Harken Derm

Innovation for Block Island Race Week 2017

Published on October 11th, 2016

Larchmont, NY (October 11, 2016) – Founded in 1965 and heading for its 27th running, the Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race Week is a great biennial tradition of New England summers and one of the oldest race weeks in the U.S.

Registration and the Notice of Race are now online for the 2017 edition on June 18-23.

Racing on Block Island Sound as the season changes from spring to summer often brings ideal conditions. Many who sailed the regatta in 2015 completed 11 races over five days, including a gearbustin’ Around Block Island Race, amid some of the finest weather ever to grace the regatta.

As always, Block Island Race Week is open to PHRF-rated classes, double-handed sailors and performance cruising (spinnaker and non-spinnaker) classes. New for 2017 is an invitation to multihulls. It is expected that the multihull entries, like the monohull entries for so long, will represent a broad range of boat types, from racer/cruisers to all-out racers.

There are also some changes in store for the Performance Cruising classes. All Performance Cruising classes will get one throw-out after just three races.

“This idea started as ‘Pick Your Own Lay Day’ and actually wasn’t designed by the Chamber of Commerce,” said AJ Evans, chairman of Block Island Race Week and Storm Trysail Club rear commodore. “I’m hoping some boats will have the option to pick a day during the week to either cruise around, fish, bike the island, or enjoy its beaches.”

Performance Cruising classes will also have a Plus One crew limit. Made popular by Storm Trysail Club member Adam Loory, Plus One sailing is a limit on crew to the tens digit of the boat’s length plus one. For example, a boat between 30 and 39 feet could carry four in crew. Plus One enables boats to come race without having to rent a house – stay aboard and get breakfast from Aldo’s alongside.

The Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race Week long has been a rite of passage for youth sailors, many of whom sailed their first “big boat” regatta with their parents or parents’ friends at Block Island Race Week. The Storm Trysail Club is committed to promoting youth sailing and will permit all crews to carry one extra crew member under the age of 14 who will not count against the maximum crew number or crew weight for a particular class.

In addition, the GEM Trophy will once again be awarded to the best performance during the week of a boat with a crew composed of at least 70% of its skipper and crew, male or female, younger than 25 years of age.

Block Island Race Week’s legacy is built on Corinthian racing ideals and camaraderie shore side, but next year’s edition will be also notable for the number of championships that are scheduled for competition.

Already four one-design classes and the IRC Congress have designated Block Island Race Week as their East Coast or North American championship. The list will likely grow as regatta organizers are in discussions with another five classes.

“We’re referring to next year’s Block Island Race Week as ‘The Championships Regatta,'” said Evans. “Block Island Race Week is recognized as offering top-level race management and that’s a nice tip of the cap to our race committee volunteers. They’re probably also familiar with our tent parties and Block Island’s idyllic setting.”

The IRC division will be competing for the IRC North American Championship at Block Island Race Week. The one-design class championships scheduled with Block Island Race Week include: C&C 30 One-Design North American Championship, J/109 North American Championship, J/44 North American Championship and the J/88 East Coast Championship.

Entries for the Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race Week will be accepted until June 1, 2017. The first registration period runs through March 1, after which the entry fee increases by $2/foot. A second period runs through June 1. Any entry fee paid after June 1 is subject to a further rate increase.

“We’ll know the final make-up of the regatta in the coming weeks,” said Evans. “Some classes we’re speaking with are still finalizing their schedules for next year, but we’re confident we’ll be announcing a few more championships in conjunction with Block Island Race Week. There’s still much to do to get race week organized, but the pieces are in place for a fantastic week of competition – and fun,” said Evans.

For full event description and to enter: blockislandraceweek.com

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