It’s All About Momentum

Wind arrives for Day 3 of Block Island Race Week and everyone gets in three races.

It's been a wait, but summer finally arrived. Day 3 of the Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race Week featured three races on each circle in an 8- to 15-knot westerly, and for the third straight day, enough sun to keep everyone in T-shirts and lathering on the sunblock. After waiting for wind each of the first two days, the wind was apparent before the 9:00 a.m. harbor start on Wednesday and built for the first half of the day.Fewer sailors were happier to see the breeze than the Naval Academy crew of the Navy 44 Vigilant. Racing in PHRF 87 to 120, the cadets had somehow squeezed a second and a fourth out of their heavy 44-footer on Monday and Tuesday, when the breeze didn't break into double digits. With the wind hitting 15 knots aloft--though the breeze on the water was significantly less--they were dominant, winning all three races. "Boatspeed was key," said co-skipper Chad Ingle, a senior from Burlington, N.C. "Our trimmers and our tactician kept us in the wind. We sailed to our plan. The light wind hurt us in the first two races, but we picked it up today in the breeze."Even when the breeze started to fade in the third race, dropping below 10 knots, Ingle and co-skipper Brooke Anderson were able to minimize their turns and keep the boat moving. "We had several legs where we only did two tacks," said Ingle. "We didn't intend on banging a corner, but kept the boat moving in light air." After five races, the team on Vigilant leads their division by 3 points over Dave Dickerson's Peterson 38 Lindy. Also sailing on the Blue Circle is the fleet of 33 J/105s, by far the regatta's biggest. As would be expected with a fleet that size and such light, shifty conditions, no one has been able to avoid a bad race. But outside of a 16 in the first race on Wednesday, Thomas Enright's Pretty Sketchy has been anything but, finishing the other four races in the top five. This consistency has built an 11-point lead over Robert Salk's Picante, with Jim Sorensen's Wet Leopard four points further behind.On the Red Course, which features the fastest boats, Bob Towse's Blue Yankee has picked up right where it left off at the New York YC Regatta a few weekends back and has won five of six races. But John Brim, in the Carroll Marine 60 Rima, isn't far behind Towse and could make up the 7-point deficit in two races.Among the seven Farr 40s, the competition has been tight, as it always is. Mark Ewing, sailing Riot, has been able to avoid the bad race and place in the top four each time. This has staked him to a two-point lead over John Thomson's Solution.After getting in three races Wednesday, there was talk of doing the traditional Around the Island Race today, but that will depend heavily on whether the forecast for a few more knots of breeze comes true. For complete results, http://blockislandraceweek.com