The 2016 Chicago-Mackinac Race was an eventful one for the crew of the C&C 30 One Design City Girl. Squall lines followed the 326-boat fleet as they raced up Lake Michigan, causing 22 boats to drop out and propelling City Girl to the fastest boatspeed number seen in this new class – 24.65.
But the real story of the race came when, about two-thirds of the way to Mackinac, City Girl encountered the One Design 48 Whodo. “They looked like they were in distress,” says Mark Bremer, owner of City Girl. “The wind was about 20-25 knots at that point, and we had just come inside the Manitou passage so the waves were a bit smaller, maybe 3-5 feet. We were blasting along hitting the 20s regularly when we heard the distress signal and spotted Whodo.”
Bremer’s team took down their sails and waited while the Whodo crew boarded their life raft, then threw them a line and pulled them alongside. All 10 crew were transferred to City Girl and delivered safely to nearby Leland, MI, where they met the Coast Guard. Whodo reported that their rudder shaft had broken, causing the boat to take on water. None of the crew were injured.
When they reached Leland, City Girl had been out of the race for more than two hours. They decided to retire and head to nearby Harbor Springs, the site of their next scheduled regatta.
Tac Boston, sailmaker for City Girl, agreed that it was an eventful race. “It had some epic parts, for sure!” he says. The bright spot for City Girl was hitting a top speed of 24.65, sailing with a fractional A5 (custom sail for offshore racing) and J3. The wind speed was 23 knots with a true-wind angle of 155 degrees at the time. “Seriously, the boat is a weapon,” he says, “especially with the masthead A3 and with the sail combination we had up when we hit the high score.”
Bremer took delivery of City Girl earlier this year and competed in the Annapolis NOOD regatta in early May. The Mac Race was the second event, and first distance race, for City Girl.
Read the Chicago-Mackinac Race wrap-up here.
Watch the rescue story on the local news channel here.