Oakcliff To Tackle Both Mackinac Races and the St. Lawrence

Oakcliff To Tackle Both Mackinac Races and the St. Lawrence

OYSTER BAY, NY – Once upon a time, America’s Cup great Ted Turner claimed that Great Lake’s most prestigious Mackinac Races were to be sailed on a “mill pond” – only to take back his words as 60mph winds came screaming down the 333 mile race course. This summer, Oakcliff sailors will test their skills on the Great Lakes racing on onboard our newly-donated OC 86 (formerly Windquest), the largest boat in the Oakcliff fleet.

Coaches, trainees and supporters will join together to race both the Bayview Mackinac and the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac. Finally, assuming Canada allows transit, the boat will make its way through the St. Lawrence Seaway to the East Coast. Sign up on our website

The Maxi program runs from June 28 – August 18, 2021 with the opportunity for shorter intensives: The Chicago Mac (July 1 – 19), Port Huron (July 19 – August 2), and the St. Lawrence Seaway (August 2 – 13) a once in a lifetime chance for most. After the seaway, OC 86 will make her way down to Newport, RI for the Safe Harbor Race Weekend. There is the option to do the Harbor Springs Regatta pending sponsorship. 

Coaching will be provided by top sailing professionals, along with one of the best superyacht captains and Australian native David Blanchfield; Wisconsin-grown Shore Manager Alexander “Fly” Lulewicz and Executive Director Dawn Riley.  

“Sailing on the Great Lakes, especially on a Maxi, is truly a unique and unforgettable experience,” said Shore Manager Alex Lulewicz. “Getting to do it under the tutelage of two America’s Cup sailors is pretty great, too.”

This program is a unique opportunity to crew on and discover the inner workings of a maxi yacht with water ballast. Together with offshore sailing skills, trainees will learn boat maintenance, yacht rigging, water ballast systems, project and crew management and more on this supersized boat. 

The connections between Oakcliff, the DeVos Family, and the Midwest run deep – all the way back to the 1980s, when Michigan native Dawn Riley faced them on the race course. Doug is also a principal of the New York Yacht Club American Magic, of which Oakcliff is an official training partner. Oakcliff is excited to bring the next iteration of this partnership to fruition with the Midwest Maxi program.  

“Oakcliff is forever grateful for the support of so many and for this program, specifically Doug and Maria DeVos who have entrusted us to continue to Build American Leaders on such an amazing and beautiful platform,” said Executive Director Dawn Riley. “I can barely wait for some fresh water sailing and a few stops to catch up with old and new friends, perhaps at the Pink Pony.”

For media, there will be on-board reporting opportunities aboard OC 86 at the beginning of July. Please contact Oakcliff for more information. 

Media Contact: Lexi Pline 

P: 410-858-6946

E: pr@oakcliffsailing.org