Posting points at Block Island Race Week
Published on June 22nd, 2021
New Shoreham, RI (June 22, 2021) – The fog lifted overnight so the Race Committee sent the 158 teams for Block Island Race Week presented by Margaritaville out to their assigned race circles for North Sails Race Day to get some “points on the scoreboard” today.
Even though Tropical Depression Claudette is passing well to the south of Block Island, a few storm clouds began to form on the horizon soon after the races started and the swell from the storm forced the boats to battle 8-10 foot swells on the race courses throughout the day.
Finally commencing their regatta, after yesterday’s abandonment due to fog, the White and Blue fleets managed to complete three races in light 5-10 knot breeze and the Green Circle (Performance Cruising and Multihull) completed a 12-mile distance race.
In the ORC Division, Hap Fauth’s Maxi 72 Belle Mente, Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s Botin 44 Interlodge, John Cooper’s Mills 43 Cool Breeze, and Ashley Maltempo’s and Bill Wiggins’ J/121 Wings top each of their classes for the day.
“Last year with COVID, we didn’t travel at all,” said Robin Team, skipper of the J/122 Teamwork. “We were a 15 months without any racing. So we were ready, eager and raring to go today after yesterday. Three great races in light air and we are heavier boat but well take anything we can get to get across the starting line at this point.” Team and his crew ended up third in the ORC D for the day.
Thunder and lightning could be heard around 1300 to the southwest just as the boats started their second race but fortunately aside from some passing rain, they were able to keep racing throughout the day even through influential shifts and big waves.
The Green Fleet started off the east shoreline with a crowd of spectators taking in the sights. One family of four from Los Angeles, who coincidentally vacations on Block Island the same week as the Race Week every year, commented “We love to come down with and watch the boats every year from the beach. The kids think they are all pirate ships.”
Another couple from Florida who summer on Block Island were getting educated on the rules of the race from another local resident. “I don’t think I have ever seen this many boats out there!” she declared.
This is one of the biggest Block Island Race Week fleets in over a decade. Whether it’s the pent up energy post-COVID or just the welcome atmosphere of the Island, the abundance of competition in all the varying conditions makes for great racing.
“We have 13 boats in our class all with very close ratings and tight competition,” said the skipper of The Cat Came Back, Mike Campbell. Their team is one of five Swan 42s in ORC C and had two top five finishes for the day. “Looking forward to the rest of the week and hopefully having breeze,” he concluded.
As the system passes through this evening, Storm Trysail Club’s Race Committee is hopeful for the return of sunny skies and sea breeze to continue to get off races. The 2021 scheduled extends from June 21 to 25.
Source: Kate Wilson Somers