“All-Inside” Course Option Added
Some new faces are expected at this year’s Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race with the announcement of a short course addition — the Plum Island Course (126 nautical miles all in Long Island Sound) – as a PHRF-class option to the event’s traditional 186 nautical mile course for both IRC and PHRF. The change for the Memorial Weekend event means starting at The Cows off Stamford, Conn. and rounding Red and White Whistle “PI” northwest of Plum Island before heading back while the rest of the Block Island Race fleet continues farther afield to circumnavigate Block Island.
“In 2007, we had created an option to shorten the race to the Plum Island Whistle and back in case the weather was bad,” said Storm Trysail Club Rear Commodore Lee Reichart. “This year, we thought that there just might be a significant number of new-to-ocean-racing boats and crews who might like to sail that course anyway, because it keeps them from having to go out in the ocean and consequently eliminates the need to carry a life raft, which is a safety requirement for all others in this race.”
With over 50 entries to date, the Block Island Race is easily on target to top last year’s fleet of 59 (in six IRC and two PHRF classes), and with the race preceding the biennial Newport Bermuda Race, organizers are expecting to host many of that distance race’s entrants who are preparing.
The Block Island Race, which has been held annually for 67 years, is a staple on the calendar of many New England competitors and starts on Friday May 25 at 1400. It is notorious for the “fork in the road” decision that Plum Island forces after 60 miles of sailing: competitors must decide to take either Plum Gut, “The Race” or even Fishers Island Sound while leaving Long Island Sound. This decision often determines the outcome of the race.
The Block Island Race was first held in 1946 and is a qualifier for the North Ocean Racing Trophy (IRC), the Double Handed Ocean Racing Trophy (IRC), the New England Lighthouse Series (PHRF), and the Gulf Stream Series (IRC). The Block Island Race is also a qualifier for the Caper, Sagola, and Windigo trophies awarded by the YRA of Long Island Sound and the ‘Tuna” Trophy for the best combined IRC scores in the Edlu (40%) and the Block Island Race (60%).
For more information on the Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race or the Plum Island Course (Notice of Race Amendment #1), visit www.stormtrysail.org or contact The Storm Trysail Club (914) 834-8857.
About the Storm Trysail Club
The Storm Trysail Club, reflecting in its name the sail to which sailors must shorten when facing severe adverse conditions, is one of the world’s most respected sailing clubs, with its membership comprised strictly of skilled blue water and ocean racing sailors. In addition to hosting Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex in odd-numbered years, the club holds various prestigious offshore racing events (among them the annual Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race and the Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race); annual junior safety-at-sea seminars; and Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta for college sailors using big boats.
For more information on the Storm Trysail Club and its events, including the Block Island Race, visit the official website www.stormtrysail.org.
(click on image below to view gallery)
Athena, the 295′ Huisman yacht and this year’s race committee boat, was even hard to make out in the foggy start conditions on Saturday for the first race start . Soon after the start the sea breezes kicked in and blew the fog out leaving a beautiful New England summer day. The breeze held for the afternoon at around 20kts. The 19 boat Bucket Regatta fleet flew around the course in the ideal conditions.
Timoneer, the 147′ DuBois/Vitters Ketch, dominated the day. Her seasoned crew racing flawlessly and furnishing first by 5 minutes. The new Perini Navi Performance 125′ Sloop, P2, came in second.
The two J Class yacht entries Ranger and the newly launched Hanuman (Endeavour II) were reminiscent of the old America’s Cup days with their beautiful long lines. The New Hanuman took third place after a close contest between the two boats. They beat Ranger ,who placed fourth, by only 38 seconds. Avalon finished fifth, followed 13 seconds later by the Swan 100, Virago in 6th, and the Swan 80, Selene 36 seconds later in 7th.
(click on images to enlarge)
Broken down into classes the results were: Les Gazelles des Mers (Racing Division), P2 finished first, Hanuman second, with Ranger in third place. Among Les Grandes Dames des Mers (Cruising Division), Timoneer is in first place, Avalon in second and Taza Mas in third place.
It was hard to tell which boat team won the party following the race. Clearly a great time was had by all the crews.
In another Bucket first, the 156′ Pendennis Shipyards, MITSEAAH, engineered to power at over twenty knots and sail with respectable performance, was challenged on day one in keeping up with the racing yachts on the upwind leg. Respecting the fact that the Bucket is also here to showcase the best attributes of each yacht while cultivating good racing, MITSEAAH was invited to start the race under full power, then execute a high speed 360 degree turn and roar off to the windward mark, where she re-converted to a sailing yacht, shut down the power and got into the race! Her left-field handicap worked well too; she crossed the finish line in fifth position.
Sunday’s racing started out with Mitseeah blasting across the start line at 20 kts without a bit of sail up.
The racing started out with light wind but sea breezes filled in during the afternoon. Summer Wind placed first, followed by Taza Mas in second , Sea Diamond took third for Sundays racing.
Jerry Kirby must not have gotten enough sailing time in during the Volvo Ocean Race. He was onboard Hanuman as Bowman.
These awards, first through third, are presented for the best performance overall for combined results, all classes, all races
Les Gazelles (Racing Class)
3rd Wild Horses
Les Grand Dames (Cruising Class)
2nd Taza Mas
All Star Crew Award presented by Holland Jachtbouw
(also presented by The Yacht Report and Crew Report Magazines)
At each Bucket Event, every yacht is asked to cast a ballot for the yacht crew among the fleet that demonstrates the most professional service in all tasks, while maintaining the best voie de vivre, camaraderie, teamwork and respect among the crew. This is the crew that displays the pinnacle of the profession and has the most fun at it – the yacht that everyone wants to work aboard. Because the award is earned by peer recognition, it has earned serious stature within the marine industry.
Vitter’s Shipyard Seamanship Trophy
The Vitters Seamanship Trophy is awarded to the yacht that demonstrates the best seamanship and sportsmanship in the interest of promoting safety on the race course. All participants in the Bucket acknowledge that superyachts have serious limitations operating safely in close quarters and therefore, the RC has always valued safety well above performance. This award will recognize the yacht that best demonstrates that understanding. It also goes to prove that nice guys don’t always finish last!!
The Chippewa Bomb
Hanuman On Narraganset Bay, Rhode Island, USA (Photo by George Bekris)
Most of the yachts are docked at Newport Shipyard. They are making the last of preparations for this weekend’s events. The First Gun/First race for the Newport Bucket will be at 12 noon Saturday July 18. Courses to be announced. Fair Weather Courses will be sailed in Rhode Island Sound.
No, they are not planning to Grill Out on P2.