any way. Like any technology platform, tracking is a dynamic entity and may be susceptible to challenges such as the stability and speed of your connection to the internet or the hardware through which you are experiencing it. This includes the wireless carriers and the 3G or 4G connections in different parts of the lake, where we all know coverage can be spotty at times. There is also the third unpredictable susceptibility - user error. In the event that you experience technical issues, you may reach out to the Yellowbrick technical support team directly. There may be limitations to what they can do for you based on the three susceptibilities described above., but they will do their best to help.

Back for the second year: We will have our committee’s own Winn Soldani doing color commentary via social media. Winn brings years of experience racing the Mac to the table and provides a great voice for the Race. This again is a courtesy and may be limited to the time that the race is underway. Please follow the Race to Mackinac on Facebook or Twitter to receive Winn’s commentary on the Race.

To access the tracking link directly visit: http://yb.tl/chicagomack2012
To access the Race to Mackinac Home page: http://www.cycracetomackinac.com

To access the Race’s Facebook page: http://facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac
To follow the Mac on Twitter: Follow @RaceToMackinac

Thank you for your viewership and support.

See you on the water!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


15-Jul-12 - 06:21pm
Dear Mac Skippers:

The start times for the 104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac have been posted on our website as 2012 Sailing Instructions (Amendment One). They can be found on our website under Race Documents, or at this link: http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/2012_Sailing_Instructions_Amendment__1.pdf

Should you have any questions, please contact racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

See you very soon!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot


12-Jul-12 - 08:53pm
Dear Friends:

Registration is open one week from today, and our Cruising Division departs Chicago one week from tomorrow. By now, most of your preparations for the Race are complete. One of your last checks should be to ensure that your equipment is fully compliant with MSRs. Today's Thursday Safety Series article focuses on tethers - a critical piece of safety equipment. There have been changes in the MSR language on tethers, so we urge all competitors to ensure that their tethers meet the requirements of the new MSRs.

We wish all of our friends and competitors who are doing the Bayview Mackinac this weekend fair winds and following seas, and a safe trip to the Island!

See you in Chicago next week!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, Presented by Veuve Clicquot

This is the last in our Thursday Safety Series for 2012. We hope you have found these articles informative and helpful. All of these articles are archived on the race website, www.cycracetomackinac.com, under 'The Race.' We would appreciate any feedback you have - please send to our race coordinator at race coordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

Tethers and Harnesses

Tethers are a key piece of safety equipment. When paired with an appropriate harness, they keep a sailor attached to his or her boat. Tethers can be attached to either a jackline or a padeye on the deck. Tethers are the best preventer of man overboard incidents.

Multihull MSR 75 / Monohull MSR 70 require that each crew member “shall have a harness, and a safety line (tether) not more than seven (7) feet long with a snap hook at one end and a quick release shackle on the harness end that is releasable under heavy load.”

The language of the MSRs changed this year regarding the quick-release shackle at the harness end that is releasable under heavy load. It is critical that a sailor be able to disengage the harness under load in certain circumstances, such as when being dragged along the side of a boat after going over. “Cowhitch”-type attachments or shackles that cannot be released under load can be extremely dangerous and are thus prohibited on the Mac.

In addition to the bare minimum requirements of the MSRs, there are other features you can look to in a tether. Some tethers include an indicator flag sewn in which will show when the tether has been subject to severe stress. Tethers which have undergone heavy load should be immediately replaced, and the indicator flag notifies you when this is necessary. Another feature to consider for is a tethers that has two ‘legs’ - generally 1-meter and 2-meters. This allows you to move about the boat without ever having to unclip.

?A few hints on tether use:

1. Never unclip someone else’s tether unless they ask you to.
2. Attach your tether to a jackline or strong point before coming up from below deck, and never unclip until you are back below.
3. Never attach a tether to a lifeline or stantion; they cannot withstand the loads.
4. As a matter of courtesy to the off watch and your boat owner, don’t drag your tether hook on the deck. Lift it with one hand and drag it along the lifeline if possible.
5. If your harness incorporates an inflatable PFD, try releasing your tether while the PFD is inflated. It is often extremely difficult to reach the shackle when the PFD is inflated.
6. When attaching your safety knife, consider how you can reach it with a fully-inflated PFD and tether attached.

Your tether must attach securely to a harness. Many harnesses are integrated with a PFD. There are few circumstances where you would want to wear a harness without a PFD, so these make sense. It is strongly recommended that harnesses or PFD/harness combos be fitted with crotch straps or leg straps, to prevent an inflated PFD from riding up on your body while you are in the water. Harnesses must be adjusted by the crew member for a proper, tight fit.

Some good resources on tethers and harnesses:


US Sailing Safety at Sea Studies - Safety Tips

http://offshore.ussailing.org/Assets/Offshore/SAS+Studies/safety+tips.pdf

US Sailing Harness & Tether Study (1999):

http://offshore.ussailing.org/Assets/Offshore/SAS+Studies/Safety+At+Sea+Studies.pdf



Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


12-Jul-12 - 08:10am
Not all the fun occurs on the water! We have a wide variety of fun activities on the shore for adults and children alike. Several new events are planned. See below for details.

I hope to see you at one of these parties, either in Chicago or on the Island!

Lou Sandoval, Chairman
104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot

PS Please follow us on facebook at by liking us at facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac, or follow us on Twitter @RaceToMackinac. Tag your tweets and instagram photos with #CYCRTM.

Family and Crew Dinner Night
Wednesday, July 18
6:00pm – 8:00pm CST
Monroe Station
Enjoy a relaxing few hours with your family and crew before Mac Week activities heat up. This is the perfect way to say “thank you” to all that have helped you prepare for the race. Special treats for kids! Call the CYC to book your reservations at 312.861.7777.

Pre-Race Party
Friday, July 20, 2012
7:00pm –11:30pm CST
Monroe Station
Open to Race to Mackinac skippers, crew, families and friends, this high-energy party remains the place to be seen before the race…but no too late if you have an early boat call.

Ashore Thing – Race to Mackinac Parade of Boats
Saturday, July 21
10:00am – 2:00pm CST
East End of Navy Pier
Grandstand viewing of the Parade of Boats at the end of Navy Pier for friends and families. Picnic baskets will be available for purchase via http://gmgvegas.com/ashorething/. Brought to you by Michigan Avenue Magazine and the Chicago Yacht Club.

The Grand Porch Party Presented by Veuve Clicquot
Sunday, July 22, Adults only
5:30pm – 7:30pm EST
Tickets: $45 available at CYC Front desk or onsite
Grand Hotel Porch
Enjoy a wonderful cocktail party on the longest hotel porch in the country with some of the most picturesque views of the island. Tickets must be presented for entry and may be purchased at Chicago Yacht Club, Monroe Station, or onsite.
Attire: Ladies: dresses preferred. Men: coat and tie required.

The Grand Children’s Party
Sunday, July 22, Children 3 and up
5:00pm – 8:00pm EST
Grand Hotel (Lower Level)
Children will enjoy their own party with dinner and a movie while adults enjoy The Grand Porch Party. $35. Call the CYC to book your reservations at 312.861.7777, or book online at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFNRMHlvQjVRRDhvd3ZZdGFzYXBPVlE6MQ

Paint the Finish - NEW FOR 2012
Monday, July 23rd
Noon – 4:00 pm EST
Windermere Point
Enjoy a fabulous afternoon for adults and kids with painting, music (kids kazoo concert at 3:45pm) and all sorts of activities for families at the finish line. Brought to you by the Mackinac Island Arts Council and supported by the Chicago Yacht Club and the Mackinac Island Community Foundation.

104th Race to Mackinac Sailor’s Celebration
Tuesday, July 24th
2:00pm – 6:00pm EST
Grand Hotel Tea Garden
2:00pm – 4:00pm EST
Outdoor activities for children will be located next to the Sailor’s Celebration in the Tea Garden Family Area. Children must be supervised by an adult in this area.


11-Jul-12 - 11:20am
Dear Skippers:

This weekend, many of you will be readying your boats, going over your final checklists, safety regulations, and food and drink lists, and otherwise preparing your boats and crews for the 104th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. I would ask you to review one additional list with your crew, delivery crews, and other guests on the Island -- a list of rules regarding conduct during the Race.

