Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw escorts 101st Chicago to Mackinac race

CLEVELAND – The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw will escort the 101st Race to Mackinac, the world’s longest annual freshwater distance race, with an escort of 350 participating sailboats at the Navy Pier in downtown Chicago for the start of the race Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

The 240-foot Mackinaw will host the former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert and his wife Jean, the ship’s sponsor, as well as members of the race committee and the Coast Guard Foundation on board for the initial leg of the race Saturday.

Beginning in 1898, the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac is one of the oldest freshwater sailing races in the world. This year’s race features more than 3,000 sailors competing in the 333-mile event.

The Mackinaw will host public tours Thursday and Friday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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