Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac Sets Sail July 22, 2000

The Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac, the world’s oldest freshwater yacht race, sets sail Saturday, July 22. More than 300 boats, crewed by approximately 3,000 sailors, compete annually in this 333-mile race from Chicago to Mackinac Island, Mich. Founded in 1898, this year marks the 102nd anniversary of the race’s founding and the 93rd running of the race. The race was suspended during war years in order for participants to serve in the armed forces.

Competitors preparing for the Chicago to Mackinac Race start.

Race Details: The Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac has staggered sectional starts. The starts begin at noon, Saturday July 22 and continue at 10-minute intervals until approximately 2 p.m. The smallest boats start first. Depending on wind conditions, the boats commonly reach the island from 15 to 50 hours. 
The race starting line is located on Lake Michigan two miles east of Chicago’s Monroe Harbor, between the orange mark set in the water and the flag of the Chicago Yacht Club race committee boat. The finish line for the race is between the lighthouse on Round Island, located between Mackinac Island and Mackinac City, Mich., and the CYC race committee trailer on the island.

Parade of Boats: Prior to the starts, the parade of competing boats sail past Navy Pier with their ceremonial flags raised, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The public can watch the parade from the east end of Navy Pier and from the pier’s third-floor observation deck.

Information: For more information, call the Chicago Yacht Club at 312-861-777 or visit their website at