June 18, 2023

30th Race Week Starts Tomorrow

Welcome to The 1BI.

All the news from Block Island Race Week presented by Margaritaville.

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 protected].

Cover Photo: Steve Cloutier/ Storm Trysail Club

1967 Block Island Race Week II Race Committee

From the Commodore

Ray Redniss

Commodore Storm Trysail Club

Welcome sailors, families, and sponsors!

Is it really the 30th Race Week? Being a biennial event, and counting the first as year

number "1", that translates to 58 years!! At its inception in 1965, 175 boats sailed out to spend

a week on a foggy island not having a clue about what was being created. Well, we

are sure happy that happened! This year it appears we will up that number by one…

we have 176 boats here to keep the camaraderie and competition going!

Vice Commodore and Race Chair Andrew Weiss has done an outstanding job putting

together a great team of professionals and volunteers to organize this year's regatta.

With rising costs and a remote event, this is no easy task. Meetings started as soon

as the 2021 Race Week was over, continued weekly, and has come down to multiple

times a day through this week. That being said, all the efforts of all of those involved

are kept organized and on track by Storm Trysail Club's Executive Director, Whitney

Simon, who keeps the ship on an even keel and manages to make this all happen


Over the last several Race Weeks, we have made the conscious decision to steer the

event back to its Corinthian roots with an emphasis on family crews, varied course

options, and, simply, having more fun. Clearly, this approach is working as we, one of

the last full “race weeks,” continues to grow when other events are shrinking.

It is also important to note that an event like this would not be possible without

sponsors. We continue to bring new partners into the fold, adding an extra

sustainable level to the event so that we can continue to be here into the future!

So, whether this is your first or your 30th Race Week, welcome. Our charge to you is

to have fun, and good luck on the racecourse! We look forward to seeing you on the

line and “in the tent.”


This Week, Block Island is Margaritaville!

Block Island Race Week Through the Years

In this 3-part series, we take a deep dive into past Race Weeks as we head into our 30th edition.

Block Island Race Week Through the Years – The First 10 Race Weeks
Part 1 looks at the first 10 editions of Block Island Race Week from 1965 through 1983. 
Block Island Race Week Through the Years – The Second 10 Race Weeks
Part 2 looks at the 10 editions of Block Island Race Week from 1985 through 2003. 
Block Island Race Week Through the Years – The Third 10 Race Weeks
Part 3 looks at the 10 editions of Block Island Race Week from 2005 through 2023. 

A big part of winning at BIRW is knowing the conditions you’ll face on the racecourse before you leave the dock. This year, McMichael is sponsoring expert weather briefings by SeaTactics’ Chelsea Freas every morning. Chelsea’s will share her latest forecast around 0830 every morning which can be viewed on the BIRW website, social media, and will be emailed to competitors as well as at Know what to expect on Rhode Island Sound thanks to McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers.

Check out this brief overview of the forecast for the week or download the PDF briefing.

Welcome to Margaritaville!

Margaritaville offers a tropical-themed escape from the hustle and bustle of New York. Enjoy the Lady Liberty light show while dining on American cuisine with a Caribbean twist. Also, visit the poolside LandShark Bar & Grill and enjoy amazing views of NYC at the 5 o’clock Rooftop Bar. 

Racers, get ready for the cannon to echo across Block Island Sound

By Chris Crawford

With 177 boats primed and ready to go, it’s time to prove one’s mettle with the Race Committee setting up 3 race circles tomorrow, split the fleet into 18 classes, Block Island Race Week’s 30th edition, presented by Margaritaville, is about more than just the boat, it’s how the skipper and crew handle the variety of expected conditions over five days.  

In general, the forecast is looking much better than in recent Race Weeks with consistent breeze looking to treat the sailors to some great racing - but of course - anything could still change as the outlook has already changed a few times over the last 24 hours. Block Island is famous for throwing all sorts of conditions at racers from fog one day to blistering winds and rain the next followed by perfect southwesterly sun. 

