LARCHMONT N.Y. – Commodore Ed Cesare said during the virtual Weather Webinar the night before racing: “Welcome to the third annual 75th Block Island Race, here’s hoping third time's a charm.” Storm Trysail Club finally was able to run their May distance race in classic spring conditions.
77 boats started the race on Friday afternoon off Stamford, Conn., with most of the fleet opting for the 186nm Block Island Course, while 2 classes sailed the shorter 136nm Plum Island course. Divided among ORC and PHRF classes, the teams were treated to strong southerly gradient making the racetrack a reach down Long Island Sound and around Block Island and back. Some teams reported isolated 50+ knot squalls complete with hail. By Saturday morning, most of the teams were making their way back into a foggy Sound in a light westerly beating to the finish line.
Ultimately, it was Wizard, Fred Detweiler & Bruce Aikens’ R/P 69 who took line honors and the Governors Race West Trophy at 10:39 with a time of 19 hours 14 minutes and 27 seconds (still 8 hours shy of the course record set in 2015 by 100-ft Comanche.) It was a very slow last few 15 miles taking nearly 4 hours to complete and the faster boats all compressing for a light beat to the finish.
Once the rest of the fleet finished and the ratings were applied, it was Rear Commodore Andrew Weiss ’ new Italia 11.98, Christopher Dragon, who took home the top ORC award, the William Tripp, Jr. Memorial Trophy for best corrected time.
In the PHRF fleet, the Bill and Jackie Baxter’s J/111 Fireball has both the best elapsed and corrected times taking the Terrapin and Governors East Trophy respectively.
Other special trophies presented at the awards at Stamford Yacht Club went to Groupe 5, a Figaro2 sailed by, Zach Doerr & Vad Shablinsky from NEKA Sailing for best ORC performance doublehanded; a tie for the Roddie Williams Team Race Trophy, Larchmont YC made up of, In Theory, Phantom, and Warrior Won and Pequot YC made up of Libertas, Madison and Tacktile and George Lauder Trophy for best performance by a vintage boat to Plantir 5, June and Amanda Kendrick ’s J/44.
“Thank you to all the teams, volunteers, and sponsors who made the Block Island Race this year a great success,” said event chair John Troy. “We wish all the teams taking on the Bermuda Race next month the best of luck and we will see you all back here next year.”
More photos from Rick Bannerot: