Two Dead in Lake Michigan Race

Skipper, crew member drown as boat capsizes

Jul 18, 2011
Outside Magazine

Two sailors are dead and six others were stranded after a storm capsized a boat competing in Lake Michigan's Race to Mackinac late Sunday night. The U.S. Coast Guard recovered the bodies of captain Mark Morley, 51, and Suzanne Bickel, 41, at 8 A.M. Monday morning, eight hours after their boat WingNuts capsized. Six other crew members were rescued by another boat competing in the race, which began two days ago in Chicago and included 355 boats. Mackinac Island, at the top of Lake Michigan, is 333 miles from Chicago. WingNuts was owned by four friends, including Morley, a sailor with 44 years' experience on the water. The crew was roughly 100 miles from Mackinac when the storm hit, bringing 52-knot winds and four- to six-foot waves. The race is the oldest annual freshwater race in the world, and has been run 103 times since 1898. Morley and Bickel are the first to drown the history of the event.

Read more at the Chicago Sun-Times

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