Block Island Bang Up
Block Island Bang UpReport Abuse
Orbit grinder, jigsaw, and Sawzall blazing. That’s not exactly the sort of activity we thought we’d be seeing on the NYYC Swan 42 Mustang come Monday afternoon. When we’d peeled out from Block Island’s Payne’s Dock earlier in the day for the opening day of Block Island Race Wee, we thought we’d be slinging mudslides and rehashing our lap around the island.
Instead, the power tools were plugged in and tactician Charlie Enright and mainsail trimmer John Dennis were carving away shards of glass and core from a two-foot gash in Mustang’s port quarter.
After an innocent port-starboard crossing a mere 10 minutes into our race we were on the receiving end of a fatal blow by our rivals on the Swan 42 Blazer. It was a duck that needed only a foot for us each to carry on our own merry way. What a bummer, too: we were leading the fleet to the favored right side and making our first crosses.
Fifteen minutes after starting, sails were flaked, damaged assessed, and the call was made to the race committee that we were retiring with damage. Once ashore we debated delivering the boat back to New England Boatworks or attempting a repair on island, and after much gloom debate Charlie Enright disappeared, returning with two pieces of scrap plywood and the Sawzall.
They were pretty far along with their version of a temporary fix before Ted Chwalk (boat captain of both boats…), Hall Spar’s Pete Levesque, and a few others were giving it a proper fix, carving the plywood in to perfectly shaped core and laying carbon strips. By 9 p.m. the cure was kicking and by 7 a.m. Tuesday morning the boat was ready to sail. That’s pretty impressive stuff.
So, the fleet went around the island without us, led by Roger Sturgeon’s Rosebud, who sailed the course in less than two hours, correcting out by 10 minutes over the King 40 Act One. Under the party tent there was plenty of video, photos, and stories of good fast sailing, personal bests, broaches, wipeouts, man overboards, sharks impaled on keels (Rosebud, apparently had one, too).
The silver lining for us, though, is that we only missed one race, so our average redress shouldn’t be too bad. With the boat bandaged we’ll be back at it today in a 15- to 20-knot northerly. There’s no sunshine here at Block, but at least there’s wind.
Link to results: http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=230