In prior years, we have had problems with crew members acting inappropriately. Inappropriate conduct on the part of you or your crew can cause difficulties for you as Invited Competitors.

We are guests on Mackinac Island for a few days each summer. Many of the people you interact with on the Island call it home. Please treat them respectfully, as you would like to be treated in your own hometown. We want to be welcome back! To avoid any issues, please keep the following rules in mind:

1. Please follow all directions from CYC Dock masters and CYC Staff while docking in Chicago. They are working to arrange safe dockage for everyone who will be docking at our facilities. They need your cooperation, and the cooperation of your crews, to make this happen. We use a zone system in Chicago, just like we do on the Island, so please follow instructions from our staff.

2. Both during and after the Race, you will be interacting with our outstanding Race Committee volunteers and Club staff. They are terrific people who will be giving a lot of their time over the next couple of weeks to make this a great experience for all. Please treat them with respect and courtesy. If you encounter a situation in which our Race Committee members or Club staff members cannot assist you, please do not argue with or berate them. Instead, ask to speak with me, our Principal Race Officer, Janet Crabb, or any one of our Vice Chairs, Matt Gallagher, Jim Murray, Jay Muller or John Zienda.

3. This year we will again be using a zone system on Mackinac Island. This system places similar boats together. It’s designed to get you docked and to the bars and parties as quickly as possible. However, to make it work, you have to follow our plan and not everyone can get a slip, even if it’s empty at the moment. Every space on the Island is assigned and accounted for. Please cooperate with our docking officials on the Island. I have asked our docking officials to report any failure to cooperate or any inappropriate behavior directly to me.

4. No swimming is allowed in Mackinac Island Harbor. This is for your safety and that of others.

5. Michigan law prohibits open containers of alcohol. If a police officer approaches you or your crew, and asks you to spill out the Mount Gay and tonic that you just purchased, please do so without debating them. (Note that this also applies to the grounds outside of the Grand Hotel during our sailors' party.) If I have to come and bail you out on Wednesday morning, we are both going to be really unhappy. So don’t be ‘that guy’.

6. The school, which is adjacent to the Grand Hotel, is a drug and alcohol free zone. We strongly recommend that you stay away from this area during our sailors' party.

7. Please do not walk-in the streets. While they may look pedestrian safe because there are no cars, you can easily be hit by a bicycle or by a horse and carriage. Stay on the sidewalks.

8. Keep sails and other banners away from horses, as they are easily frightened. When drying sails, stay as far away from the streets as possible. A flapping sail or banner can cause a really bad situation.

9. Departure time from all harbors is 1 PM Eastern on Wednesday, July 22. Please make sure that you depart at or before this time unless you have made prior arrangement with the Harbor Master. We will be present to enforce this deadline.

Failure to follow these rules can result in disqualification from this Race and not being invited to future Races. Please help us make the 104th Race a great experience for everyone. We look forward to seeing you on the start line next week!

See You all VERY Soon!


Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


10-Jul-12 - 09:09am
Dear Skippers,

Here is the 2012 Pre-race docking plan:

1. If you are from out of town, you may dock at our Monroe or Belmont facilities beginning on Wednesday, July 18, 2012. We will be using a Zone System in Chicago as we have in the past. Please follow the Dockmaster’s instructions. Just because a slip is empty does not mean you may take it. We need to raft boats of similar length, beam and draft together to fit everyone in.

2. Docking is complimentary, but you MUST make a reservation by e-mailing dockmaster@chicagoyachtclub.org. Please title your e-mail Docking Reservation, and include the following: your boat's name and sail number; your name; a cell phone contact for the boat's skipper in Chicago; choice of location (Monroe or Belmont); and estimated date and time of arrival in Chicago.

3. If you have not made one already, reservations are due no later than July 16, 2012 but we encourage you to get us your reservations this week if possible. This will help our pre-race planning.

4. We will also be offering limited touch and go docking to boats moored in Monroe Harbor. If you are berthed in Monroe and would like further information about touch and go docking, please notify our Dockmaster via e-mail to dockmaster@chicagoyachtclub.org.

5. Docking in Chicago is NOT on a first come, first served basis. All docking locations are assigned by our docking staff. Please follow their directions, and instruct your crew members to do the same. I have asked our docking staff to immediately report violations/refusals to cooperate directly to me. Failure to cooperate with our docking staff may result in cancellation of entry, disqualification, and not being invited to future Races.

NOTE: Dry Ice can be purchased on Saturday Morning from the ice truck. No reservation required, cash only, 10lb block increments are sold at $15.00 for one 10lb block.

A Special Note about docking on Mackinac Island:
Water levels are down significantly over previous years. We will make efforts to accommodate boats in areas that can accommodate the draft and dimensions of your vessel. Boats will be notified at check-in of what zone they will be located in on the island. This is a very complicated process that is even more complicated this year due to the water levels. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and understanding in this.

Please contact us at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you on the start line on July 21, 2012.

Best Regards,


Lou Sandoval,
Chairman
2012 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac
Presented by Veuve Clicquot


06-Jul-12 - 03:43pm
Dear Friends:

??Welcome to Issue 8 of our Thursday Safety Series. We apologize for it being late this week and are resisting the temptation to re-title the series ‘Safety Friday.’

This issue highlights personal safety knives. Although it is a requirement that the person in charge ensure compliance with the MSR, each crew member must assume personal responsibility for his or her own equipment and safety. Each of us is responsible not only for our own safety but for that of our fellow crew members and fellow competitors.

As always, all of these Safety Thursday emails are archived on the Mac web site at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/safety/. We encourage you to go back and read all past issues if you haven’t already read them.

The race is only 2 weeks away! We encourage you to share your stories of preparation with your fellow racers, friends and family. Follow the Mac @RaceToMackinac on Twitter, and tag your tweets about the race with #CYCTRM. We also encourage you to like the race on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac

?See you in Chicago!

??Lou Sandoval?
Chairman, Chicago Yacht Club 104th Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot.?

Safety Thursday
Personal Safety Knives


One of the changes implemented to the Mac Safety Regulations is the new requirement for each crew member to carry a personal safety knife at all times when on deck.

Multihull MSR 76 / Monohull MSR 71, now requires ‘a knife, fixed blade or, if folding, able to be opened with one hand, to be attached to or carried on each crew member at all times when on deck. The Personal Safety Knife must be readily accessible at all times including while wearing foul weather gear and PFD/Harnesses’. This is a new requirement for 2012.

This supplements the long-standing MSR requirement for a cockpit knife, sheathed and securely restrained, readily accessible from the deck or cockpit (Multihull MSR 69/Monohull MSR 64).

The new requirement codifies what has always been considered good seamanship. Having a stout knife readily at hand at all times is a critical safety tool. A check with any chandlery will show that there are three basic types of sailing knives: (a) folding, (b) fixed-blade, or (c) emergency cutter. Any of these will fulfill the requirement as long as it can be demonstrated that it can be opened with a single hand. Please note that many if not most ‘multitools’ such as Leatherman do not meet the MSR requirements as they cannot be opened with a single hand.

Each crew member should think about the appropriate type of knife for that person, given the equipment and clothing worn. For example, the author of this piece has two separate knives; one permanently attached to his PFD, and another worn on the belt when the PFD is not on. They are different knives that open and are attached differently.

Think about where it is attached on your clothing or PFD - can it be grabbed with one hand, even with an inflated PFD or heavy foul weather clothing on? Can you find it by feel, if your sight is blocked by the PFD or you are underwater? Which hand will grab it? Can you get to it with a sailing glove on? Will it fall off our out of its sheath as you go about your business during the race?

We encourage you to position your knife and then try on your PFD and orally inflate it. Can you actually reach and find the knife with the PFD inflated? If not, reposition it.

Consider getting a blunt-tip knife. These are often considered safer for both people and PFDs. Nothing in the MSRs requires that you buy a ‘sailing’ knife. You can look beyond sailing knives - in particular, divers have similar requirements in a safety knife to sailors. Check specialty diving stores for options. Knives run from as low as $29 for a basic diving buoyancy compensator knife to well over $300.00 for a Boye Basic 3 knife, with knives at every price point in between.

