A Wet, Windy Block Island Race

Joe Dockery’s R/P 81 Carrera Takes Line Honors

Courtesy Storm Trysail Club

BLOCK ISLAND RACEVeterans of the Block Island Race jokingly call it the Stamford to Stamford race, for the 185-mile jaunt out Long Island Sound, around Block Island, and back up the Sound begins and ends in the same place; near the R-32 "Cows" buoy off Stamford, CT. But in between the start and finish of this loop is a fairly difficult test of several distance-racing disciplines: navigation, weather forecasting, crew management, and sailhandling ability. The tides and breezes of Long Island and Rhode Island Sounds can be tricky, and more than a few veterans of this 58-year-old event have cursed the day they first heard the words "Block Island Race," but they return year after year to test their mettle and their luck.Fifty-two boats sailed the wet, windy, and more than a little cold Block Island Race this year, among them an impressive class of big boats in IMS 1: Joe Dockery's new 81-foot Carrera (nee Morning Glory), Tom Hill's new Titan, a 75-foot speedster also from the Reichel/Pugh office, Richard Breeden's R/P 73 Bright Star, Bob Towse's Blue Yankee, and two Farr 60s under new management, John Brim's Rima, and Steve Munger's Harrier (nee Carrera).The top boats in the IMS class finished only about 19 hours after they started, but the fairly strong breeze worked well for the smaller boats, too. Munger's new Harrier took first on corrected in the class, beating second-place boat Blue Yankee by 11 minutes, and third-place sistership Rima by just under an hour. Carrera finished first and was awarded the best elapsed-time trophy.Top boat overall was John Santa's Swan 46 Galadriel, winner of PHRF Class 6, and best corrected time in the IMS Racer fleet was Marco Birch's Farr 53 Talisman. Best elapsed time in the PHRF fleet was the santa Cruz 52 Bombardino, owned by Jim Sykes.For scores, see http://stormtrysail.orgSIR PETER JOHNSONSir Peter Johnson, who retired as Chairman of the World Sailing Speed Record Council last April, died on Saturday, May 25. From the Speed Record Council's website, http://www.sailspeedrecords.com :"The WSSR became the sole authority for the ratification of Ocean Records in 1989 and Peter was largely instrumental for setting up the successful structure which has now grown into handling a large number of diverse record attempts on different routes around the world." Johnson was Vice Chairman of the WSSR from 1989 until 2000, when he became Chairman.SPA REGATTATwo teams of former Olympic medalists rediscovered at least part of their winning form at last week's SPA Regatta in Medemblik, The Netherlands. Both the 470 duo of Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham and reigning Star gold medalists Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl finished in fifth place in their respective classes. The finishes were an improvement over each pair's recent string of international results. Reynolds and Liljedahl finished just one point out of third, which was occupied by Bermuda's Peter Bromby and Lee White, and five points out of second. Foerster and Burnham, who have each previously--and seperately--won silver medals in the 470, won three races during the qualifying stage of the regatta.The best performance by an American team at the major Olympic-class regatta, however, was turned in by Betsy Alison, Lee Icyda, and Suzy Leech, who won the Yngling class. In their last five races, the trio won twice and didn't finished worse than fourth. They finished six points ahead of second and 30 points ahead of third. Two other American top 10s were Tim Wadlow and Pete Spaulding, who were sixth in the 49er class and Hannah Swett, Joan Touchette, and Melissa Purdy who finished 10th in the Yngling class. Wadlow and Spaulding were very consistent in their regatta, finishing six of 12 races in the top five and 10 of 12 in the top 10. If not for an OCS and a DNF, the pair might've found themselves on the podium.Other top Americans at the regatta included Erin Maxwell and Jen Morgan, 15th in the women's 470, Laura Schmidt, 83rd in the Europe class, Mo Hart, whose race results improved steadily throughout the regatta to finish 26th in the Finn class, Mark Mendelblatt, an impressive 12th in the 143-boat Laser class, Peter Wells, 22nd in the Men's Mistral, and John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree, 18th in the Tornado class. For complete results, http://www.sparegatta.orgCHARLESTON-BERMUDA RACESix long days after departing Charleston, SC, Dr. Mike Finn and his crew aboard the J/160 Kativa crossed the finish line off St. David's Lighthouse on the northeast end of Bermuda early Friday morning May 23, ending a 777-mile race that seemed