2015-07-25 / News

Talisman Beats Liberty in Close Race Around the Island

By Matt Harding


Talisman is awarded the first-in-fleet flag for winning the 2015 Round the Island Race. (From left) Principal Race Officer Lloyd Karzen, crewmembers Terry Koller, David Dowrie, Aimee Smith, skipper Stan Mehaffey, and Mackinac Island Yacht Club’s regatta committee chair, Dave Rowe. Talisman is awarded the first-in-fleet flag for winning the 2015 Round the Island Race. (From left) Principal Race Officer Lloyd Karzen, crewmembers Terry Koller, David Dowrie, Aimee Smith, skipper Stan Mehaffey, and Mackinac Island Yacht Club’s regatta committee chair, Dave Rowe. Mackinac Island Yacht Club’s annual Round the Island Race took nearly three hours to complete, but only 14 seconds separated first-place Talisman from second-place Liberty.

Seven sailboats participated in the Wednesday, July 15, race, which aims to lure sailors who raced in the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac preceding this race. While four of them had completed the Race to Mackinac, the fleet also included local competitors.

First-place winner Talisman, a 33-foot T10 owned and skippered by Stan Mehaffey of Chicago, Illinois, finished with an elapsed time of 2:50:58, and a corrected time of 2:29:58. The 33-foot T10 Liberty, owned by Ray Douglas of Grayslake, Illinois, finished second with an elapsed time of 2:51:12, and a corrected time of 2:30:12.


Liberty came in second place overall with an elapsed time of 2:51:12, and a corrected time of 2:30:12. The crew included (from left) David Casanova of Los Angeles, California, Kristine Maybach of Campton Hills, Illinois, skipper Ray Douglas of Grayslake, Illinois, Aldo Caronia of Venice, Italy, and Borislava Baeva of Sofia, Bulgaria. Liberty came in second place overall with an elapsed time of 2:51:12, and a corrected time of 2:30:12. The crew included (from left) David Casanova of Los Angeles, California, Kristine Maybach of Campton Hills, Illinois, skipper Ray Douglas of Grayslake, Illinois, Aldo Caronia of Venice, Italy, and Borislava Baeva of Sofia, Bulgaria. “It’s so different than the Chicago to Mackinac race,” Mr. Mehaffey said. “This is icing on the cake.”

Mr. Mehaffey’s sons, Kevin and Brian Mehaffey, led Talisman to second place in the Chicago to Mackinac’s T10 section. Since they had to go back to Chicago for work, Mr. Mehaffey decided to sail the boat around the Island himself to keep its winning ways alive.


The Round the Island Race began at the buoy near Mission Point, by the east breakwater. Pictured is most of the fleet, led by 50 Free (left). Round Island and Bois Blanc Island are visible in the distance. The Round the Island Race began at the buoy near Mission Point, by the east breakwater. Pictured is most of the fleet, led by 50 Free (left). Round Island and Bois Blanc Island are visible in the distance. “It’s a fun time,” said Mr. Mehaffey, who previously won the first-in-fleet flag in 2011, “and it shows the hospitality of the Mackinac Island Yacht Club.” Mr. Mehaffey’s name will again be added to the Madigan Trophy at the Yacht Club, which recognizes victories in the annual race, now in its eighth year.

Talisman had a crew of four, including Mr. Mehaffey, David Dowrie of Philomath, Oregon, and Aimee Smith and Terry Koller, both of Chicago.


Liberty narrowly holds the lead over Talisman. The two competing sailboats were close for much of the race from the northwestern side of the Island to the finish line. Talisman ended up winning by a mere 14 seconds. St. Ignace is pictured in the distance. Liberty narrowly holds the lead over Talisman. The two competing sailboats were close for much of the race from the northwestern side of the Island to the finish line. Talisman ended up winning by a mere 14 seconds. St. Ignace is pictured in the distance. “It was so competitive with Liberty,” Mr. Dowrie said. “We didn’t think we’d win. We were just praying we crossed first.”

Mr. Douglas, skipper of Liberty, echoed that sentiment. He said the boats were neck-and- neck for most of the race, from the northwestern side of the Island to the finish line.

When his crew saw that Talisman was closing in on their lead, Mr. Douglas said they put away the food and drinks, and began to focus.

“It got fun when we realized it was close,” said crewman Aldo Caronia of Venice, Italy. “There was a good amount of breeze, and good competition.”

Crewman David Casanova of Los Angeles, California, added, “It was absolutely beautiful.”

“The race was a nice way to decompress after the Chicago to Mac,” said crewmember Kristine Maybach of Campton Hills, Illinois.

The crew, which also included Borislava Baeva of Sofia, Bulgaria, had never sailed around the Island, and heard about the race from Mr. Mehaffey.

Dandelion finished third in fleet and first among the Section 1 boats with an elapsed time of 3:03:30, and a corrected time of 2:44:30. The 37-foot Heritage, owned by Tom Jacobs of St. Joseph, like the top two finishers, also competed in the Chicago to Mackinac race.

“I love going around the Island,” said Mr. Jacobs, who was in his third Round the Island Race. “We always have a good time.

Mr. Jacobs raced with a crew that included his sons, Tom and John, Gretchen French, Karen Kelly, and Aaron Miller, all of the St. Joseph area.

Dave Berger of Mackinac Island held the lead early in the race aboard 50 Free, but ended up finishing fourth with an elapsed time of 2:55:24, and a corrected time of 2:52:54.

Blue Skye, with owner Joe Vallee of Rogers City, finished fifth with an elapsed time of 3:30:08, and a corrected time of 3:02:38.

Loki finished with an elapsed time of 3:30:08, and a corrected time of 3:03:50. The crew included Tom Derrah, Don Glasell, Steve Lambert, owner William Derrah, and Peter and Arleta Czechowski. All are from the Chicago area.

Toby Murray’s Island Girl participated, but did not finish.

The Round the Island Race began at the buoy near Mission Point, by the east breakwater, and finished in the harbor, directly in front of the Yacht Club.

Principal race officer Lloyd Karzen said, “The race went extremely well. We had a great lot of boats, all of different calibers.” He added, “All competitors had a good time.”

Mackinac Island Yacht Club’s regatta committee chair, Dave Rowe, said he hopes the race continues to grow in future years since the Yacht Club intends to follow the Chicago to Mackinac race annually.

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