Winners declared in 114th Chicago Mackinac Race

Winners declared in 114th Chicago Mackinac Race

Winners declared in 114th Chicago Mackinac Race


27/07/2023 - 08:22

Another successful Race to Mackinac is in the books, with today’s award ceremony taking place on the great lawn of Mission Point Resort. The race known as ‘America’s Offshore Challenge,’ delivered in spectacular fashion yet again with its mix of squalls, calms and most of all, new memories for the 240 teams competing.

For the Mackinac Cup, awarded this year to the large racing boats' overall winner, first-timer FINAL FINAL won Section 2 and the Cup. Owner Jon Desmond of Cohasset, Mass., admitted they had more than a few moments of angst when early on in the race they made a tactical decision to split from the fleet.

“We had this moment where it was like, ‘you realize we have just separated from the teams that have how many Macs under their belt’?” he said. 
The decision paid off, and the East-coast based Mills 41 is already planning its return to defend the victory.

In the Cruising Division winner ALBATROSS, a Solaris One 42 owned by Fernando Assens of Miami, Fla., edged out EAGLE ONE by three minutes on corrected time to earn his name on the inaugural Whitehawk Trophy, donated by Marjorie and Peter Thornton. The Thorntons own the trophy’s namesake and have added the overall trophy to Chicago Yacht Club’s prestigious collection in recognition of the burgeoning Cruising Division.

Chicago to Mackinac Race 2023
Chicago to Mackinac Race 2023

Thornton’s WHITEHAWK, the 104-foot ketch earned the Royono Trophy as the first boat to finish this year’s race, but thanks to the handicap netted out in sixth place. WHITEHAWK and EAGLE ONE battled it out in the Mackinac Straits, a 10-mile stretch infamous for where the 289-nautical mile (333 statute mile) race is won or lost.

In the smaller-boat racing division, LIQUID LOUNGE II, a J/109 out of Chicago owned by Jim Caesar earned the Mackinac Trophy.

Presenting sponsor Wintrust entered a race team for the second time, with the crew eager to defend their 2022 Section win. Sailing in Section 3 the team emerged victorious again, this time on board SIC PARVIS MAGNUS, a J/145.

Doublehanded division winner MCQUEEN, owned by Justin Acker of Leland, Mich. and teammate Ted Lockwood of Traverse City, sailed the J/88 to victory in the four-boat fleet.

While Meghan and Christina O’Rourke may not have made the podium on their respective boats, the two sisters celebrated their family’s legacy on the 100th anniversary of their great-grandfather’s 1923 race. John O’Rourke sailed his boat to victory that year but was later disqualified due to a failure to supply the boat’s measurement certificate.

Chicago to Mackinac Race 2023
Chicago to Mackinac Race 2023

The sisters said their love for sailing and the Mac Race runs deep. 

“Every Christmas, every holiday, we would hear these magical stories of being on the water and all these great events that our family has participated in,” said Meghan. “So it definitely drew us to the sport a little closer.
With Meghan on the Farr 40 HOT LIPS and Christine on board Nelson Marek 46 SKYE, both in the Section 3, they relished the competition. The way the race played out this year, the two boats were within yelling distance to each other in the Straits.

“I think our great grandfather would definitely be proud … and especially because we both got all of our certificates in,” Meghan said laughing.
The 115th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust is scheduled for July 13, 2024. 

America's Cup, talent shining in cloudy Barcelona
Dutch yacht builder Zeelander is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2023