Storm Trysail Club History

THE STORM

TRYSAIL CLUB

STORY

BY RON WEISS

To fully appreciate The Storm Trysail Club, one must understand the circumstances surrounding the very moment the club was conceived, and the fact that the circumstances involved a bottle of rum.

FOUNDING MEMBERS

Robert De Castro

Henry Devereux

Dick Goennel

Ed Raymond

Henry Sears

Geoff Smith

James Thornburn

It was during the 1936 Bermuda Race that a group of sailors set off on the schooner Salee. The ’36 race was bad, one of the worst in the history of the event. Many boats withdrew, but others elected to challenge themselves and tough it out. During that horribly rough storm, one sailor on another boat was ejected from his windward bunk, smashed face-first into he leeward bunk, spat out his freshly dislodged teeth, got his foulies on, and at 4 a.m., took his trick at the helm. (We hasten to add that theClub, in a continuing effort to reduce the frequency of such incidents, is very much focused on offshore safety.) As the storm built in intensity, Salee’s mainsail blew out, and the crew was forced to set the storm trysail — a small, triangular and heavily constructed sail generally used in only the direst of conditions.

That winter, as the crew of Salee gathered around a bottle of rum (and possibly more than one) and talked about their shared memories of the race, this hardy group was inspired to form a new club — The Storm Trysail Club — open only to those sailors who had proved capable of handling themselves offshore in the worst weather imaginable.

Dues were initially set at a bottle of rum a year. From these rough and tumble (literally) beginnings, The Storm Trysail Club has grown to almost 1,000 members. Each member, from the first to the latest, has been selected for their experience offshore, their willingness to share their experience and knowledge with others, to be a good shipmate and a tough competitor, as well as being someone who knows how to have fun.

In short, we are fierce on the starting line, and friendly on the beer line.The Storm Trysail Club provides leadership in the sailing world through our well-regarded Safety at Sea and Jr. Safety at Sea seminars, race management of some of the most prestigious and well-attended racing events in the world, and our efforts to increase participation in ocean racing, especially youth involvement.

Members of The Storm Trysail Club are deeply engaged in the upper echelons of sailboat racing all around the globe, in virtually every aspect of the sport. Those who are selected for membership know that STC is not about amenities and facilities, but is instead focused on nothing more than the health and growth of offshore sailing. A member of STC is widely regarded as not just an experienced deepwater sailor, but also as generous and willing to share their experience in giving back to the sport that provides them so much in return.

For eight decades, The Storm Trysail Club has been, and will continue to be, at the bleeding edge (sometimes literally, in the case of the aforementioned ’36 Bermuda Race participant) of development in organizing new events, rating rules, yacht design, and safety standards and best practices, while continuing the tradition of camaraderie, fellowship and fun started by the crew of the Salee.

If you share our love for ocean racing, a passion made even stronger by racing with and against people you respect and enjoy spending time with, and wish to introduce others to the sport, its camaraderie and its ideals, then membership in The Storm Trysail Club should be on your horizon.

To fully appreciate The Storm Trysail Club, one must understand the circumstances surrounding the very moment the club was conceived, and the fact that the circumstances involved a bottle of rum. Here is more historic tidbits from members:

The Storm Trysail Club to conduct a one-day Hands-On Safety-at-Sea Seminar on May 16, 2020

The event was held on November 15th at Indian Harbor Yacht Club, the original home of Carina when she was commissioned by the Nye family.

Storm Trysail Foundation Benefit and Awards Dinner. Congratulations To The 2017 Storm Trysail Foundation Awards Winners, the crew of High Noon and Peter “Luigi” Reggio.

The Storm Trysail Club, with the support of the Storm Trysail Foundation, will be hosting our fourth Hands-On Safety-at-Sea Seminar on May 20, 2017, at the campus of the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College at Fort Schuyler in the Bronx, New York.

– As the first week of summer program sailing started throughout the region, 18 students from throughout the Chesapeake and as far away as New York came to Annapolis YC to learn about Big Boat safety and skills at the Junior Safety at Sea Seminar.

The Storm Trysail Foundation held it’s Hand’s on Safety-at-Sea Seminar at SUNY Maritime College on Saturday, April 18th.

Storm Trysail’s Annual Hands-On Seminar was held Saturday, May 20, at the SUNY Maritime College at Fort Schuyler in the Bronx, NY. This is the fifth such Seminar and we continue to evolve the concept of a one day seminar to achieve World Sailing certification.

The Storm Trysail Foundation hosted its annual US Sailing-sanctioned Hands-On Safety-at-Sea Seminar on Saturday May 18, 2019, at SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx, New York

Legendary musician Jimmy Buffett made a surprise appearance at the final awards party for Block Island Race Week, presented by Margaritaville which was fabulous way for the participants to end the week.

We caught up with many newcomers to the fleet this year to learn what drew them to Block Island.

The day may have started foggy but the penultimate day of the 2019 Race Week was far from slow with 2 races on 3 circles completed.

For this skipper and revolving cast of characters, the annual pilgrimage to Race Week means more than the races themselves

For the 65 boats that started the 74th Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race, the wind gods proved to be capricious. Competitors found themselves to be racing in big breeze one minute, and no breeze the next.

80 boats crossed the starting line in big breeze to begin the 73rd edition of the 186 nm Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race.

At the 2020 Annual Meeting, Gary Jobson offered his report from the Long Rane Planning Committee,

Our beloved sport of ocean racing and big boat racing in general — if you haven’t heard from Dick Neville yet — faces significant challenges, particularly in participation.  These challenges, however, also […]

The NOR is posted and registration is open on Yacht Scoring for the 2020 Block Island Race which will begin on Friday, May 22.

With the planned start of the 72nd edition of the Block Island Race on May 26 off of Stamford, CT, conflicting weather models had navigators and skippers scratching their heads as they planned their strategies.