Photos by Allen Clark/PhotoBoat.com
As this issue went to press, the 29th edition of the Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race Week presented by Margaritaville (June 21-25) was underway with 158 teams competing in the waters off Block Island, RI.
Looking at the weather forecast for the week, the STC Race Committee chose Monday, June 21 for the Regatta Craft Mixers Round the Island Race. Although heavy fog prevented the ORC, One-Design, and PHRF fleets from getting starts, the Performance Cruisers and Multihulls flew around the island in 15-20 knot southwest winds. In the Performance Cruising 1 Division, Joe Brito’s J/121 Incognito (Bristol, RI) took line honors with a corrected time of 2 hours, 59 minutes and 1 second. (* The Race Committee would send the fleet for another lap of the island on Thursday’s Mount Gay Rum Race Day.)
The use of automated mark technology at Race Week, featuring a fleet of self-propelled, remote-operated buoys that remain on station without anchors, has taken STC’s superb race management to loftier heights. At the conclusion of Wednesday’s racing, six races had been run for the ORC and One-Design classes, five for the PHRF classes, and three for the Performance Cruising and Multihull divisions – that’s more races completed by mid-week than the last few editions of BIRW.
“Using the MarkSetBots has drastically improved race management,” explained On-Water Director Dick Neville. “This technology allows us to move the marks quickly and efficiently. What would have been a longer postponement because volunteers had to haul and reset marks can now happen in minutes, thus allowing us to get more races in. It is all quite impressive.”
In addition to title sponsor Margaritaville, other Block Island Race Week XXVIIII sponsors include Champlin’s Marina & Resort, Mount Gay Rum, Regatta Premium Craft Mixers, Helly Hansen, Safe Harbor New England Boatworks, McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers, North Sails, Sailing World, Gowrie Group, New England Ropes, Litchfield Distillery, Cyclops Marine, Newport Vineyards, Gifted of Larchmont, and Margaritaville Resort Times Square.
Full results on YachtScoring.com are posted at stormtrysail.org/regattas/blockislandraceweek/
If you weren’t among the lucky sailors in Block-aritaville, tune into Radio Margaritaville at margaritaville.com/radio-player…and visit the Team One Newport Regatta Store at team1newport.com/Block-Island-Race-Week-2021/products/1270/
Special thanks to Kate Wilson Somers, President of risingT Media and Marketing, and Editor of The 1BI: The Block Island Race Week Times, for contributions to this report! ■