New Shoreham, RI – The sailors were treated on the penultimate day of racing – Mount Gay Race Day – to the highlight of the Block Island Race Week presented by Margaritaville: the Regatta Craft Mixers Round the Island Race. With some of the best racing conditions, not just for the week, but in recent Round-the-Island history, the sunny skies, southeasterly winds, and 10-12 knots were ideal for the 158 boats.
“This is what we look forward to,” said Kelly Wilbur onboard the J/111 WICKED before docking out. “Getting some distance in, getting to see every corner of the island, and doing a bunch of sail changes is really fun.”
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 break his winning streak among the four-boat fleet with another bullet added to the scoreboard today. However, the sight of the foiling catamaran TF10 THUNDER AND LIGHTNING was also new to the Storm Trysail Club fleet.
All of the ORC fleets were sent on a longer 21.5-mile course, that takes 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, the Botin Maxi 72 took line honors with an elapsed time of 02:17:36.
In the other ORC classes, Jim Grundy’s new Dunning 44 design RIGADOON, Leo Vasiliev’s Ker 11.5 PEACEMAKER, and Jay Turchetta’s XP 38 AMADEUS V won their classes.
Among the One-Designs – who were sent on the 18-mile course inside the wind farm – Peter Wagner’s J/111 SKELETON KEY, June & 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 thirty-year hiatus. The last time he raced, he 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,” said Wagner.
With a full moon tide testing the sailors on the water, finding the favorable current was also one of the biggest challenges facing the teams.
Andrew & Linda Weiss’ Ker 40+ CHRISTOPHER DRAGON XI, the Mudheads’s Melges 24 DARK ENERGY, and John Storck, Jr.’s J80 RUMOR all took the PHRF 1-3 fleets top prize.
The Island Sailing Club Of Cowes Perpetual Trophy for the overall winner for the Regatta Craft Mixers Round the Island Race is one of the most coveted awards of the week. First awarded in 1965 to commemorate the link between Block Island Race Week and Britain’s Cowes Week, after 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.
This year’s recipient will be announced during the final awards tomorrow evening along with the rest of the Overall awards.
The final day of racing will conclude tomorrow for Margaritaville Race Day for the 29th Block Island Race Week.
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