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Block Island Race Week - Victors determined in 19 classes + Video

'Block Island race week'

Early on, it looked like yesterday might repeat itself at the Storm Trysail Club’s 25th Anniversary Block Island Race Week, but the thick fog that seemed bent on causing disruption gradually lifted enough to allow over 1500 sailors on 182 teams one last day of racing to determine victors in 19 classes, eight of which had major championship titles at stake (North Americans for IRC and J 80s; East Coasts for PHRF, J 29s, J 44s, J 105s, and J 109s; and New Englands for Swan 42s). Today wound up being the windiest yet of five race days, and that was just fine for all, especially winners in five classes who turned in come-from-behind performances.

One of those was Steve Benjamin on the Carkeek 40 Spookie in IRC 1. All week, his team had been trailing the U.S. Naval Academy’s TP 52 Corsair, skippered by Andy Beeler (Annapolis, Md.), but in today’s single race, held in 18-22 knots, Spookie managed a second to Corsair’s fourth, dropping Corsair to second overall.

Benjamin attributed his team’s last-minute victory to 'premium' crew work, especially during today’s recovery from a premature start. 'It was tricky today but so great they got in the race,' said Benjamin about a three hour fog delay on the water. 'We were waiting a long time for it, but we were eager to have a championship race, and to their credit the race committee stuck it out. By the time we started around two o’clock we could see both ends of the starting line and about a quarter mile up the course.'

The IRC 1 class was dual-scored for HPR, and Corsair stayed the course to lead after tabulations were completed. 'They won HPR handily and sailed a great week,' said Benjamin.

The IRC classes were, collectively, competing for their North American Championship, and it was Ed Freitag and Molly Haley’s (Annapolis, Md.) Summit 40 Downtime, sailing in IRC 2, that won that coveted title. They had led their class from day one, but, according to Freitag, 'We were never walking away with anything; every race was hard fought.'

The J 80s were also contesting their North Americans, and in that class, too, today’s races (there were two in this class) made the difference for skipper Will Crump and his team aboard R80, which launched a comeback to topple the previous leader USA 1162, skippered by John White (Annapolis, Md.).

'There were five points between us, and we were excited about the conditions but anxious about the fog,' said Crump, a 1999 J 80 North American champion (as crew)whose crew was comprised of wife Marie, her brother Thomas Klok and new crew member Chris Larson (all from Annapolis). 'We’re more experienced in the high breeze, so we knew it was possible to win. We did a little match racing with our competition to get him driven back in the fleet in the first start. For the second start, we didn’t have such a command, but we got out and away early.'

Apparition won the Swan 42 New England Championship -  

The Swan 42 New England championship title went to Ken Colburn’s (Dover, Mass.) Apparition, which was leading going into today and placed third in the single race held. 'It was good to get a race in for the week that had high winds of 20-23 knots,' said Colburn, who also won at the last two Block Island Race Weeks and is preparing for the Swan 42 National Championship in July. 'There was a different winner in every one of seven races so that speaks to the tough competition. Today we had to come in fourth or better, so we were very conscious as to what position we were in.'

Jeff Willis (Huntington, N.Y.) sailing Challenge IV has won his class in the last five Race Weeks, but he waited until today to claim victory in the J 44 class and take home the East Coast Championship title. According to Willis, in the high breeze, some of the fleet, including yesterday’s leader Gold Digger, skippered by Jim Bishop (Jamestown, R.I.), had spinnaker trouble. 'In a good breeze we excel. We’ve had the same crew for a long time, some of them for 25 years. Everyone knows what to do in those (high wind) situations,' said Willis.

Eclipse, winner of the J/105 East Coasts, received the Everett B. Morris Memorial Trophy for the Regatta’s Best Overall Performance -  

Other J classes contesting their East Coast Championships were J 29, J 105, and J 109. They were won, respectively, by John and Tony Esposito’s (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) Hustler; Damian Emery’s (Shoreham, N.Y.) Eclipse; and Rick Lyall’s (Wilton, Conn.) Storm. The J 111 class was won by Paul Strauch’s (Manhasset, N.Y.) Andiamo. Eclipse also won the Everett B. Morris Memorial Trophy for Best Overall Performance at the regatta. The team won five of its seven races in a 13-boat fleet.

