In 1964, Commodore Jakob Isbrandtsen and NY Herald Tribune yachting reporter Everett B. Morris were jointly instrumental in urging The Storm Trysail Club to establish Block Island Race Week. Isbrandtsen and Morris patterned the Club’s new race week after Cowes Week in the U.K. The dominant theme is hard racing with fine competition and time for daily camaraderie in complete informality. The first Race Week in 1965 attracted more than 175 boats and 1,200 sailors, and was hailed a complete success.
In 2015 the Club celebrated the 50th anniversary of Block Island Race Week, with 167 boats racing in 15 classes. Block Island Race Week is the largest big boat regatta in the Northeast, and one of the most prestigious regattas in the United States. It regularly attracts the world’s best sailors who compete in the latest offshore one-designs, grand-prix and cruiser-racer designs. In 1969, the first Everett B. Morris Trophy was awarded for the Best Performance Overall for the Week and, in 1975, the first Isbrandtsen Overall Trophy was awarded. Click HERE for Yachting Magazine’s account of the 1965 Block Island Race Week that was written by Bill Robinson.Bill Robinson.
Check out the Block Island Race Week Program from 1965:
The birth of The Storm Trysail Club dates to the 1936 Newport-Bermuda Race, the gale that battered fleet and the winter that followed.
The first generations of American ocean racers believed the best test of a boat was whether she could blast her way safely across the Gulf Stream bound for Bermuda and then house her crew once she got there.
With the end of World War II, a great many letters were written to round up the scattered membership and the Club was slowly reassembled.
In 1964, Commodore Jakob Isbrandtsen and NY Herald Tribune yachting reporter Everett B. Morris were jointly instrumental in urging The Storm Trysail Club to establish Block Island Race Week.
By the end of the 1960s, the time had come for the Storm Trysails Club to expand beyond its roots in New England.