April 22, 2021

Tips for Preparing for the Round-the-Island Race

This year, everyone’s favorite course is presented by Regatta Craft Mixers

With two months until the start of Block Island Race Week presented by Margaritaville, we know covers are coming off and new bottom paint is going on as the crews of the 165 registered boats are preparing to get back on the water together.

Tom Castiglione could not have said it better while kicking off North Sails’ Live Webinar earlier this month, Let’s Talk Block Island Race Week:  “I personally can’t wait to get to the island, it is my happy place both on and off the water.” (In case you missed it, the full recording can be found on our website.)

We know that the highlight for many Block Island Race Week sailors is the day the Race Committee sends the entire fleet on the 18-mile course circumnavigating the island, and this year, we are thrilled to announce that Regatta Craft Mixers is now the Title Sponsor of the Round-the-Island Race.

“We are proud to be a part of the tradition, not just at this event, but in all of sailing. We have been supporting the sport since 2006 and it is amazing to be a part of everyone’s favorite day at everyone’s favorite event,” says Sam Zarou, CEO of Regatta Craft Mixers.

“Every side of the island has its own factors and it’s really fun, strategic, and scenic racing,” said Castiglione describing the Round-the-Island Race during the webinar.

Joined by other North Sails experts, they shared their years of experience to draw out historical trends of what you can expect at the different corners of the island such as heading to the shore on the west side to get out of the current but then overstanding the mark to make up for the current as it can run quite strong along the R4 mark.

Back in 2019, former Storm Trysail Club Fleet Captain and now American Magic Testing Manager, Anderson Reggio wrote an article entitled “Around The Island Tips" that deep dives into similar details describing the best ways to tactically approach the race track.  

“Transitions come quickly...Always be mindful of the next left turn and what your TWA will be on that leg,” says Reggio referring to preparing for the many sail changes during the long course. 

Competitors will not know which day the Regatta Craft Mixers Round-The-Island Race will be ahead of Race Week and sometimes not until the morning of, the Race Committee choose the day based on the forecast tending to favor the windiest days to get the whole fleet around in a reasonable time. 

“The last few Round-the-Island race days have been windy, foggy, and a bit rainy yet we still see smiles on the finish line beaming with the satisfaction and accomplishment that any distance race affords a crew,” said Race Chair Ray Redniss.  “We have placed an order for a sunny day with a building south-westerly, so we will see if the wind gods deliver. No matter what the weather holds, we can at least raise a Regatta Craft Mixer beverage at the end of the race day to thank them for their generous support."