Just to give you guys a sport fix during the doldrums(sailing term) of the NFL world... and to add pressure to our boat/crew... I wanted you let you guys in on an unknown spectator sport. I'll be racing in the 102nd Chicago to mackinac race next weekend(my 6th), one of the largest(333nm) and oldest sailing contests in the world.
What makes this one special for me is that we'll be using the old man's(father) boat to do so.... SparWars III, an Olson 30. Its a 30ft boat built in 1983. The Olson 30 was built and designed with speed and stability in mind. Weighing in around 4,000lbs(with an inboard), we have already topped speeds of over 16kts(18mph)... which might make some giggle, but those that have any knowledge of sailing, or who do sail, have never or rarely seen those speeds.
Our Crew is made up of my father(the boat owner) myself, 2 guys that have been racing with us for over 20 years, and a sail maker from Traverse city whom I grew up sailing with in Boyne City. We're a fine oiled machine when it comes to crew work, which means this race will come down to tactics and just finding the wind.
The Spinnaker is a bit faded, but I think you all can get who it is...lol
THE RUNDOWN: there's 375 boats racing this year and every boat will have a tracking system which can be accessed through the website above. There are 2 main trophies(divisions), one called the chicago-mackinac trophy division(150boats, including us) and the Mackinac cup division(the big boats, usually 40ft and above, also 150boats) the rest are cruising and multihulls. With in the divisions, are sections... So just like in football... Our first goal is to beat the 18+ boats in our section(8), and then hope that we did well enough to beat out the other 130 some boats...lol.
Crazy, eh? Talk about a tough competition. In my previous 5 years, I raced on a 41ft boat called Bramble. In '03, we had did our best....finishing 3rd in our section, 6th overall in the Mackinac Cup.... 5 years later, we flagged again(3rd) in '08. The other years, we just didn't do well whether it was tactical decisions or bad luck.
SPECTATE: Our Face Book page is.... Spar Wars Racing... and I'll do my best to give updates/photos throughout the whole weekend. You can also use the website's tracking program to see where we're at, the wind conditions around us and our speed... in relation to the other boats in our section.
We are trailering the Olson down to Chicago Thursday morning(22nd) and hope to be in the water and settled in by 4pm. Friday will be a day of prepping, forcast watching, tuning, and last minute stategizing. We start Saturday the 24th at exactly 12pm. We hope to finish before noon on Tuesday.
Well, that's about it. If you hadn't noticed, the Port Huron to Mac is this weekend. That's run by the Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit. Our bias is on the Lake Michigan Side of the state... plus, it feels better taking flags from Chicago sailors....hehehe.
Wish us luck and ask any questions!
EDIT: http://www.ionearth.com/2010/cycracetomackinac/ <<<<<Link to Tracking