Please select your home edition
Stoneways Marine 2021 - LEADERBOARD

77th Annual Block Island Race Recap

by Storm Trysail Club 29 May 00:52 BST May 25-26, 2024
Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race © Rick Bannerot /

The 77th annual Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race took place this past weekend in beautiful sailing conditions interspersed with frustrating doldrums and even a dry squall.

Described by some as a race of "chutes and ladders," the fleet of 76 boats embarked on the 186-nautical-mile journey on Friday afternoon under sunny skies in 5-10 knots. There were multiple restarts in the lighter conditions throughout the overnight race before 52 boats successfully completed the race by Sunday morning.

David Greenstein's Mills 68, Space Monkey, was the first to cross the finish line, completing the race in 27 hours and 11 minutes. However, the ultimate victory in the ORC class was claimed by Andrew Berdon's TP52, Summer Storm, with a corrected time of 25 hours and 55 minutes.

Berdon, now on his third Summer Storm, praised his crew for their exceptional performance. He recounted the significant logistical effort, led by project manager Alec Snyder, required to get the boat from Kiel, Germany to the starting line within a few short months. Once on the course, Berdon emphasized the importance of staying in touch with the larger boats and making strategic decisions. "The key factor was staying in touch with these bigger boats throughout the race. None of them disappeared over the horizon," he said. A decisive move north to the Connecticut shore after re-entering Long Island Sound helped Summer Storm stay in the breeze while the wind died down for the rest of the ORC fleet, securing their overall win. "That's just the nature of racing on Long Island Sound," Berdon remarked.

In the PHRF fleet, Loki, a J/122 skippered by David Rosow, was both the first to finish and the class winner. Rosow credited their success to strategic positioning in Block Island Sound, staying south of the fleet on both the outbound and inbound legs. "We seemed to have slightly better breeze and were positioned well for the local current effects," Rosow explained. Like Berdon, Rosow was new to his boat and expressed his delight with the outcome: "I was thrilled and surprised we produced such a successful result with so little time in the new boat."

In the doublehanded fleet, John Feleciano and Zach Doerr from NEKA Sailing in the Figaro 2 finished in the top spot for ORC, while Peter Becker and Adrien Blanc finished first in the J/105 for PHRF.

The post-race party at Stamford Yacht Club was well attended. There was great music and a vibrant atmosphere as the class winners were awarded. A special thanks goes to Raymarine for their generous giveaway of an electronics package, which went to doublehanded skipper Marc Berkowitz.

The Block Island Race, as always, is a true test of strategy, resilience and determination of all participating sailors. Sometimes you ride the elevator, and sometimes you fall down the ladder, but it's a great race to shake out the cobwebs before summer, especially for the 57% of the teams going onto sail in next month's Bermuda Race.

Full results can be found here.

Related Articles

J/Teams triumph in STC Block Island Race
J/122 wins PHRF overall, J/121 eclipses ORC division The 77th Annual Block Island Race will go down in infamy as one of the lightest editions on record, with many boats getting becalmed (triple 0s) multiple times. Posted on 3 Jun
Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race Preview
The weather forecast looks to be typical for this time of year 82 boats are gearing up for the 77th Annual Block Island Race, set to commence this Friday at 2 p.m. off Stamford, CT. Teams will embark on the challenging 186-nautical mile course, navigating through Long Island Sound, around Block Island, and back. Posted on 22 May
ORC Education Webinar Series continues
Intro to Scoring Recording and Advanced Scoring preview Our ongoing ORC Education Seminar Series in collaboration with the New York YC, Chicago YC, and US Sailing Offshore Office, has welcomed sailors and experts from around the country to learn more about the intricacies of ORC measurement and scoring. Posted on 28 Mar
Transatlantic Race 2025 to allow autopilots
Aiming to ease crew concerns It's the middle of a foggy night in the North Atlantic. The breeze is fickle and there is nary a star or landsight by which to guide the yacht. Posted on 14 Mar
Safety at Sea scheduled for April 2024
The Notice of Race for the 2025 Annapolis to Newport Race is still in the works The Marine Trades Association of Maryland will offer a Safety at Sea course at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, Mahan Hall. Posted on 7 Mar
ORC Education Webinar Series continues
Dive deeper into the intricate world of ORC Measurement The Storm Trysail Club, in collaboration with the NYYC and the Chicago YC, kicked off a webinar series dedicated to the introduction and explanation of the Offshore Racing Congress earlier this month and will continue this week. Posted on 25 Feb
Annapolis J/105 fleet takes on Down the Bay Race
J/105 Fleet 3, based in Annapolis, is the largest in the world with 35 boats J/105 Fleet 3, based in Annapolis, is the largest in the world with 35 boats. It is also one of the most competitive with syndicates such as Bat IV, DogHouse, Good Trade, Inigo, Mirage, Mayhem, Patriot, Tenacious and WarBride all capable of winning. Posted on 12 Feb
Registration open for 77th Block Island Race
Storm Trysail Club hopes to see even more entries take on the 186nm adventure As the 77th edition of the Block Island Race opens for entries, it might be worth noting that in the last Bermuda Race year in 2022, 77 boats embarked on the race from Stamford, Conn., on that Friday afternoon in May. Posted on 8 Feb
ORC Webinar: Intro to ORC
This educational initiative aims to engage a broad audience Starting Thursday and over the next few weeks, the Storm Trysail Club, in collaboration with the New York Yacht Club and the Chicago Yacht Club, is pleased to offer a webinar series dedicated to the introduction and explanation of the ORC. Posted on 1 Feb
Newport Bermuda Race extends to 636 miles
Offering free public viewing from Fort Adams State Park The Newport Bermuda Race is thrilled to announce an exciting new approach to the start of the 2024 race: free shoreline viewing and a live broadcast from Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island. Posted on 26 Jan