Chicago-Mac: Overnight storm devastation
PENTWATER, MI – A few minutes ago we went Facebook Live over on SI's FB page, www.facebook.com/sailingillustratedblog, with Christopher Beckwith (Wilmington, NC) who was crewing on David and Kim Huff's NIRVANA, the Beneteau 10R. We were also live with Christopher at yesterday's start of the Racing Division off Chicago's Navy Pier.
Overnight the predicted frontal passage came through bringing 40+ knot winds and forcing any number of yachts to abandon the race, including NIRVANA. When we went live with Chris, who is doing his 16th Chi-Mac, NIRVANA had just docked in at Pentwater, MI. Despite the very rough past 12 hours, Chris still had a sense of humor, saying "We chose Pentwater because we know a number of nice restaurants."
If there's any consolation, even Doug DeVos's magnificent 86' yacht WINDQUEST had problems and has safely retired back to their homeport of Macatawa Bay Yacht Club near Holland, MI. More via this FB post from three hours ago by our longtime friend and super sailor Farley Fontenot (thanks, Peter Huston, for the screen grab).
This story by MLive from a few minutes ago, the Michigan newspaper consortium, reports some 30 boats have retired along with WINDQUEST.
At least one yacht capsized (turtled), we believe a catamaran, and reportedly the four crew are safe after being rescued by the USCG, dramatic photo below. [Update via MLive: The capsized boat was identified as HIGH PRIORITY 2, a 31-foot multihull Corsair owned by an East Lansing, MI resident, according to the Chicago Yacht Club's Race to Mackinac report on Facebook. All 4 on board were rescued via small boat launched from the Cutter BISCAYNE BAY and are safe. Thanks to our friends in the Coast Guard and thanks to the other racers who came to assist.]
Another MOB was reported on social media. Thank goodness, so far no reports of injury let alone serious injury or worse.
To see the FB Live that we just did with Chris, please head over to our SI FB page. While you are there, "like" and "follow" the page if you have not already done so, and you will get instant notifications of future FB Lives we do,