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24th Block Island Race Week - Day 1

by Barby MacGowan 21 Jun 2011 06:40 BST 20-24 June 2011
Block Island Race Week day 1 © Daniel Forster / Rolex

First day worth the wait

The wind didn’t know what to do this morning, and there wasn’t much to push it, so the Race Committee postponed ashore until 12:30 at the Storm Trysail Club’s (STC) Block Island Race Week XXIV presented by Rolex. It was the first of five racing days, so the 1200 or more sailors on 134 boats were anxious to get started. In the end, 14 classes on three racing circles completed one race each in a late afternoon southwesterly that ranged from 9-14 knots.

Despite the slow start, the J/44s got off to a rousing regatta beginning, with Jeff Willis’s (Huntington, N.Y.) Challenge IV, the defending champion from 2009, winning today’s race. “We got a jump at the start at the committee boat end and were full speed,” said Challenge IV’s tactician David Willis (Huntington). “We were able to cover, extend our lead and find a nice controlling position, but there’s no doubt that in this class anyone can come back at you at any time.”

His sentiments were echoed by Tom Hering, a crew member aboard Resolute, owned by Don and Rick Rave (also Huntington), which finished fourth today. “All the boats here race against each other every week on Long Island Sound; on any given day any boat can win.” Hering explained the advantage of the class owning the sails rather than each owner investing separately in new suits of sails at will. “The class keeps track of the hours on the sails, and we rotate them among the boats, so it evens the playing field.”

In the PHRF Farr OD class, the Farr 40 Tsunami, owned by Preben Ostberg/Todd Olds/Bud Daily (Rockville, Md.) won, but nipping at its heels tomorrow will be Jim Richardson (Boston, Mass.), who finished second today aboard his Farr 30 Barking Mad. Andy Green, the starting helmsman from Great Britain’s 2003 America’s Cup campaign is calling tactics and trimming main aboard Barking Mad and is experiencing Block Island and sailing with Richardson both for the first time. “It’s all proper New England clam chowder, white-washed clapboard houses...I love it here,” said Green with a huge smile. “And Jim has won so much (also with his Farr 40 of the same name) and runs an amazing program, so it’s an honor to be a part of it.”

With Race Week serving as the 2011 IRC East Coast Championship, four classes are hosting a total of 39 IRC boats in contention for the title (to be determined by the best corrected speed among the winners of these classes). Of note in the IRC 1 class packed with IRC 52s is today’s winner Vesper (formerly Quantum Racing), an ex-Audi MedCup boat owned by Jim Swartz (Park City, Utah), who has made his name with a string of successful race boats sporting names with James Bond themes. Newer to the game, but a threat all the same with his commitment to success is Peter Cunningham (George Town, Grand Cayman) with another newly acquired MedCup boat PowerPlay (formerly Synergy), which finished third to Flying Jenny 7’s (David and Sandra Askew, Annapolis, Md.) second today.

“Today was a great opener for the class,” said Tony Rey (Middletown, R.I.), PowerPlay’s crew manager and member of its afterguard. “It illustrated to all of us how great the racing will be boat-for-boat here. Nobody is fast enough to let the boat get them out of trouble; we couldn’t be more excited about this.”

Three J/122s are competing for their 2011 National class title as well as for class victory over 13 total boats competing in IRC 3 class. If the rest of the week goes as well for the J/122 Plum Crazy II, which won today, the boat’s owner Andrew Skibo (Ocean City, N.J.) may just accomplish both goals.

Fifteen J/109s are competing for their East Coast Championship, and Jim Vos’s (New Canaan, Conn.) Scoot is the early leader there, while in J/105s, with 13 boats, Damian Emery’s (Shoreham, N.Y.) Eclipse leads.

Others at the top of the scoreboard: in Swan 42s, Chris Culver’s (New York, N.Y.) Blazer; in PHRF Cruising Non-spinnaker, Alan Krulisch’s (Arlington, Va.) Crackerjack; In IRC 2, Lawrence Dickie’s (Greenwich, Conn.) Ptarmigan; in IRC 4, Tom Rich’s (Middletown, R.I.) Settler; in PHRF 1, 2, 3, 4, Tom Lee’s (Essex, Conn.) Jammy Beggar, Brad Porter’s (Westbrook, Conn.) XLR8, John & Tony Esposito’s (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) Hustler, and John Storck Jr.’s (Huntington, N.Y.) Rumor, respectively.

Today was Caithness Energy Race Day, and after competing under relentlessly sunny skies, sailors enjoyed more fun ashore, including sailing radio controlled sailboats and socializing at the Gill and WindCheck Party under the iconic “Big Top” Race Week tent, where nightly awards and daily highlight videos by T2p.tv are enjoyed. (The daily highlights are also broadcast on-line at www.blockislandraceweek.com each night by 9pm).

Race headquarters for the 2011 Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex are located at The Oar Restaurant. 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, Robert Oatley Vineyards, Heineken, Sailing World, and WindCheck.

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. In 2009, this Race Week Raffle raised more than $16,000 for Block Island charities.

For more information, visit www.blockislandraceweek.com where WindCheck magazine’s Daily Race Week News can be read online. Follow us on facebook and twitter @BIRWXXIV.

