While all of Canada east of Georgia Strait shivered in the intense cold with many events cancelled, members of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s Mini 12 fleet enjoyed its 30th year of celebration on New Year’s Day on the water.
Fourteen members took to the boats while another six had good intentions but decided boisterous conditions warranted prudence and observation from the official host boat.
The Mini 12s are a reduced size version of the graceful 12-metre boats used in Americas Cup challenges for many decades. Although similiar in appearance with names such as Illusion or Deception the Mini 12 class are 12 or 13 feet in length and sailed by a single person instead of 69 feet and 13 crew on the Americas Cup versions.
The Mini 12 sailors sit inside the hull, and steer with their feet leaving hands free for sailhandling. The Royal Victoria Yacht Club co-ed sailors, about 35 strong, are mostly in their diamond or platinum years and sail Saturdays from September to April, switching to weekday sailing in the spring and summer. Ample lead ballast in the keel keeps the craft upright, you sometimes get splashed but never capsize.
The club aprés sail get together and potluck for 50 sailors and social members culminates the 20-year New Year’s Day tradition.
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