Storm Trysail Club is getting ready for the largest fleet in well over a decade with 86 boats set to take the starting line on Friday, May 27th, 2022. The annual 186nm race starts and ends off Stamford, Conn. and takes the crews down Long Island Sound and around Block Island.
This is the third attempt to run the 75th edition after cancellations due to the pandemic in 2020 and extreme weather in 2021 kept the crews ashore. Now in a Bermuda Race year, 67% or 58 of the entries are using this as a warm-up for the welcome return of the iconic ocean race next month.
“We are hoping ‘the third time’s a charm’ in 2022 to complete the long awaited race,” said John Troy, Race Chair. “The weather is shaping up to be great racing conditions. With a front moving through, the sailors should have great breeze the entire race.”
Sailors and fans are welcome to join a Weather Briefing the night before the Race provided by Chelsea Carlson of SeaTactics. (Sign up for a link to join here).
The fast boats to watch in the ORC fleet will be Christopher Sheehan’s TP52, Warrior Won, coming off their overall win in the 2022 RORC Caribbean 600 earlier this year. Giving them a run for it will be two natives of Grosse Point, Mich. here for the Bermuda Race: Fred Detweiler & Bruce Aikens’ Reichel Pugh 69, Wizard and Charles Bayer’ Andrews 70, Arctos. The largest boat in the fleet is Oakcliff Sailing’s new addition, the Reichel Pugh designed, OC86. Oakcliff also has three Farr 40s taking part in the Race.
Also among the fleet are some family crews, June Kendrick is sailing with John Storck Jr. and their adult children on J/44 Palantir 5 as part of their Bermuda Race preparations. Father and daughter doublehanded team, Tim and Alison Kent will be sailing their Class 40, Kent Racing, this weekend as well.
Storm Trysail Club has a commitment to fostering young offshore sailors – which is one reason they co-host the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta every Fall – so they are excited to see so many younger teams participating in this year’s Block Island Race. Oakcliff Sailing will have nearly 70 young sailors participating on their four boats – one of which is an entirely young female crew from the Lincoln School for Girls in Rhode Island on one of their Farr 40s, Team Luna.
There is also the rematch for USMMA Maritime Academy Kings Point and the US Coast Gaurd Academy to battle it out on their J/44s, Comet and Glory after a tie at last year’s Block Island Race Week. USCGA also has a J/121 Wings they are chartering for Block Island and Bermuda. NEKA Sailing (North East Keelboat Association) has partnered with the Webb Offshore Sailing Team and are racing 3 boats: Group 5 (Custom Figaro 2), Desperado (Custom 40), and Peacemaker (Ker 11.5). Group 5 will be double handed with a coach and a Webb student. The other boats will be fully crewed with a mix of students and coaches.
It remains to be seen if the 100-foot Maxi Comanche’s course record for 11 hours 25 minutes and 01 second will be broken. Race fans will be able to track the teams, with live locations and rankings, via YB Tracker (via the YB app or stormtrysail.org/blockislandrace.) as they start at 2pm on Friday.
The fleet is currently divided into ten classes with eight ORC and PHRF classes taking on the 186nm Block Island Course and one PHRF class opting for the shorter 135nm Plum Island Course. Ten double-handed teams are also participating.
STC Commodore Ed Cesare added ”We are thrilled to have a great turnout this year. The anticipation has been building for a while now and we wish all the crews a fun and safe race. See you at Stanford Yacht Club on Sunday for the awards, we can’t wait to hear your stories from the Race course.”
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