• marker2 N48 27.2' W123 17.7'

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History of the Mini-12 Fleet at RVYC

Source: History of the Mini-12 Fleet written by Jo McBride, with updates by Gordon Wilkinson.

Deception Class

Designed in 1983 by Guy Tyrwhitt-Drake

Andrew McBride helped with laying out the plans, etc.  The design is a composite of the underbody, keel and rudder of Liberty (a 12-metre which lost to Australia 2), the stern of Azzura, an Italian 12-metre, and the hull and lines from a 6-metre.

A group of individuals got together to put into action the building of a fleet.  First they built a plug and took a mould from the plug.  The individuals involved were:

Guy Tyrwhitt-Drake
Rod McBride
Gerry Porter
John Graham
George Cesarec
Andrew McBride
Lyle Hayden
Peter Kleyn
Rick McBride

Gerry Porter launched the first Deception in 1984.  She had a black hull.  Gerry sailed her by himself once and later sold her to Dave Cook in 1985. Those two were going into a venture of making Deceptions and renting them at Oak Bay Marina where they could be sailed, but Oak Bay Marina did not go for it.  That Deception was sold again and went to Friday Harbor, WA.

Andrew McBride launched CAN 1, Pretty Baby in late 1985.  She was painted maroon.

Lyle Hayden launched CAN 2, Deception in 1986. The hull was painted silver.

Peter Kleyn launched CAN 4 in 1986.  He sailed her for a few years and sold her to Fred Schemitsch who named her Canada 1. Fred later renamed her Freedom.  Gerry Porter bought Freedom in the fall of 1997 and renamed her Popeye.

Rod McBride started building a Deception but decided to sail club boats (Illusions).  Bob Davies bought and completed the CAN 8, which he named Top Banana.  Bob then sold her to David Scott who painted the hull canary yellow and renamed her Canary.

Guy was very slow getting CAN 3 Gosling into the water, so Andrew got onto it and finished it off. The hull was painted blue. Guy then went into partnership with Bob Austin who sailed her for a few years.  Bob sold his half share to John Tibbles, (still no Guy) who renamed her Blue Jay

Rocky Rochfort, Roy Barber, and Mike Fraser bought a CAN 11 Valiant from Rick McBride.  She was painted white.  Later Roy sold his one-third share to Joanne Buck and Mike sold his one-third share to Geoff Buck.  In 1997 Joanne sold her share to Geoff.

John Graham and George Cesarec never did start a boat.

Harry Torno built CAN 5 Piccolo and started sailing in the fall of 1987.  She was painted light cream.

Peter Kleyn started building another CAN 93 Pinky in 1993, and sold her to Michael Woodward who renamed her Gretel.  Dick and Dianne Payne bought her in the summer of 1996 and renamed her Moggy.

Jim Williams built CAN 9 Delusion in 1993 and started sailing her in the fall of 1993.  She is painted white and blue.

Fred Schemitsch had John Booth build CAN 40 Freedom, which was launched in December 1997.

Don Brady had John Booth built CAN 50 Laurel, which was launched in 1999. Gordon Wilkinson bought her from Don in May '04 and renamed her Veracity.

As of fall 1999 we had 11 Deceptions in the fleet .

As of 2004 the Seattle Yacht Club now has 21 Deception Class boats and that fleet is the largest one-design fleet in that club with many very prominent members sharing ownership. Members include Past Commodores, people who own large race boats such as a Santa Cruz 52 and a 68 foot Nelson Mereck. The late Kelly O'Neill also owned a Deception.

Illusion Class

In 1985 John Newton bought a business with several Illusion class Mini-12’s as stock.  He offered them to Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, which declined.  He then offered them to Royal Victoria Yacht Club, which first turned down the offer but later decided to take him up on it. John Newton donated the first six boats of the Illusion Fleet to the club. A group from the club went to Vancouver with a truck and returned with the 6 Illusions:
KC 6        True North
KC 7        Vanity
KC 10     Trivia
KC 13     Sovereign
KC 14     Modesty
KC 15     Canada 2

In 1986 one Illusion was tested for buoyancy and stability.  It remained afloat when filled with water including the two side tanks.