All PHRF classes had an East Coast championship on the line, too, and overall it was the performance turned in by the Taylor 38 Rival in PHRF 4 that clinched the title for its team skippered by Dave Curtis (Marblehead, Mass.). Stealth, an Evelyn 26 skippered by Jay Greenfield (Noank, Conn.) took PHRF 5, while Sea Biscuit was able to claim the top of the scoreboard in PHRF 1 with two victories from today. PHRF 2 was won by Bluto, an Evelyn 32 skippered by Ben Hall/Bill Berges (Tiverton, R.I.), and PHRF 3 was won by XLR8, an Evelyn 32 skippered by Brad Porter (Westbrook, Conn.).

Winners in IRC 3 and IRC 4 were, respectively, Andrew and Linda Weiss’ (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) J 130 Christopher Dragon VIII and Louis Nees’ (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) X-35 Out of Reach III. Cruising Spinnaker and Cruising Non-Spinnaker were won by Charles Townsend ‘s (Middletown, R.I.) S&S 39 Fidelio and Burt Keenan’s (Hilton Head, S.C.) Cat Ketch 49 Acadia. Winning the first-ever Double Handed class was the Farr 395 Skye, skippered by Ty Anderson (Riverside, Conn.).

Andrew Fisher (left), skipper, and Brad Kendell, crew, of Bandit -  

Cool Things
It’s his first time to Block Island Race Week and his first time sailing on a large keelboat, but Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) is no novice sailor. A bilateral above-the-knee amputee as a result of a plane crash in 2003, he is an accomplished Paralympic sailor and a longtime member of the US Sailing Team. His ride here, Andy Fisher’s Swan 42 Bandit, is more than twice as long as his three-man Paralympic Sonar and the crew three times the size of what he is used to, but that didn’t faze Kendell when Fisher -- who skippers Bandit and is a force to be reckoned with in any class, on any race course -- first asked him to join the team. Fisher, a left arm above-the-elbow amputee, also is a member of the US Sailing team, and the two have become fast friends on their separate quests to someday win a medal at the Paralympic Games.

Andrew Fisher (left), skipper, and Brad Kendell, crew, of Bandit -   Click Here to view large photo

'Everyone has been awesome,' said Kendell, whose job it is to adjust Bandit’s main and traveler, something he also does on the Sonar. 'I get help when I need it, but we all just do what we have to do; everyone knows their jobs.' As to fitting in at his first big-boat regatta, he says, 'I haven’t had a bad day yet; if you like to have fun, you fit in here.'

Andrew Fisher (left), skipper, and Brad Kendell, crew, of Bandit -  

Andrew Fisher (left), skipper, and Brad Kendell, crew, of Bandit -  

Eclipse, winner of the J/105 East Coasts, received the Everett B. Morris Memorial Trophy for the Regatta’s Best Overall Performance -  

Block Island Race Week XXV, June 24-28, 2013
Day Five Final Results (top three)
Place, Yacht Name, Type, Owner/Skipper, Hometown, Results, Total Points

HPR (HPR - 6 Boats)

1. Corsair (HPR), TP 52, Andy Beeler , Annapolis, MD, USA - 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 3; 10
2. Spookie (HPR), Carkeek 40, Steve & Heidi Benjamin , Norwalk, CT, USA - 1, 2, 4, 3, 2/RDG, 2, 2; 16
3. Decision (HPR), Carkeek 40, Stephen Murray , New Orleans, LA, USA - 4, 3, 2, 4, 3/RDG, 4, 1; 21

IRC 1 (IRC - 7 Boats)
1. SPOOKIE, Carkeek 40, Steve & Heidi Benjamin , Norwalk, CT, USA - 1, 2, 4, 2, 1/RDG, 1.5, 2; 13.5
2. Corsair, TP 52, Andy Beeler , Annapolis, MD, USA - 4, 1, 1, 1, 3, 1.5, 4; 15.5
3. Decision, HPR Carkeek 40, Stephen Murray , New Orleans, LA, USA - 3, 4, 2, 4, 2/RDG, 3, 1; 19

