Shawn O’Neill has completed 31 Chicago to Mackinac Races which entitles him to use the term “Island Goat”. The honour of Island Goat is bestowed on those who have minimum experiences to include some of the following:-
“Someone who has endured over 60 days Racing the Mac; someone who has raced at least 8,325 miles from Chicago to Mackinac Island; someone who has survived sailing through 50-100 Thunderstorms; someone who has suffered through about 250 On and Off Watch Changes and someone who has persisted through at least 25 races”.
The Chicago to Mackinac Race is one of the longest fresh water races in the world at 536 km. Cork Week’s long serving Event Patron – Roy E. Disney set the monohull record for the race – 23 hours, 30 minutes, in Pyewacket in 2002.
Shawn is a member of Chicago Yacht Club and visited the Club with his family in March 2010. They received such a marvellous Royal Cork welcome that he has decided to return to race in Cork Week in July.
Shawn’s commitments on the Chicago to Mackinac Race Committee means that he has not had the opportunity to travel to Cork Week previously. However, the 102nd Chicago to Mackinac Race is scheduled to start on July 23rd and this has permitted Shawn to travel to Ireland this year (I wonder had he anything to do with the scheduling!).
Shawn has sailed from a young age, at College in Michigan State and for over 30 years on Lake Michigan in all types of boats from Laser, 420’s, 470’s to Farr 33 and a Tripp 36. Currently, Shawn and his father Jerry own and race a Sydney 38 called Eagle.
He has raced 31 Chicago Mackinac Races as a skipper or Watch Captain with three 1st Overall Division Awards and ten 1st in Class Awards aboard various “EAGLE’s“.
Shawn will fall into Bad Company when he sails on the local Desmond/Ivers/Deasy boat of that name in Cork Week 2010.