VIDEO: Storm-force winds contributed to Chi-Mac capsize
Posted on 20 July 2011
Written by Chris Landry
On the heels of the Great Lakes sailboat capsize that killed two competitors in the 103rd Race to Mackinac, more information is emerging about the weather conditions.
Sail-World.com reports that one of the racing boats recorded wind speeds of 100 knots.
"Our owner always tracks and graphs information coming off the anemometer on his laptop," Peter Wenzel, a co-skipper on the competing boat Fast Tango, told Sail-World.com. "There was about a seven-minute section where the wind was pegged between the instrument's maximum, which is 100 knots and 90 knots. There was more wind than I've ever experienced in 35 years of racing all over the Great Lakes and on the oceans, and I've been through tons of squalls."
Click play to watch video and still photos shot from another sailboat during the Chicago-to-Mackinac sailboat race showing the rough weather. The shots were taken by Greg Alm, on the crew of the Realt Na Mara, with a head-mounted camera.
Two sailors on WingNuts, a Kiwi 35, died Monday morning in the violent storm during the annual race, which runs from Chicago’s Monroe Harbor to Mackinac Island in Michigan. Along with Mark Morley, 51, the boat's skipper, of Saginaw, Mich., Suzanne Bickel, 41, also from Saginaw, perished. The crew of the competing sailboat Sociable rescued the other six crewmembers from WingNuts.
Click play to listen to two clips from Chicago Yacht Club chairman Greg Freeman about the weather and safety harnesses associated with the boats.