Countdown to the 112th CYC Race
to Mackinac - July 18, 2020




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March 2015 CYC Race to Mackinac Skippers' Update

Dear Fellow Mac Skippers:
I think there's more ice on the water than there was the last time I wrote you in early February, but nonetheless sailing season is right around the corner. Here are some important points for Mac skippers to remember in March. Feel free to circulate this to your crew. We are trying to keep this newsletter as short and sweet as possible, minimizing the flood into your inbox. Please read this carefully as it has a lot of information. These skipper newsletters will be archived at

Entry Information 

Entries are running ahead of pace from last year, with over 200 boats already entered. If you haven't accepted your invitation and paid, please do so promptly to reserve your place. Entry fees go up if you haven't paid by April 1, so please pay now to avoid the higher rate. Please also fill out your preliminary crew list as soon as possible and ask your crew to update their information. Contact information for yourself, your crew and emergency contacts is vital; please make sure that it is complete and accurate and that we have unique, valid email addresses and phone numbers for all crew including yourself.


Weather Seminar With Chris Bedford; Safety at Sea Seminars


Race Meteorologist Chris Bedford will be doing a Mac weather seminar at Chicago Yacht Club on March 21, open to all Mac racers. Chris is a world-class meteorologist with clients such as Team Oracle and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. We highly recommend this seminar for distance racers. See the Mac site for more details and to register for that event.


If your crew needs to attend Safety at Sea to meet the recommendations of CMSR 76, there are two courses available on the Great Lakes in March (one at Columbia Yacht Club on March 7 and one at South Shore Yacht Club on March 14) and one at Bayview Yacht Club on April 25. Offshore (1 full day) Safety at Sea Certificates are good for 5 years. For a complete list of courses nationwide, see

Race Gear and Apparel

The Chicago Yacht Club is pleased to announced that Line Honors-Yacht Racing Outfitters (Lake Geneva, WI) has been appointed as the Official Retailer of the Chicago Yacht Club for Technical Clothing & Official Regatta apparel. Line Honors will be on-site for numerous regattas including the Grand Prix regatta, Chicago Mackinac Race, Verve Regattas & more. Custom crew gear will be available for order soon. Line Honors will be featuring products from Gill, Helly Hansen, Musto & Zhik, with the official Chicago Yacht Club regatta apparel available at all regattas and at

Super Mac


We are pleased to announce that we will be running a Super Mac Race this summer in conjunction with our friends at the Bayview Yacht Club. Start in Chicago and finish in Pt. Huron! If you can resist the temptation of the Pink Pony and fudge and want to race 568 statue miles, this race is for you! Keep your eye on the Mac website for more information. The NOR should be published within the month and registration will open shortly thereafter.

Grand Prix Invitational

The inaugural Chicago Yacht Club Grand Prix Invitational is now open for registration. It combines three days of course racing in Chicago over the 4th of July weekend with the distance racing challenge of the Mac. Enjoy everything Chicago has to offer as well as fun racing. See the Mac website for more details and for entry information. The race is suitable for all higher-performance boats doing the Mac, but all are welcome. Thanks to our friends at the ORA, an introductory HPR certificate will be free for all entrants.

Safety Regulation Changes

As a reminder, there are changes to the Mac Safety Regulations every year. We encourage you to download and read the 2015 edition from the Mac Website. We have also put together a guide to the more signifiant changes to the CMSRs (and the NOR) that you can download from the Race Documents page. We want to draw your attention to the change to VHF radios (the change was pre-announced in 2014, effective 2015). Your permanently mounted VHF must now be DSC-capable, have a MMSI number programmed, and be connected to a GPS. See the CMSRs for more details. Look into this now on your boat, in the off season, to save yourself a scramble in June. Another significant change requires inflatable PFDs to be fitted with crotch straps or thigh straps. Check yours now to see if they are compliant or if you need to purchase new PFDs or an add-on kit to yours (available for many inflatable PFDs). Full CMSRs at


Notice of Race Changes

There are also changes to the Notice of Race each year, and competitors should read the 2015 version of the document carefully. Again, available via Race Documents is a guide highlighting some of the more significant changes, including discounted pricing if paid before April 1. In 2015, the Royono Trophy will be awarded to the first boat - mono or multihull - starting on Saturday to cross the line (the Cruising Division will maintain its own First to Finish trophy). This change recognizes that high-performance multihulls are on the leading edge of our sport, and it encourages boats of that type to come race the Mac. Full NOR at

Grand Hotel Room Deal

Once again, our friends at the Grand Hotel are offering a special room rate for Mac racers. If you’ve never stayed at the Grand before, take this opportunity to do so; it’s a special place on the Island. See the news story for details. Reserve soon as the rooms sell out quickly.


ORR Certificates

If you are racing a monohull boat, you are required to upload your valid 2015 ORR Certificate in PDF form to the race website before the entry deadline. Please take action to renew or obtain your certificate now, as it can take some time to have them issued. If you are simply revalidating your certificate from last year, made no changes to your boat or equipment, and just need the 2015 version, your revalidation form should be sent in right away and no later than April 10. If you need a new certificate or new measurement or otherwise need to work with a measurer, you must contact an ORR measurer via email (and cc offshore office and race coordinator) no later than April 10 to set up measurement. All measurement data must be to the Offshore Office no later than May 22, 2015, in order to have the certificate back in your hands by the entry deadline. For further information, visit or email The 2015 ORR Rulebook is available for download at

Race Hats


You had the opportunity to order custom race hats for your crew when you entered the race; the official race hat will be embroidered with your boat name and sail number and shipped to your home. These hats will be a symbol of participation in this great race (we expect to offer a few non-personalized hats in each skipper’s bag as well). If you missed your chance at registration or want to order more, visit your competitor portal and click on the link in the lower right. A mid-April deadline will be announced for hat orders, so please order yours soon.
That’s it for March. As always, reach out via our race coordinator ( with any questions, and follow us via Facebook ( or Twitter ( for the latest updates. Good luck with getting your boat ready for the spring, and I’ll be back in touch in April.
Matt Gallagher
107th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac


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