Thursday, July 5, 2012

Gorgeous Sailing Block Island Race Week

J/111 sailing off block islandJ/111s & J/29s Sweep Classes
(Block Island, RI)- During the "off year" Block Island Race Week (every even year), the fleet may be smaller since so many boats in the Northeast sail the Newport-Bermuda Race, but the racing and the camaraderie is no less fun.  In fact, the sailing is quit a bit more challenging and intimate since the boats that do participate are often well-sailed and have top teams aboard.  This year the fleet was greeted with spectacular weather, with shifty northerlies on the first day changing to classic S-SW winds for the balance of the week.  Most all fleets managed to sail nine races and "kudos" must be given to the Duck Island YC PRO, Susie Miller and her RC team for getting in some excellent racing.  The classic Around Block Island Race was won overall by the J/111 WICKED 2.0 sailed by Doug Curtiss and team from Buzzards Bay.

The J/109s were sailing their East Coast Championship and this year past champion Bill Sweetser and crew aboard RUSH managed to dash off eight 1sts and two 2nds for 10 pts to dominate their class and be crowned East Coast Champion.  Second was another past champion, Ted Herlihy sailing GUT FEELING to a record of two 1sts and seven 2nds and two 3rds for 16 pts.  Third was Hugh McLean on SHEARWATER.

In the hot, hot PHRF 1 Class, the J/111s swept the class taking the podium overall.  Leading the charge was Doug Curtiss's WICKED 2.0 with a 4-3-1-3-1-1-1-2-1 scoreline for 13 pts.  Second was Rod Johnstone's newly launched JAZZ sailing with a family team and scoring 2-6-2-4-3-2-2-1-2 for 18 pts.  Third was Paul Strauch's ANDIAMO sailing to a 3-2-4-2-6.5-4-3-6 for 27 pts.  Fourth 111 was Segwick Ward's BRAVO putting in a much stronger performance than last year, finishing just two points out of fifth overall!

In PHRF 2 Division, some of the strong J/29 rivalries continued with the MGHTY PUFFIN from Narragansett Bay taking on the "bad boys" from Long Island, the notoriously fun-loving "Espo" crew on HUSTLER. In the end, John & Tony Esposito on HUSTLER again proved they're a force to be reckoned with, winning yet another Block Island Race Week with seven 1sts and three 2nds for only 9 pts.  Second was Steve Thurston's team on the yacht MIGHTY PUFFIN, sailing their J/29 to an easy second place on the podium with two 1sts, five 2nds and three 3rds for 15 pts!  The J/105 SHE'S THE BOSS sailed by John Sutherland took fourth in class.  For more Block Island Race Week sailing information