Specialty sailing ‘safety knifes’ are sold, which may be a good place to start looking. Emergency cutters such as those sold by Gill and Spinlock are a fairly recent development. While small, inexpensive and handy, these knives are quite small, and many experts question how easy it would be to find and employ these devices when in a real emergency. Think hard before relying upon these as your sole safety knife. However, they may prove to be a handy backup.

For some good articles on sailing knives, see these links:

http://www.sailingworld.com/gear/safety-in-hand

http://www.practical-sailor.com/issues/34_11/chandlery/Boating-Knives_5695-1.html (subscription site)

We will also post links to some knives we know of and other resources on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac, though of course we do not endorse any particular knife or guarantee that any one knife meets the requirements of the MSRs.

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


06-Jul-12 - 02:54pm
Dear Fellow Skippers:

We're only two weeks away from the 104th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot. By now, most of your preparations are well underway.

Please take five minutes to log into your Competitor's Account to make sure your paperwork is in order:

http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/register/index.cfm

1) Crew List. By now, your crew list should be complete, but take a couple of minutes to double-check all the information. In particular, make certain that there is a valid Emergency Contact and 24/7 phone number listed for each member of your crew.

2) Entry Fee - Your entry fee should show as paid. If it does not, please contact our Race Coordinator immediately.

3) Ratings Certificate - If Your rating certificate does not show as 'received,' again, please contact our race coordinator immediately.

4) Crew Waivers - Please make every effort to bundle all your crew waivers together and send to our race coordinator as soon as possible. We urge you to have them to her by July 11. You will not be allowed to sign in for the race until all of them are received. If all waivers are received, your competitor page will indicate 'Received.' You can email the waivers (again, bundled together for the boat) to race coordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org or fax them to 1-888-796-3658.

5) Safety Compliance - Be sure to review the MSRs and then certify compliance.

6) Satellite Tracking Registration Agreement - Be sure to review and then check to indicate your agreement.

Additionally, your competitor page will indicate if you have been selected for pre-race inspection. If you have been, you should have already been contacted by our inspections team, but if not, please reach out to our Race Coordinator.

Once all of these steps are complete, you are ready. About a week before race day, you will be able to print out your 'Pre-race sign-in Certificate and Waiver' - which we call a boarding pass. This form must be printed, signed and brought to registration.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about this process, we urge you to contact our Race Coordinator as soon as possible at race coordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org. Don't wait to the last minute!

See you in Chicago in two weeks!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot

PS Be sure to follow the Race on Twitter @RaceToMackinac and search for tweets tagged #CYCRTM for the latest race news and events. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


03-Jul-12 - 07:20pm
Announcing the Veuve Clicquot Grand Porch Party
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Grand Hotel Porch
5:30pm to 7:30pm EDT


Race Fans, Family and friends:

Stop by the Chicago Yacht Club Front Desk and purchase your Grand Porch Party ticket, presented by Veuve Clicquot. Tickets are $45. It will undoubtedly be a memorable event with ample quantities of Veuve Clicquot champagne and appetizers! You must purchase in person, there will be no will call and no mailing of the tickets. Tickets will also be on sale at the entry to the party for the same $45 price. Do not miss this party!

Best Regards,

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 2012 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac
Presented by Veuve Clicquot

PS Be sure to follow the Race on Twitter @RaceToMackinac and search for tweets tagged #CYCRTM for the latest race news and events.


02-Jul-12 - 05:29pm
Dear Fellow Skipper:

The Race Tracking Registration Agreement is now live and ready. As you all know, tracking is mandatory this year and there is no charge for it. Everyone will need to complete their agreement online.

What is different this year? Well, for one, we have a world class tracking provider, Yellowbrick. You are welcome to read more about what they have to offer on the Mac website:

http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/tracking-update-/

This year, we will not collect credit card information from you Instead, you will be required to agree that you will turn in your tracker on the island as agreed or be subject to a $500 charge. See the online registration agreement for more details.

Tracker registration is very easy this year and occurs in two steps.

Step 1: From your desktop. Just log into the race registration system, click on ‘Maintain My Info’ and then click on Tracker Registration Agreement. Read the tracking agreement and select “I agree”. Please note: you will need to do this before attempting to print out your boarding pass to check-in for the race. We ask that you log in very soon and look to complete this no later than July 13, 2012. That’s all there is to this step. Just visit http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/register/index.cfm

Step 2: Race week. Print out your boarding pass and come to the check-in room. Our Race Committee team will hand you your skipper’s bag with transponder and ask you to sign the delivery manifest. You will receive instructions on how to activate the tracker and where to install it on your boat. Voila!

We also want to remind you of a few things relating to tracking that we have emailed you about in the past:

1) If you haven’t sent our race coordinator a photo of your boat, please do so ASAP. Yellowbrick will be able to display it along with tracking info.

2) Twitter is integrated with Yellowbrick. Be sure to send the race coordinator your boat or crews’ twitter handles and tag your tweets #CYCRTM

3) Yellowbrick’s web site relies on Flash technology and thus is incompatible with iPhones, iPads and many other mobile devices. If you intend to track the race from your device, we urge you to download the Yellowbrick App from the appropriate store now, install it and test it. This will help you avoid frustration on race day. The Chicago Mac plugin will be available for download a few days before the race.

We hope that you all agree that this registration process is much simpler than in previous years. Once you see the final tracking site and mobile app, I’m sure you will love it. Thank you in advance for your time and attention to this.

As always, email our race coordinator with any questions at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org

See you in Chicago soon!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, 2012 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac
Presented by Veuve Clicquot


02-Jul-12 - 04:12pm
Dear Fellow Skipper

The Sailing Instructions (SI) and an Amendment to the Notice of Race (NOR) have been published on our web site under Race Documents.

They can be access directly here:

SI: http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/2012_CYCRTM_SI.pdf
Amendment to NOR: http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/2012_Amendment_to_NOR.pdf

We urge all competitors to download and read these at your earliest convenience.

18 days to go! See you on the water!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, Chicago Yacht Club 104th Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot

P.S. Please remember to follow the Mac @RaceToMackinac on Twitter, and tag your tweets about the race with #CYCTRM. We also encourage you to like the race on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac


28-Jun-12 - 09:48pm
Dear Friends:??

Welcome to Issue 7 of our Thursday Safety Series. This issue highlights first aid kits and ditch bags. Now is the time to ensure that yours are not only MSR compliant, but that they meet the unique needs of your crew. As always, all of these Safety Thursday emails are archived on the Mac web site at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/safety/.

The race is only 3 weeks away! We encourage you to share your stories of preparation with your fellow racers and friend and family. Follow the Mac @RaceToMackinac on Twitter, and tag your tweets about the race with #CYCTRM. We also encourage you to like the race on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac

?See you on the water!??

Lou Sandoval?
Chairman, Chicago Yacht Club 104th Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot.??


Medical Kits

The Mac safety regulations require yachts competing in the Mac to carry First Aid Kits and First Aid Manuals (Monohull MSR 45 & 46, Multihull MSR 49 & 50).

Skippers are responsible for ensuring that a kit suitable for the race and the number of people on board is carried and maintained. Remember that many medical supplies have expiration dates, so that 10 year old kit may no longer be ‘suitable’ for the conditions of the race. Take the time to examine and inventory your kit. You should consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate contents of a kit for your boat, but many commercially-prepared kits are available, including by way of example:

http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/MedAire_First_Responder_Kit_-_Mackinac.pdf - Specifically prepared for the Mac race

http://www.adventuremedicalkits.com/products.php?catname=Marine&cat=8 - Adventure Medical Marine Line

http://www.oceanmedix.com/?_siteid=oceanmedix&_sessid=ce6410db468648cc2d17cc74f9866faa&action=cat&catid=medkits - A wide variety of kits

http://www.landfallnavigation.com/medicalequip.html - Another wide assortment of kits

In addition to bandages, splints and the like, most kits carry much routine items which may be of use - bandages, allergy pills, anti-itch cream, seasickness pills, sunburn pain relief lotions and the like. Each crew member should be familiar with the location of and contents of the kit, since virtually anyone could be called to use it.

Your kit should also contain a good first aid manual, as is required by the MSRs. Many are available, either as part of the kit or from Amazon or similar bookstores. You should familiarize yourself with the manual now, before you really need it. The last thing you want to do is be thumbing through a table of contents in a real emergency!

