02 June 2008

Chicago - "Michigan City" Race

This past weekend was the Chicago to "Michigan City" race. Prior to three years ago, this was a race to (Sat) and from (Sun) Michigan City, IN. Due to various dredging issues, it has become a long tour of the south end of Lake Michigan. On Saturday, we were a bit short with a crew of six, including two green sailors. However, we had plenty of wind and even after spotting our section 3 minutes after a fouled jibe and sailing conservatively we were able snag 5th out of 12. Although we missed 4th place by 10 seconds! On a 29.6 NM race, this is further proof of the importance of inches and seconds.

For Sunday, two people left but, we gained three (one known and two new sailors). Sunday started with a postponement . Which was a good call by the RC. When we first arrived at the starting area, the lake was almost a mirror and our apparent wind was on the nose at about 5 kts. with about 5 kts. of boat speed. Shortly after the postponement the first packets of wind began to arrive and soon a nice breeze filled in. The RC dropped the AP flag and began the starting sequences. For this race we were consistent, another 5th, however it was a smaller section.

On Saturday, we sailed about 29.6 NM and it felt like I ran a mile during the race, just 37 ft at a time. On Sunday, it was David's chance to put in some extra work, even though we worked him pretty hard on Saturday. During the race on Sunday, we had him move the spinnaker pole three times but, we never gave him the satisfaction of a spinnaker set. There were plenty of sail changes as well as moving sails on and off the deck. Then after we returned to harbor, we sent him up the mast to replace the wind chicken, which decided to fly away during the delivery from Waukegan.

When you add up all the highs and lows, it was a very good weekend to be on the water. On top of it, considering the weather last year, 20+ kts. of wind felt VEEEEEERY GOOOOOD!

- Splash McAllister

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