IRC 2 (IRC - 7 Boats)
1. DownTime, Summit 40, Ed Freitag / Molly Haley , Annapolis, MD, USA - 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 4, 4; 15
2. White Witch, King 40, Larry Landry , Newport, RI, USA - 3, 4, 7, 1, 2, 2, 2; 21
3. Cool Breeze, Mills 43, John Cooper , Cane Hill, MO, USA - 5, 3, 6, 5, 3, 1, 1; 24

IRC 3 (IRC - 11 Boats)
1. Christopher Dragon VIII, J 130, Andrew & Linda Weiss , Mamaroneck, NY, USA - 8, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 2; 20
2. Avalanche, Farr 395, Craig Albrecht , Port Washington, NY, USA - 2, 1, 1, 7, 4, 6.5, 1; 22.5
3. Orion, J 122, Paul Milo , Leesburg, VA, USA - 7, 3, 2, 1, 7, 3, 5; 28

IRC 4 (IRC - 8 Boats)
1. Out of Reach III, X-35, Louis Nees , Lower Gwynedd, PA, USA - 2, 1.5, 2, 3, 2, 3, 4; 17.5
2. Shamrock Sensation, Nelson Marek 40, Ralph DiMattia , Quincy, Mass., USA - 1, 1.5, 6, 4, 1, 4, 2; 19.5
3. Lora Ann, Express 37, Richard Du Moulin , Larchmont, NY, USA - 3, 4, 1, 2, 5, 2, 3; 20

Swan 42 (One Design - 11 Boats)
1. Apparition, Swan 42, Ken Colburn , Dover, MA, USA - 3, 3, 6, 2, 3, 1, 3; 21
2. Daring, Swan 42, John Hele , Rye, NY, USA - 2, 8, 3, 5, 2, 2, 1; 23
3. Bandit, Swan 42, Andrew & Melissa Fisher , Greenwich, CT, USA - 1, 4, 2, 6, 5, 5, 2; 25

J 44 (One Design - 8 Boats)
1. Challenge IV, J 44, Jeffrey W. Willis , Huntington, NY, USA - 2, 3, 1, 4, 3, 4, 1; 18
2. Gold Digger, J 44, James D. Bishop , Jamestown, RI, USA - 3, 1, 5, 2, 2, 1, 6; 20
3. Maxine, J 44, William Ketcham , Greenwich, CT, USA - 4, 2, 3, 6, 1, 2, 2; 20

J 111 (One Design - 5 Boats)
1. Andiamo, J 111, Paul Strauch , Manhasset, NY, USA - 3, 2, 1, 3, 1, 1, 3; 14
2. Wicked 2.0, J 111, Douglas Curtiss , South Dartmouth, MA, USA - 1, 1, 4, 1, 4, 6/RAF, 1; 18
3. Eagles Dare, J 111, Mike Piper , Marblehead, MA, USA - 4, 3, 5, 2, 5/SCP, 2, 2; 23

J 109 (One Design - 15 Boats)
1. Storm, J 109, Richard Lyall , Wilton, CT, USA - 6, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 5; 16
2. Gossip, J 109, Group W , Wainscott, NY, USA - 5, 2, 6, 4, 3, 3, 2; 25
3. Caminos, J 109, Donald Filippelli , Amagansett , NY, USA - 3, 8, 2, 2, 2, 6, 4; 27

J 105 (One Design - 13 Boats)
1. Eclipse, J 105, Damian Emery , Shoreham, NY, USA - 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 2, 1; 10
2. LouLou, J 105, Bruce Stone , San Francisco, CA, USA - 2, 2, 6, 2, 2, 1, 3; 18
3. Distant Passion, J 105, James Macdonald , Smiths, BER - 3, 4, 2, 8, 6, 3, 4; 30

J 29 (One Design - 5 Boats)
1. Hustler, J 29, John & Tony Esposito , Mohegan Lake, NY, USA - 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 6/DNF, 2/RDG; 15
2. Mighty Puffin, J 29, Steve Thurston , Bristol, RI, USA - 2, 3, 3, 2, 3, 3, 1, 1; 18
3. Dirty Harry, J 29, Jack McGuire , Warwick, RI, USA - 3, 4, 4, 3, 2, 4, 2, 2; 24

