Chicago-Mackinac Race—100 Knots and Off the Clock

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by brian eiland, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    The Chicago Yacht Club's 103rd Race to Mackinac, presented by Veuve Clicquot—Hearing that it's windy and rainy is one thing. Hearing that water is vaporizing all around you is a completely different tale of horror.

    'We were within five miles of WingNuts, about 3.5 miles east and 1.5 miles south,' said Wenzler. 'We didn't think we were going to get anything like this. We were flying a reduced spinnaker that we had re-cut into a [heavy-air] Asymmetrical kite. The wind came up pretty quickly, we didn't shock-load the sail or anything—it just disintegrated, parting at the head and down its tapes. We quickly put up the brand-new Number 3 [headsail]. Then the wind [clocked] from about 145 degrees to—BANG!—about 265. The wind was then coming down in vertical shafts.

    'It came up really quickly to 60 knots, which we've sailed through enough times to know what it's like. Usually, it blasts through after a minute or two, then it's over and we can keep going. So when the stuff really hit the fan, the instinct is to bear off and run with it, initially—we didn't have time to drop the sails or put in a reef.

    'We're just screaming downwind—the water had been pretty flat—and I'm doing my best to stay under the rig, hoping that I didn't wipeout too badly. It was unbelievable! I'm not sure how fast we were going, but water was just BLASTING off the side of the boat. I had three guys up on the foredeck, trying to get the jib down, and then the boat just dove down, right into the lake. So we called everyone back [from the foredeck]; I figured that if the bow goes in [to the lake any further] that I'd lose control of the rudder.

    'It just never stopped. It just came on stronger and stronger. It got to the point where we just had to stop and lay the boat down. Heaving-to wasn't an option.

    'Our owner always tracks [and graphs] information coming off the anemometer on his laptop—after [the worst of the storm] had passed, we took a photograph of the screen. There was a twenty-minute section in there where we were obviously exposed to some very challenging conditions.

    'There was about a seven-minute section where the wind was pegged between the instrument's maximum, which is 100 knots [Ed. Note: 100 knots is 115 mph or 200 kilometers per hour], and 90 knots. It's just blasting out there.

    ...more here:
    http://www.sail-world.com/Newsletter_show.cfm?nid=461197
     
  2. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Screen shot
     

    Attached Files:

  3. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Something looks funky with that data, where's the roll trace....
     
  4. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Scary, scary and I'm glad I was not there.
     
  5. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

  6. pagodaboat
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    pagodaboat Junior Member

    I'll bet $10 that the Chi-Mac race committee bans extreme sport boats next year. And WingNuts was a very, very Xtreme round-the-bouys racer that should not have been allowed across the starting line.
     
  7. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    -------------------------
    Should multihulls be allowed to race in potentially extreme races such as the ChiMac?
     

  8. pagodaboat
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    pagodaboat Junior Member

    Doug - Good question. I am not from the Great Lakes area and have never raced a Chicago-Macinac race so I don't know the Category they race under, or even if multi-hulls race now. But since multi-hulls do have ORC requirements to meet, I guess the immediate answer is yes, they can race if they meet the specs for the category.

    Still, for a distance race a minimum displacement or a minimum Disp/L ratio requirement would seem sensible, whether a multi or a mono hull. The problem as I see it is that race requirements and pre-race scrutinizing focus too much on gear. Tarting up a sport boat or a lightweight multi-hull with safety equipment doesn't make it seaworthy.

    On the other hand, why not have a race just for the extreme boats? With this plan the Coast Guard should be allowed to let the racers know that the Coast Guard may have more serious business to attend to on race weekend.
     
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