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Three Crews Post Perfect Scores on Day 1 at Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race Week

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NEW SHOREHAM, R.I. (June 22, 2015) – Competitors in the Storm Trysail Club’s 50th anniversary Block Island Race Week were in near unanimous agreement about the first day of racing – the conditions were idyllic.

“It couldn’t have been better. A perfect breeze,” said Rick Rave, co-owner of the J/44 Resolute.

“It doesn’t get much better than this,” said Geoff Ewenson, tactician on the C&C 30 Themis.

In westerly winds ranging from 8 to 20 knots, the race committees on all three racing circles were able to complete three races in quick order. The first races were underway by 11:05 a.m. and the last finishers were done by 4:00 p.m. Reports on tidal effects were varied with some sailors reporting negligible effects while others were reporting more.

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J 109 Block Island Race WeekIn such ideal conditions three boats were able to pull off perfect days. Andrew and Linda Weiss scored three 1sts aboard Christopher Dragon in IRC 2, as did Iris Vogel’s Deviation in the J/88 Class and Themis in the C&C 30 Class.

“This is my first year racing,” said Walt Thirion, owner of Themis. “I had a cruising boat and saw the C&C 30 racing last year and thought that it looked like fun. I like the one-design aspect because your result comes down to crew work and what you can do on the racecourse.”

“We saw a low windspeed of 11-12 knots and a top of 16,” said Ewenson. “The boat just comes alive in the upper range; it feels a lot like a big boat. We played around with the headstay in the changing wind strength.”

The boat name Christopher Dragon is very familiar in New England racing circles, having been around since 1975 when Stephen Weiss first raced Block Island Race Week. Stephen’s son Andrew and his wife Linda won IRC 3 in 2013 with a J/130. This year they’re racing a Sydney 43 that they launched last year. Andrew Weiss said the key to victory was pre-season preparation and longevity as a crew. It helped them overcome an OCS in Race 3 to post the perfect scoreline.

“We did a lot of work on the bottom before this season and also spent a lot of time tuning the rig,” said Weiss. “Today we were able to keep our lanes clean on the racecourse and had good crew work. The boat lights up when the wind gets over 15 knots. We had tight racing all day.”

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Seven other crews won two of the three races, including Gunther Buerman’s 52-footer Hooligan in IRC 1, James Blakemore’s Music (Swan 53) in IRC 4, Dax Ansley and his U.S. Naval Academy crew on Ranger (Farr 40) in PHRF 1, Rick Lyall’s Storm in the J/109 class, William Purdy’s Whirlwind (Beneteau First 36.7) in PHRF 2, John and Tony Esposito’s Hustler (J/29 MHOB) in PHRF 3, and David Alldian’s Cymothoe (Sabre 362) in PHRF 4.

Ansley’s crew from the Naval academy embodies perseverance. The crew was sailing a J/122 in the Annapolis to Newport Race earlier this month when the top of the mast broke. After returning to Annapolis the crew decided to launch the Farr 40 from storage, but it is a very different boat from the J/122. Primarily, the Farr 40 has symmetrical spinnakers as opposed to asymmetrical sails on the J/122.

“We worked for a week to get the boat back together,” said Ansley, who recently completed his third year at the academy. “But changing to the symmetrical spinnakers was a big task. Our bowman, Dylon Thompson-Sevcik, had never done a dip-pole jibe before. But we were able to find good lanes on the racecourse, had clean mark roundings, got in a good groove and sailed fast. It was a great day.”

Lyall’s Storm won the J/109 class at race week in 2013 by posting five consecutive first-place finishes, and today the crew picked up where they left off by posting a 1-3-1.

“After practicing in the rain on Saturday and fog yesterday, we were treated to one of those perfect days of racing on Block Island,” said James Gallacher, headsail trimmer on Storm. “We have a good fleet with a lot of competitive boats. On top of that, it’s always a challenge to sail here. Getting the mix right on wind versus current is critical and starts in a fleet this big are huge. We were fortunate to have some great results today.”

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The IRC 4 Class is also highly competitive, with Ed Freitag and Molly Haley’s DownTime (Summitt 40) holding a slim lead. The winner of IRC 2 in 2013, DownTime posted a 2-2-2 today and leads with the low score of 6 points, 1 point ahead of Blakemore’s Music (Swan 53) and 2 points ahead of Mike Bruno’s Wings (J/122). Music posted two 1sts but opened with a 5th in the first race.