Competition is spread pretty equally among the ORC, PHRF, and One-Design Buoy Racing Circles, with the Performance Cruising Class attracting 45 boats. The largest boat in the fleet is Hap Fauth’s Maxi 72, Bella Mente, at 74 feet looking to use Race Week as a warm up for some European races after a recent refit. The largest fleet comprised the 24 J105’s with thirteen J109s all vying for their North America Championship as party of Race Week.   

Back to defend their title as “Boat of the Week” is Jack McGuire’s J/29, Dirty Harry “but it’s a blank slate,” he says. “We have much of the same crew and got some new sails but it’s a new regatta.”

Depending on their class, there is a mix of buoy and distance racing. Still, all of the boats will race in the iconic Regatta Crafts Mixers Round-the-island Race - which can happen any day of the week but traditionally is the day the Race Committee foresees as the windiest. 

This year’s festivities kicked off Sunday with Tent Presentations of three generous checks to island non-profits collected from raffle tickets in 2019 and 2021. With less than 1000 year-round islanders, the needs are definitive. The Mary D Fund, a charity that quietly assists needy islanders and the elderly with heating oil and emergency supplies, received $6,000, The Block Island Club received $3000 to assist with a new dock for lessons, and the Lions Club received $6,000 to assist in various areas including college scholarships that they support. All are encouraged to buy raffle tickets this week so the Storm Trysail Club can continue to support island needs. 

Block Island businesses have provided each boat with coupons for special deals and opportunities all week long for sailors to take advantage of. Racers should make an effort to experience the island with 47% preserved/conserved as open space criss-crossed with miles of original stone walls, 300 lakes and ponds, thousands of deer, and a key stopping grounds for hundreds of species birds, the island is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. 

Racing kicks off with North Sail Race Day on Monday. Stay tuned to Storm Trysail Club website and social media.

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. “It is great to be a part of an event like Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race Week with a rich tradition and high caliber of competition. We look forward to meeting the sailors on land and watching them compete,” says Jenny Daudlin, Watersports Marketing Manager for Helly Hansen.

“Weather on Block Island in June can vary widely,” says Storm Trysail Commodore Ray Redniss. “From sunny and warm, to cold, foggy, and raw within hours, the need to have an array of layers and good gear is imperative. We are thrilled Helly Hansen has joined us to keep us comfortable and protected doing what we love to do.”

Support Block Island and win Prizes!

Each year, Storm Trysail Club tries to leave Block Island a little better than we found it with a donation to an organization that benefits the residents or environment of the small island. Starting 2001, the Storm Trysail Club’s BIRW Raffles have generated over $100 thousand that has been directed to the services and charities serving the Island and its residents, from the Block Island Rescue Squad, which has been called into action for one reason or another by virtually every BIRW; the Block Island Medical Center, which has patched-up more injured sailors over the years than can be remembered; and the Block Island Conservancy, a membership organization concerned with preserving the open spaces of Block Island.

This year, we will find an equally worthy organization by which your contributions will be most appreciated! 

The grand prize this year will be a 3-night stay at the new Margaritaville Resort Times Square. 

The Mary D. Fund, received proceeds from the 2019 and 2021 raffles. This organization helps pay the bill of local Block Island Residents and keep elderly residents in their homes. Mary Donnelly, daughter of the long-time Block Island Nurse who started the collection many years ago, accepts the check with Commodore Ray Redniss and Vice Commodore Andrew Weiss.

Introducing McMichael Mobile Marine Services

McMichael, with sales offices in Mamaroneck, NY, Newport, RI, and Huntington, Long Island has been servicing the sailing community from their two Mamaroneck yards since 1938.

Now they are offering many of the same quality, professional service and repairs McMichael has provided sailors for over 85 years. Covering both sides of Long Island Sound and Rhode Island, McMichael Mobile Marine Services is the convenient way to have your boat maintained.

