Thursday, September 17, 2020

EPIC Round the Island Race- Jamestown

 J/109 sailing Jamestown Round Island race

(Jamestown, Rhode Island)– Normally, Conanicut Yacht Club Around the Island Race is the culmination of an entire sailing season, but for many who participated on last Sunday's 18-mile lap of Jamestown, it was their first regatta of the year as many races were canceled this summer to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

For 93 years, the race has been held on the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend and usually attracts 100+ boats from in and around Narragansett Bay for the single distance race followed by an awards party on the lawn of the island yacht club.

This year, 78 boats came out to the starting line but all on-shore festivities were canceled. To maintain social distancing, the race committee volunteers were split among a large starting boat and the yacht club utilizing radio communication to facilitate organization.

“The biggest challenge of 2020 was the question of ‘should we or shouldn’t we’,” said regatta chairman Alan Baines. “The division of the race committee, canceling the party, and patiently waiting to open registration until we had a solution was the best course for us and it worked.

“It also helped that we had the perfect wind conditions and exactly high tide in the middle of the start,” Baines continued. “Thank you to the cooperation of the competitors and Rick and Jody Hill for lending us their boat for the Race Committee boat, which allowed us to stay spread out.”

J/70 rounding Beavertail Point bell
A strong southeasterly breeze of 15-20 knots held for the entire day. The smaller boats started just south of the Newport Bridge first and headed south for a clockwise course around Jamestown. With the 10 division starts staggered by about 6 minutes, by the time the fastest and largest boats rounded Beavertail point, all the boats gathered downwind in the West Passage of Narragansett Bay.

Many J/Crews participated in what is generally the most popular long-distance race sailed on Narragansett Bay every summer. Winning one of the perpetual trophies for Conanicut YC members with the fastest corrected times under 30 feet- Robert A. MacLeod Rear Commodore Trophy- was Mike Hill's J/24 OBSTREPEROUS (it might be about the dozenth time he's won it!).

In the seven-boat PHRF C Class- Non-Spinnaker- Owen Harren's J/44 SINGULARLY took the bronze. In the nine-boat PHRF D Class, Mike Hill's OBSTREPEROUS took fourth place.  

J/80 sailing Jamestown Round Island Race.
Winning the nine-boat PHRF E Class was Dan Borsutky's FLYING HIGH. Fourth was another J/30- Chris Tate's BLITZ and sixth was yet another J/30- Dexter Hoag's ALTAIR.

One of the largest classes in the race was the thirteen-boat PHRF F Class. Sam Sylvester's J/29 MEDDLER took second, EC Helme's J/92S SPIRIT was fourth, and sixth was Hannah Swett's all CYC Youth sailing program team on her J/70 SPARKLE. 

The thirteen-boat PHRF G Class saw a real battle emerge for the top five spots, with just 5 minutes separating all 5 boats on corrected time.  Taking the silver was Bill Kneller's J/109 VENTO SOLARE and third was FJ Ritt's J/35 SHAMROCK.  For more Conanicut YC Around the Island Race sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.