The Ballad of the Race to Mackinac

CD single

"The Ballad of the Race to Mackinac" was written to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first race from Chicago to Mackinac Island. record the song, a singing duo was recruited who specialize in maritime folk music of the Great Lakes: Tom and Chris Kastle. The recording was put on Compact Disc and distributed to each of the boats in the Mackinac race. It is available at the Chicago Yacht Club, through the Kastles, Sextant Music.

About the limited edition CD "single"

1000 copies of the CD were made. About 300 of those were given to the captains of the boats which were officially entered in the race. Most of the remaining 700 copies were sold. Some remain in stock. See below for details.

The CD includes four songs, the new ballad, plus four previously recorded songs, sung by the Kastles, using a broad array of instruments.

  1. The Ballad of the Race to Mackinac, by Edwards/Vanderbilt/Weglarz, includes the Kastles on vocals and guitar, with cellos and flute.

  2. The Black Dog of Lake Erie (originally from the album "Earthways, Waterways": Sextant Music, Ltd.) was written by Tom and Chris Kastle and includes concertina, octave mandolin, bodhran and hammer dulcimer.

  3. The traditional song High Barbaree (originally from the album "Burnham Harbor", Sextant Music, Ltd.) includes guitar, octave mandolin, drum, and bass guitar.

  4. Everyone knows the traditional Sailor's Hornpipe. The Kastle's instrumental features the duo on guitars and percussion (from the album "Strike the Bell", Sextant Music, Ltd.).

The Ballad of the Race to Mackinac CD was sponsored by Midway Hotel Center, telephone 888-MID-INNS.

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To Order

This CD is available through Tim Edwards or the Kastles.

For more information about ordering the CD, please see the Kastle's website at or email the Kastles at or Tim Edwards at

About the race

The famous race, sponsored by the Chicago Yacht Club, has been held almost every summer since 1898. The participating boats are separated into different divisions depending partly upon size and given appropriate handicaps. Hundreds of boats, separated into classes according to size and handicap, cross the starting line. Not all finish the three-hundred thirty three mile race. Trophies are awarded to the winners of each division, to the first to finish, and also to the overall winner, taking into account each division's handicapped, corrected time. The record for the fastest time was shattered in 1987, when the "Pied Piper", skippered by Dick Jennings, finished in 25 hours, 50 minutes and 44 seconds. The previous record of 31:14:30 was set in 1911 by "Amorita", a 110-foot steel schooner.

- last updated 1998

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The Chicago Yacht Club's web page

The Kastles' web site:

The CD's cover was designed by WATCH! Graphic Design, Chicago: www.watchgraphic.comView the front cover and back cover of the CD (each 30K).