If assembling your own kit, we strongly encourage you to discuss it with a health care professional. Good resources for learning include:

http://www.boatingmag.com/boatingsafety/tips/safety-tip/marine-first-aid-kits
http://www.equipped.com/medical.htm
http://www.thesailingfoundation.org/SAS2012Docs/SAS%20Medical.pdf

Kits do not carry prescription drugs or other advanced equipment, such as AEDs. If your particular crew requires such equipment, you should consult with a physician now, before you go. You should be familiar with the health history of your whole crew, and any specific health needs of an individual crew member should be addressed with the skipper (or if you have a physician, nurse, paramedic or EMT or the like on your crew, with that person). If crew members have confidentiality concerns, or if they have serious health issues, a good practice is to keep their health history in a sealed envelope, in the possession of the skipper, to be opened only in the event of emergency.

In addition to an appropriate medical kit, you should encourage your crew to have proper first aid training. Although our race is not governed by the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations, they are instructive. They require that 3 members of the crew have medical training equivalent to or greater than the Red Cross First Aid course. This is probably a good standard for most Mac boats as well. Find out in advance who on your crew has this training. If no one does, we encourage you to get trained.


Ditch Bags

The Multihull MSRs require multihulls to carry a ditch bag (“calamity pack”) (MSR 14). While not a requirement for Monohulls, having one on such yachts is also a good idea. Multihulls are required to carry pyrotechnic signals per MSR, a handheld VHF, a GPS, a flashlight, cutting tools and an EPIRB/PLB. This equipment would be invaluable in the case of a capsize, and it would be also of tremendous value if your crew was forced to abandon ship into a life raft.

The MSRs list minimum equipment requirements, but good sailors would supplement this list. Other items to consider carrying in the ditch bag include a first aid kit, ‘space’ blankets, a knife, spare batteries for the flashlight and handheld VHF, a signal mirror, a whistle, and sunscreen.

A good article (with link to related articles) on ditch bags is at http://www.equipped.com/abndonship.htm

?Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race. Nothing in this article should be considered medical advice, and you should always consult with a physician prior to commencing any physical exertion including sailing to ensure that you are safe to do so.


21-Jun-12 - 04:13pm
Dear Fellow Person-in-Charge:

Welcome to a Special Issue of our Thursday Safety Series. This issue is going out just to persons-in-charge, such as myself. It was written by Craig Warner, setting forth on his 27th Mac this summer. Craig is a Captain for United Airlines and thus acts as Person-in-Charge on a daily basis. Much like he is responsible for the safety of the hundreds of people on his plane, we are all responsible for the safety of those on our boats. I urge you to read Craig's thoughtful piece on what it means to be a Person-in-Charge. Thank you, Craig, for writing this!

As always, all of these Safety Thursday emails are archived on the Mac web site at http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/the-race/safety/. If you didn't receive or read our prior issues, we encourage you to read them today!

Please remember that you should be working with the Offshore Office of US Sailing to obtain or renew your ORR certificates for 2012. These are due to our race coordinator tomorrow, June 22. See the NOR for details.

See you on the water!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, Chicago Yacht Club 104th Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot.

P.S. Please remember to follow the Mac @RaceToMackinac on Twitter, and tag your tweets about the race with #CYCTRM. We also encourage you to like the race on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac

PERSON-IN-CHARGE


The objective of this article is to bring attention to yacht racers the importance of the Person-In-Charge (PIC). The greatest asset both to the boat’s safety and racing ability is the process by which its crew leader anticipates threats, resolves errors and brings the incident to a safe conclusion. The process of logically thinking and making sound decisions is the hallmark of a successful Person-In-Charge.

The PIC is much more that the skipper who pays the entry fee and buys everyone shirts. The Person-In-Charge assumes not only authority on the boat but also the responsibility for the lives and safety of the crew. The PIC has one overriding duty to his or her crew - to ensure that they safely complete their voyage. The race is secondary to your prime responsibility. We do not take risks in our sport; instead, we identify problems through education and experience and form strategies to prevent a reoccurrence. If you lack the resolve to embrace this responsibly then you are not ready to be a Person-In-Charge.

The term Person-In-Charge is used in the MSR’s, but I think the better term is ‘leader’. An effective leader is one who evaluates his team, uses their strengths, corrects their deficiencies, and has their loyalty. Blighs and Ahabs do not make muster. To be an effective leader, you cannot be an island unto yourself; you must use all the assets at your disposal and make prudent judgments both on and off the water.

Leadership is an attitude by which you constantly prepare the crew, boat, and yourself. In life the only constant is change and you need to keep abreast of new technology, tactics, and safety practices. Your crew will follow your lead. Are you lax about wearing PFD’s? Do you accomplish the MSR safety checklist only so you can pass the post-race inspection? Be lax in any area, especially safety, and your crew will do likewise. Effective leaders do not go through the motions - they believe in them and pass that attitude on to those who sail with him.

There is nothing like experience to learn about your boat and crew. It will also help you to learn about yourself. Practicing sailing skills will aid your crew not only in trying circumstances, but it will also let the crew perform quickly in an emergency. You can talk about alternate take down procedures all you want but you do not want to try it out in a real emergency.

Last year we lost two of our own. That should give us all pause and cause us to redouble our efforts to be safe. A PIC may have to realize that the race is secondary and the safety of the crew now takes priority. During the storm last year did you anticipate the weather? Did you shorten sail early? Did you stop racing hard and order the crew into the safety of the cockpit? If you did not do these things, your attitude towards safety, your judgment and your leadership skills need some tweaking. You will have to grade yourself. We are all professionals at our career. Transfer that professionalism to your sport. The CYC Race to Mackinac is an amateur race, but is not a place for people who act like amateurs.

I can write a novel on this subject, but lets reemphasize a few things. Realize that the Person-In-Charge has a large responsibility. He or she is now responsible for human lives. You need to accomplish your mission in a safe manner. You need to develop leadership skills and gain the trust and support of your crew. You need to embrace safety. On the water experience will educate you and the crew and speaking of education never stop seeking knowledge. Keep thinking all the time; never be satisfied. It is a daunting task and you will always be checking your 6 to make sure you have accomplished everything. Accept the job willingly. Your reward will be getting the crew safely to the finish-line, the satisfaction of a job will done, perhaps a brag flag, and I will assure you the most memorable sailing experience of a lifetime.

Good luck on the race and see you at the Island!





Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


20-Jun-12 - 09:56am
31 day countdown to the 104th!


Dear Mac friends:

We are just over a month away from the start of the Mac! 344 boats are fully registered and several more are in the queue. Our late registration deadline is this Friday- June 22, so it’s not too late to accept that invitation, and we might even be able to process a new RFI if you act fast.

As we approach the race, there are a number of logistical matters and deadlines coming up. As always, see the NOR and other race documents on the Mac website for full details. Please take the time to read this carefully:

Amendment to the Notice of Race

Amendment 1 to the Notice of Race is being published shortly and will be posted to the Mac website under “race documents.” Please download and read it. It addresses several important issues, including crew liability waivers and tracker applications.

Late Registration Deadline

The late registration deadline is June 22. It is not too late to accept your invite, but you should do so immediately.

ORR Certificates

2012 ORR certificates are due to our Race Coordinator by June 22. We need these to determine section breaks, so please make every effort to get them to us by then. Call the Offshore Office of US Sailing if you haven’t received yours or need help with it – (401) 683-0800 x 662.

Once you have your ORR cert, we encourage you to enter the ORR Great Lakes Championship! It’s easy and FREE to register! http://orroa.org/registration.php

Waivers

As a reminder (and as noted in the NOR), crew liability waivers must be completed by all crew members, and then the skipper must submit them to the race coordinator. We know that this change will add a layer of complexity and work for our skippers and appreciate your cooperation with this task. The crew waiver form is available today, via the Mac website, under “Race Documents. Please have each member of your crew complete and sign a copy of the waiver form (including yourself).

