Storm Trysail Club Initiates Sustainability Plans for Block Island Race Week

Published on June 5th, 2015

New Shoreham, RI (June 4, 2015) – In its commitment to a sustainable environment the Storm Trysail Club has adopted the protocol set forth by Sailors for the Sea for a clean regatta for its 50th anniversary Block Island Race Week, June 21-26.

The club has committed to paperless race documents, reusable water bottles, water stations on the docks, recycling and composting. An app is in development that will keep competitors aware of the latest communications from race officials, overall standings and daily stories.

The Storm Trysail Club also plans to host a beach clean-up in conjunction with Clean Ocean Access, which works to protect, preserve and maintain shoreline access for all.

“As sailors we all have a story of encountering marine debris in our waters; we all love the sea and we’re committed to providing a sustainable environment for future generations,” said Peter Rugg, Block Island Race Week Regatta Chairman. “Block Island is a beautiful place and by committing to a clean regatta we hope to leave a minimal environmental impact on the island.”

Sailors for the Sea, founded in 2004 by lifetime sailor David Rockefeller, is a leading conservation organization that engages, educates, inspires and activates the sailing and boating community towards healing the oceans. Sailors for the Sea’s Clean Regattas program is the world’s only sustainability certification for water-based events.

“In 2014, regattas in the Northeast accounted for one-third of all Clean Regattas held internationally. We are thrilled that Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race Week is joining this important effort to restore ocean health,” said Tyson Bottenus, Sustainability Director at Sailors for the Sea. “By committing to protect the environment in their 50th anniversary, this storied event shows that all regattas, new or old, large or small can make a positive impact on the ocean.”

On Wednesday, June 24, race week officials and Clean Ocean Access will conduct three separate beach clean-ups on Block Island. Organized in three one hour segments, the clean-ups will occur at Andy’s Way at Great Salt Pond, North Point and East Beach (also called Crescent Beach).

“The interest from sailing community to be good stewards of the environment is tremendous,” said Dave McLaughlin, the executive director of Clean Ocean Access. “Having regattas and the groups that run them with a long-term vision of sustainability can start a wave of change where goals are achieved and repeated over many seasons.”

The Storm Trysail Club’s 2015 Block Island Race Week raffle will benefit the Block Island Rescue Squad and Block Island Medical Center, among other organizations. In 2013 the raffle raised more than $21,000 and through the years it has raised more than $100,000 in donations. For more information visit the “BIRW Raffle” link on the Block Island Race Week website.

“The Storm Trysail Club is very thankful for the relationship it has with the residents and businesses of Block Island,” said Rugg. “Block Island has been a wonderful host for race week for 50 years, and through the raffle we can give back to the community that gives our regatta such a fantastic setting.”

The entry list for Block Island Race Week includes more than 175 boats ranging in size from 6.5 meters (21 feet) to 65 feet. Racing is planned on three circles for one-design and rated classes (IRC, HPR and PHRF). Additional classes for double-handed crews, and cruising spinnaker and non-spinnaker entries will do one race a day around fixed marks.

A highlight of the week is the Around Block Island Race, a 20-nautical-mile sprint that challenges crews with swift tidal currents, rocky outcrops and windless holes while racing against the picture-perfect sand dunes and lush flora and fauna of the island.

Registration is still open for this classic regatta that mixes fun and competition. More details can be found at Block Island Race Week, and registration at

About Block Island Race Week

Founded in 1965, the Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race Week is one of the oldest race weeks in the U.S. The regatta is held in odd-numbered years on idyllic Block Island, about 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. Measuring less than 10 square miles in area, Block Island has been named one of “The Last Great Places” by the Nature Conservancy. The Storm Trysail Club wishes to thank its many supporters and partners, including sponsors Caithness Energy, Mount Gay Rum, North Sails, Vineyard Vines, Block Island Wind Farm, Gill, Sailing World, WindCheck, Gowrie Group, New England Boatworks, Bainbridge, C&C Yachts, McMichael Yacht Brokers, New England Ropes, UK Sailmakers, Hall Spars, Heineken, and PhotoBoat.

About the Storm Trysail Club
The Storm Trysail Club is one of the world’s most respected sailing clubs. Established in 1938, its membership includes skilled blue water and ocean racing sailors, who have flown a storm trysail (a small triangular sail flown in very strong winds) or severely reduced canvas during an ocean voyage. The club is headquartered in Larchmont, N.Y., and has regional stations throughout the U.S. The club hosts Block Island Race Week in odd-numbered years, the annual Block Island Race and Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race, Quantum Key West Race Week, the biennial Miami to Montego Bay Race and many other events. The Club’s affiliated 501(c)(3) organization, The Storm Trysail Foundation, holds annual junior safety-at-sea seminars and the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta for college sailors using big boats. For more information, visit Storm Trysail Club.

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