This past weekend in Seattle WA, the 28th running of the Mini 12 Interclub Team Race Regatta was held, this year hosted by the Seattle Yacht Club. This regatta was started by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club out of Victoria Canada as a friendly competition between their club and the rival club across the Straits of Georgia, the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. About 20 years ago they asked the Seattle Yacht Club to participate and the three clubs have been going head to head ever since. Royal Victoria YC has developed a very large fleet of Illusion Class Mini’s and several of the locally designed and built Deception Class Mini’s (based on the 1980’s style Americas Cup boats). After losing badly for several years but having more fun than ever, Seattle YC decided in 2000 it was time to buy their own fleet of 21 Deception’s. Since that time SYC has won 10 of the past 12 events, the two losses went to the talented Royal Victoria sailors (time for Royal Vancouver to buy some boat I would say!).
Each club alternates the hosting of the event with Vancouver hosting at Royal Victoria using their boats. It was Seattle’s turn this year and the event was held in Portage Bay right off the Club’s main station. Some key observations about this event include a keg of micro brew on the rotation changing dock, nice respectable start time of 1:00 PM on Saturday, coffee, juice and muffins each morning, catered lunch each day, a dinner party with a live swing band Saturday evening and an average age for the entire group of racers at around 65 to 70 years old ( I am one of the young punks at 54, and of course the ladies in the group bring the age average way down!). The format is team racing 3 on 3 and each club came with two teams of three sailors, with extras to rotate in as needed (beer and potty breaks). 18 boats on the small bay made for quite a spectacle especially with the "Sleepless In Seattle" house boats in the background, with bright sun and good winds for the two day event. SYC ended up getting 27 flights of races off with each club sailing in 18 races. Coming out on top, with the home court and boat advantage was Seattle with a score of 16 wins and 2 loses, second was Royal Victoria with 9 wins and 9 loses and Royal Vancouver beat each club once and ended with a 2 win 16 loss score.
I must say that I am having more fun with this group and these boats than I have ever had with any other one design fleet in which I’ve been involved! The Seattle fleet races year round and this year we will have 44 race days and average close to 265 starts! Undoubtedly the most active fleet in the Northwest! – Anarchist Stacey.