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Block Island Race - Rambler sets new record

by Kirsten Ferguson on 29 May 2013
George David’s (Hartford, Conn.) 90’ Reichel/Pugh design Rambler Storm Trysail Club
At the Storm Trysail Club’s 68th annual Block Island Race, which started on the Friday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend, George David’s (Hartford, Conn.) 90’ Rambler finished the 186 nautical mile course in 13 hours, 15 minutes and 55 seconds, shaving two hours, 27 minutes and 10 seconds off Rambler 100’s record-breaking time (also turned in by George David) in the 2011 race.

Tactician Peter Isler called it 'unbelievable' given that Rambler 100 was 10 feet longer and 20% faster than Rambler the 90 footer, which was built in 2002 and has been owned and raced by David since 2006. Those variables quickly became irrelevant, however, when strong, steady winds from the northwest obliged the fleet of 62 boats in nine classes (six IRC, two PHRF and one J/109) to engage in a fast reach to Block Island and back from the start/finish line in Stamford, Conn., where host Stamford Yacht Club is located.

Rambler jibed at Block Island to reverse her course but didn’t make a single tack until the final approach to the finish line, according to Isler, who calculated that Rambler averaged 14 knots of boat speed throughout the race. 'We saw 26 knots at the top end for wind, and the boat hit 20 knots a couple times,' he said. 'We were back in Long Island Sound by midnight.' (Rambler’s class started at 3:30.)

Rambler’s time also was improved by the navigational choice of exiting and entering the Sound through 'the Sluice,' a narrow passage rarely used as an alternative to Plum Gut and The Race, two current-ridden passages notorious for making or breaking a team’s performance in the Block Island Race.

'It was one of those races where you didn’t want to even go down below to catch a cat nap, because you didn’t want to miss anything,' said Isler. 'There was so much anticipation, knowing that something big was happening. Rambler has had a string of good fortune over the last year, being in the right place at the right time; 2013 was certainly the year to enter the Block Island Race!'

Gary Grant (Westport, Conn.), skipper of Alibi, which won the IRC Double Handed Class and the award for best overall performance, couldn’t have agreed more. 'This is the second time we’ve won both our division and overall for this race,' said Grant, whose crew was Steve Fisk (Westport). 'The last time was 2006, when it was the slowest race on record, and we won because we were the most stubborn and didn’t drop out. This was probably the fastest Block Island Race on record, so we’ve proven ourselves now in both fast and slow conditions. We are very honored to have won.'

Though the temperature 'felt like it was freezing,' it hovered around 45, and incessant light rain with occasional showers added to what most called 'miserable' conditions. 'I purchased Alibi when I lived in London and sailed it in the English Channel,' said Grant. 'This race was much like it was there—cold, windy, rainy. But I guess you could say we were well prepared for that kind of race.'

Another IRC class winner, Spookie, Steve and Heidi Benjamin's (Norwalk, Conn.) Carkeek 40, was the best-performing boat in the race under HPR (High Performance Rule) scoring. At 19 hours, 18 minutes and 17 seconds, Spookie’s elapsed time was less than 1.5 hours behind the runner-up 55’ elapsed time finisher Rima and only six hours behind the new course record holder Rambler. This stands as being the fastest time ever for a 40-foot boat in this race, with an average course speed of nearly 10 knots.

'It was a wet, wild ride, and extremely fast,' said Steve Benjamin. 'We were very pleased with Spookie’s ability to handle the 20-30 knot conditions. But we were all pretty cold and exhausted by the end of the race.'

The Block Island Race was first held in 1946 and 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 for the best combined IRC scores in the Edlu (40%) and the Block Island Race (60%).

 

Sail Number

Yacht Name

Yacht Design

Owner/Skipper

Race
1

Total

Block Island Racing

 

IRC Division

   

IRC Double Handed

   

1.

USA 43968

Alibi

J 120

Gardner Grant

1

1.0

     
   

2.

USA 50622

Mireille

J 120

Hewitt Gaynor

2

2.0

     
   

3.

