The race, organized by the Chicago Yacht Club, was first run in 1898.
Most boats typically finish in about 35 hours. The record time of 23 hours and 30 minutes was set in 2002.
Johnson said organizers were hoping the strong winds would continue through the weekend and help the sailors set a new record time.
But the windy conditions weren't welcomed by all the racers. Six boats competing in the newly added Cruising Division "retreated" and returned to port after struggling in the winds, [race spokeswoman Celeste Johnson] said. Boats in that division tend to be smaller than the other yachts competing in the race.
"They just decided not to do it," Johnson said. [Source