Sailors begin their journey from Chicago to Mackinac Island, Michigan, USA, during the Race to Mackinac
© Karen I. Hirsch/Alam
Return of the ‘Mac’. Batten down the hatches
The sailors on these boats are jockeying for position at the start of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac (pronounced ‘Mack-i-naw’). The ‘Mac’, at 333 miles long, is the world’s oldest and longest annual freshwater boat race. It’s an amateur event, but make no mistake, these sailors know their stuff. Many go on to race in the America’s Cup – the oldest trophy in international sport. This year’s race is held today, and the boats set sail, smallest to largest, just off Chicago’s Navy Pier, passing by the city skyline as we see in our image. The race crosses Lake Michigan and finishes in Lake Huron off Mackinac Island, situated between Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas. The island is famous for its fudge and lack of cars – motorised vehicles have been banned there since 1898, with the exception of snowmobiles during winter and emergency vehicles.