Countdown to the 110th CYC Race
to Mackinac - July 21, 2018

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History

 

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The Quest for Speed

 
In the traditional definition of a "race," the first to finish wins. However, the Chicago Race to Mackinac isa unique race, where the boat equivalent of "family sedans" compete against "Formula One cars." Through a complex system of handicap ratings and sections, in this race, like-boats compete against each other and the handicap ratings are used to correct the elapsed time. This keeps competition fair and even, as skippers vie for the honors of the Mac Trophy, Mac Cup and overall Section winner.
 
Nevertheless, an Indy Car will still beat a family sedan any day of the week, so the traditional conception of "First Place" honors is awarded to both the first monohull and first multihull to finish.
Since 1950, the Royono Trophy has been awarded for "line honors" or simply "getting there first." The trophy is named after John B Ford Jr.’s Royono III (pictured), which was the first to finish in four consecutive Chicago to Mackinac races from 1946 to 1949; but to the dismay of Mr. Ford, Royono never remained in first place on corrected time. Initially, race documents stated the Royono Trophy was awarded to "the first yacht crossing the finish line." But in recent years, the trophy has been designated with the further clarification as the award for "the first monohull yacht to finish the race." This was due to the introduction of the first multihull yachts participating in the Mac in 1996 as an exhibition division. And quite an exhibition it was, as Chicago’s most accomplished recent adventurer, Steve Fossett, ran the course in 30 hours 35 minutes 28 seconds with his 60 foot catamaran named Stars & Stripes. There were 7 multihulls entered that year competing for only flags and plaques.
 
In 1998 a permanent trophy was offered for first overall based on multihull PHRF handicaps. The handicap winner was Meade Gougeon on Adagio, a G-35 trimaran.
Also In 1998, the Martin D, Rieck Trophy was presented by the Harken Marine family and offered by the Mac Committee as the Multihull First to Finish trophy. There have been seven winners of the Rieck Trophy, but besting Steve Fossett’s magnificent reach up Lake Michigan in 18 hours 50 minutes 32 seconds in 1998 remains elusive. The current record for the Royono trophy was set by Pyewacket in 2002, with a run of 23 hours 30 minutes.
 
The winners of both the Rieck and Royono trophies demonstrate the fastest times in history from Chicago to Mackinac Island; 333 miles of determination, skill, and ultimate speed. This race allows for varying levels of competition, yet as boat technology and design sophistication continue to advance, the quest for speed will always remain.
 
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