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Thread: 5 people rescued during Chicago Yacht Club race to Mackinac

  1. #11
    Cant speak for Great Lake Sailors myself, but it took a death in the Big Boat Series to enact change here.

  2. #12
    I primarily sail in Northern California and SF Bay but have done the last 3 Chicago Mac races. It's an absolutely fantastic race and well worth the trip out there if you can make it happen. This year was a rough one, almost all upwind in less than ideal conditions. The boat we were on made the upwind beat feel like taking a Porsche on a 4x4 off-road race. Not gonna lie, it was a little painful and I think I lost some tooth fillings pounding through some of that chop. Despite the conditions it was still a blast with a great group of guys on the crew.

    The culture out there is definitely more lax when it comes to wearing PFD's. I think it's a combination of warmer water without big swells and generally lighter winds than we typically see in SF Bay. I think the warmer air temps also makes wearing a PFD a bit more uncomfortable. However as this year shows extreme weather is still a possibility on the Great Lakes. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just what I've observed and when it comes right down to it there really isn't a good reason to not wear one. Coming from SF I definitely found myself wearing my PFD and tether a bit more than the local guys.

    The main difference I've noticed every year during the Mac races is how quickly their weather changes. In SF it's not uncommon to see winds in the high 20's-low 30's but it doesn't take many days sailing here to know exactly where and when to expect those conditions and what direction it'll blow from. Out there you can be sailing deep downwind in 10 knots of breeze and within 15-30 minutes it can shift to an upwind beat in 15-20 knots. The guys who sail regularly out there are really good at reading the weather. Every year I'm impressed how they can see a major shift coming ahead of time and when to be proactive about changing sails.

    But perhaps the strangest thing I've seen out there is this odd liquid which falls from the sky in the summer. I think they call it "rayne" (rane?, raihn? rain?). However you spell it, it's like the sky just opens up and drops water on you. So weird, I mean I've seen that happen in the winters in California but in the summer? Who knew this was even possible????

  3. #13
    They had tornado warnings in Chicago earlier today!

    Yikes!
    "Honey Badger don't give a shit"

  4. #14
    The Windy City, can, in fact, be windy!

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