/ The Chicago Traveler
Chicago — By Lisa Davis on July 13, 2010 at 12:26 pm
Filed under: Events, featuredarticle

The Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

The Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac is the longest, annual freshwater sailing race in the world and kicks off July 24 in Chicago.

The Mac, as it is referred to, starts in Chicago on Lake Michigan and finishes at Mackinac Island in Michigan, near the Upper Peninsula.  The Race to Mackinac is over 300 miles (or about 290 nautical miles) long and is an amateur event – meaning no prize money is awarded.

This year’s race will have 375 boats and over 3,500 sailors. Tip: All 375 boats will be tracked by GPS satellite technology.  This technology allows friends, families, and spectators to follow the race.

Bit of trivia: The first Race to Mackinac was held in 1898 when five boats competed. It became an annual event in 1921. Those who have competed in 25 Mac races earn the “old goat” name and are invited to join the Island Goat Sailing Society.

Parade of Boats: The Mac kicks off on July 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the Parade of Boats, which can be viewed from the east end of Navy Pier (600 East Grand Avenue; map). The Parade of Boats is followed by the official start of the race.

Other events surrounding the Mac include the Veuve Clicquot Porch Party on July 25 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island (286 Grand Avenue; map). Sip Veuve Clicquot champagne and other cocktails while watching the end of the race and enjoying the views of the Straits of Mackinac from the porch of the Grand Hotel. Tickets are $40 and are for sale at the Chicago Yacht Club Monroe Station Front Desk (400 E. Monroe Street; map) and also at the party.

Because children are not permitted to the party, there is a separate children’s event at the Grand Hotel’s lower level from 5:15 p.m. – 8 p.m. Food will be served and the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs will be played. Cost is $35 per child and tickets can also be purchased at the Chicago Yacht Club Monroe Station Front Desk or at the event.

Both the adult party and the children’s event required reservations by calling 312-861-7777.

For more information on the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, visit the Chicago Yacht Club’s Web site.

Photo credit: SXC

Related places:
  1. A
    Navy Pier
    600 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL
    View Details and Book
  2. B
    Grand Hotel
    286 Grand Avenue, P.O. Box 286, Mackinac Island, MI 49757
    View Details and Book
Tags: Events, featuredarticle

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