“The largest group of black sailors of both men and women in the country —cruising and racing.”
Partial Reprint from the ScuttleButt Sailing News - June21st, 2018
Reprint from the Chicago Yacht Club's 'BLINKER' - Summer 2013
Written by Commodore of JPYC, Paul Thompson III
Diversity Embraced —
Nearly 50 boats in the Cruising Division will start July 20 in the fastest-growing division of the race. Among them is the Beneteau Oceanis 381 Mise En Place, owned by Paul Thompson, past commodore of Chicagos Jackson Park Yacht Club (JPYC) and nine-time Mac competitor
Joining Thompson on board for her seventh race to Mackinac is Karen Harris, current commodore of JPYC and a lawyer in Chicago. A lifelong sailor, she loves the Mac Race for its competitive challenge and camaraderie, but also hopes the Mise En Place crew, which is predominantly African American and almost half female, serves as an inspiration to minorities and females.
Sailing is still one of the sports in which minorities and women are underrepresented, Harris said. Its a privilege to be able to inspire African-American women and kids like my seven-year-old niece, to get involved in a sport I love. Regardless of whether we make the podium or not, just by being on the water and a part of this Race were achieving one of our goals.