Hundreds of boats set sail from Chicago for Race to Mackinac

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Saturday, July 11, 2015

CHICAGO -- Hundreds of sailboats have departed Chicago's Navy Pier for the annual Race to Mackinac.

More than 300 boats are participating in the 333-mile race across Lake Michigan. Those in the racing division headed for Mackinac Island, Michigan, on Saturday, with a light lake wind. A cruising division set sail Friday.

The event - now in its 107th year - is the oldest annual freshwater distance race in the world.

Sailors race through the night, with most participants taking 40 to 60 hours to finish. The record was set in 2002 when a team finished in 23 hours and 30 minutes.

Race meteorologist Chris Bedford has warned sailors to keep an eye out for possible severe weather. He says thunderstorms could move across the lake later Saturday.