Results after Day 1: (top three)

Cruising Non-spinnaker (PHRF - 5 Boats)
1. Crackerjack, Cambria 40, Alan Krulisch , Arlington, VA, USA - 1, ; 1pts
2. Manitou, C&C 110, Greg Slamowitz , New York, NY, USA - 2, ; 2pts
3. Patience, C&C 36, Jim Goldman , West Hartford, CT, USA - 3, ; 3pts

PHRF 3 (PHRF - 10 Boats)
1. Hustler, J 29, John & Tony Esposito , Mohegan Lake, NY, USA - 1, ; 1pts
2. Incommunicado, Omega 36, Tracey / Polk , Severna Park, MD, USA - 2, ; 2pts
3. Rival, Taylor 38, David Curtis , Marblehead, MA, USA - 3, ; 3pts

PHRF 4 (PHRF - 10 Boats)
1. Rumor, J 80, John Storck Jr , Huntington, NY, USA - 1, ; 1pts
2. Club Car, S2 7.9, Barry Bessette , South Chatham, MA, USA - 2, ; 2pts
3. En Charette, Noe 27, Paul Jennings , Branford, CT, USA - 3, ; 3pts

IRC 1 (IRC - 7 Boats)
1. Vesper, TP 52, Jim Swartz , Park City, UT, USA - 1, ; 1pts
2. Flying Jenny 7, TP 52, David & Sandra Askew , Annapolis, MD, USA - 2, ; 2pts
3. PowerPlay, TP 52, Peter Cunningham , George Town, Grand Cayman, CAY - 3, ; 3pts

IRC 2 (IRC - 9 Boats)
1. Ptarmigan, Ker 43, Lawrence Dickie , Greenwich, CT, USA - 1, ; 1pts
2. Cool Breeze, Mills 43, John Cooper , Springfield, MO, USA - 2, ; 2pts
3. Convictus Maximus, Farr 42, Donald Nicholson , Scotch Plains, NJ, USA - 3, ; 3pts

IRC 3 (IRC - 13 Boats)
1. Plum Crazy II, J 122, Andrew D. Skibo , Ocean City, NJ, USA - 1, ; 1pts
2. Avalanche, Farr 395, Craig Albrecht , Sea Cliff, NY, USA - 2, ; 2pts
3. Talisman, Farr 395, John Bailey , Darien, CT, USA - 3, ; 3pts

IRC 4 (IRC - 10 Boats)
1. Settler, Peterson 42, Thomas Rich , Middletown, RI, USA - 1, ; 1pts
2. Troubador, Express 37, Jamie Anderson , New York, NY, USA - 2, ; 2pts
3. ACT ONE, Summit 35, Charles Milligan , Newport, RI, USA - 3, ; 3pts

NYYC Swan 42 (One Design - 13 Boats)
1. Blazer, NYYC Swan 42, Chris Culver , New York, NY, USA - 1, ; 1pts
2. Arethusa, NYYC Swan 42, Philip Lotz , Newport, RI, USA - 2, ; 2pts
3. Barleycorn, NYYC Swan 42, Brendan Brownyard , Bay Shore, NY, USA - 3, ; 3pts

Farr OD (PHRF - 8 Boats)
1. Tsunami, Farr 40 OD, Preben Ostberg/Todd Olds/ Bud Dailey , Rockville, MD, USA - 1, ; 1pts
2. Barking Mad, Farr 30, James Richardson , Boston, MA, USA - 2, ; 2pts
3. Nightshift, Farr 40, Kevin McNeil , Annapolis, MD, USA - 3, ; 3pts

J 44 (One Design - 5 Boats)
1. Challenge IV, J 44, Jeffrey W. Willis , Huntington, NY, USA - 1, ; 1pts
2. Maxine, J 44, William Ketcham , Greenwich, CT, USA - 2, ; 2pts
3. Gold Digger, J 44, James D. Bishop Sr. , Jamestown, RI, USA - 3, ; 3pts

J 109 (One Design - 15 Boats)
1. Skoot, J 109, Jim Vos , New Canaan, CT, USA - 1, ; 1pts
2. Rush, J 109, Bill Sweetser , Annapolis, MD, USA - 2, ; 2pts
3. Instant Karma, J 109, David Betts , Southampton, NY, USA - 3, ; 3pts

J 105 (One Design - 13 Boats)
1. Eclipse, J 105, Damian Emery , Shoreham, NY, USA - 1, ; 1pts
2. Jouster, J 105, Bruce Stone Julian Croxall , San Francisco, CA, USA - 2, ; 2pts
3. Stratos, J 105, Marcus Wunderlich , Jersey City, NJ, USA - 3, ; 3pts

PHRF 1 (PHRF - 7 Boats)
1. Jammy Beggar, Melges 32, Tom Lee , Essex, CT, USA - 1, ; 1pts
2. Partnership, J 111, David / MaryEllen Tortorello , Fairfield, CT, USA - 2, ; 2pts
3. Andiamo, J 111, Paul Strauch , Douglaston, NY, USA - 3, ; 3pts

PHRF 2 (PHRF - 9 Boats)
1. XLR8, Carrera 280, Brad Porter , Westbrook, CT, USA - 1, ; 1pts
2. Swift, Navy 44, Graham Tyson , Annapolis, MD, USA - 2, ; 2pts
3. Whirlwind, Beneteau First 36.7, William Purdy , New York, NY, USA - 3, ; 3pts

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