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Handicap Racing at Block Island

Published on April 17th, 2017

The destination of Block Island, just 12 miles off the Rhode Island coast, is that biennial beacon attracting competitors for a race week with an actual week of racing: Block Island Race Week.

With the upcoming 2017 edition on June 19-23, it’s been interesting to watch entries roll in. While still two months away, there is already a very diverse fleet of over 140 entries finding their division of desire.

Aside from predictably popular keelboat one design fleets, well over half the entries are tapping the handicap options on the menu.

IRC: This traditionally provided rating rule will be having its North American Championship at Block Island Race Week. Three divisions are in place with boats ranging from the TP52 to the J/111 (36.5 ft).

ORC: Organizers this month just added ORC classes in response to several requests from both existing and potential entries. This will be ORC’s first appearance at Block Island Race Week and promises to provide sailors a new opportunity to see the rule in action.

PHRF: This nationally used handicap system will have its PHRF East Coast Championship at Block Island Race Week. Three fleets include the full range of boats from 24 to 45 feet, from the very racy to the comfortably cruisey.

Performance Cruising Class: This PHRF class breaks the glass ceiling on casual competition. Discounted entry fee, no restrictions on number of crew, option for pursuit starts, government mark courses, and no more than one race each day. Look for this crowd to have energy for land-based activities too.

Multihulls: NYYC Commodore Phil Lotz’s Gunboat 60 leads this fleet which also embraces government mark courses and the option for pursuit starts. While Phil stays within the cabin to drive, he may need to offer shower facilities for Michael Patterson’s Corsair 31R team.

Event details:

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