MOLLIKETT Wins the
Inaugural Mackinac to Manitoulin Yacht Race
By John Rilett
1981 Sloop MOLLIKETT, # 218
MOLLIKETT took part in the inaugural Mackinac to Manitoulin yacht race July 21 - July 24, 2004.
The idea for the race originated by the Little Current Yacht Club as an economic development plan for the region. They are hoping to entice boats taking part in the Port Huron to Mackinac race to continue on to Gore Bay and Little Current.
The race started at Mackinac Island. The first leg was 100 miles to Gore Bay. We experienced south east winds of 10 to 20 knots, fog, rain and a thunder storm. The wind backed to the southwest just before entering the North Channel at False Detour. We were ideally situated to take advantage of the wind shift going from a beat to reach. The wind shift allowed us to catch and go ahead of 3 other boats. We reached along the north shore of Manitoulin Island through the night at speeds up to 7.4 knots. When the first leg was over, we were 1st over all in the cruising class.
The 2nd leg of the race was from Gore Bay to Little Current. This leg was 30 miles long and started with a beat in 10 to 15 knots of wind but the wind changed to light and variable once we rounded the north end of Clapperton Island. We were unable to set the asymmetrical spinnaker because of fouled lines on the snuffing stocking so we continued to play the winds the best we could with our main and 130% jenny. We actually caught up to other boats and passed some of them. We finished the 2nd leg of the race in first place and ended up winning overall in the cruising class.
Much of the credit for our great performance goes to Chuck McLaughlin. Chuck was my only crew for the race but his sailing and racing expertise more than made up for the my lack of experience. For those who follow sail boat racing, Chuck campaigned his yacht, Aggressive, up and down the East coast and the Caribbean in the 80's.
I have to admit, MOLLIKETT's performance surprised me. She point better than most other boats. Her light air performance was nothing short of fantastic. She had a rather generous rating of 204 but really didn't need it. We were 3rd over all in the cruising class on elasped time.
Additional Race information can be seen at: http://www.lcyc.ca/Race/index.htm