Sailors at Block Island Race Week were treated to the highlight of the series so far, the Regatta Craft Mixers Round the Island Race delivering the best racing conditions, not just for the week, but in recent Round-the-Island history as sunny skies, and a 10-12 knot south-easterly smiled down on the 158 boats.
“This is what we look forward to, getting some distance in and seeing every corner of the island, and doing a bunch of sail changes is really fun,” Kelly Wilbur from the J/111, Wicked, on the penultimate day of racing – Mount Gay Race Day.
The Performance Cruising fleet and Multihulls fleets were treated to a second round the island race of the week, as they were able to start in the fog on Monday, while the other fleets’ races were abandoned.
In the Multihull fleet, Todd Slyngstad’s HH66 Nemo has yet to lose his winning streak among the four-boat fleet with another bullet added to the scoreboard today.
All of the ORC fleets were sent on a longer 21.5-mile course that took the teams outside the Block Island Wind Farm on the eastern side. While Tony Langley’s TP 52, Gladiator, finished on top of ORC A ahead of Hap Fauth’s Belle Mente (a Botin Maxi 72), the took line honors.
In the other ORC classes, Jim Grundy’s new Dunning 44, Rigadoon, Leo Vasiliev’s Ker 11.5 Peacemaker, and Jay Turchetta’s XP 38 Amadeus V won their classes.
Among the One-Designs – which were sent on the 18-mile course inside the wind farm – Peter Wagner’s J/111 Skeleton Key, June and Amanda Kendrick’s J/44 Palantir 5, William Zartler’s J/105 Deja Voodoo, and Jonathan Rechtschaffer’s J/109 Emoticon all finished on the top of their respective divisions.
Wagner has returned for his fourth Race Week after a 30-year hiatus. The last time he raced, Wagner won the Round the Island Race and was fortunate enough to defend that title today.
“The wind was still filling in while we were doing the first leg of that race so finding a way to connect the puffs was pretty important and we were able to do that and find our way,” Skeleton Key’s owner said.
With a full moon tide testing the sailors, finding the favorable current was also one of the biggest challenges facing the teams.
Andrew and Linda Weiss’ Ker 40+, Christopher Dragon XI, the Mudheads’s Melges 24 Dark Energy, and John Storck Junior’s J80 Rumor, took the PHRF 1-3 fleets top prizes.
The Island Sailing Club of Cowes Perpetual Trophy, awarded to the overall winner of the Regatta Craft Mixers Round the Island Race is one of the most coveted trophies of the week. The trophy was first awarded in 1965 to commemorate the link between Block Island Race Week and Britain’s Cowes Week, on which Block Island Race Week is patterned.
The Race Committee will consider the winning percentage, the size of the fleets, and the different ratings for the trophy to decide the winner, and this year’s recipient will be announced during the final awards tomorrow evening along with the rest of the awards.
The final day of racing will conclude tomorrow for Margaritaville Race Day for the 29th Block Island Race Week.