USA 32575

Paladin

J-35

Jason Richter

3

3.0

     
   

4.

USA 332

Strider

J 109

Andrew Berdon

4

4.0

     
   

5.

USA 52675

Oakcliff Racing

Ker 11.3

Michael Tolsma

5

5.0

     
   

6.

USA 260

Mad Dogs & Englishmen

J 109

adrian begley

6

6.0

     
   

7.

USA 50343

Choucas

Jeanneau SF 36

Frederic Cosandey

7

7.0

     
   

8.

USA 14

Thin Man

J 92

Todd Aven

8

8.0

     
   

9.

USA 52787

Next Boat

Morris 45

Mark Ellman

9

9.0

     
   

10.

USA 39534

Skye

Farr 395

James T. Anderson

14/DNS

14.0

     
   

11.

USA 60161

Flashpoint

J 100

Adrian Little

14/DNS

14.0

     
   

12.

USA 316

Wave Rider

Farr 30

Benoit Ansart

14/DNF

14.0

     
   

13.

USA 92

Jaded

J 105

Peter Rugg

14/DNF

14.0

     

 

   

IRC 1

   

1.

USA 10625

Dreamcatcher

Swan 48 S&S

Stephen Kylander

1

1.0

     
   

2.

USA 32441

Cygnette

Swan 441

William Mayer

2

2.0

     
   

3.

USA 40789

Lora Ann

Express 37

Richard Du Moulin

3

3.0

     
   

4.

USA 52066

Jacqueline IV

Hinckley SW42

Robert Forman

4

4.0

     
   

5.

USA 31779

Breakaway

Tripp 37

Dave Otterbein

5

5.0

     

 

   

J 109

   

1.

USA 369

Skoot

J 109

Jim Vos

1

1.0

     
   

2.

USA 125

Loki

J 109

David Rosow

2

2.0

     
   

3.

USA 310

Pax 3

J 109

Robert Siegel

3

3.0

     
   

4.

HKG 2101

Apsara

J 109

Mike Sleightholme

4

4.0

     
   

5.

USA 160

Ariel

J 109

Jeffrey Warren

5

5.0

     

 

   

IRC 2

   

1.

USA 43600

Vamp

J 44

Leonard Sitar

1

1.0

     
   

2.

USA 25244

Kincsem

J 44

Joerg Esdorn / Duncan Hennes

2

2.0

     
   

3.

USA 51518

Lapin

Beneteau First 40.7

Chris Clark

3

3.0

     
   

4.

USA 28990

Spectre

Tripp 40

Brian Prinz

4

4.0

     
   

5.

USA 39532

Old School

Farr 395

Ganson Evans

6/DNF

6.0

     

 

   

IRC 3

   

1.

USA 52875

Oakcliff Sailing Peacemaker

Ker 11.5

Oakcliff Sailing

1

1.0

     
   

2.

USA 60545

Persevere

Hanse 545

Arthur Baer Colin Rath

2

2.0

     
   

3.

USA 4224

Barleycorn

Swan 42

Brendan Brownyard

3

3.0

     
   

4.

USA 45454

Lir

Swan 45

John McNamara

4

4.0

     
   

5.

USA 1131

Soulmates

Custom Goetz 40

Adam Loory

5

5.0

     
   

6.

USA 60140

American Girl

King 40

Daniel Galyon

6

6.0

     
   

7.

USA 51601

Avra

J 120 MOD

Leo Vasiliev

7

7.0

     
   

8.

USA 51990

Oakcliff Farr 40-2

Farr 40

Seth Cooley

10/DNF

10.0

     
   

9.

USA 50400

Entropy

Tripp 41

Paul Hamilton / Patti Young

10/DNS

10.0

     

 

   

IRC 4

   

1.

USA 95

Spookie

HPR Carkeek 40

Steve & Heidi Benjamin

1

1.0

     
   

2.

USA 51000

Bombardino

Santa Cruz 52

james sykes

2

2.0

     
   

3.

