Steve & Mark won the '23 12mi island race

12 Mile Island Race

Last Saturday’s 12 Mile Is race (held July 22nd) brought with it warm sunny skies with highs of 25c and winds from the west northwest at 10 kts. The wind pouring in from up river promised to also deliver gusts of 20 kts throughout the day and the idea that rounding the island would give the sailors the ability to cut loose and fly downwind back towards the club. With 9 sailboats all vying for bragging rights and the top winning prize, the weather didn’t fail.

The first to cross the start line was Steve and Mark in the Tasar. They did not disappoint as they beated up river towards the island in just under 2 hours. The 50 minute ride back gave their tense and tired muscles a much needed brake as they soared back and planed downwind to a 4th spot elapsed time finish just behind the 3 catamarans. Their sailing handicap placed them at the head of the leader board with several boats yet to finish.

Rob and Bianca in the Hobie 18 repeated their first place elapsed time result from 2 years ago. The wind didn’t allow for any dining on board this time as it was all hands on deck to deal with the winds. The handicap pushed them back into 3rd place while awaiting the other results.

Heidi and Connor, our fearless sailing instructors, very quickly took over the lead on their way up to 12 Mile Is. in the Hobie 18. As they approached the island, they pondered “How does one exactly gybe this beast anyway?” Having not yet read the Cat sailing manual, Connor resorted to a type of “parkour” sailing style as he threw the tiller extension one way around the back of the boat while simultaneously diving under the boom and catching said tiller on the other side. With thoughts of capsizing swirling in her head with each of these maneuvers, Heidi suffered a trapeze wardrobe malfunction and found herself launched and landing on her skipper Connor in the middle of his parkour maneuvers. A miraculous third place finish would have to suffice for the time being.

Frank and Jean, sailing the stylish RS cat, set out with hopes of an exhilarating ride, planing and surfing their way back to the club. The winds delivered but denied them their lunch experience on the water except for a quick snack of boiled eggs that Frank exclaimed was “the best thing ever!“

Ken, racing in his Laser, streamed across the finish line in quick time, shortly behind the Tasar despite the death roll practices he performed on the way back to the finish, proving again that one can be ejected from a laser and make it back in the boat in just under 1 minute.

Stephan, in the “Bomb” Bombardier, settled in for a full day’s sailing along with his construction cooler filled with a days allotment of food. Finding himself hungry before arriving up river to Pinhey’s Point, Stefan reached for 1 of the many items packed away in his cooler only to have his boat simultaneously give up both hiking straps. While tumbling upside down into the water, Stefan could only think of one important thing: My Cooler! A few successful man overboard maneuvers brought back the food bin into the boat, while Stefan faced some tricky sailing for the rest of the trip without any hiking straps.

Tom and newly qualified sailor Xiong set out in the Quest for the challenge of rounding 12 miles Is. With Tom sporting an old but new bright orange Dry Top, it was sure to allow us the ability to spot him where ever they sailed on the river. He was heard exclaiming that it was now “his new best friend.” This is Xiong’s first rounding. Congratulations are in hand.

Eric and Devin brought up the rear in the other Quest. The two red heads left in a pale condition when they set out only to return in a lovely shade of “pink lobster” upon arrival. 5 hours and 30 minutes in the sun was a challenge to both but they made it safely back to the club. Well done.

Special thanks to Jason who escorted the flotilla as far as Pinhey’s point in his sporty Musto.

Results including Portsmouth Yardstick Handicap

  1. Steve Harrington and Mark Cooligan
  2. Ken Skublics
  3. Rob Zgraggen and Bianca Helmus
  4. Frank Boyaner and Jean Mullan
  5. Heidi Cloutier and Connor Quinlan
  6. Tom Newman and Xiong Xue
  7. Stefan Bilan
  8. Eric Andrews and Devin Linnington

Carla Millar
Acting Sailing Director and Event RC