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Q&A with 'Challenge' Winner of Race to Mackinac

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Doyle Sails' customers performed well in a challenging 2018 Chicago to Mackinac Race that began on the 21st of July.

The fleet of 300 boats started in 20+ kts of wind with gusts over 30 and big seas in what would turn into a 330 mile beat for many of the boats. Several boats dropped out due to the conditions. Unfortunately, 45 minutes after the start Chicago sailor Jon Santarelli sailing on the TP-52 Imedi was washed overboard and lost at sea. Our condolences go out to the Santarelli family and the crew of Imedi for their loss.

Slap Shot
Doyle Sails Customers Scott Simms J-109 Slap Shot (Black Sails) and Jim Ceasers J-109 Liquid Lounge (Grey Sails) just after the start in heavy conditions.

After the long upwind haul, Doyle customers were at the top of the fleet and in many of the classes:

  • 1st in Section 8 and First Overall winning the Chicago-Mackinac Trophy S&S-50 Challenge Owned by, Ray, Kevin and Mark Teborek
  • 1st Section 9 and 3rd Overall N/A-40 Fast Tango Tim Prophit
  • 1st Section 10 Erickson 35 Providence Jerry and Greg Miarecki
  • 2nd Beneteau 36.7 and 5th overall Maggie Mae Peter Wright
  • 2nd J-105 Sealark Clark Pellett
  • 2nd J-109 (by 30 seconds) Callisto James Murray
  • 2nd J-111 Rowdy Rich Witzel
  • 2nd Section 5 Archimedes III C&C-115 Joe Hummel and Beth Lore
  • 3rd Section 7 On Edge Thomas-35 Steve Dorfman
  • 3rd Section 8 Rambler J-88 Ben and Mandy Wilson

Partial Inventory Congratulations to all the winners in what was the most challenging Mac race in the last 45+ years. Special thanks go out to Mark Fullerton from Doyle China, Bill Colombo from Doyle San Francisco and Brad Boston From Doyle Sarnia who all came in to do the race.

John Baxter from Doyle Sails Midwest interviews Kevin Teborek co-owner of Challenge, the overall winners of this year's Race to Mac. Challenge is a family yacht crewed by father Ray Teborek and his sons Kevin and Mark. Read the interview below:

Kevin
Kevin Teborek pictured above with wife and children
Challenge 10
Challenge preps in the morning for Race Day

Doyle Sails: You have owned many boats over the years and roughly 10 years ago you purchased Challenge the S&S-50. What attracted you to the boat and what sort of work have you done since you purchased it?

Kevin: Ray purchase Challenge in the Spring of 1997 as she was very similar to the boats he used to race on (Charisma, Sassy, and others), in the mid 70’s. He purchased it out of Ft. Lauderdale and trucked it to Holland, Mi. A good friend of mine, Ryan Donahue )we went to Hobart and William Smith together and campaigned Laser 2’s, also owns Ocean House Boat Storage in Southwest Harbor, ME, came out to rehab the boat. Upon seeing it, he called for reinforcements Peter Steenstra (also a HWS grad).

That spring the boat was sandblasted down to bare metal, fared, patched and puttied. The fittings on the deck were remounted and reinforced and lots of metal patches were welded in. The boat was put back together and raced it’s first Chicago to Mack with an inventory from 1970!

Since then, almost every aspect of the boat has been rehabbed to its present condition and it is continually maintained to “Ray Level.”

DS: What year is the boat?

Kevin: 1970

Challenge 4
Challenge cre holding the Mac Section 8 Flag…Left to right…Ryan Donahugh, Ray Teborek (Standing Center of Flag), Kevin Teborek, Mark Teborek (With Daughter in Pink Hat on Shoulders)

DS: For this years Mac Race you sailed with a great team…can you tell us a little about them and their history of sailing with you?

Kevin: Over 10 of the members of the team have race 15 or more of the 20 races on the boat. The remaining 4 have raced 10 or more. We had 1 “rookie” this year 😊.

Our team was originally built with 1/4 being my father’s old ocean racing buddies, and the other 3/4 was my college friends…the young guys. Now the Young Guys need new young guys as we are all married and have kids 😊.

