Extreme2 in the Port Huron to Mackinac Race

Extreme2 in the Port Huron to Mackinac Race
July 10, 2020 Mattias Dahlström

M32 Extreme2 in one of the true classic races

The Port Huron to Mackinac Race is one of the absolute classics of distance races in North America and M32 team “Extreme2” is getting ready to for the start Saturday July 11th. We had a chance to catch up with Skipper and Helm Dan Cheresh on preparing for the Race.

How did you get the idea to do this in an M32?
DC: I’ve been sailing the Mackinac Races on and off since I was young, so from that perspective, am very familiar with the race.
Last summer Extreme2 did the Windsor Overnight Race and although we finished at 12:30 am, it was one of the most enjoyable races we’ve done on the boat.
The team, led by Dave Shriner, thought it would be a fantastic experience to do BYC’s Port Huron to Mackinac on an M32.
After much discussion and planning, that’s precisely what we are planning on doing Saturday

You have done this race before in Keelboat, what are your expectations with the M32?
DC: The expectation are completely different in every aspect…
With all boats, safety comes first and in our case, on Extreme2, we have plans to take safety to the next level.
We certainly expect to have a fast race (weather dependent), but, realize that this will be very demanding.
It’ll be fun !!

Whats the special safety preparations and any boat mods?
DC: We’ve submitted a very extensive Safety Protocol Report to BYC and our entire team, both on Extreme2 and on the support boat are well versed in what needs to happen in the event we run into some problems.
We’ve certainly made some modifications to the boat, all of which will promote a safer race for us.
One item created is a quick release for the main halyard.
If we run into some bad weather, it’ll allow us to get the mainsail down very quickly.
The boat will also be equipped with all the required safety gear…

What’s the weather forecast and what kind of speeds/times do you expect?
DC: The weather forecast seems to be changing every few hours so it’s hard to know for certain, but, we will make the best of whatever Mother Nature offers up.
I think we wi see moderate conditions, depending on where we are on the course and based on this mornings report, we think we will see a long port tack beat (or slightly eased) until we get across Thunder Bay.
In terms of speeds to expect, we are hoping to get the boat ripping along in the 20 plus knot range 🙂

What are the major changes crew work wise to reset from 15 min course races to distance?
DC: Everything is different, yet in some ways, the same…
In our normal races, things happen so quickly and the race course has natural boundaries, so generally, we are all sailing in mostly similar conditions (I stress the words “mostly similar conditions”).
In a long distance race against other types of boats, the game plan changes and our moves are much more thought out and much more forward thinking.
Pace is important in this race…It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Being aware of the elements, staying hydrated, warm and having some food in our system will allow us to stay at the top of our game..

Who’s on the team?
I’m fortunate to have a fantastic team on Extreme2 for this event:
Sailing Team:
Taylor Canfield (TC)
George Peet (Bear)
Dave Shriner (Helicopter)
Nick Ford (Nick) &
Support Team:
Mitch Callyn
Curtis Florence
Jen Kroll (photography)

You can follow the race on the official website:

Updates from Extreme2 will be made on their Facebook page: