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Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week preview

by J/Boats 19 Jun 2021 09:25 PDT 21-25 June 2021
Block Island Race Week 2019 © 2019 STC / Stephen R Cloutier

Is it time for a party? Or, is it really sailing that 157 sailing teams have registered for Block Island Race Week presented by Margaritaville (sixty-five are J/Boats = 41.0%)! The initial long-term forecast certainly looks promising, but as everyone knows, things can change quickly when you're on an island in the cool Atlantic Oceans waters offshore (e.g. fog!). And, for the always thrilling, amazingly picturesque, "Round Island Race", the sailors will certainly pray for "big breeze" has happened on a number of occasions in the past.

From June 21st to 25th, it should be great racing for the large fleet of J/Crews, especially for the one-design classes of J/105s, J/109s, J/111s, and J/44s.

The single largest class in Block Island has been the J/105s for nearly the past two decades. However, over the years, a number of those family-oriented teams have jumped into the J/109 class and, coincidentally, both classes share the title of the "biggest fleet" with fourteen boats each.

In the J/105 class, there are many familiar faces from race weeks past. Hoping to defend their title will be Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault's "no name" hull #63. They will certainly be challenged by several teams that have proven successful in recent regattas since the start of the 2021 sailing season. Those teams include Bill Zartler's Deja Voodoo from Houston, TX, Max Kalehoff's Laura Bea, Paul Beaudin's Lou Lou, and Dave Willis' Solution. Notably, Beaudin's Lou Lou has won the last two major east coast events, the American YC Spring Series and the recent Cedar Point One-Design Regatta two weeks ago.

Similarly in the J/109 fleet, the leaders from the Cedar Point One-Design will certainly be tuned-up and ready-to-roll. Those teams that will factor onto the leaderboard are William Rogers' Big Boat, Jonathan Rechtschaffer's Emoticon, John Greifzu's Growth Spurt, Trevor Roach's Incendiary, Tom Sutton's Leading Edge, and Robert Schwartz's Nordlys.

The seven-boat J/111 class have several very deeply-talented teams on board. Past J/111 World Champion Peter Wagner from San Francisco, CA will be racing his Skeleton Key (Russ Silvestri on tactics- a Finn Olympian), a recent big winner in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta. Chasing them hard at the top should be Andrew & Sedge Ward's Bravo (Victor Diaz de Leon on tactics- a J/70 World Champion), Bill & Jackie Baxter's Fireball (college All-American Alex Curtiss as tactician), Ken Comerford's Moneypenny (Lightning World Champion Nick Turney on tactics), and Rod Jabin's Ramrod (Chris Larson on tactics- a J/24 World Champion) and Doug Curtiss' Wicked 2.0 (Rod Favela on tactics). Make one mistake amongst this group and you're toast- down the mineshaft you go!

The five-boat J/44 class has nearly all new teams participating for the week. Two academy teams (Glory from U.S. Coast Guard Academy and VAMP from U.S. Merchant Marine Academy) will be up against three boats with mostly friends and family crews; Willets Meyer's Beagle, William Mooney's Katana, and June & Amanda Kendrick's Palantir 5.

ORC Handicap Divisions

Sailing in ORC C will be Bob Christoph's J/121 Loki from Charlevoix, MI. In ORC D are two J/121s (Don Nicholson's Apollo and Ashley Maltempo & Bill Wiggins' Wings), Robin Team's family crew on the J/122 Teamwork, and the Naval Academy Sailing team on the J/133 WASP.

PHRF Handicap Divisions

Sailing in PHRF 1 is Dan Heun's J/122 Moxiee. In PHRF 2 is David Saurette's J/35 Seraphim, the US Merchant Marine Academy's J/88 Powder, and two J/99s (George Harrington's Thunder and Kenn Fischburg's Wild Child). PHRF 3 sees two J/29s (Jack McGuire's Dirty Harry and Steve Thurston's Mighty Puffin) and twin J/80s (John Storck's Rumor and Sam Cushing's The Party Tree).

In PHRF Cruising Spinnaker is Charles Murphy's J/120 Truant, two J/121s (Joe Brito's Incognito and Robert Littleton's She's No Lady), and Don Dwyer's J/122 Blue Yonder. In PHRF Cruising Spinnaker Pursuit class is Brian Prinz's J/125 Spectre and Skip Young's J/133 Dragonfly. In PHRF Cruising 3 Pursuit is Robert Closter's J/24 Island Spirit, Richard Eytel's J/95 The Grin, and John Krediet's J/97 Participant II. Finally, in PHRF Cruising Non-Spin is Peter Hilgendorff's J/29 Meddler and Rod Johnstone's J/9 Banjo.

Click here for scoring and results information for all classes. Click here for more Block Island Race Week news and sailing information.

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