Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Not for Wussies

I posted on Great Lake sailing a some weeks back and received very positive feedback from Great Lakes sailors agreeing that inland sailing grounds make for excellent cruising and racing. It’s a good follow-up to point you toward a wrap-up of the annual Bay View Yacht Club-sponsored Port Huron-to-Mackinac Island Sailboat Race - the self proclaimed largest fresh-water sporting event in the world. According to the article the 266 boats competed on two separate courses (depending on what class they were racing) and both routes had heavy winds that made this race one of the fastest (read most nerve racking) in history. The 253-nautical-mile Southampton Course featured a steady blow throughout the race, while the 204-nautical-mile Shore Course challenged sailors with heavy thunderstorms that caused carnage across the fleet. A point I made during my last post on lake sailing is well proven by this experience – yes these lakes are relative ponds compared to the ocean and yes, we all know that many dangers lurk on oceans that aren’t part of lake environments...but don’t think for a second that lake sailing is for wussies. It can blow like holy hell and the waves build quickly and steeply. Another point being that they apparently have good wind in the summer - not a factor on Long Island Sound at the moment.

1 comment:

Robert Bemben said...

I'm an avid Great Lakes sailor (and iceboater) based on Mackinaw -and I can confirm that the sailing is plenty challenging here.

It seems to me the sailing is best in the fall though. Summer sailing is highly overrated ;-)

My thoughts on the topic:

I'm enjoying your 30 months of posts. Good work!