|The start of the 2009 Mac Race - the last race we did before leaving.|
To get a coveted spot on a crew for this race is an honor and for good reason; the camaraderie that develops after months of practice and preparation, the late night sail changes under a banner of stars and steaming cups of french-pressed coffee in the cockpit as the sun rises over the horizon... The excitement of jumping into your foul weather gear to battle a sudden squall at 3am and, of course, the huge parties that ensue on the island at the finish are just a few of the hundreds of reasons people love this race. For many, it's their only opportunity to sail 48-72 hours non-stop and it is magnificent. The race itself is an incredible challenge - the conditions are always changing as you cover the 322 miles up the lake - you are sure to be met by everything from hair-pulling calms to raging storms, from bone-chilling cold to exceptional heat, and course and sail changes are many! Some of my fondest memories of sailing in Chicago are from the rail of a boat during this race and the Mac has attracted the likes of everyone from Bob Seger, Steve Fossett and Roy Disney to name a few.
It's very special to Scott and I as well. Most of you know our backgrounds involved racing on the lake, and we actually met after the 2007 Mac at the famous sailors' bar "The Pink Pony" up on the island. Sigh. Feels like yesterday. I don't think either of us knew how fateful that day was, but that could have also been because we were practically drowning in a vat of Mount Gay Rum...
Scott and I have a lot of sailing friends who are going to be competing in the race this weekend (including our good friend, George) and we want to wish them all a safe, fast Mac with fresh winds and following seas!
We're going sailing tomorrow so hopefully I'll get some nice pics of the starting line for you guys...in the meantime, here's a few pics of our last Mac...
|Breakfast in the cockpit with my brother|
|Me, trimming the chute|
|Another evening on the lake|
|Scott, taking us under the famed Mackinac Bridge.|