Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Fast Block Island Race

J/121 sailing Block Island Race at sunset 
(Stamford, CT)- The Memorial Day weekend classic offshore race for Northeast sailors is Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race. The event is an 186.0nm race from Stamford, east down Long Island Sound, out around Block Island and back to the finish off Stamford.  The race started on Friday, May 24th at 1400 hrs and most boats finished before midnight on Saturday evening, that meant the boats lapped the race track in about 30 to 33 hours, an average of 5.6+ kts (a strong current influenced figure).
Block Island race course
According to a J/121 CRESCENT IV team member, "from the start to The Race, the wind was good, a north strong wind (sometimes over 20 knots). Then, the wind goes down and we did a lots of tacking to make an approach to Block Island. Firstly, we try to get a breeze in the north part (close to the Block Island), but then, we decided to take the south side of the course, since the wind would gradually shift to the left hand side (a southerly shift). Between Block Island and The Gut, we picked a zephyr thermal and approached the Plum Island Gut. Then, the wind stopped again, 0 knots!! Only the 2 knot current pushed us westward through The Gut. Then, after we passed The Gut, and the wind picked up to 15-18 knots (south wind), we took off on a fast reach to the finish."

Racing the Block Island course were a dozen larger J’s.  In IRC 2 Class, Len Sitar’s J/44 VAMP finished fourth.

In the IRC 3 Class, Dale & Michael McIvor’s J/133 MATADOR took third place, followed by Akimatsu Hirai’s J/121 CRESCENT IV (Japan) in fifth place.
 Plum Island, the race
The PHRF 3 Class had two J/105s, winning was Frank Conway’s RAPTOR and the American YC Youth team- the Young American’s took second place.

The PHRF 5 Class saw J/Crews take 4 of the top 6 spots. Top banana was Jeff Warren’s J/109 ARIEL getting the silver.  Then, John Greifzu’s J/109 GROWTH SPURT placed 4th, Arthur Hanlon’s J/112E DAUNTLESS in 5th, and Mark Nannini’s J/120 SALACIA in 6th.

The PHRF 7 Class was dominated by J/111s. Top dog was Bill & Jackie Baxter’s FIREBALL, taking the silver. Joining them on the podium was John Donovan’s LIBERTAS. Then, rounding out the top five was US Merchant Marine’s BLACK DIAMOND YCC skippered by Alex Mueller in 4th and Abhijeet Lele’s VARUNA that took 5th place.

Finally, the PHRF 8 Class had Brian Prinz’s J/125 SPECTRE fly around the race track in 31 hours, missing their class win by a mere 13 minutes.  For more Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race sailing information-  Entries/ scores   Race site