Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen Brothers

24th Block Island Race Week - Preview

by Barby MacGowan 13 May 2011 08:13 BST 20-24 June 2011

Serious competition to blend with destination vacation

With June right around the corner, competitors are gearing up for the Storm Trysail Club’s (STC) 24th Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex, which has been returning biennially to one of New England’s most beloved island getaways since 1965. The five-day regatta, scheduled for June 20-24, has just announced that it will be hosting the J/109 East Coast Championship along with the previously announced 2011 IRC East Coast Championship and the J/122 National Championship. Along with these high-caliber featured competitions, the regatta will also include the debut of the new J/111 class and some serious racing for a large PHRF fleet.

“Boat entries are on pace with two years ago,” said Event Chair and Storm Trysail Club Vice Commodore Nick Langone. “We already have 119 registered boats and expect 30 to 40 more, which will make for an exciting week of racing.”

Already surpassing 2009’s entry list by three, the J/109 class is still expecting more to sign up before the end of May. “For the J/109 class, Block Island Race Week has been on the schedule as one of the premier events of the year, along with the Annapolis NOOD, the North American Championship and the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta,” said class President Rick Lyall (Wilton, Conn.), who hopes to defend his 2009 class victory at Block Island with his boat Storm. “We are going to do the best we can. This class is very competitive with some terrific sailors, so I don’t think it will be easy to repeat our victory. We’ll have to be consistent, good and on top of our game; any slip-up can result in losing our position.”

Along with the anticipation of meeting the tough competition coming out for this year’s Block Island Race Week, the Storm crew has other reasons to make its way to the island this summer. “Block Island Race Week is an incredible experience; first it is a well run regatta, and secondly, Block Island is a terrific venue. James Gallagher (jib trimmer aboard Storm) has a house on the island, so we stay there every year and our bow man Tim Longo is a gourmet cook. We enjoy the camaraderie with our team and with the class as a whole.”

The largest contingent this year will be in the IRC division, with over 30 entries. Jim Gregory (Danville, Calif.) is sailing all the way from California to attend the regatta with family and friends on his IRC 50 Morpheus. “I grew up sailing at the Stamford Yacht Club in Connecticut, and Block Island was always a favorite family cruising destination,” said Gregory, who will be sailing with his wife Debby and their two sons as well as another family. “I did my first Block Island Race Week in 1979, loved it, and haven’t missed one since.” This will be Gregory’s first year sailing on his own boat, and with the IRC East Coast Championship up for grabs he looks forward to another great year on Block Island. “My expectations for this year onboard Morpheus are to enjoy sailing with friends and have a great time.”

Others known for making a family affair out of the five-day regatta include the Storck family aboard the J/80 Rumor. “I’ve done every Block Island Race Week since 1967,” said John Storck Jr. (Huntington, N.Y.). “I started racing it with my father and now our kids (three sons John, Erik, Ian and daughter Kaity) have been sailing in it since they were young. Our oldest son, John, started in 1987 when he was four years old trimming the lazy spinnaker sheet.”

The Storck Family was named Scuttlebutt’s Sailing Family of the Year 2010, and each family member is well known for their background and experience in the sailing world. Currently, both Erik and Ian Storck are doing 49er campaigns and Kaity has been named to the All-American Offshore Team for 2011. “In 2007, all of us were there and Kaity drove,” added John Storck Jr. “In 2009, Kaity drove again and we won our PHRF division. This year, John and I will be there and Erik may come. Block Island has always been a part of our program. It’s a great venue with challenging sailing, and in the course of a week you can easily have every type of weather condition.”

To ensure that Block Island Race Week lives up to its reputation as one of America’s most popular Race Weeks, the Storm Trysail Club is working non-stop to set the stage for the fourth week in June, when sailors and their families will converge on the quaint island to enjoy a full week of exemplary views, great company and fierce competition. The traditional around-the-island distance race will also be included, with a Rolex watch awarded to the top IRC boat.