Once you have all of your crew members’ waivers together, please either scan and email them to racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org or fax them to 1-888-796-3658. The skipper will be responsible for retaining the original signed waivers on board. These waivers are due to CYC no later than July 11, 2012. These will then be compared to your crew list. If you do not have waivers from all crew members, it will delay registration for you, as you will not be permitted to race without them. Any last-minute crew changes will also require a waiver signed by the crew member so please take this into account

Race Tracking

We have selected Yellowbrick to track the Mac this year. They are currently tracking the Newport-Bermuda race and will track the Bayview Mac just before our own. We encourage you to visit their site, http://www.yellowbrick-tracking.com/. We also encourage you to download and play with their Apps for mobile phones and tablets. This is the best way to track a race on a mobile device. Shortly before the start, our race will be available to purchase as an option for tracking.

Twitter

As you may have noticed, the Mac web site now features a Twitter box on the left-side of the page. Twitter is a site allowing users to post short messages which can be viewed by other users. Twitter is ideal for use from a boat on the Lake as it uses very little bandwidth and thus works pretty well with the limited cellular coverage we see as we head north.

This year, we are encouraging all competitors to post to Twitter from the race course. We encourage you to sign up for an account with Twitter.com if you don't already have one and to tweet about your preparations for the race and to tweet from the race. When you do so, please include #CYCRTM in your tweets, so they will feed into our site. We think this will make the race more fun for our friends and family ashore.

If your boat or crew members have Twitter accounts and intend to tweet about the race, please have them email their twitter ID to racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org. Please be sure they identify which boat they are on.

Boat Photos and Crew photo

Our friends at Yellowbrick can display a picture of your boat along with its track. We think this will enhance the experience for family and friends viewing the race. Therefore, we are asking each entered boat to send to racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org a digital picture (JPG or PNG format) of the boat, at least 480x640 resolution. Please name the file XXXXX.jpg, with the Xs replaced with your sail number, so we can match up the right photo with the right boat. So for example, my photo would be named 55367.jpg. We are also asking for a crew photo if you have it. Please name it CREWXXXX.jpg, where the XXXX would be your sail number. Again, 480x640 minimum (higher quality is better). If you have any questions. Contact our Race Coordinator at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.


So as we wind down to the final four weeks before the race, the list of things to do might be lengthy- but the 104th will be a race you will not want to miss.

The committee has been hard at work putting the final touches on this year’s race.

Our race coordinator can be reached at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org or by fax at 1-888-796-3658.

We look forward to seeing you all in Chicago!


Lou Sandoval
Chairman, Chicago Yacht Club 104th Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


07-Jun-12 - 02:41pm
Dear Friends:

Welcome to Issue 4 of our Thursday Safety Series, featuring Liferafts. Read below to learn more about rafts and the decision between carrying an EPIRB only or an EPIRB + Raft.

The race starts in 44 days! The entry deadline is tomorrow - June 8 - and the late entry deadline is June 22. Don't delay any longer in accepting your invitation! It is also not too late to request an invitation to do your first Mac. Our selections committee will work hard to review your application and help in any way possible.

See you on the water!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, Chicago Yacht Club 104th Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot.

P.S. Please remember to follow the Mac @RaceToMackinac on Twitter, and tag your tweets about the race with #CYCTRM. We also encourage you to like the race on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac



Life Rafts (Life Rafts vs. EPIRB)

Last year a boat could have raced with a Life Raft or an EPIRB/PLB and been in compliance with the MSR. This year the MSR requires a boat to race with an EPIRB/PLB, and Life Rafts are strongly recommended but not required.

Why Life Rafts are strongly recommended:

• July Lake Michigan water temperatures can be as low as 50 degrees!
• In the event of an emergency on your boat that requires assistance from a shore based rescue unit, the further offshore your boat is, the greater the response time!
• During the race and depending on your position in with the fleet, other boats may not be nearby and able to lend emergency assistance.
• While delivering your boat to the start or home after the finish of the race, chances are greater that there won’t be boats nearby to lend assistance in an emergency.

If you decide to sail with a life raft, here is a partial list of key points to consider and questions have answered by you and your life raft supplier:

• Life raft rated capacity should accommodate your entire crew.
• Overall size and weight of the raft and the ability to maneuver it in an emergency. (if you have a large number of crew, you might consider having two smaller rafts instead of one large one)
• Do you want the raft to have a canopy?
• What items to store in raft’s emergency grab bag?
• Where to stow the raft so it can be quickly deployed yet not impede the safe operation of your boat?
• Is it better to purchase or rent a raft?
• When was the last time the raft was recertified? (Most manufacturers recommend that this be done annually by a trained professional)

A life raft and an EPERB are not substitutes for each other and each product serves a distinct purpose. In the event of a marine emergency, an EPERB helps increase the chances of a successful Coast Guard rescue. If your boat sinks, a Life Raft increases your chances of survival in the harsh marine environment.

Good resources to learn more about Life Rafts:
http://www.boatus.com/boattech/articles/life-rafts.asp



Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


07-Jun-12 - 02:25pm
Dear Fellow Skipper:

In just under 45 days, we’ll be starting the 104th!

A few deadlines are coming up fast:

• June 8, 2012 – Entry Deadline – Tomorrow!
• June 22, 2012 – Late Entry Deadline

Please let your friends and competitors who might not have entered yet know that there is still time to enter and still time to start an RFI, but they must do so as soon as possible.

There is another change to this year’s race that will affect us all as skippers. We will shortly be publishing an amendment to the Notice of Race concerning liability waivers. As you know, in the past the Mac has not required individual waivers from crew members. This practice differed from most other major regattas, such as the NOOD, Newport-Bermuda, Transpac, and others. We have decided to require in 2012 that each crew member sign an individual liability waiver before beginning the race.

We know that this change will add a layer of complexity and work for our skippers; we apologize for the necessity of this.

The crew waiver form is available today, via the Mac website, under “Race Documents” or at:

http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/assets/1/7/2012_CYC_RTM_Crew_Waiver.pdf

Printed copies will also be available at CYC’s two stations from now until the race starts, as well as during the NOOD regatta.

Please have each member of your crew complete and sign a copy of the waiver form (including yourself). Once you have all of your crew members’ waivers together, please either scan and email them to racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org or fax them to 1-888-796-3658. The skipper will be responsible for retaining the original signed waivers on board.

These waivers are due to CYC no later than July 11, 2012. These will then be compared to your crew list. If you do not have waivers from all crew members, it will delay registration for you, as you will not be permitted to race without them.

Any last-minute crew changes will also require a waiver signed by the crew member so please take this into account.

The Amendment to the NOR will spell out the details of the requirements of crew waivers. Please read it as soon as it is published and follow the requirements (this email is a courtesy only and any discrepancy between this email and the NOR will be resolved in favor of the NOR).

Please note that the Amendment to the NOR will also address applying for a race tracker. The form is not yet available, and thus the June 8 deadline for completeing it will be extended. Watch for the amendment to the NOR next week. As always, you can follow the race on Twitter @RaceToMackinac and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac - we try to post updates there as well.

In the meantime we urge you to start collecting signed waivers from your crew members now. Do not wait!

As always, if you have any questions, please email racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot

A Note on ORR Certificates:

Per our Notice of Race and Conditions #5.e - your ORR certificate is due in to us by June 8. We understand that there is some processing time on the US Sailing end. You will not be subject a late entry penalty if your application is submitted to US Sailing by June 8th. Upon receipt of your certificate, you should submit your certificate to our race coordinator via email at race coordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.


31-May-12 - 09:45am
Dear Friends:

Welcome to Issue 3 of our Thursday Safety Series, featuring AIS. This important safety device is now an affordable option for small yachts. We encourage you to consider adding this to your boat. And skippers - if you have an MMSI number for use with AIS or with your DSC-VHF radio, we encourage you to provide the Mac Committee with that number by logging into your record on the Mac site and filling in the appropriate field.

The race starts in 50 days! The entry deadline is just over a week away - June 8 - and the late entry deadline is June 22. Don't delay any longer in accepting your invitation! It is also not too late to request an invitation to do your first Mac. Our selections committee will work hard to review your application and help in any way possible. Also, remember that you should be working with the Offshore Office of US Sailing to obtain or renew your ORR certificates for 2012.

See you on the water!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, Chicago Yacht Club 104th Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot.

