THE STORM TRYSAIL CLUB'S Block Island Race was first held in 1946. It starts on Friday of Memorial Day weekend, and depending on the wind and how fast your ride is, takes a day and then some – give or take 30 hours for most boats. The course is simple, but navigating the race is a real challenge given the almost infinite number of options getting out of, and back into Long Island Sound without getting stuck in a wind hole, or being badly affected by the ever-changing current.
The Sailing Instructions say, simply, "Boats will sail from the Start; leave Block Island to starboard, to the Finish, leaving Red Bell “32” (The Cows) and Red Nun 2 to starboard. Course distance is 186 NM." The start and finish are off the Stamford, CT harbor entrance. That's it, save for a few government marks that must be honored when rounding Block for safety reasons.
The Block Island Race is a perennial North America classic, and an annual favorite of many sailors in the Northeast. It is a qualifier for the North Ocean Racing Trophy (IRC), the Double Handed Ocean Racing Trophy (IRC), the New England Lighthouse Series (PHRF), and the Gulf Stream Series (IRC). The Block Island Race is also a qualifier for the Caper, Sagola, and Windigo trophies awarded by the YRA of Long Island Sound, and the “Tuna Trophy” (now there's a story for another post) for the best combined IRC scores in the Edlu and the Block Island Race.
Full results here, but congrats to the overall winners, Jay Turchetta and his AMADEUS V team who bested a fleet of 66 yachts in the 2017 edition.
Storm Trysail Club Commodore Leonard Sitar (far left) and Storm Trysail Club Fleet Captain, Block Island Race Chair, and Principal Race Officer Ray Redniss (far right) present the Harvey Conover Award for Best Overall Performance perpetual trophy and the “keeper” trophy to Jay Turchetta and the crew of Amadeus V to go along with their trophies for Best Corrected Time in the IRC fleet and First in IRC Class. 2 trophies. Photo: Rick Bannerot, Storm Trysail Club.