In the July/August 2011 issue of the CDS Review we introduced you to Paul Akers and his love for
sailing. This past July he sailed his 19th Mac Race from Chicago to
Mackinac Island, MI. We originally reported that he would be racing on a
crewmember’s boat, but after publication his plans changed and he was
introduced to another opportunity.
Instead of racing on a crewmember’s boat, Dr. Akers chartered
a 50-foot N/M racing sloop. He combined crew members from three boats, all of
whom had Mackinac race experience. Dr. Akers described his experience after
that as a “Cinderella story.”
The crew of 13 practiced together for only three weeks
before the actual race. During the race they encountered a horrific storm.
“We were at the Mackinac Bridge with blinding rain and winds,
not able to see the bridge even though we were 100 yards away. We were afraid
of hitting the concrete caissons,” Dr. Akers wrote in an email.
Despite the challenging weather conditions, the crew took
first place in Section 1 and 5th place in the entire fleet.
A celebratory dinner was held for the Mac awards Saturday,
Nov. 5, where the crew received its well-earned trophy.
Dr. Akers (front row on the right) and his crew before they headed out for the race.