P.S. Please remember to follow the Mac @RaceToMackinac on Twitter, and tag your tweets about the race with #CYCTRM. We also encourage you to like the race on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac

Automatic Identification System (AIS) – collision avoidance and vessel tracking

If you’ve completed more than a handful of Mac races, you’ve probably spent some watchful hours on a moonless night or in heavy fog. You had consciously weighed the cost, windage and power requirements of radar and wished for a better way of avoiding the risk of colliding with unseen vessels.

An increasing number of Mac racers have addressed this issue by including Automatic Identification Systems as part of their electronic instrumentation and safety systems. What was once an international standard requirement for ocean-going commercial vessels is now an affordable option for recreational boaters.

The same post-Titanic organization that gave us the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) standards introduced the new “AIS Lite” Class B standard in 2007. Since that time, vendors have produced products that display much more data than binoculars, radar or your foredeck crew ever could.

Automatic Identification Systems provide significant information about AIS-equipped vessels including Name, Speed (SOG), Course (COG), position (lat/lon) and true heading -- important information to use when contacting or avoiding collisions with nearby vessels. An AIS device will use the same unique MMSI identifier (Maritime Mobile Service Identity) that is required when registering your VHF/DSC radio or EPIRB (see Safety Thursday Issues 1 & 2).


Installation

Typical recreational boaters will choose AIS Class B Transceivers to both send and receive data, Some systems offer a ‘receive-only’ switch (the ‘stealth option’) which offers the ability to save on battery power or withhold your location from other racers (and unfortunately also large freighters). The AIS unit is most-often pre-programmed with your boat information.

An AIS device requires both a GPS and VHF antenna. The GPS antenna provides the unit with your latitude and longitude and calculates your ground speed and course. This antenna is dedicated to the AIS unit alone. The VHF antenna is used to communicate with other nearby vessels and land-based AIS stations. You use an antenna splitter to share it with your existing radio antenna as the device uses VHF Channels 87 & 88.

Some AIS units come with dedicated displays. Most units are standalone boxes that will integrate with existing chartplotters or on-board computers via NMEA 0183 hi-speed (38.4kbps) or NMEA 2000 protocols. NMEA 2000 is often preferred as it provides for better future system improvements.


USAGE: Tracking

You may have already imagined AIS as a water-based Lo-Jack that can identify your boat’s current location on-demand or viewing this information on the internet. In fact, many AIS systems throughout the world report their data to various web sites. These websites overlay the data they collect onto maps. You can see the current location of a single vessel, a fleet, or all the vessels in a geographic area. Often, course tracks over a given time period are available.

USAGE: Collision Avoidance

Should your chartplotter be so equipped, set up your alarm parameters and your system will sound when it senses another AIS equipped vessel that may collide within a given time or distance range.

Upon hearing a loud fog horn you may become concerned that its associated vessel might be an issue for you. Installing an AIS device could allow you to identify the vessel on your chartplotter. AIS would allow you to hail the target vessel on channel 16 by name and instruct them to switch to a free VHF channel. You could then identify your boat, confirm they see you and ask if they plan to stay on their present course. Follow-up with appropriate action.

After you do this in two or three situations, you will simply rely on the screen information. You will be confident that you no longer need to hail the other vessel. In the end, you can simply behave as two ships passing (safely) in the night.


GOVERNMENT WEB SITES FOR MORE INFO

http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=AISmain
http://www.imo.org/ourwork/safety/navigation/pages/ais.aspx

AIS TRACKING SITES LIST

http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/
http://www.vesseltracker.com/en/Area/greatlakes/Map.html
http://shipfinder.co/


Class A vs Class B

http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/AIS/AIS_ClassA_B_Comparisons.pdf


Special thanks to fleet member Dale Cohen for writing this installment of Safety Thursday for us!

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


24-May-12 - 02:37pm
Dear Friends:

Welcome to Issue 2 of our Thursday Safety Series. We received great feedback on Issue 1 (which is archived on the Mac Website under 'The Race:Safety'). As many of you know, this is National Safe Boating Week, but as we are constantly reminded, boating safety isn’t a weeklong effort - it’s a frame of mind that you adopt each time you step on your boat to head out on the water. We hope you find this issue useful, informative and applicable to your boating endeavors. Have a great (and safe) Memorial Day Holiday.

See you on the water!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman, Chicago Yacht Club 104th Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot.

P.S. With 57 days until race day, we have 335 boats have entered this year's race. We have a few stragglers out there and you know who you are. Come July 21st, you don’t want to be ‘that boat’ that watches everyone participate in the annual classic. If you have received an invitation but haven't accepted yet, please do so today. If you haven't received an invite, it is not too late to start a request for invitation, but we encourage you to do so quickly. See the web site for more details.

EPIRBs and PLBs

EPIRBs and PLBs are locator beacon devices that, when activated in an emergency situation, will report your position to authorities to help increase the chances of a successful rescue of you and your crew. There is an important change to the Mac Safety Regulations (MSRs) this year in that we are now requiring at least one EPIRB or PLB per boat. The MSR reads:

57. EPIRBs – Any EPIRB that is required to be carried per these MSR shall be a 406 MHz EPIRB that is either:

1. connected to a continuously functioning external GPS or,
2. fitted with an internal GPS.

Further, the EPIRB shall be properly registered with the appropriate authority and should be tested in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions when first commissioned and then at least annually. A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), meeting the above criteria, shall satisfy the EPIRB requirement above.

For the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac - EPIRBS are required to be carried by all boats.


EPIRBs are designed to be mounted to your boat and PLBs are worn by a person. For our race you can use either an EPIRB or PLB (or both) to satisfy the requirement. There are many differences between EPIRBs and PLBs, but the fundamental ones come down to size, battery life, durability and inherent buoyancy. EPIRBS are registered to the boat, while PLBs are registered to an individual. A good rundown of emergency beacons is available at

http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/emerbcns.html

Take the time to read it and to understand how these devices can be used to signal for help in a Mayday situation.

No matter which device you choose, it is imperative that you register it with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

http://beaconregistration.noaa.gov/

Without registration, the beacon is essentially useless. Registration allows the Search and Rescue (SAR) authorities to identify whose beacon is going off, helping them deploy appropriate resources and avoid false alarms by contacting emergency contacts.

Your registration is valid for two years, however; it is important that you update it whenever there is a change in your information. If you are using a PLB, we strongly recommend that you list your boat’s information when prompted to complete the “Additional Data” section during the registration process. Any identifying information would be helpful – boat name, sail number, color of hull and sails, and anything else SAR authorities can use to help identify your boat.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact our Race Coordinator at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


18-May-12 - 11:13am
Hello fellow racers!

The Offshore Racing Rule Owners Association (ORROA) is excited to invite you to participate in the 3rd annual Great Lakes Championship Series. This series is comprised of 6 events, one being the Chicago Mackinac Race. Registering for the Great Lakes Championship Series is free – and there are year-end prizes for the top 3 finishers of the series.

As you are already participating in the Chicago Mac Race, you only need to race in one more of the events to qualify to be scored in the series. But, you need to register in order to qualify!

The 2012 Great Lakes Championship Series consists of:
  • Queen’s Cup
  • Bayview Mackinac Race
  • Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac
  • Little Traverse Yacht Club Annual Regatta
  • Verve Cup Regatta
  • Bayview Long Distance Race

Why should you participate?

  • It’s easy and FREE to register! http://orroa.org/registration.php
  • Chance to win great prizes! (Custom brag flags, engraved silver plates and more!)
  • By participating in the series, you are supporting not only racing in the Great Lakes, but the use of the ORR rule and encouraging others throughout the nation to do the same!
  • You only need to race in one more event in order to qualify for the series and year-end awards.
  • Race in the Chicago Mac and the Verve Cup and you’ll qualify for the series as long as you are registered with ORROA!

For more information about the Offshore Racing Rule Owners Association and the Great Lakes Championship Series, please go to: www.orroa.org


17-May-12 - 10:09am
Dear friends:

As part of our continuing effort to keep our fleet apprised of safety-related topics and to grow your on-the-water knowledge, we are launching our Thursday Safety Series. Enclosed you will find issue number one. We look forward to a great race this year.

See you on the water!


Lou Sandoval
Chairman, Chicago Yacht Club 104th Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot.

P.S. As of today, 331 boats have entered this year's race. If you have received an invitation but haven't accepted yet, please do so today. If you haven't received an invite, it is not too late to start a request for invitation, but we encourage you to do so quickly. See the web site for more details.


