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Tue July 19, 2011
AP: Club promises inquiry into fatal boat race mishap
The sponsor of a boat race from Chicago to Mackinac Island says it will investigate the capsizing of a sailing vessel that caused the deaths of two crew members during a storm in northern Lake Michigan.
Race chairman Greg Freeman said Tuesday that the Chicago Yacht Club commodore will establish a review board. Speaking online with reporters, he said the club wants to understand what happened and look for ways to improve safety guidelines.
The 35-foot boat WingNuts from Saginaw overturned during fierce gusts around midnight Sunday about 13 miles off Charlevoix.
Fifty-one-year-old skipper Mark Morley and 40-year-old crew member Suzanne Bickel died. A rival boat rescued the other six crew members.
Freeman says the storm arose after the race was well under way, so postponing it wasn't an option.