  • Ryan Donahue – SW Harbor, ME – HWS Alum
  • Peter Steenstra – Maine – Head Rowing coach at Bates College, HWS Alum
  • Marcus Spilane – Ireland/New York – President of the 49er Class and Nacra 17 Class – Ryan and I first met him in Cork Ireland at the Laser 2 worlds in 1997
  • Frank Ustash – Detroit, Mi, - Mark’s friend from BC
  • Leigh Otzen – Lake Geneva, WI
  • Gabe Kochmer – New York, NY
  • David Gaspar – Chicago – HWS Alum
  • Nick Camino – Chicago
  • Hank Grundin – Chicago – Old Goat
  • Nolen Levin – Chicago – Old Goat
  • Andrew Kiener – Wilmette – Old Goat
  • Max Kiener – 1st Race on Challenge
  • Mark Teborek
  • Kevin Teborek

DS: This years race saw some extreme conditions. Kevin mentioned to me about a little issue before the start….How did the crew deal with that and how did it all work out?

Kevin: After we raised the main, we noticed a 8inch long rip just below our battens on the leach. We didn’t have time to lower it and repair it before our start so we made contingency plans to repair it if needed during the race. It held the entire race…and became our “speed tear.”

Challenge 6
The "Speed Tear"

DS: Kevin you own CrossFit in Evanston? Do you feel that your training in the CrossFit program helped you deal with the conditions during the race? Why is a program like Cross fit good for sailors?

Kevin: I do. Etown Fitness Club, Powered by CrossFit e-town! CrossFit is a fantastic way to prepare for the unknown. We have trained lots of sailors, not least of which is Maggie Shea. It helps not only with strength and stamina, it helps with balance, coordination, and mental toughness which are key for racers!

Challenge 8
Ryan Adjusting Foot Line in big seas after start

DS: Kevin you have a pretty impressive sailing career….how does winning the Chicago Mac Race compare to say your 470 Olympic Campaign, or the Olympic Soling trials?

Kevin: Winning the Mac, just like the 470 campaign or Laser 2 Worlds, and was a pipe dream. While achievable, the odds are always against you. Ryan and I have been very fortunate to have won the worlds, and been 2nd twice. The 470 Olympic Campaign provided me a huge opportunity to learn about myself and what it really meant to be dedicated…these 5 years changed my mindset about sailing. We have brought that mindset to Challenge and have built a team with a similar mindset which is why we are able to make the old girl do what she does…winning is a bonus 😊

DS: What does winning the Mac Race mean to the family and have you guys won it over all before? It almost seems like the entire Challenge crew if family.

Kevin: The Challenge crew is Family. Just like the other successful programs, Providence, Nana, Eagle, Bacchant, and others that have perpetually done well. Their mindset is to do the best they can with what they have. They spend lots of time learning their boats, how to sail them, and enjoy being with each other.

What does winning mean to Challenge Family? Honestly, it’s hard to say…obviously we all take pride in what we accomplished and we will always remember this time in our lives…and in the end, we are excited to go compete again next year!

Challenge 9
Challenge working up wind with new Lt #1

DS: Over the years your boats have always carried Doyle Sails. How has the experience been, and what are the keys that keep you coming back? Challenge has a pretty big inventory do you have any “favorite sails”?

Kevin: Ray started with Doyle/Stern’s sails 20+ years ago with his schooner Constellation. The service has always been second to none. You guys make things happen that we wouldn’t think possible! Challenge does have a huge inventory, from Asyms to staysails. We love our staysails…they are a huge difference maker for Challenge…often adding ¾ of a knot…when used properly 😊

DS: For this years race you took rush delivery of a new Doyle Lt #1 Genoa the day before the start. Did you get to use it, if so how did it work out?

Kevin: Our old lt #1 delaminated 3 weeks before the race (15+ years old I think). You guys came through once again and delivered it the Wednesday before the race. We did in fact use it multiple times…and she worked perfectly!

Challenge 11
Challenge working down wind

DS: Ray over the years you have done so much to support junior sailing and all of your children growing up in the sport. What did it mean to you to turn the reigns over to Kevin to run the boat in the race this year, and winning it overall…It sounded like your being on the Island at the finish was a bit of a surprise. You must be very proud of the entire team.

Kevin: My father has always contributed to the sport of sailing and Jr. sailing is a passion of his. I’ll let him respond.

DS: Do you have any additional comments you would like to add or tell your entire crew?

Kevin: We all make the race a priority each year and only get together as a full team 1x per year. It is because of the mindset Ray has instilled in us that Challenge has also become a part all of our families. No matter where our team lives it’s our significant others that know this, our children know this, and they are the ones that truly make this happen! So thank you to all that support us.

I think the biggest bonus to this year’s race is that we all get to meet up for a second time in November to celebrate!

DS: Whats Next?

Enjoying the rest of the summer sailing in front of Chicago

Challenge 2
Challenge prepped for return home

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