VHF Radios with Digital Selective Calling - An important safety tool

The Mac Safety Regulations (MSRs) require all boats to carry a permanently installed VHF Radio, as well as a handheld. These radios are critical safety devices, allowing boats to call for help when needed.

All fixed-mount VHF radios sold after 1998 are required to have Digital Selective Calling (DSC) capability. As part of the Coast Guard’s Rescue 21 system, properly installed and registered DSC-VHF radios allow a boat in distress to instantly transmit via a single button a “mayday” digital distress call to all VHF radios in range. This distress message can contain the identity of the ship in distress as well as its location, as long as the radio is properly installed and registered. All commercial shipping monitors these calls, in addition to the USCG. This is the best, fastest way to summon help in most circumstances.

Take the time to ensure that your boat’s DSC radio is set up correctly.

Installation

In order to be most effective, a VHF radio with DSC must be connected to a GPS receiver. Some newer radios have an integral GPS, but most require wiring to the boat’s GPS or electronic system (chart plotter). This allows the unit to transmit via the emergency key the current location of the boat as well as a distress signal. A DSC radio that is not connected to the GPS unit will still transmit a distress signal, but without location, key time is lost while rescuers search for you. Connecting the GPS to the radio is usually fairly straight-forward - consult your VHF manual or a marine electronics technician for help.

Registration

In addition to being properly installed, VHF-DSC radios need to be properly registered. To do this, you need to obtain an MMSI (Maritme Mobile Service Identity) identity number. This MMSI number is permanently associated with the boat and can be obtained for free for US-registered boats from BoatUS:

http://www.boatus.com/mmsi/


If you have already obtained your MMSI number, take 5 minutes now to verify that the information listed is correct for your boat, such as contact information, boat name and description, and emergency contact person.

The MMSI number acts like a phone number for your boat. It identifies your boat when a distress signal is activated. Additionally, it allows you to have an individual radio conversations with specific boats via dialing their MMSI number.

Once you obtain your MMSI number for free, you need to program it into the radio. Follow the instructions in your manual.

The Mac Committee is requesting that all boats with DSC-capable radios obtain an MMSI number and then provide it to the Committee. Skippers - please update your record to add your MMSI number via the “competitor login” on the Mac web site. This would enable us to contact an individual boat if required via VHF-DSC and also serves as a database for the USCG in the event of a distress.

Please take the time this boating season to make sure your VHF-DSC radio is properly connected to a functioning GPS. Make sure you have obtained an MMSI number and programmed it into your radio.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact our Race Coordinator at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org

Note: The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the Mac Safety Regulations and how your crew can race the Mac as safely as possible. As always, ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew and the decision whether to race or to stop racing is that of the skipper (RRS4, MSR2). This email is meant as a courtesy only and you should always refer to the Race Documents section of the website for the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Mac Safety Regulations, which govern the race.


11-Apr-12 - 11:18am
Fellow Mac Racers:

As the smell of bottom paint permeates the boat yard and we put away our bunny ears and Easter baskets, we can’t help to think that in 100 days we will be shoving off to embark on the 104th Running of our annual classic, affectionately referred to as ‘the Mac’. I wanted to provide a quick overview of what we have in store for you this year.

Registrations continue to arrive and the RFI queue has some very interesting boats requesting to participate. As we hit the 300 registered boat mark and close in on the entry deadline, you will not want to be left behind, as we have a great race planned for 2012. If you haven't submitted your RFI, please do so as soon as you can. If you have received an invitation but haven't accepted it yet, again, please take quick action to ensure your spot at the start line.

A quick reminder that The One-Design Section request deadline is in a couple of days- April 13, 2012. So if your fleet delegate has not sent your request in to our Chief Measurer, do so today.

Back by popular demand, the Yacht Club Challenge will be open to any club with at least five boats in the race (NOR 15.2). So who is in this year? Who will win it?

We will offer our ‘Adopt-a-Skipper’ program again this year. This program matches first timers with experienced skippers, giving you a chance to have someone who can answer your questions and give advice as you prepare for your first race. We encourage all first-time participants to take advantage of this free program, and we particularly encourage members of our cruising division to do so. If you're interested, please contact the Race Coordinator at the e-mail below.

We have a full line-up of celebrations on the Chicago end and on the island. There will be plenty of activities for every member of your crew and family. Stay tuned for more information as these unfold.

I’m sure I will see many of you at the upcoming Safety at Sea Seminar coming up this Saturday (which is sold out) or at the Chris Bedford weather seminar on Sunday, which still has a few seats available (call CYC Front desk at 312-861-7777 to make a reservation, see the Mac Website for more details).

For questions, issues or concerns, contact racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org

See you in Chicago very soon!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


05-Apr-12 - 09:56am
Dear Fellow Skipper:

We're writing to you today concerning two items which will enhance the experience of the race for our family and friends on shore. We need you to take action on these two items by May 15.

Boat Photos and Crew photo

As you know, this year CYC has selected Yellowbrick to provide tracking for the race. We have been working closely with Yellowbrick towards a successful tracking experience for our competitors this summer. The new tracking site can feature a photograph of the boat along with its track. We think this will enhance the experience for family and friends viewing the race.

Therefore, we are asking each entered boat to send to racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org a digital picture (JPG or PNG format) of the boat, at least 480x640 resolution. Please name the file XXXXX.jpg, with the Xs replaced with your sail number, so we can match up the right photo with the right boat. So for example, my photo would be named 55367.jpg.

We are also asking for a crew photo if you have it. Please name it CREWXXXX.jpg, where the XXXX would be your sail number. Again, 480x640 minimum (higher quality is better).

Please send your photo as soon as possible to our Race Coordinator, racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

Twitter

As you may have noticed, the Mac web site now features a Twitter box on the left-side of the page. Twitter is a site allowing users to post short messages which can be viewed by other users. Twitter is ideal for use from a boat on the Lake as it uses very little bandwidth and thus works pretty well with the limited cellular coverage we see as we head north.

This year, we are encouraging all competitors to post to Twitter from the race course. We encourage you to sign up for an account with Twitter.com if you don't already have one and to tweet about your preparations for the race and to tweet from the race. When you do so, please include #CYCRTM in your tweets, so they will feed into our site. We think this will make the race more fun for our friends and family ashore.

If your boat or crew members have Twitter accounts and intend to tweet about the race, please have them email their twitter ID to racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org. Please be sure they identify which boat they are on.

As always, if you have questions, please email the Race Coordinator at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org.

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot


20-Mar-12 - 09:18am
We apologize if you received two copies of this email; we had difficulty with our blast email program yesterday

125 days until race day… 250 entries and going…going…

Fellow Mac Sailors:

I’m sure this early and warm Spring weather has many of you thinking about the upcoming season. With just 125 days to go until Mac Race day, you won’t want to miss the 104th running of our annual race. An update on entries: In just three weeks of registration, the demand has been strong! There have been almost 250 boats registered and on track for yet another sold out race.

If you have received an automatic invitation: Why not enter the race today? Don’t let procrastination cost you your spot. Follow the directions in your automatic invite to register, which includes paying your registration fee.

If you have never entered before or did not receive an automatic invite, and you'd like to race in the 104th, we encourage you to enter a request for invitation today! See the NOR on the race’s web site, www.cycracetomackinac.com, for instructions. Our staff and Committee is here to answer any questions you may have about entering your first Mac!

I’d like to remind you of a few upcoming dates that might want to be aware of:
• Chicago Mac Seminars at Yacht-a-Palooza at Crowley’s – March 24, 2012
• One-Design Section Request Deadline- April 13, 2012
• Performance Racing Weather Seminar with Chris Bedford - April 15, 2012

Information on all of these is on the ‘events’ section of our web site.


Back by popular demand! One ‘Grand’ deal

I also want to alert you to a very special deal. Once again this year, we have been able to secure a special room rate for Mac sailors at Grand Hotel. With so many of our race activities centered there – the Grand Porch Party, special activities for the kids, the Sailors’ Celebration on Tuesday, what better place to stay? The rate is $309.00 per night. (Plus tax and tips) It provides for up to four to a room and includes a fabulous breakfast. There is no minimum number of nights required at Grand Hotel and rooms that are paid in advance will be held regardless of when you arrive. Consider staying at Grand Hotel. It’s a great place. Call the Grand to make a reservation at 1-800-33-GRAND

If you have any questions. Contact our Race Coordinator at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org So remember, Fast to the Island includes fast to register. So don’t be left behind.