Racing headquarters for the 2011 Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex will be located at The Oar Restaurant, while evening festivities and award ceremonies will be held next door in the event tent. A Rolex watch will be raffled off at the end of the event along with a trip to the Bitter End Yacht Club to benefit the Block Island Rescue Squad, Block Island Maritime Institute and the Block Island Early Learning Center.

Compliments of Rolex, daily video shows of each day’s racing will be produced by Annapolis-based T2Productions and will be broadcast on-line each night by 9pm. The videos will be shown daily under the “Big Top” tent where all of Race Week’s sponsors will have a presence. Current Sponsors are Rolex, Toyota, Caithness Energy, Mount Gay Rum, Vineyard Vines, ING Clarion, Gill, Gowrie Group, UK-Halsey Sailmakers, Bitter End Yacht Club, New England Ropes, Hall Spars, Fiji Waters, West Marine, Yellow Tail, Heineken, Sailing World, and WindCheck.

For more information, contact Marcy Trenholm at (914) 834-8857 or visit www.blockislandraceweek.com

Related Articles

Silver Linings Playbook
Over 180 teams registered for Block Island Race Week As the club heads into its 25th presentation of Block Island Race Week, no less than seven classes have coordinated major championships to be held in conjunction with the event, and now over 180 teams have registered. Posted on 15 May 2013
Block Island Race Week preview
Silver Edition to host seven championship events The Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race Week will celebrate its 25th Anniversary with sporting style in 2013. Seven new championship events have been added to the biennial regattas schedule along with the introduction of new classes. Posted on 13 Dec 2012
Block Island Race Week day 5
Several US championships conclude Block Island Race Week XXIV determined IRC, PHRF and One-Design winners in 14 classes along with titles for the 2011 IRC East Coast Championship, the J/122 National Championship and the J/109 East Coast Championship. Posted on 25 Jun 2011
Block Island Race Week day 4
18.2nm around-the-island race After yesterdays “no blow” for zero races, todays 12-15 knots of breeze brought big smiles to the faces of more than 1,000 sailors competing in the Storm Trysail Clubs (STC) biennial Block Island Race Week XXIV presented by Rolex. Posted on 24 Jun 2011
Block Island Race Week day 3
Race day lost, day off gained It didnt matter that the sun wasnt out, just that there was a slight promise the wind would blow on this third day of the Storm Trysail Clubs (STC) biennial Block Island Race Week XXIV presented by Rolex. Posted on 23 Jun 2011
Block Island Race Week day 2
Awesome sailing, laid-back fun Block Island Race Week is underway for its 24th time since it was first held in 1965, and by all indications, it hasnt lost one bit of charm or competitive appeal in a history that spans more than four and a half decades. Posted on 22 Jun 2011
Block Island Race Week day 1
First day worth the wait The wind didnt know what to do this morning, and there wasnt much to push it, so the Race Committee postponed ashore until 12:30 at the Storm Trysail Clubs (STC) Block Island Race Week XXIV presented by Rolex. Posted on 21 Jun 2011
Block Island Race Week starts today
Island Anniversary, a sailing celebration The smallest town in the smallest state of the union — Block Island, Rhode Island — is celebrating the 350th anniversary of its settlement, and as if by design, thousands of sailors landed here yesterday on what was officially Founders Day. Posted on 20 Jun 2011
Block Island Race Week overall
Victors named in 17 classes A single race today decided the fate of 153 boats entered in the Storm Trysail Clubs Block Island Race Week XXIII presented by Rolex. The event, which began Monday, hosted 1500 sailors on the tiny land mass of Block Island. Posted on 27 Jun 2009
Block Island Race Week day 4
Almost a day off With a four-hour delay on shore today, 1500 sailors got to enjoy some fun and games before heading out for a fourth day of competition at the Storm Trysail Clubs Block Island Race Week XXIII presented by Rolex. Posted on 26 Jun 2009