J 80 (One Design - 16 Boats)
1. R80, J 80, Will & Marie Crump / Thomas Klok , Annapolis, MD, USA - 3, 4, 1, 5, 3, 8, 1, 1; 26
2. USA 1162, J 80, John White , Annapolis, MD, USA - 6, 7, 3, 1, 1, 1, 5, 3; 27
3. Courageous, J 80, Gary Panariello , Manhasset, NY, USA - 5, 8, 2, 7, 8, 2, 3, 6; 41

PHRF 1 (PHRF_ToT - 13 Boats)
1. Seabiscuit, Farr 30, Kevin McNeil , Annapolis, MD, USA - 5, 4, 3, 3, 7, 5, 1, 1; 29
2. Coyote, Megles 32, Bill Clemens , Riverside, CT, USA - 3, 5, 4, 5.5, 6, 2, 2, 2; 29.5
3. Celeritas, Melges 32, Malcolm Gefter , Newport, RI, USA - 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 14/DNC, 14/DNC; 34
PHRF 2 (PHRF_ToT - 9 Boats)
1. Bluto, Evelyn 32, Ben Hall / Bill Berges , Tiverton, RI, USA - 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 3, 1.5; 12.5
2. Afterglow, Express 37, Team Afterglow , Easton, CT, USA - 1, 6, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 1.5; 17.5
3. Seraphim, J 35, David Saurette , tiverton, RI, USA - 3, 5, 3, 3, 3, 5, 1, 3; 26

PHRF 3 (PHRF_ToT - 11 Boats)
1. XLR8, Evelyn 32, Brad Porter , Westbrook, CT, USA - 4, 1, 1, 2, 4, 1, 2, 1; 16
2. Whirlwind, Beneteau First 36.7, William Purdy , New York, NY, USA - 3, 2, 7, 1, 1, 2, 3, 2; 21
3. Scorpion, Evelyn 32, Larry Hennessy , Middlefield, CT, USA - 2, 3, 5, 5, 2, 3, 1, 3; 24

Cruising Spinnaker (PHRF_ToT - 13 Boats)
1. Fidelio, S&S 39, Charles Townsend , Middletown, RI, USA - 1, 1, 2, 2, 2; 8
2. SKYE, Swan 53, Ralph Worthington , New York, NY, USA - 2, 10, 1, 1, 1; 15
3. Heather, Jeanneau 379, Ted Ruegg , Annapolis, MD, USA - 4, 4, 5, 3, 4; 20

Double Handed (PHRF_ToT - 8 Boats)
1. Skye, Farr 395, James T. Anderson , Riverside, CT, USA - 1, 1, 1, 2, 1; 6
2. Flashpoint, J 100, Adrian Little , Westport, CT, USA - 4, 4, 2, 1, 2; 13
3. RockIt, Elliott 770, Lance Ryley , Boston, MA, USA - 2, 3, 4, 3, 3; 15

Cruising Non-Spinnaker (PHRF_ToT - 10 Boats)
1. Acadia, Cat Ketch 49, Burt Keenan , Hiltoh Head, SC, USA - 1, 1, 2, 1, 4; 9
2. Testing Life, Tartan 46, Brian Mulhall , Boonton, NJ, USA - 2, 5, 1, 4, 1; 13
3. Rascal, Ericson 39, Christopher Schneider , Centerport, NY, USA - 3, 2, 5, 2, 6; 18

PHRF 4 (PHRF_ToT - 6 Boats)
1. Rival, Taylor 38, David Curtis , Marblehead, MA, USA - 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2; 9
2. Cymothoe, Sabre 362, David Alldian , Brick, NJ, USA - 2, 2, 5, 2, 2, 2, 6, 1; 22
3. Loki 3, S2 9.1 29.10, Richard Correll , Huntington, NY, USA - 4, 5, 3, 4, 3, 3, 4, 5; 31

PHRF 5 (PHRF_ToT - 4 Boats)
1. Stealth, Evelyn 26, Jay Greenfield , Noank, CT, USA - 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, 3, 1; 12
2. Air Express, San Juan 30, Chris Fesenmeyer , Norwalk, CT, USA - 2, 1, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1, 2; 14
3. Leonessa, Finn Flyer 31, Raymond DeLeo , Bristol, RI, USA - 4, 3, 3, 4, 2, 3, 2, 4; 25

by Barby MacGowan


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