Welcome to Block Island Race Week presented by Margaritaville and the 1BI, our digital daily newsletter. Each day, we will bring you the latest news, photos, videos, and highlights from the racecourses and the docks. We look forward to sharing your stories with fellow competitors and fans watching the racing from afar. Feel free to send story ideas to email@example.com.
Cover Photo: Steve Cloutier/ Storm Trysail Club
All official information can be found on Yacht Scoring.
The Round the Island Race
Photo: Steve Cloutier
By Chris Crawford
“If one got their kite up early, they likely placed very well” in today’s exciting and picture-perfect Regatta Crafts Mixers Round the Island race, said Jesse McKnight of MAYHEM.
“We placed in the top third, we think. Getting over on the south side and riding lifts made a difference. It was an amazing day; I’m tired, but feel so good.”
The day started off windy and held throughout the day, which proved an excellent Race Committee decision for Wednesday as they sailed around the wind-whipped 18-mile iconic course.
Chris Steele of MENACE described the day as “a lot of fun, challenging. We were a little late getting our kite up but overall, I thought the race was pretty gnarly. The waves were a bit bigger than we expected, it was wet for sure.”
Chris Miller of BAVARIA Said he thought “the race was great; going clockwise was a good decision. It feels good to be here and that means it was a good day, he said while relaxing a bit as they played with their sails on the dock. Miller is a veteran of 13 Block Island Race Weeks.
Markus Lahrkamp, the owner of SCYLLA, described today’s racing as “a bit of a challenge” as they lost a stanchion to the ocean, but the conditions were fantastic. He quickly added he would not trade the day or week for anything. “This race is all about community, lifelong friends and great competitors.
As the nature of a windy race goes, there were, unfortunately, a share of torn sails and damage. Last years’ Everett B. Morris winner (ie: “Boat of the Week”), Dirty Harry, had their rudder break in half by Southeast Light just shy of halfway around the track.
“We were going about 9 knots and crushing the race,” said the J/29 skipper, Jack McGuire. “When it just snapped and luckily no one was hurt. We got the sails down and got under control in less than 4 minutes so we could keep from ending up on the rocks.”
“Our competitors, Mighty Puffin, offered to drop out and help, but we waved them on as and told them to go win the Race.”
To get under control without a rudder, they threw out lines with spinnaker bags, a cooler, and whatever they could to get the boat steady. Then, it was crew member John von Schwarz who fastened a floorboard to the rudder so they could at least steer while being towed. The support boat to Stark Raving Mad IX also jumped into action quickly to help and towed Dirty Harry the 10 miles back to the dock.
The good news, is the Barrington J/29 Fleet of 7 boats is supportive and a new rudder is already in transit at time of press to help the Dirty Harry crew finish what they started.
“We also managed to recover the broken rudder,” added McGuire. “So no pollution left behind.”
“Champagne sailing,” said veteran Don Suter just off his J/80. “What a terrific week they sew together, as he described the conditions on the south side of the island today as “a little big.”
Meanwhile, onshore, surprised tourists were snapping away at the magnificent visual that caught some by surprise. “What a bonus for our one day visiting from Boston” said Brad Smith who had intended to hunt for ORBS, the great scavenger hunt that brings visitors from all over the world to Block Island.
“We vacation on Block Island this week every year and this is one of the highlights,” said Hank Thompson from Louisville, Kentucky, while watching the start of the Regatta Craft Mixers Round the Island Race on the beach with his wife Kathy.
Thompson was fascinated and asked many questions about how the racing works to Communications Director, Kate Somers. She ended up providing an impromptu commentary for the couple of dozen race fans gathered on the shoreline to watch the 175 boats race south to navigate the island in a counter-clockwise course.
The only thing better than watching the Round The Island Race is watching the race while enjoying a nice cocktail. This year’s sponsor Regatta makes having better cocktails anywhere easy. Just choose a mixer, add your spirit, and enjoy.
You can grab product samples in the Race Week Village and pick up a free 6-pack of their new product So-nic. Be sure to take photos and participate in their contest for a chance to win a Yeti LoadOut GoBox!
