Rambler Crushes in Block Island Race

News brief, 5/29/07

George David's 90-foot Reichel/Pugh-designed Rambler took line honors in the Block Island Race, completing the 186-nautical mile course in 18 hours, 57 minutes, 41 seconds. The performance also secured Rambler IRC fleet and Super Zero class victories on best corrected and elapsed times. The race began on Friday afternoon and sent Rambler and 61 other IRC- and PHRF-rated boats on a course from Stamford, Conn., down Long Island Sound, around Block Island, R.I., and back. The lighter conditions favored the larger boats, which sped out of the Sound before adverse current kicked in. "The big boats got ahead early and stretched their leads based on the current and the wind," said David. "Reaching in 15 knots, Rambler can move along at about 18-19 knots, which we saw at times." David explained that Rambler (the former Shock Wave, built in 2002) had just emerged from undergoing major modifications, including a deeper draft and added bowsprit. "We got a whole new sail plan out of that," said David, "so we were pretty powered up. I thought we got out of the blocks pretty well." Rambler's impressive performance did not break the course record however, a 16-hour mark set by Boomerang in 2002. Teri and Pete Binkley's (Branford, Conn.) Quest 33 Wildeyes turned in best corrected and elapsed times for the PHRF fleet, finishing nearly 23 hours behind Rambler. Best performance by a doublehanded boat went to Kevin Grainger's (Rye, N.Y.) J/105 Gumption 3.The Block Island Race is a qualifier for the Gulf Stream Series (IRC), the Northern Ocean Racing Trophy (IRC), the New England Lighthouse Series (PHRF) and the Double Handed Ocean Racing Trophy (IRC). Many competitors also use the event as a shakedown for the Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race Week, a biennial event that takes place June 17-22 and will serve as the first-ever Rolex US-IRC National Championship.For complete results from the Block Island Race, click here.