Tears happen, but they shouldn’t leave you without a key piece of race inventory.

The North Sails Certified Service team will be on island and available during Block Island Race Week for all your sail care needs to help keep you in the race. 

Connect with the team, headed by Justin Backus, inside the Block Island Maritime Institute, down the street from Race HQ or call 203-912-6534.

More Resources from Local Organizations

The Committee for the Great Salt Pond Boater's Directory

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.

Champlin's Marina and Resort Block Island Directory

From "B" is for Babysitter to "W" is for Walking & Hiking Trails, this is a great place to find things to do for the whole family while on Block.

Block Island Tourism Council's What To Do Directory

This comprehensive lists has all of the businesses on the island organized by topic with addresses.

Ready to buy or sell an airplane? Visit JetFinder. It’s Guardian Jet’s robust aircraft search engine to help you find a specific make and model. You can also download a FREE copy of "The Ultimate Airplane Buying Guide," to get exclusive insights into the aircraft purchase process.

Harken Derm is proud to support Block Island Race Week by providing a high-performance sunscreen specially designed for sailors both on and off the water. We wish all sailors good luck this week and we can’t wait to see you on the water!

Add Harken Derm to your BIRW Regatta Gear Bag

Just how easy is it to have a good cocktail, anywhere? Regatta has made it so easy that you can now have a bar-quality drink out on the water!

They’ve teamed up with 5 of our race week boats to create a photo contest anyone can participate in. All you have to do is take a great cocktail photo using Regatta, and you can enter to win one of their custom Yeti LoadOut GoBoxes. Stop by their Race Village tent to pick up a free 6-pack of their new drink So-nic so you have product to use. See the contest rules here.

Since 2014, Litchfield Distillery has transformed Connecticut-grown grains into award-winning spirits. Our portfolio includes bourbon, rye whiskey, gin, vodka, agave spirits and ready-to-drink cocktails. The distillery is open 7 days a week for complimentary tours and tastings.

Book at

As a field leader in the marine ropes industry, New England Ropes is proud to collaborate with BIRW to encourage the sport of sailing in exciting, unique, and inclusive ways. Ropes are the ultimate intersection between safety and performance on the water. Remember, your line choice matters.

Your next event: Safe Harbors Race Weekend

Embark on Safe Harbor’s 3rd annual Safe Harbor Race Weekend amidst the bustling cobblestone streets and seaside charm of downtown Newport.

Monohull and multihull vessels (30 feet or greater in length overall) are invited to a summer sailing regatta featuring a variety of classes. Enjoy three unforgettable days of shoreside events, revelries and racing excitement at Safe Harbor locations in Newport, Portsmouth and Jamestown, Rhode Island.

Safe Harbor Race Weekend participants and guests will be treated to a host of festivities including a Friday evening opening dinner with panoramic views of Narragansett Bay and casual coastal cuisine, and a celebratory Saturday night Talk of the Town Crew Party featuring a mariner’s feast and live music.

Learn more and register at

Carbon Spars, the best thing you can do for your boat.

GMT Composites has been building carbon fiber spars longer than any other builder in the world. Our spars have sailed in every ocean and have produced winning results in many of the world’s most prestigious sailing events. We are proud to be a BIRW sponsor, and we wish all the competitors a fast and safe week. To learn more about GMT Composites, contact Nate Williams, Director of Sales and Marketing, phone 401-253-8802, [email protected]. Or visit

Cyclops Marine are offering a 10% discount to competitors on all Cyclops product purchased through co-sponsor, the official rigging partner, Black Rock Boat Works!

Wireless load sensors from Cyclops deliver live and logged load data to your onboard instrumentation and to a mobile app, allowing you to hit fast, repeatable settings and maximise performance. Cyclops expert Tom Pickles will be available throughout the regatta to share his knowledge and help you get the most out of the data.