January 31, 2023

A Pirate Turns 30

Block Island Race Week has always been known for it’s a fun-loving yet competitive atmosphere and, as Storm Trysail Club approaches our 30th Race Week and third supported by Margaritaville, there is no sign of things slowing down! We now have the most registered boats we have ever had this far in advance. 

As of today, 161 boats plan to descend on the Great Salt Pond during the third week in June. For reference, by this time in 2021 we had half that number (81) and in 2019 we had 69 boats. A strong factor for this early surge was the early bird discounted dockage offered by our Race Headquarters partner, Champlin’s Resort and Marina, and the need to book island housing.

“In a time where rising costs are plaguing all aspects of our lives, planning a week-long regatta is not an easy feat.” says Event Chair Vice Commodore Andrew Weiss. “We posted a Notice of Race Amendment last week to clarify the registration deadlines and accompanying late fees just so we can adequately budget for Race Week activities and make sure everyone has a great time. We cannot wait to see everyone in just a few months.”

The next important date is February 13th, the date in which entry fees will increase for new or unpaid participants. 

Looking at the current scratch sheet, the largest one-design fleet is looking to be the J/105s with 24 boats - another record for registrations in recent years. They will be joined by a comeback of J/44s, J/80s, and J/88s one-design classes and hopefully some new ones from the IC37 and Cape 31 fleets will make an appearance.

A stalwart of Race Week since the design’s launch in 2001 has been the J/109 fleet. They have picked their 12th appearance this year to be their North American Championship. Bill Kneller, owner of Vento Solare, stated that the reason the fleet picked BIRW was because the whole class “looks forward to a great venue, the impeccable race management, and the camaraderie ashore.”

Over on the handicapped racing circles, the Maxi 72 owned by Hap Fauth, Belle Mente, is planning on attending in the new ORC Open class - a class where there is no limit on the number of Cat 3 sailors. New for 2023, in the ORC and PHRF classes, professional sailors are limited based on the length of the boat. (For more information or clarity of the limits, visit the Official Notice Board).

28 ORC boats and 35 PHRF teams are signed up for some buoy racing. Once all boats are registered, the Race Committee, led once again by Dick Neville, will divide them into comparable smaller classes.

As has been the trend in recent years, the Performance Cruising division continues to be our fastest-growing fleet with 35 monohulls and 3 multihulls signed up. These sailors compete in just one distance race per day. Many of these teams also stay onboard their boats all week - much like many sailors did in the early Block Island Race Weeks. Those teams will also be competing for the reincarnated Danforth Trophy for liveaboard sailors.  

“Storm Trysail Club’s ultimate goal is to always maintain a reputation that sailors can rely on superb race management and celebratory camaraderie ashore. Each year we face new challenges but we continue to work hard to stay in the vanguard of regattas not to miss,” says Storm Trysail Club’s new Commodore Ray Redniss. “I look forward to seeing faces I have seen for 15 Race Weeks, but also shaking hands to welcome the sailors who will be here for the next 15.”

Cocktail of the Month: 

Cinnamon Bourbon Old FashionedWhy does the party have to wait until the tent in June? Mix up some of our drink partner's favorite cocktails right at home today! This month's comes from our friends at Litchfield Distillery: Ingredients:

2 oz. Litchfield Distillery Cinnamon Bourbon

.75 oz. Rosemary Infused Maple Syrup

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

1 Dash Orange Bitters

Garnish with Orange Peel and Rosemary Sprig

Directions: Add Bourbon, Maple Syrup and Bitters to glass with ice. Stir to combine and chill. Express the oil of an orange peel over the glass, then drop in.