Plenty of boats collected awards today for the Caithness Energy Race Day at Block Island Race Week, but nobody packed the stage quite as effectively as the crew of the Tartan 46 Testing Life, sailing in the Cruising Spinnaker Division.
It is fitting that in this 50th anniversary Block Island Race Week regatta that the 12-person crew sailing aboard Testing Life is comprised of friends and immediately family. After all, this was a key ingredient in the original regatta in 1965. Brian Mulhall, co-owner, with his wife Diane thinks that the future of sailing resides in the inclusion of the cruiser/racer class in regattas. Mulhall advocates the principle of "having fun" while competing with the best.
His crew of twelve only makes up half of the contingent the family have brought with them to Block Island. "We rented one of the big houses on Corn Neck Road," Mulhall says and he'll need it to accommodate the 25 people have come to the island to enjoy the regatta and the destination. When asked about his crew's success on today’s course, Mulhall explains that it all comes down to "following the directions from the race committee" in the Sailing Instructions and Notice of Race.
Considering they have a first-in-class finish in the Annapolis to Newport Race and a first today to start BIRW 2015, the Mulhall's are making a pretty good argument for the future of family and friends for fun for sailing.