MACKINAC ISLAND - Chuck Cable's 35-foot yacht Time was looking good. The Sandusky sloop was the first boat in its class to complete the Port Huron to Mackinac Race at 1:34.13 p.m. yesterday. And it was 90 minutes before the next boat in the performance handicap racing fleet division Class H crossed the finish line.
Although Time owed time to some other boats under the handicap system, the clock finally ran out on her competitors and she had won her class.
GUS who, skippered by Jim Bourgault of Grosse Ile, took second place.
Cable, a previous class winner, said the 253-mile sailing contest was “the same thing this year as last year. It blew like gangbusters 45 minutes before the finish.
“The wind sort of peaked about 25 miles out. We reefed the main and almost changed from a No. 1 genny to a (smaller) No. 2.”
Although the wind dropped several times, Cable kept the boat moving well throughout the race.
“It was really good luck, although we like to think it's skill,” he joked. “But actually, my crew are all tremendous racers.”
Time's closest competitor was Dandelion, a former North Cape Yacht Club boat now owned by Tom Jacobs of Buchanan, Mich.
“We called it `The Weed,'” Cable said. “When we changed sails, they changed sails; when we went right, they went right. We traded positions going up the course until it got dark and we couldn't see them.”
Time carried a spinnaker most of the way to the NGS turning buoy, five miles off Southampton, Ont., at 4:43 a.m. Sunday, approximately six hours earlier than last year. She rounded five minutes behind Dandelion, but then caught up again.
Jerry Frabutt's new J-33 Jazzy, in PHRF Class F, was another Lake Erie boat that did well. With only one boat in her class still racing, Jazzy was holding down third place.
Dave Caracci's Hurricane finished less than three seconds (corrected time) ahead of John Greiner's Red Cloud to take third in the hotly contested PHRF Class I. Both are from North Cape Yacht Club.