August 2019
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My First 'Mac' Race
Since 1898, the Chicago Yacht Club has hosted the Race to Macinac, the oldest freshwater distance race in the world. Almost 280 boats and 2,300 sailors from around the world participated in the race this year. Among the competitors were some of Pathway to Adventure Council’s very own Sea Scouts. 
The Sea Scouts program, established more than 100 years ago, promotes better citizenship and improves members’ boating skills through instruction and practice. It also offers outdoor, social and service experiences, as well as providing knowledge of our maritime heritage. The program was inspired by a book written by Lord Baden-Powell’s older brother, Warington, called Sea Scouting and Seamanship for Boys.  
There are nearly 100 Sea Scouts in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana today. Here, in his own words, Dylan recounts his first “Mac” race:

“The annual Race to Mackinac Island has been described as 333 miles of Lake Michigan madness. My name is Dylan, and I’m wearing the blue mask in the photo of the foredeck crew under the Mackinac Bridge. I am a Sea Scout Crew Leader with Ship #5111, sponsored by Columbia Yacht Club in Chicago. Two more Sea Scouts sailed their first race this July aboard our Sea Scout Training Vessel, “Scout,” which is a Sydney 41 ft. racer and cruiser. It was donated by the Ruley family.
Our Ship Bosun, Noah, is wearing a white jacket. Marc, our Advancement Officer, a Quartermaster returning as an Adult Leader, is wearing a red hat. We were all assigned to the foredeck crew, a fantastic learning experience. Keaton, wearing yellow bibs, a former Sea Scout, now a pro sailor, was in charge of the foredeck. He taught us an incredible amount in the 50 hours we spent together.

I will always remember rounding Bell Buoy No. 3 on our way to the Straights of Mackinac. Just behind our competition, Sciroco III, just as we raised the spinnaker, the halyard shackle failed and the chute landed in the water. We quickly recovered the sail and reset the chute. A lot of action in a small amount of time was truly a test. We came together as a crew! This has been an incredible experience that I will never forget.

Thank you to our Captain, Neal; our Sea Scout Watch Captain, David; and all the donors who made our Mac Race possible.”

Dylan and his team finished in 6th place in Section 4 and 32nd in a fleet of 280 boats. Bravo Zulu! (well done).
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