Sunday, June 23, 2013

One Big Island!

Every two years on the odd numbered years when there is not a Vic Maui Race the Van Isle 360 is held. This regatta consists of 10 legs sailed over 14 days this year beginning the 8th of June. The race circumnavigates Vancouver Island and for all the details checkout the website. AYC was represented by Kevin Welch and the ICONIANS and Doug Fryer with Team Night Runner. From carbon to canvas, well actually dacron, these two boats could not be more different. Or could they? Both designed by Bob Perry, huge sail inventories, Night Runner carried 3 staysails, a jib top, a drifter, 1/2, 3/4, 1.5, and 2.2 ounce spinnakers, as well as a specialty reaching kite, Number 1, 2, 3 and 5 headsails the spare main rode in the Northwest Rigging support van. ICON was ably assisted by "SWAN" a 70' Monk powerboat and I'm guessing their sail inventory is similarly complete. ICON has an antenna farm on her transom that appears to rival the NSA while Night Runner is generally guided by Jerry Vanderveen and a handheld GPS. AYC member Ian Sloan handles the driving duties at the start aboard ICON while Doug Fryer with over 60 years of sailing experience under his Sou Wester only gives up the helm long enough to check the fathometer every now and then. Both crews are primarily local boys, the old ones on Night Runner and the young guns on ICON. Looking for the ladies? Look to ICON and Ian's wife Joy handling everything from logistics to the main halyard, also Kevins' wife Jenny looking for secrets to steal for use aboard "Soulfood", it would be easier to find a female in a Turkish mens prison than aboard NR. Kevin's sons Eric and Christian are also among the ICON crew while Doug's son Daniel, assigned to the 3/75 Ranger Battalion, is preparing for a deployment to Afghanistan. (Keep him in your prayers.) Both boats have Swiftsure, Southern Straits and numerous Seattle regatta victories and rumor has it that ICON may be out to better Night Runners Vic Maui podium record. I think Bob Perry is justifiably proud of both of these designs. First class programs defining the breadth of the PNW sailing spectrum. How did the race go? As Kevin Welch was quick to remind me, Night Runner already has her victory for this year, (Swiftsure). Congratulations to the Big Blue Show, ICON, Captain and crew brought home the silverware, again!