Race to Mackinac sailor will be laid to rest

July 25, 2011

AP and City Room staff

(WBEZ/Robin Amer)
Sailboats at the start of the 2011 Race to Mackinac.

A Saginaw, Mich. man who died while competing in the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac will be memorialized Friday.

A W.L. Case & Co. Funeral Homes spokesperson said the service for Mark Morley will be held at Saginaw’s Temple Theatre at 1 p.m. His family will receive friends starting at 11:30 a.m. that day.

Morely was the skipper of WingNuts, a 35-foot sailboat known for its unusual wing-shaped hull and popular crew. The boat capsized late Sunday night near Charlevoix, Mich. during a fierce thunderstorm with winds of over 50 knots.

Suzanne Bickel, another crew member of WingNuts, also died in the incident. Six other crew members were rescued from open water by competitors from the sailboat Sociable. Bickel's funeral was Friday.

The Chicago Yacht Club and the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s office plan to launch separate investigations into the incident that lead to Morley and Bickel’s deaths.