108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Recap
July 28, 2016
What do straw hats, breakfast veggie smoothies a stuffed goat named 'Tina' and horse manure have to do with a boat race? A lot... this year ,as Team Karma embarked on their sixteenth journey from Chicago to Mackinac Island. Much has changed with Karma in her sixteen years of being a racing program, boat changes, ownership changes- but one thing has remained consistent- the core of 'friends' that get together each year to do the annual trek up the rhumbline in Lake Michigan.
2016 was particularly significant because it was the first year that two of the Karma Owners- Jack Buoscio and Lou Sandoval were no longer representing Beneteau on Lake Michigan. A fleet that Jack and Lou had put a ton of sweat equity into having grown it from 0 boats to the over 38 boats we sold over the life span of the design (2001-2011) with another 11 boats sold on the resale market. The ownership of the boat had always been separate from the business (actually it preceded the business), but as life can complicate things from time to time, this year seemed to be more complex than usual by the fact that Jack decided to leave the business in May. No one can say where the future will go, but the team has made an effort to sail together this year.
The team had set out last year to take on a 9th sailor- Christina's dad- Manuel was going to do the race with the team to commemorate Christina's goat year race (her 25th). Taking a 9th, meant that the team had to get under the recommended crew weight limit of 1550 lbs. So the team engaged in a weight loss challenge that consisted of breakfast veggie smoothies, low or no carbs and the work out plan. In the end, the crew did a fantastic job with an average weight loss of 15-20 lbs per person. Goal accomplished!
The race itself was one of the wettest in some time, downpours kept everyone nice and soggy for the run up the lake. A storm on Saturday night mixed up the fleet standings a bit, providing a slight advantage to some of the boats that had been drawn deep into shore on the run up the West coast of the lake. A wind shift and fluky direction, had several boats jettison to the top of the standings. Deep in the standings on Sunday, the outcome looked grim for Team Karma. Not counting themselves out, we did what we do best- put the gas pedal down and sail like we stole it.
The runway would prove too short as we let Maggie Mae get around us on Sunday night and flat out ran out of space to catch Tequila Mockingbird for a third place finish. Respectable and you could guess we might consider ourselves a bit lucky as it could have ended up worse. Podium finish- just a bronze vs. Gold finish for the Goat girl Cristina.
What's that saying on the North side? There is always next year!
We'll be talking about this one for some time.