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post #7 of Old 08-03-2007
welshwind's Avatar
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Location: Lake Michigan
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This year - ugh!!

This year's Mac was the slowest in 45 years. I was on a J-105. We started in 30 knot winds blowing out of the southwest. If only it could have stayed that way the entire trip, it would have blown us directly to Mackinac. We popped the spinnaker right at the start and saw 14.5 knots of speed! Fastest I've ever sailed on a monohaul. Unfortunately, after about three hours, it died. Crawled around at about two knots while the wind decided to back around to the northeast. Started to build again, got up to 20 knots of wind, we were beating close-hauled into seas building to four-feet and I was the most forward rail meat. Wet, wet, wet. In a couple of hours, in calmed down to about 10 knot winds and then back to calm around 4:00am.

Sunday morning broke with beautiful blue skies, the wind continuing to back around to the Northwest, and a slightly broad reach in 17 knot winds (and 8-9 boat speed) across the lake to about 25 miles south of the Manitou's. Then, it hit (or, in this case, it left). No wind. For over 15 hours, no wind. Monday around noon, we were still 15 miles south of the Manitou's. UGLY!!!

The first 24 hours were pretty glorious with all kinds of sailing action. After that, it sucked. I took a picture of an adjacent boat that was stuck in the hole with us. The Chicago Yacht Club used the picture on their home page with a description of how slow the race was. Normally, most boats finish in 40-60 hours. This year, most went 70-90. Since three of our six-person crew had to be at work on Wednesday, we 'retired' and motored to a nearby harbor. Not the way I expected my first Mac to end. Oh well .... there is alway next year - the 100th running of the Mac!

S/V Benediction
Catalina 445

"To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it - but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
- Oliver Wendel Holmes
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