Ring around the Island number 10
Saturday, July 13, 2013 by:
2013 MacMan Challenge International Yacht Race
Special to SooToday.com by Jack Rice (Algoma Sailing Club Ė MacMan Committee Ė
crew on Natural High)
Well the 2013 MacMan Challenge International Yacht Race is about ready to begin.
Boats from all over the northern Great Lakes are on their way to historic
Mackinac Island for the tenth anniversary event.
Locally, Natural High (Abbott 33) skippered by Andrew Hallett of the Algoma
Sailing Club, Skyship (C&C 32) skippered by Gord Simpson, and Mist (Jeaneau 36)
skippered by Ben Leeuwestein will be leaving this weekend on their way to the
This event has a main event being the race from Mackinac Island to Manitoulin
Island in two legs; one being a longer 90 mile two day run from the U.S. and the
Mackinac Island Yacht Club thru to Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island in Canada.
Leg two is a shorter leg but consistently ends up being a gorgeous 45 mile run
from Gore Bay to Little Current which is also on Manitoulin Island.
All sorts of boats of different sizes and classes partake and the raced has seen
a variety of conditions over the years.
Two years ago saw a flat water start with delicate chute handling for the first
few hours until the wind picked up.
Last year saw a blustery start with huge swells which scared all the pleasure
motor craft and made them stay tied up.
The fleet took to the weather and battled away bashing eastward toward
Some of the fleet pulled out throughout the first day but the majority stuck it
out and pounded away toward Gore Bay.
There are several pre-race events including a very challenging race around
Mackinac Island which has itís own challenges due to the islandís geography.
The short race event here usually starts off with some challenging winds but as
the course winds around the back side of the island it is quite common to end up
with flat water and some tactful skippering to keep the boats moving.
As the fleet moves around the front side again, and in front of the historic
village, fort and Grand Hotel, the winds pick up again moving thru the island
straits for a fast finish.
This race is a treat to the thousands of tourists on the island.
Stand by as the event unfolds!