See everyone soon in Chicago!

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot

PS We encourage you to follow the race on Twitter @RaceToMackinac. Tag your race-related tweets with #CYCRTM and let everyone know what you're doing to prepare for the 104th!


17-Feb-12 - 09:25am
Greetings Fellow Mac Sailors:

Entries in the 2012 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, Presented by Veuve Clicquot, are now open! Automatic Invitations, which go to Skippers who have raced in any one of the last four races on the same boat(with a few exceptions), went out yesterday, Thursday, February 16, 2012. Invited Competitors are encouraged to enter the race as soon as possible as we anticipate the race to be a sell-out again this year. Remember that you are not officially in the race until you have accepted the invitation and paid the entry fee. (Please refer to NOR 4.2).

New for 2012: Invited Competitors who have changed boats since their last Mac entry year, will be required to submit for approval a new request for invitation with the new boat information and updated crew experience. If this applies to you, please do not accept the automatic invitation, but rather submit a new request for invitation. In addition, all competitors should be advised of the change in Safety Inspection procedures on Pre-Race Inspections (Please refer to NOR 18). Should your boat be selected for pre-Race inspection, you will need to schedule your inspection with the CYC Staff Race Coordinator.

We are also accepting Requests for Invitation to this year's race from first time Skippers or those who have not raced in at least four years. We will begin reviewing these requests next week. The first round of invitations will go out in the next few weeks. Skippers in this category are encouraged to make their entry request as complete as possible. Pay special attention to providing a complete sailing history on crew members and make sure to provide all required emergency contact information including a valid working e-mail address for each member of the crew. RFI’s can be completed online via the CYC Race to Mackinac website:

http://competitor.cycracetomackinac.com/requestinfo.cfm

As previously announced, the NOR is published and is available on our website as are the Mackinac Safety Regulations (MSRs) for both monohulls and multihulls.

As always, if you have any questions, contact racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org


Best regards,

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
2011 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot


10-Feb-12 - 05:43pm
Dear Mac Racers:

We hope this message finds you enjoying what we hope are the final days of this Winter 2012; in Chicago the snow is blowing off the lake as the wind whips around our Monroe Street Station. However, spring is right around the corner. Good news! In just just over 160 days we will be starting the 104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot.

We wanted to let you know that the Invitations for returning competitors will be issued during the week of February 13; watch your email boxes. The Request for invitation link is currently up for new competitors. Instructions will be sent out in the week to come on the 2012 invitation process for returning competitors.

We also want to take this time to get your input on the US Sailing Safety at Sea Seminars. If you can take 5-10 minutes to complete this survey before February 28, 2012, it would be very helpful to our organizing committee. The survey is at:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DMSCGRN

As a reminder we still have two SAS dates left in the local Lake Michigan Area - one in Chicago and one in Southwest Michigan. Visit our website, www.cycracetomackinac.com, for information on those events. If you visit the US Sailing site, you can see other locations throughout the U.S. This year, the Committee is strongly recommending that at least 30% of all crew members on a boat hold a valid Safety at Sea certificate.

Thank you very much for your time and input.

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago this July

Sincerely,

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot.


26-Jan-12 - 01:15pm
Fellow Mac Sailors and Friends:

On behalf of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Committee, I am pleased to announce that the Notice and Conditions of Race (NOR) for the 2012 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot, is now available on our website. Simply go to www.cycracetomackinac.com, click on Race Documents, and click on Notice of Race (2012). The committee has been very hard at work in the off season preparing the infrastructure for the 104th. The volunteer hours are already off the charts!

It goes without saying that we had to make some difficult decisions in organizing the 104th running. The changes that we have implemented were made with careful cooperation and consultation with naval architects and US Sailing. As it has always been, our goal is to run a safe, quality event for all yet preserving the tradition of the MAC. We will be releasing a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) guide to the changes implemented, and we will be running a couple of seminars that we will host to answer some of your questions.

One of the many areas that we have addressed is the issue of minimum stability for a boat’s eligibility to compete in the race. ORR has adopted the new version of the Stability Index discussed in the US Sailing report of the 2011 Race, and this will appear on your 2012 ORR certificate. The minimum Stability Index required has been established at 103. Owners of boats from the 2011 race affected by this requirement have already been contacted. If you have specific questions about the Stability Index for your boat for 2012, these should be directed to the Offshore Office at US Sailing.

The Mackinac Safety Regulations (MSRs) have been published and are available on the Race Documents tab of the website as well. Automatic Invitations which, with a few exceptions, go to competitors who have competed in at least one of the last four races, will go out on or about February 5, 2012. We encourage you to accept your invitation and pay your entry to assure your place on the 2012 race. Invitations to those going through the RFI process will start going out on or about February 20, 2012. If you are Requesting an Invitation, please be sure your information is as complete as possible so that the Selections Committee can review your request without delays and without having to come back to you for more information. Pleas also make sure that you have reviewed the NOR for eligibility requirements.

As previously mentioned we will be hosting two seminars at Strictly Sail his weekend to help guide you through the changes for 2012. Don't forget Strictly Sail this weekend in Chicago, at Navy Pier and the Pink Pony Party at the CYC clubhouse in Belmont Harbor on Saturday, January 22, 2012 from 6:00PM till Midnight.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact our Race Coordinator at racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org

We look forward to seeing quite a few of you this weekend and in the months to come.

Best Regards,

Lou Sandoval
Chairman
104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Clicquot


25-Jan-12 - 03:11pm
Dear Fellow Sailors and Friends:

In just under 177 days will be starting the 104th running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Veuve Cliqcuot. Although Mother Nature continually reminds us of the season we live in, it is never too early to think warm thoughts about sailing. With that in mind, I would like to personally invite all our friends and fellow sailors to partake in the official kick-off for the Race to Mackinac Season.

On Saturday, January 28 we will have the following “Mac” events underway at Strictly Sail Chicago:

1. Sailor Education: The US Sailing Safety @ Sea course will be taking place on Navy Pier at Strictly Sail. While this session is SOLD OUT, there are still spots left for our second US Sailing Safety at Sea session Saturday April 14, 2012 at Chicago Yacht Club. Click on this link for more information http://tinyurl.com/cycSAS41412 or to register email racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org

2. Sailor Information: The Mac Committee will be presenting two Mac Race seminars at Strictly Sail on Saturday January 28. PM, join us for:

a. At 3:30PM, ‘Preview of the 104th Race to Mackinac’. This is a panel discussion featuring members of our Race to Mackinac committee that will help answer many of your questions regarding changes to the race.

b. At 4:45 PM, ‘Racing in the Cruising Division of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac’ (and the distance races for the NOOD and the Verve) with Matt Gallagher, a vice chairman of the Mac and Kyle Ewing of the CYC’s Verve Cup committee. This is a great session to attend if you are a cruiser, new to racing or are interested in doing the Mac for the first time.

3. Sailor Celebration: On Saturday evening, don't miss the biggest bash of the winter - the annual Pink Pony Party at CYC's Belmont Harbor station. Join us for food, champagne, music and drink specials. The party starts and 6:00 PM and goes on well into the night. The Pink Pony will once again make the pilgrimage from Mackinac Island to Chicago. So get ready friends, it’s time to THINK PINK!

Lastly, we anticipate the release of the NOR in the upcoming 24 hours. We have already posted the Mackinac Safety Regulations (a joint venture with Bayview Yacht Club) on the Mac website under race documents. We will also be releasing a courtesy document –“2012 Race to Mackinac –FAQs” which helps highlight the changes to the 2012 race.

As always, contact racecoordinator@chicagoyachtclub.org if you have any questions.

See you all on Saturday!

Lou Sandoval

Chairman,

104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Presented by Veuve Clicquot


10-Jan-12 - 07:50am
The first event of the 104th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicuot

The Pink Pony Party

Saturday, January 28, 2012

6 p.m. - Midnight

Chicago Yacht Club Belmont Station

3201 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

See you there!

For more details, see our Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoYCRaceToMackinac


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