Algoma Sailing Club
St. Mary's River,  Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

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2011 MacMan Challenge International Yacht Race

Jack Rice Algoma Sailing Club, for Local2 news Sault Ste. Marie
July 25th, 2011 | Last Updated at 11:17am

This past weekend, several sailboats and members from the Algoma Sailing Club and the Hilton Beach competed in the 2011 MacMan Challenge International Yacht Race. This is the 8th year for this event and members from the Algoma Sailing Club and Hilton Beach have competed regularly in this event. For 2011, Sault and Area racers placed very well in all divisions with the yacht Natural High from the Algoma Sailing Club skippered by Andrew Hallett taking the title of overall winner. For 2011, the race involved over 28 boats from around Lake Huron and the North Shore from clubs such as Little Current Yacht Club, Gore Bay, Mackinac Island Yacht Club, Kincardine Yacht Club, Mackinac City, North Channel Yacht Club, and Bay of Islands.

The MacMan Challenge is comprised of two legs with the first being from Mackinac Island to Gore Bay; a distance of 95 miles. This portion involves prolonged tactical, navigational and endurance considerations as the race starts in late morning and continues into the night where the majority of yachts finish in the morning and early afternoon hours of the following day. The second leg of the race is 28 miles from Gore Bay to Little Current and usually sailed with spinnakers. Spinnakers are a special type of sail similar to a large balloon affixed to the front of sailboats for catching wind coming from behind. The spinnaker allows for exciting performance but can only be used in a limited range of wind angles and can be very difficult to manipulate. This leg finishes in front of downtown Little Current. Racers are awarded for placings in each leg, placings in division/class and overall finishes.

Natural High from the Algoma Sailing Club captured the Overall Title along with Overall Racing Class for the 2011 MacMan Challenge. Natural High, of Division A, was able to achieve this for its consistent performance throughout the event. Natural High had finished first in both legs of the race and had maintained a consistent lead over its closest competitors. Division A is associated to the racing class of sailboat.

Other local boats included Skyship skippered by Gord Simpson of the Algoma Sailing Club competing in Division B. Skyship took a first place in leg 1 and a second place in leg 2 resulting in the overall crown for this division. Division B is associated to a cruising class of sailboat. Echo, skippered by Gerard Neave of the Algoma Sailing Club in Division D, finished in first place after leg 2. Division C is associated to a racing class of sailboat that competes only in leg 2, with Division D associated to a cruising class of sailboat that competes only in leg 2.

From Hilton Beach, Blue Teal skippered by Bill Pickering took a third place in leg 1 of Division A and a fourth place in leg 2. Mist skippered by Ben Leeuwesteine took a fourth place in leg 1 and third place in leg 2. Aurora Borealis took 2nd in leg 1 and 2nd in leg 2 of Division A.

The following paragraph is an excerpt from the MacMan Challenge website which outlines the event. Please refer to the site for further information however as of the time of this email, final results had not been posted. Reporters from a Sudbury news service and the Manitoulin Reporter were present and took information and photographs.

“About the MacMan Challenge

The ‘MacMan’ is a competitive racing/cruising event that offers a spinnaker/genniker division for serious competitors, a whitesail class for those who don’t want the fuss of a spinnaker and a double handed class for those couples or friends who are into the added challenge . The event starts on the beautiful shores of Mackinac Island, the U.S. gateway to the North Channel at the Mackinac Island Yacht Club. The start with the Grand Hotel in the background is enough to inspire any crew. The first stop is the beautiful port of Gore Bay Canada. The next day will find you heading to the finish line in Little Current. You will sail among the beautiful islands of the North Channel competing with your fellow sailors and new friends for the ultimate overall trophy. ”

A brief rundown of local results:

Natural High, Abbott 33 (type of vessel); Owner/skipper: Andrew Hallett. Crew: Chuck Holgate, Alex Elder, Tom Carmichael, Jack Rice. [Algoma Sailing Club]

- 1st Overall, 1st in Class, 1st in leg 1, 1st in leg 2 (Division A)

Skyship, C&C 32 (type of vessel); Owner/skipper Gord Simpson. Crew: Glenn Simpson, Greg Barret, Leroy Pieri. [Algoma Sailing Club]

- 1st in Class, 1st in leg 1, 2nd in leg 2 (Division B)

Echo, Nonsuch 30 (type of vessel); Owner/skipper Gerard Neave. Crew: Carol Neave, Willie Neave. [Algoma Sailing Club]

- 1st in leg 2, 1st in Class (Division D)

Blue Teal, C&C 37 (type of vessel); Owner/skipper Bill Pickering. Crew: Don Morrison, Bill Latham, Charles Collins. [Hilton Beach]

- 3rd in leg 1, 4th in leg 2 (Division A)

Mist, Jeanneau 36 (type of vessel); Owner/skipper Ben Leeuwesteine. Crew: Rod MacLeod, Brian Webber, Mike Ballagh, Gilles Chabot. [Hilton Beach]

- 4th in leg 1, 3rd in leg 2 (Division A)

Aurora Borealis, Farr 40 (type of vessel); Owner/skipper Chris Gotmalm. Crew: John Rilett, John Rilett Jr., Andy Hurtubise, Chuck McLaughlin. [Hilton Beach]


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