May 30, 2023

2023 is more The Long Island Sound Race

The 76th Annual Block Island Race was more of a Long Island Sound Race this year as Storm Trysail Club Race Committee decided the morning of the start to shorten the 186 nm course to 132 nm due to light winds. While the first class was signaled to start on time at 1405 on Friday, May 26th, the wind kept dying and shifting, so the Race Committee went into a 20-minute postponement for Class 2. It took Class 1 a full 10 minutes to get over the line. And if that wasn’t painful enough, it was followed by another 20-minute AP before the Class 3 sequence. 

Finally, the northeasterly wind filled in and the subsequent 6 classes were off. With 55 boats competing under ORC or PHRF plagued with light, shifty, and teasing winds, only six teams retired. 

In just shy of 20 hours, Scott Weisman’s R/P 45 Pterodactyl and crew were the first to cross the finish line (0:19:52:10). Unfortunately, they corrected out to 0:23:03:38, far off the podium but at least their heads hit the pillows first! 

It was Vice Commodore Andrew Weiss with his Italia 11.98 who corrected out on top of the ORC fleet (0:20:53:50) to walk away the William Tripp, Jr Memorial Trophy. Though his Christopher Dragon XII crew are long-time Long Island sound sailors, even they said this one was tough for them.

"In conditions this shifty and light, we had to work really hard to find breeze and were changing sails all day and night," said Weiss. "It was an exhausting race physically and mentally."

Kevin Marks and John Fallon, winners of both the overall PHRF Terrapin Bowl and double-handed division, echoed the same sentiment after finishing in just over 24 hours in the J99 Velocity2.

"I attribute our success to my co-pilot and chief 'naviguessor' John Fallon," said Marks. " His strategic plan considered where the tidal currents would be and where the next new wind might be. We also know that pushing through and logging miles during the midnight-to-dawn period was critical to the

final performance."

Where the wind might have been lacking, the awards party at Stamford Yacht Club on Sunday made up for it. The food and beverages from our friends at The Real McCoy Rum, Regatta Craft Mixers, and Harbor Point Wine and Spirits kept the sailors smiling under the sun while enjoying the live music and camaraderie. 

For the full list of results and awards visit Yacht Scoring. 

Full awards list

  • GEORGE LAUDER TROPHY - Best performance by a Vintage boat (25 years old +)
    • CHARLOTTE – Richard West
  • COMMODORE'S GRAIL TROPHY - Best Performance PHRF Double-handed
    • VELOCITY 2 - Kevin Marks & John Fallon
  • GOVERNORS RACE WEST TROPHY - Best elapsed time in the ORC Fleet
    • PTERODACTYL - Scott Weisman
  • WILLIAM TRIPP, JR MEMORIAL TROPHY- Best corrected time in the ORC Fleet
    • CHRISTOPHER DRAGON XII - Andrew & Linda Weiss
  • TERRAPIN TROPHY- Best corrected time in PHRF
    • VELOCITY 2 - Kevin Marks & John Fallon
  • GOVERNORS RACE EAST TROPHY - Best elapsed time – PHRF
    • FIREBALL - Bill & Jackie Baxter
  • GEROLD ABELS - Best Performance ORC Double-Handed
    • STC RED - Christopher Dragon XII/Cougar/Lora Ann
  • TUNA TROPHY - Best ORC combined scores in the Edlu (40%) and the BI Race (60%)
  • COMMODORE'S TROPHY - To the boat that has won a handicap class by the smallest margin of time over the 2nd and 3rd place boats.
    • ZIG ZAG - Andrew Clark
  • HARVEY CONOVER MEMORIAL OVERALL TROPHY - Awarded to the boat that haswon her class and, in the judgment of the Flag Officers and Race Committee, had the best overall performance.
    • VELOCITY 2 - Kevin Marks & John Fallon

Photos: © 2023, Rick Bannerot,