Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fan's Guide to the Race to Mackinac

Fan's Guide to the 105th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


There are three ways to view some of the race boats before the race:

1) In the days leading up to the Race, many race boats are docked at the Chicago Yacht Club's Monroe Station, at the corner of Lake Shore Drive and Monroe in Chicago. While for safety reasons the Club's grounds are closed to the general public, the boats are easy to see from the lakeshore path just north of Monroe Street.

2) Ashore Thing, the Parade of Boats, on Saturday, July 13, from 10 am - 2 pm, provides a great opportunity for the public as well as family and friends to see the boats pass by the end of Navy Pier on their way to the start. Hosted by our friends at Michigan Avenue Magazine, this family-friendly event is the best way to watch the boats before the race. The event is free and open to the public, but we suggest you RSVP at http://www.upshiftcreative.com/ashorething/. Can't make it down to the Pier? The Parade of Boats will be televised and webcast by NBC: http://bit.ly/oPlOKo

3) On the water. If you have access to a boat, you can watch the racers start and head up the lake. However, please be aware that there is a safety zone around the start area which the USCG will be patrolling to keep spectators from interfering with racers. We also request that boaters stay well clear of the racing boats at all times, and that power boats in particular attempt to steer clear. Boat wakes and wind shadows can have a huge affect on a racing sailboat; please honor the race and common boating courtesy by keeping wakes to a minimum and staying at least 500 yards away from all racing boats.


The Mac has a strong presence on both Facebook and Twitter. Leading up to and during the race, we will be posting frequent updates so our competitors, friends and family can stay tuned in with what's happening.

We encourage you to 'like' the race on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/chicagoYCRaceToMackinac and to follow the race on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/racetomackinac.

Additionally, many crew members and boats have their own Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as accounts on Instagram and other similar services. We encourage our racers to tag all their posts with the hashtag #CYCRTM to make it easy for you to find posts related to the race, but of course, ask your friends who are racing how to follow their boats.

We are encouraging all participants to tag their posts and Tweets and photos with #CYCRTM to make it easier for you to search for them.


During the Race, experienced Mac racer and former race vice chairman Winn Soldani will be providing frequent video and written updates about the race on the Race's home page,wwww.cycracetomackinac.com. Follow along on the home page, or Facebook, to hear Winn's 'color commentary' about the Race. You can learn a lot about the strategy of long-distance racing as well as the history of the race and the weather affecting the sailors from Winn.

Winn will also be handing feedback and questions via our Facebook page, so we encourage you to follow the race there and post any questions you have for Winn.

In addition to Winn's commentary during the race, we have selected fifteen boats to act as on the water reporters. Using enhanced Yellowbrick tracking devices (see below), these boats will be able to post short updates to Twitter during the race. These updates will appear on the Race's Twitter feed. Follow us on Twitter, or view the feed on the Mac home page. We hope this on-the-water coverage will help bring the race home to all of you.


For the second year, we have engaged Yellowbrick Tracking, the leading provider of tracking services for offshore yacht races. Each boat in the race will be equipped with a tracker that sends a 'ping' about every ten minutes through a satellite showing its location on the race course.

From your computer, tracking is available via a link at the top of the Mac homepage,www.cycracetomackinac.com. The link will go live sometime Thursday, so check after that. Yellowbrick relies on Flash technology, so the web page is incompatible with iOS (iPad and iPhone) and most Android devices. To track the race on those platforms, you'll need to download a free App from the appropriate App store. To download the app, visit this page:


Once you download the App, you will need to 'buy' the Mac race from within the app. Although Yellowbrick charges for most races, the Mac Committee is covering this cost for our friends and families, so you will not be charged. The race will appear in available races sometime on Thursday.

We hope all of our friends and family have fun watching us and following along as we race up the Lake!

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