As recounted by Gordon Garrison 1981 aboard Razzmatazz
In 1981, Razzmatazz had the infamous distinction of being the first boat ever to be disqualified in the 'Round the Island Yacht Race. The challenge, to sail around the island with only two crew members aboard —two fewer than the four required by the rules.
Although the 'Razz' pulled into Summerside after not even a day of sailing, it was not the disqualification that convinced them to retire from the race. As usual, there were fairly strong winds and rough seas for the 'Round the Island that year and the little Tanzer 22 healed well in these conditions. So well, in fact, that all the food in the well provisioned icebox came loose and forced its weight against the icebox door, taking the entire door with it.
Apparently the new decorating scheme left neither food enough for the rest of the trip, nor place to sleep. Seems it was a good week before the interior of the boat got back to normal!
As recounted by Jim Ewing 1984 aboard Plover
Although I have taken up the sport of sailing and even cruising quite extensively in the past three years, I was not always as experienced or seasoned to the ways of the sea.
As I now read the account of the 1984 race in which I was priveleged to enter with skipper Bill Phillips aboard Plover, a flood of memories comes back to that most uncomfortable day on the Northumberland Strait.
The wind was westerly, the Strait was tossed with waves and very choppy. Poor old Plover, was having a difficult job making headway in those contitions. It wasn't long before myself and Bill Oulton, another less experienced sailor, were feeling rather queezie. I thought I had better go below for a little rest. BIG mistake! I wasn't below 15 seconds before I quickly retreated to the cockpit where I curled up and prayed for land.
Bill Phillips even felt a wee bit on the soft side during that trip, but Peter Griesbauer, with the constitution of a seasoned sailor, was able to continue with lunch and the navigation, and all those other things that the rest of us had put aside for a better day. It took us 6 and a half hours to get from the starting line to just the other side of St Peter's Island, where we threw in the towel.
After fishing the towel out of the water we then turned tail and scooted back to Charlottetown, taking only 2 hours to make it back to the dock — thank heavens!
I do look forward to participating in the '97 race however.
As recounted by Gordon Garrison 1980 aboard Keneskoonech
Apparently in 1980, Keneskoonech, skippered by Dr Bob Midgley of Charlottetown, had quite a crew aboard including a nephew of Bob's, a private school attendee who was visiting from "Upper Canada". Although not a particularly knowledgable sailor, the young gentleman had quite a constitution, spending most of the trip in the forward 'V' berth reading while much of the crew had their moments of hanging over the side singing to the fish. The seas were very rough by times.
After three days at sea, Keneskoonech drifted to a stop in calm weather off Wood Islands where, under sunny warm skies, they laid anchor so as not to loose ground, and took a swim. It was at this time that the well-schooled young man arose from the depths of the forward compartment to the cockpit. With a bit of a face and some distain in his voice, he said, as he wiped his hand across his mouth, "That water is salty!"
This of course brought all conversation to a stand-still. As several of the crewmembers paused and looked at one another, it was obvious as to what had to be done. Without a word, that young man from "Upper Canada" took a sail through the upper layers of the atmosphere only to experience an intimate taste of salt at the end of his trajectory!
If you have been involved with the 'Round the Island Yacht Race over the years and you have a little story or a perspective on the race to tell, please put down your thoughts and send them to me so we can add them here. All we ask is that they are based at least a smidgen on fact. Here is the start of a collection of stories, as recalled by some of crew members who participated in the event over the years.