Music is the wild card in the class,” said Quentin Thomas, owner of the X-41 Pendragon that is in fifth place with 14.5 points. “DownTime, Wings and Avalanche (in fourth place) are always up there, but when the wind builds the Swan gets legs. We were all in the mix two weeks ago at the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta and will be again this week. It’s as good as it gets.”

In PHRF 4, Alldian’s Cymothoe leads Bill Loweth and David Strang’s Brer Rabbit III (C&C 33) by 2 points. Alldian placed second in the class in 2013, but Loweth and Strang have their sights set on placing their 40-year-old boat in the winner’s circle.

“We bought the boat in 1983 and it’s been in the family since,” said Loweth, who drives at the start while Strang, his brother-in-law, drives on the racecourse. “Every four years we strip the bottom and re-do it, and every other year we buy a new sail. We also have a steady crew of eight and everyone knows what they’re doing. It’s a great family effort.”

Block Island Race Week continues tomorrow with strong winds forecast. Due to the forecast the race committee has indicated it might run the race around Block Island, an enduring classic. Follow all the action at Block Island Race Week by downloading the app for both iOS and Android operating systems. It is the primary communication channel for race week news, which is committed to reducing paper used in the regatta as part of the sustainability program.

You can watch T2PTV’s Monday show on YouTube at http://youtu.be/0COuYiQvi3c

 t2ptv monday block island race week

Racing Course: A Red Fleet

  

IRC 1 (IRC - 6 Boats)

 

1.

 

USA521

Hooligan

Gunther Buerman

 

2.

 

USA4415

Interlodge

Austin and Gwen Fragomen

 

3.

 

USA95

SPOOKIE

Steve & Heidi Benjamin

 

4.

 

USA84001

Decision

Stephen Murray

 

5.

 

USA5206

Corsair

Charlie Morris

  

IRC 2 (IRC - 8 Boats)

 

1.

 

USA4304

Christopher Dragon

Andrew & Linda Weiss

 

2.

 

USA45454

Lir

John McNamara

 

3.

 

USA18

Better Than...

Gosia Rojek

 

4.

 

USA60432

Cool Breeze

John Cooper

 

5.

 

USA753

Watermark

Jack LeFort

  

IRC 3 / Swan 42 (IRC - 6 Boats)

 

1.

 

USA4235

Apparition

Ken Colburn

 

2.

 

USA4214

Daring

John Hele

 

3.

 

USA4206

Impetuous

Paul Zabetakis

 

4.

 

USA4210

Quintessence

Roger Widmann

 

5.

 

USA4245

Mahalo

Charles Kenahan

  

IRC 4 (IRC - 14 Boats)

 

1.

 

USA93586

DownTime

Ed Freitag / Molly Haley

 

2.

 

GBR53N

Music

James Blakemore

 

3.

 

USA12241

Wings

mike Bruno

 

4.

 

USA39516

Avalanche

Craig Albrecht

 

5.

 

USA70

Pendragon

Quentin Thomas

  

PHRF 1 (PHRF_ToT - 17 Boats)

 

1.

 

USA60059

Ranger

Dax Ansley

 

2.

 

USA40

Seabiscuit

Kevin McNeil

 

3.

 

USA32006

Six Brothers

Chris Kramer

 

4.

 

USA7311

Perseverance

Bennet Greenwald

 

5.

 

USA30

Wicked 2.0

Douglas Curtiss

 

 

Racing Course: B White Fleet

  

J 44 OD (One Design - 6 Boats)

 

1.

 

USA4412 / 42880

Challenge IV

Jeffrey W. Willis

 

2.

 

USA4401 / 43787

Resolute

Don and Rick Rave

 

3.

 

USA4414 / 43600

Vamp

Leonard Sitar

 

4.

 

USA4403 / 49

Gold Digger

James D. Bishop

 

5.

 

USA4413 / 42324

Glory

Jack Neades

  

C&C30 (One Design - 5 Boats)

 

1.

 

USA15

Themis

Walt Thirion

 

2.

 

USA30007

Nyabinghi

Angus Davis

 

3.

 

USA30001

Swedish Fish

Ben Hall

 

4.

 

USA30002

Salt

Max Buerman

 

5.

 

USA18

Andiamo

Paul Strauch

  

J 88 (One Design - 4 Boats)

 

1.

 

USA24

Deviation

Iris Vogel

 

2.

 

USA1

Jazz

Rod Johnstone

 

3.

 

USA20

Instant Karma

David Betts

 

4.

 

USA35

Yonder

Douglas Newhouse

  

J 109 OD (One Design - 25 Boats)

 

1.

20

USA146

Storm

Rick Lyall

 

2.

