Spectators guide for the Race to Mackinac

Spectators guide for the Race to Mackinac

A favorite summer spectator event for many Chicagoan’s is the annual Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac–the longest annual freshwater sailing race in the world.

This is the 108th year for the event that will feature 326 boats participating in the 333-mile journey from Chicago to Mackinac Island.

The excitement has been building throughout the week with all eyes looking towards Saturday, July 23 when the boats will set sail starting at 10 am.

What has become a Chicago tradition all started back in August of 1898 with five yachts sailing in the Race from Chicago to Mackinac Island–even before there was a Navy Pier.

Now visitors can get a bird’s eye view of the race from Navy Pier while basking in the sun and enjoying beautiful skyline views–not to mention the nearly infinite choices of foods and beverages in which to indulge.

For those wanting to check out the boats before they set sail, many are docked at the┬áChicago Yacht Club’s Monroe Station at the corner of Lake Shore Drive and Monroe. These boats can be easily viewed from the Lakeshore path just north of Monroe Street.

Visitors watching the Parade of Boats from Navy Pier

Visitors watching the Parade of Boats from Navy Pier

The main event, the Parade of Boats from Navy Pier, is set to start at 10 am. on Saturday, July 23 and expected to continue with 23 separate sections taking off at staggered times through approximately 2 pm.


Map of the racecourse.

Visitors can watch the Mac sailors and their boats pass by the end of Navy Pier on their way to the start. The event is free and open to the public.

Once on their way, those wanting to follow the race can get updates on the Race’s Twitter feed @cycracetomackinac or on the Mac homepage. Fans can also download the free YB Tracking app for the 108th CYC Race to Mackinac.

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Filed under: Chicago events

Tags: Race to Mackinac

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