In 1987 six more Illusions were available and John Newton donated two more to the club:
KC 5        Intrepid
KC 87     Vim

The other four were purchased by private owners:
KC 12     Eagle                Neil Walker
KC 16     Magic               Gerry Guest
KC 101   Clipper             Sid Bryant
KC 107   Sceptre             Mike Fraser

John Newton donated one more Illusion he found in Calgary and had it shipped out:
KC 104    Courageous.
This brought the total number of boats donated by John Newton to nine.

Mike Fraser sold KC 107 in 1988 to people outside the club who renamed her Passing Wind.

In 1989 Mini-12’ers and friends donated KC 4 World Peace to the club as a memorial to Jim Davis.  This brought the Illusion fleet to 10 club boats and 3 private boats.

Someone in the state of Washington contacted the Fleet Executive Committee in 1997 about an Illusion for sale.  Chris Dodd purchased this boat, christened her CAN20 Nauti 1, and started racing her in September 1997.  Fleet size has grown to 10 club and 4 private Illusions.

In the summer of 1998, Hugh Carroll purchased KC 107 from people at Shawnigan Lake, had her hull repainted red and renamed her Passing Wind/Breeze/Gas?.  Now we had 10 club and 5 private Illusions.

Summary: In 1987 there were thirteen Illusions in the fleet, of which nine were club boats donated by John Newton.  In 1988 one private boat was sold away from the fleet, reducing the fleet to 9 club and 3 private boats. In 1986 we added one club boat to have 10 club and 3 private boats.  In 1997 we added one private boat for a total of 10 club and 4 private boats.  In 1998 we again added one private boat and have a total of 10 club and 5 private Illusions in the fleet.

Fleet Organization History

1985/86 Season

The first executive committee was formed by Wally Roots and Jim Williams in 1985:

Chairman Rocky Rochfort First Boat Launched 17 August 1985
Vice Chair Jim Williams More on 5 October 1985
Secretary Treasurer Jan Olsen Organization Meeting 10 October 1985
Group Leader Ian Sherwin First Race 19 October 1985
Group Leader Mike Nusbaum    

Illusions – 6 boats:
KC 6        True North

KC 7        Vanity
KC 10     Trivia
KC 13     Sovereign
KC 14     Modesty
KC 15     Canada 2

Canada 1 – Heart of America Series – 23 November 1985.  When the crew of Canada 1 were in town they were invited to come and sail the Illusions boats, which they did.

1986/87 Season

Chairman Mark Brown First AGM held 10 September 1986
Fleet Supervisor Andrew McBride & Ian Chisolm Deceptions started racing
Secretary/Treasurer Hugh Brimacombe  

The start of the Inter-Club racing with Royal Vancouver Yacht Club

Inter-Club RVanYC @ RVicYC    14-15 February 1987    Won by RVanYC
Inter-Club RVicYC @ RVanYC   14-15 February 1986    Won by RVicYC

1987/88 Season

Chairman John Baker AGM 8 October 1987
Fleet Supervisor Lyle Hayden & Rod McBride Inter-Club RVicYC @ RVanYC 9-10 April 1988 - Won by RVanYC
Scorekeeper Andrew McBride    
Entertainment Rocky Rochfort    
Secretary/Treasurer  Mark Brown    


Learning of 7 more Illusions in Vancouver, a group from the club went to Vancouver with a rented truck and returned with 6 boats.  The seventh boat was not an Illusion.  John Newton later shipped another Illusion from Calgary to the club.  John Newton donated three boats to the club.

Jill Robertson won the Jo McBride Trophy Regatta, held 26/27 March 1988.