4

USA52202

Caminos

Donald Filippelli

 

3.

17

USA51

Rush

Bill Sweetser

 

4.

19

USA369

Skoot

Jim Vos

 

5.

11

USA260

Mad Dogs

Adrian Begley

  

J 105 OD (One Design - 17 Boats)

 

1.

33

BER490

Distant Passion

James Macdonald

 

2.

36

USA334

loulou

Paul Beaudin

 

3.

35

USA50

Eclipse

Damian Emery

 

4.

30

USA116

Arbitrage

Bruce Stone

 

5.

47

USA344

Two Feathers

Mark & Jolene Masur

 

 

Racing Course: C Blue Fleet

  

PHRF 2 (PHRF_ToT - 14 Boats)

 

1.

 

USA52134

Whirlwind

William Purdy

 

2.

 

USA32581

Leading Edge

Tom Sutton

 

3.

 

USA52994

Maudelayne

Frederick Heerde

 

4.

 

USA40926

Freightrain

Richard Hyde

 

5.

 

USA93555

Nanuq

Glenn Doncaster

  

PHRF 3 (PHRF_ToT - 12 Boats)

 

1.

 

USA283

Hustler

John / Tony Esposito

 

2.

 

USA83350

Incommunicado

Ed Tracey / Tim Polk

 

3.

 

USA269

Mighty Puffin

Steve Thurston

 

4.

 

83214

Project Mayhem

Doug & Amy Stryker

 

5.

 

USA19

Rumor

John Storck, Jr

  

PHRF 4 (PHRF_ToT - 10 Boats)

 

1.

 

USA51362

Cymothoe

David Alldian

 

2.

 

USA20201

Brer Rabbit III

Bill Loweth / David Strang

 

3.

 

USA15379

Air Express

Chris Fesenmeyer

 

4.

 

USA31550

Arabesque

Robert Bruno

 

5.

 

USA65

Acadia

Todd Lalumiere

  

PHRF - Doublehanded (PHRF_ToT - 4 Boats)

 

1.

 

52816

RockIt 2.0

Lance Ryley

 

2.

 

USA39534

Skye

Ty Anderson

 

3.

106

USA106

GryphonSolo2

Joe Harris

 

4.

 

2804

Diablo

Greg and Carie Cutter

  

Cruising Spinnaker (PHRF_ToT - 11 Boats)

 

1.

 

USA60398

Testing Life

Brian & Deborah Mulhall

 

2.

 

ISV6662

Azzurra

Earl (Tom) Schubert

 

3.

 

351

Fidelio

Charles Townsend

 

4.

 

USA12

Invictus

Ted Ruegg

 

5.

 

USA40253

Orion

Bryan Coon

  

Cruising Non-Spinnaker (PHRF_ToT - 9 Boats)

 

1.

 

USA73113

Crackerjack

Alan Krulisch

 

2.

 

USA11426

Rascal

Christopher Schneider

 

3.

 

320

Latitude

Brian Gillen

 

4.

 

6980

x-dimension

Matthew Wall

 

5.

 

USA31401

Tenderly

Mark Masiello

 

About Block Island Race Week

Founded in 1965, the Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race Week is one of the oldest race weeks in the U.S. The regatta is held in odd-numbered years on idyllic Block Island, about 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. Measuring less than 10 square miles in area, Block Island has been named one of “The Last Great Places” by the Nature Conservancy. The Storm Trysail Club wishes to thank its many supporters and partners, including sponsors Mount Gay Rum, North Sails, Block Island Wind Farm, Caithness Energy, Vineyard Vines, New England Boatworks, Bainbridge International, Gill, Hall Spars, Gowrie Group, Trident Studio, US Watercraft, PhotoBoat.com, Heineken, Newport Vineyards, WindCheck, Sailing World, Utz Potato Chips, Bitter End, Commanders’ Weather.

About the Storm Trysail Club

The Storm Trysail Club is one of the world’s most respected sailing clubs. Established in 1938, its membership includes skilled blue water and ocean racing sailors, who have flown a storm trysail (a small triangular sail flown in very strong winds) or severely reduced canvas during an ocean voyage. The club is headquartered in Larchmont, N.Y., and has regional stations throughout the U.S. The club hosts Block Island Race Week in odd-numbered years, the annual Block Island Race and Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race, Quantum Key West Race Week, the biennial Miami to Montego Bay Race and many other events. The Club’s affiliated 501(c)(3) organization, The Storm Trysail Foundation, holds annual junior safety-at-sea seminars and the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta for college sailors using big boats. For more information, visit Storm Trysail Club.


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