© Stephen R Cloutier/Block Island Race Week XXVII

The 28th edition of the Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race Week will be held Sunday, June 23 through Friday, 28, 2019. The plan is for four days of racing, bringing back the popular lay day (if weather permits). The highlight of this event is the Around Block Island Race in which the entire fleet circumnavigates the island.

Over 150 boats are anticipated for an expanded number of racing formats that seek to accommodate an even wider array of yachts – from world-class Grand Prix teams to families and friends racing their cruising boats. “We will have the usual windward/leeward racing for the majority of the classes, but we will also include pursuit and ‘Solent-style’ racing formats,” said STC Rear Commodore and Event Chair Ed Cesare.

“Pursuit racing assesses every boat’s handicap at the start of the race,” said On-The-Water Director Dick Neville. “Each boat starts individually at different times and then they race boat-for-boat to the finish. This is a more family-friendly format for the casual racer that avoids the close-quarters maneuvering that occurs during traditional starts. “We experimented with this format in 2017 and at the Ted Hood Regatta in Marblehead this year and last. In each instance, we’ve enjoyed an increased number of participants and tremendous feedback. It certainly adds another dimension to this event.”

“[Solent-st.yle] describes racing around government (permanent) buoys, as opposed to movable and inflatable marks,” explained Ray Redniss, another veteran PRO. “These courses typically include more points of sail than just beating and running, and should appeal to those crews who are looking for a very competitive format but seek something new.”

Multihull and Non-Spinnaker racing, and the ORC handicap system – which is catching on around the country – are also returning. As always, there will be tent parties, shoreside activities, and all the fine dining, watering holes, beaches, and sights that Block Island has to offer. For more details, log onto blockislandraceweek.com.

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