In simple terms the course takes the boats from one end of Lake Michigan to the other and often from one side to the other. The course includes cityscapes, sand dunes, islands, light houses, the Mackinac bridge, and plenty of blue Lake Michigan water.
After a new monohull record was set in the 2002 Chicago Mac by Pyewacket, the challenger for breaking that record is Alchemey, an Andrews designed 77 from California. Rating 16 seconds a mile faster than Pyewacket under PHRF Alchemey could have a very fast ride if the conditions are right. As for overall honors -the winners of this race will be determined by a new rating system. Race records are all about boat size and raw speed. For the rest of the fleet it's the chase for top places in each class that is most important.