2 – Team Miss Moose: Suzanne Steele & Jeff Hillberry aboard “Miss Moose” (17′ Siren)


We of Team ‘Miss Moose’ (motto: Servate nobis aliquam cenam [Save Us Dinner]) like to think we bring a whole new appreciation to the concept of ‘finalists’ to this wondrous competition of sleek, well-built, and beautiful little wooden boats, none of which describes our own little beauty. Miss Moose, a 17′ Siren, is a sturdy fibreglass Boler-of-a-boat who has served us well, notably, in 2015, on a 2200 km journey from the ice fields of the Rocky Mountains, the birthplace of the mighty river highway the historic North Saskatchewan, to the upper reaches (through Class 3 rapids), all the way to outfall at the heart of the continent at Lake Winnipeg. Miss Moose has provided us shelter and adventure for five years, allowing us to cruise sea lion colonies (that is until we saw that sea lions actually jump ONTO little boats like MM), explore islands, bob on Bain Sound in summer, and has acted as a fine ambassador for us, so non-threatening is she to this fine cadre of competitive sailors.

‘Skip’, a.k.a. ‘Captain Tinker,’ Jeff Hilberry, has spent his lifetime playing music, running reforestation crews, and now works in the film industry. Otherwise his time has been well-spent ‘messing about on boats,’ to quote Mole, from Wind In The Willows. Until recently, he has owned nothing smaller than a 30ft sailboat, having lived aboard a 36′ Atkin for many years while raising a family. With Miss Moose, however, he reports he can now sleep at night, especially during big storms knowing the boat is snug on her trailer back at his Denman Island ranch.

 ‘What do you mean I can only bring 10 books with me on the raid?’ Dr. Steele is reported to have said when informed by Skip that Miss Moose needed to lighten her load in order to race, and, interestingly, before a full set of Skip’s tools, including a cordless drill set, emerged from the hold after MM’s outboard motor broke during the race. When Suzanne, a doctor of the soul (PhD) and poet, isn’t busy writing operas  (premiere 2020), she dreams of being a contender on the water. Despite having grown up on the North Shore of Vancouver, Steele has never sailed, the BF Raid of 2018 being her first time on the ocean outside of little toodles around Denman Island. Regretting missing the 2019 Raid, Steele is said to be in training for the 2020 Raid, determined to see MM’s team become the ACTUAL FINALIST this year, having been ‘robbed’ of the position by an unnamed team!!!!

As diehard Detroit Tigers fans, Steele and Hilberry demonstrate our lifelong  commitment to the idea of being ‘finalists’!

  • 2018 results: placed #14 Miss Moose (Jeff and Suzanne) — 106 points

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