USA 50069

Temptation - Oakcliff

Custom Ker 50

Arthur Santry - Oakcliff Sailing

3

3.0

     
   

4.

USA 52599

Snow Lion

Ker 50

Lawrence Huntington

4

4.0

     

 

   

IRC 5

   

1.

USA 25555

Rambler

RP 90 W B

George David

1

1.0

     
   

2.

USA 55155

Rima2

RP 55

John Brim

2

2.0

     

 

 

 

PHRF Division

   

PHRF 1

   

1.

USA 56

Tacktile

Sabre 42 CB

Jeffrey Wilson

1

1.0

     
   

2.

USA 53333

Gringo

Pearson 37

Michael McGuire

2

2.0

     
   

3.

USA 21108

Gadzooks

C&C 38

Geoffrey Beringer

3

3.0

     
   

4.

USA 77496

Fin II

Olson 30

Thomas O'Connell

4

4.0

     
   

5.

USA 20324

Innisfree

Contessa 35

Don Wyllie

5

5.0

     
   

6.

USA 234

Argo

Catalina 400

Boris Keselman

11/DNF

11.0

     
   

7.

USA 47308

AWOL

Frers 33

Don Horton

11/DNF

11.0

     
   

8.

40852

Audacious

Frers 33

Robert Farnum

11/DNF

11.0

     
   

9.

23746

Snowgoose

F & C Ketch

william robinson

11/DNF

11.0

     
   

10.

USA 10878

STAR

Aeromarine

Jeffrey Ohstrom

11/DNF

11.0

     

 

   

PHRF 2

   

1.

USA 79

Kyrie

Tartan 4100

John DiMatteo

1

1.0

     
   

2.

USA 43827

Patience

Tripp 33

Richard Royce

2

2.0

     
   

3.

USA 52024

Terrapin

First 40.7

Paul Dunay & Jon Litt

3

3.0

     
   

4.

USA 122

Shooting Star

Beneteau First 36.7

Steve Cain

4

4.0

     
   

5.

USA 60937

Threebeans

Santa Cruz 37

Christopher Rosow

5

5.0

     
   

6.

USA 60389

Maguelone

Dufour 36P

Francois-Xavier Rouffiac

6

6.0

     
   

7.

USA 60385

SEJAA

Custom Judel & Vroljik

Mathew Goldsmith

10/DNS

10.0

     
   

8.

USA 35356

Solaris

Beneteau First 36.7

Marek Mirota

10/DNF

10.0

     
   

9.

USA 35356

Solaris

Beneteau First 36.7

Marek Mirota

10/DNF

10.0

     
   

10.

USA 71

Red Stripe

FT 10M

Charlie Reynolds

10/DNF

10.0

     

 



Overall Trophies

George Lauder Trophy - Best performance by a Vintage boat (15 years old +): Dreamlander, Stephen Kylander

Commodore's Grail Trophy - Best corrected time in IRC below 1.08: Dreamlander, Stephen Kylander

Governor’s Race West Trophy - Best elapsed time in the IRC Fleet: Rambler, George David

William Tripp Jr. Memorial Trophy - Best corrected time in the IRC Fleet: Rambler, George David

Terrapin Trophy - Best corrected time – PHRF: Tacktile, Jeffrey Wilson

Governor’s Race East Trophy - Best elapsed time – PHRF: Threebeans, Christopher Rosow

Gerold Abels Trophy - Best Performance Double-Handed: Alibi, Gardner Grant

Roddie Williams Team Race Trophy: Storm Trysail Red, Bombardino, Lora Ann, Vamp

Tuna Trophy - for the best IRC combined scores in the Edlu (40%) and the BI Race (60%): Kincsem, Joerg Esdorn / Duncan Hennes

Commodore's Trophy - To the boat that has won her class and has beaten the second and third place boat by the greatest margin of time: Spookie, HPR, Steve and Heidi Benjamin

Harvey Conover Memorial Overall Trophy - Awarded to the boat that has won her class and, in the judgment of the Flag Officers and Race Committee, had the best overall performance: Alibi, Gardner Grant Event website
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