much longer. Finn and his 10 crewmembers arrived at almost four in the morning Bermuda time, spent but encouraged to be on terra firma and claim line honors in the fourth edition of this race. Finn, a cardiologist and veteran sailboat racer from Slidell, La., said this was the longest ocean race in his career. It also turned out to be the longest edition of the Charleston to Bermuda Race on record. After spending 98 percent of the racecourse beating upwind due to a stationary high pressure system, Kativa finished with an elapsed time of 133 hours, 55 minutes, and 5 seconds, which is over 60 hours more than the existing course record. Sixteen boats started the race on Saturday, May 17, but within the first 30 hours, five of them had turned back to Charleston due to a variety of mechanical and safety issues. Of the remaining 11 boats in the contest, only three of them ultimately finished the course under sail as eight boats ultimately opted to engage their engines to reach Bermuda. The general lack of progress for the fleet was ascribed to constant headwinds that ranged from 24 to 6 knots, and large waves, gauged to be between 10 and 15 feet by some competitors. Rex Conn's 48-foot Dick Newick-designed trimaran Alacrity finished with a time of 137 hours, 23 minutes, and 39 seconds to claim second place. Though Teddy Turner, Jr. arrived third aboard his Condor 40 trimaran Troika, he and his three-man crew crossed the finish line just over an hour after the mandatory time limit, meaning that only Kativa and Alacrity were officially scored as finishing. As of midday Tuesday, one boat was still underway to Bermuda. For more info on this race, http://www.sailnet.com/ROLEX IMS WORLDSIt's official; the best IMS racers in the world are in the Mediterranean, they're Italian, and they sail production boats. But these production boats don't resemble anything found on the American side of the Atlantic. Covered with enough sponsor decals and hot graphics to make NASCAR drivers feel inadequate, and maximized for speed, these boats look as if they could have been constructed by any of the top custom boat builders' yards. Last week 64 of these boats, sailed by some of the best sailors in the world, rendezvoused off the Southern Italian island of Capri and sailed six races that ranged from a windy petite distance race to a mind-numbingly light windward leeward day race. In short, conditions that assured that the winner wasn't optimized for any single type of racing, and that only the best all around boats would be on the podium at the end of the event.For the complete story, see http://sailingworld.com/sw_article.php?articleID=1833BAKER HIGH SCHOOL TEAM RACE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPPoint Loma High School secured the Triple Crown of High School sailing (singlehanded Cressy, doublehanded Mallory, Team Race Baker) by winning the Baker Team Race Nationals May 24-25, 2001 on Mission Bay. 12 schools representing the districts of ISSA showed up to compete in 24 C-FJs provided by PCISA and Vanguard. Saturday's racing began with the marine layer known as "June Gloom" presenting southwesterly breezes never hitting over 10 knots. After a 66 race elimination series Saturday, Newport Harbor & St. George's qualified for the final four with a 3-way tie sail-off between Corona del Mar, Point Loma and Southern High School (MD). The sail-off began aroun 6pm in a consistent 5 knots with St. George's and the Calif. schools making the cut. Sunday, the fleet was split into Gold, Silver and Bronze flights with all sailing a double round-robin. 36 races were held in typical Mission Bay conditions of sunny, 6-10 knots from the northwest for the finals. As with all good team race events, the decision come down to the last race between Pt. Loma and St. George's. Pt Loma went undefeated in the finals with Newport Harbor winning the tie-breaker for 2nd over St. George's and Corona del Mar 4th. Winning team: Pt Loma: Adam Roberts, Parker Shinn, Graham Biehl, Donald Lockwood, Melanie Roberts, Bryan Rigby.Gold1. Pt Loma High School: 14 W, 3 L2. Newport Harbor High School: 13 W, 4 L3. St. George's: 13 W, 4 L4. Corona del Mar: 8 W, 9 LSilver1. Southern High School (MD): 13 W, 4 L2. Tabor Academy: 11 W, 6 L3. Martin County, FL: 5 W, 12 L4. Jesuit: 5 W, 12 LBronze1. Ransom Everglades: 7 W, 10L2. Hotchkiss: 6 W, 11 L3. St. Ignatius: 4 W, 13 L4. North Kitsap: 2 W, 15 LGrand Prix Sailor is compiled by the editors of Sailing World magazine. If you'd like to subscribe, see http://www.sailingworld.com Contributing Editors: Tony Bessinger (tony.bessinger@sailingworld.com), Dave Reed (dave.reed@sailingworld.com), Stuart Streuli (stuart.streuli@sailingworld.com), John Burnham (john.burnham@sailingworld.com)