Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Block Island Race Week Preview

J/111 sailing off Block Island(Block Island, RI)- The even year Block Island Race Week, running from June 23rd to 27th, is an exciting event for racers who love competing in a week long series in Block Island Sound in the years between the Storm Trysail Club’s biennial event. Beginning in 2008 the Duck Island Yacht Club of Westbrook, CT has ably providing race committee and logistic support. Even better yet, Sue Miller, a highly respected PRO (and former top Tufts University Jumbos sailing team member), will be ensuring the sailors get more than their fair share of excellent sailing in Block Island Sound.

Answering the call to arms for this year’s event are J/109s in IRC Class, J/111s and two new J/88s in PHRF 1 and three J/29s and J/35 in PHRF 2.  In fact, of the 24 boats sailing, 11 are J/Teams from across the Northeast.

We find Bill Sweetser’s J/109 RUSH and Hugh McLean’s J/109 SHEARWATER up against tough customers like Ken Colburn’s championship winning Swan 42 team- APPARITION (many former top J/105 sailors from Marblehead, MA).  Another Swan 42 will be a factor in the running for the silver- Paul Zabetakis’s IMPETUOUS.

The PHRF 1 class is just about over-run with good J/crews.  Doug Curtiss’s J/111 WICKED 2.0, a past winner of Block Island Race Week, will be hoping to return to the top of their class.  Sedgwick Ward’s J/111 BRAVO is also aiming for the podium again.  Certain to give these two boats headaches may be the twin new J/88s, Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION and David Betts’s INSTANT KARMA.  Finally, John Forster’s J/92 SALTIRE will be working hard to keeping them all honest.

We see another trio of J/29s doing battle again for class bragging rights in PHRF 2 class.  To be sure, it will be hard to knock-off perennial class champ- HUSTLER (sailed by John & Tony Esposito and Neil Caruso from Long Island Sound).  Aleksandr Tichter’s J/29 AKULA and Dan Bullard’s J/29 MADCAP XI plan to sweep the podium with their HUSTLER friends.  Meanwhile, Tom Sutton’s J/35 LEADING EDGE is, of course, planning to ambush the J/29s at the start, steal all their wind, and sail off over the horizon! For more Block Island Race Week sailing information