1988/89 Season

Chairman Jim Williams AGM 29 September 1988
Fleet Captain Bob Davies Inter-Club RVanYC @ RVicYC Won by RVanYC
Club Boat Rep. Ian Chisolm    
Scorekeeper Andrew McBride    
Entertainment Joanne Buck    
Secretary/Treasurer Gerry Guest    

Stephanie Bacon won the Jo McBride Trophy Regatta, held 18-19 March 1989


Birth of the Deceptions

Submitted by Gerry Porter

In late 1982/83 several of us saw the Illusion Class Mini 12's displayed at the Vancouver Boat Show. The price was $5500. Over a few beer back at the club, we decided we could build our own a lot cheaper. Andrew McBride and Guy Drake were heavy into 6 metre boats at the time. Guy had just completed the Westlawn School of Yacht design. Lyle Hayden, Peter Kleyn and I had some boat building experience. Peter had built his own 31 footer from scratch and had worked for a couple of years with John Booth. Lyle, of course, was a carpenter/house builder/boat builder and I was just a boat nut who had rebuilt or built several Thunderbirds, a Catalina 27 kit boat and a Sun 28 kit boat. Andrew had completed a Thunderbird hull/deck kit.

We rounded up several other enthusiasts including Rick and Rod McBride, John Graham, and George Cesarec. Guy drew up the plans based on the latest thinking for the 6 metre class, Andrew lofted the plans out full size at Ricks’ Leitch & McBride sail loft and we were off.

We started construction of the male plugs in the garage of my house in Sept/Oct of 1983. Janice and I had just brought home our youngest son from the hospital in the summer, she got a whiff of fibreglas resin and ordered us to get that stuff out of here. We moved the boat building operation to Tini and Lyle Hayden’s work shop and proceeded. Like many groups, the enthusiasm of the bigger group soon waned and most of the mold construction was completed by Peter, Lyle, Andrew, Guy and myself. We eventually completed the molds and 5 or 6 or 7 hull/deck kits were produced.

At this time we were all busy making a life, working, getting education raising kids etc. Andrew took a job on Salt Spring Island.

The first Deception to be completed was an all black beauty which I launched in October 1984. Shortly after launch I got involved with building my Hotfoot 31 Lickety Split, so I sold the boat to David Cook who wanted to set up a boat rental business out of Oak Bay Marina. I actually contracted with him to build two others. Unfortunately, he did not get the blessing of Bob Wright so he gave up the idea. He subsequently sold that black boat to someone on San Juan Island and it hasn’t been heard of or seen since. Probably a flower planter now.

Andrew eventually came back to Victoria and finished and launched PRETTY BABY and claimed sail number #1. I hadn’t thought of a sail number, the first of many miscalculations while trying to be in front of Andrew. (Andrew and I had much competition when we each owned Thunderbirds.) Lyle finished his DECEPTION and claimed sail #2, Andrew stepped in and finished #3 for Guy, and Peter finished #4 (subsequently sold to Fred Schemitsch and then to me in about 2000, now POPEYE). Harry launched #5 PICOLO in 1988, ? finished #8 (now CANARY owned and competively sailed by David Scott and Roger Palmer), Jim Williams completed #9 (subsequently sold out of the club), Fred Schemitsch had FREEEDOM #40 built, and Don Brady had #50 built (now VERACITY, Gordon Wilkinson). Peter built #92, now MOGGY (Dick Payne, recently partnering with Dave Gair). I think Geoff Buck's VALIANT #11 may have originally been hull 6 or 7. The newest boat in the fleet is John Vincent's #22 WINDDRIVEN. There have been recent ownership changes with Robert McCrone, and Jack Miller moving from Illusions. Andrew McBride has purchased a half share of his former PRETTY BABY, now renamed CANADA 1. Bob Dahlgleish purchased Lyle and Tini Hayden's #2 DECEPTION and is showing some of us how to sail. We currently have 10 boats sailing and Guys’ old boat is awaiting refurbishment by new owner Richard Jacques.

In the late 90's Seattle Yacht Club members fell in love with our Deceptions and they now have 21 John Booth-built boats in active use. There were 3 other boats taken from the molds but whereabouts are unknown. John Booth recently supplied a kit to a Seattle enthusiast.