A quality sailing kit is essential to keep you protected from the varying elements at Block Island Race Week, so Storm Trysail Club is happy to have Helly Hansen signed on as the Official Clothing Supplier for Block Island Race Week presented by Margaritaville.
They will be onsite during the event with any of your technical sailing gear needs at the Team1Newport regatta store.
1 USA 60432 Cool Breeze John Cooper
2 USA 4206 Impetuous Paul Zabetakis
3 USA 4235 Entropy Paul Hamilton / Patricia Young
1 USA 60909 Bravo Andrew Ward / Sedgwick Ward
2 USA 52939 Teamwork Team Syndicate
3 USA 8198 Rima98 John Brim
1 USA 4303 Kenai Chris Lewis
2 USA 4401 Palantir 5 June & Amanda Kendrick
3 USA 4408 Beagle Willets Meyer
1 USA 274 Gossip Group W
2 USA 261 Growth Spurt John Greifzu, Jr.
3 USA 162 Leading Edge Tom Sutton
1 USA 81 Nevermore Ken & Drew Hall
2 USA 16 Gaucho Dave Tufts
3 USA 05 Piranha Dave Dennison
1 USA 130 Deja Voodoo Bill Zartler
2 USA 116 Arbitrage@Trifecta Bruce Stone Nicole Breault
3 USA 303 Velvet Hammer Kristen Robinson
1 NZL NZL10 Menace HOWARD SPENCER
2 USA 52875 Peacemaker NEKA Sailing
3 USA 47003 Stark Raving Mad IX Jim Madden
Multihull – Pursuit
1 172 Phoenix Thomas Reese
2 USA 35 Friends Alan Burnett
Performance Cruising 2 Spin Rule 26
1 USA 77 No Surrender Rick Hanson
2 USA 12834 Grand Plan Ted Ruegg
3 USA 40789 Lora Ann Richard du moulin
1 USA 4 Tink Jack LeFort
2 USA 311 M&M’s Madelyn, Megan, Mark Ploch
3 GRE 55 IRIE 2 Brian Cunha
1 USA 40 Seabiscuit Kevin McNeil
2 USA 11235 #bigsandwich George Harrington
3 CAN 50500 Dragonfly Keith Amirault
1 USA 8001 XLR8 Brad Porter
2 USA 587 Obsession Gary Schwarting
3 USA 52309 Boondoggle Scott Kirkpatrick
1 83350 Incommunicado Tracey / Polk
2 USA 32445 Audacious George Lima / Ken Madeiro
3 USA 269 Mighty Puffin Steve Thurston
1 USA 1150 Scamp J.R. Maxwell
2 USA 1001 Blind Faith Brian Gibbs
3 USA 730 Hokus Pokus Donald Suter
Performance Cruising 3 Spin – Pursuit
1 GBR 8 Mad Blue / MudRatz Youth Offshore Brandon Flack
2 USA 79 Kyrie Beth Berry
3 USA 498 SNOW BIRD T. J. Buckley & Paul Von Maffei
Performance Cruising 4 Non-Spin – Pursuit
1 USA 40878 High Note Gary Nackman
2 USA 52687 Venturesome Bob Zannetti
3 USA 51229 Meddler Peter B Hilgendorff
Performance Cruising 5 Spin – Pursuit – Open
1 USA 45 Bella Mente Hap Fauth
Performance Cruising 1 Spin – Rule 26
1 USA 45002 Acadia Erik Asgeirsson
2 USA 1 Incognito Joe Brito
3 Usa 88 Varuna Abhijeet Lele
5:00 – 7:00 pm
Presented by McMichael Yacht Yards and Brokers with Chelsea Freas detailed the forecast each morning. This is emailed by 8:30am each morning to all competitors. Add your email below if you want to also be added.
Dedicated to keeping the waters in the Great Salt Pond pristine, it’s shorelines scenic, and always open to boating, recreation and aquaculture for all, this group has assembled some boater friendly links for download.