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North Sails Performance 2023 - LEADERBOARD

J/Teams triumph in STC Block Island Race

by J/Boats 3 Jun 09:00 PDT 24 May 2024
David Rosow's J/122 LOKI © Rick Bannerot /

The 77th Annual Block Island Race will go down in infamy as one of the lightest editions on record, with many boats getting becalmed (triple 0s) multiple times.

Of the seventy-nine boats that started Friday off Stamford, CT, only 3/5ths of the fleet completed the challenging 186.0nm course, navigating through Long Island Sound, around Block Island, and back.

The race has always been popular with offshore J/Boat owners. This year, twenty-eight J/Teams (35.0% of the fleet!) relished the opportunity to race in the relatively light to medium "reachy" conditions down Long Island Sound. Here is how those teams performed in the various classes.

This year's race was described by some as a race of "chutes and ladders," starting under sunny skies in 5-10 knots. There were multiple restarts in the lighter conditions throughout the overnight race before the remaining boats completed the race by Sunday morning.

PHRF Overall

In the huge PHRF fleet, David Rosow's J/122 LOKI was both the first to finish and the class winner. Rosow credited their success to strategic positioning in Block Island Sound, staying south of the fleet on both the outbound and inbound legs.

"We seemed to have a slightly better breeze and were positioned well for the local current effects," Rosow explained. Rosow was new to his boat and expressed his delight with the outcome, "I was thrilled and surprised we produced such a successful result with so little time in the new boat."

Rosow's J/122 LOKI led a complete sweep of the top five places in PHRF Overall. Second was Pito Chickering's J/111 THE ROOST, third was John Storck's J/130 BLITZEN, fourth was Kevin Kelley's J/122 SUMMER GRACE, and fifth place went to Macrae Sykes's J/125 GOOD NEWS!

PHRF Doublehanded Division

Crushing this fleet were four J/Teams sweeping the podium. Winning was Peter Becker & Adrien Blanc's J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN, followed by a trio of J/99s! Taking the silver was Todd Aven & Basia Karpinska's THIN MAN, followed by Kevin Marks & John Fallon's VELOCITY 2 in third and Adam Zakka & Jon Krumeich's WIZARD in fourth place.

PHRF 4 Division

Winning this nine-boat fleet was Steve Landy & Derek Soohoo's pretty J/100 SANGUINE, taking the class by nearly one hour corrected time.

PHRF 5 Division

This nine-boat fleet saw Adam Hayden's J/109 SMILE take the silver medal while Kurt Locher's J/42 ATALANTA take the bronze medal.

PHRF 7- "J/Boats" Division

This 11-boat fleet had 10 J/Teams racing! Sweeping the podium was Rosow's J/122 LOKI, followed by Pito Chickering's J/111 THE ROOST in second, and John Storck's J/130 BLITZEN in third place.

PHRF 10 Division

Handily winning this fleet was Macrae Sykes's J/125 GOOD NEWS, winning by over seven hours on corrected time!

ORC 8 Division

Winning the nine-boat fleet was Andrew Clark's J/122 ZIG ZAG, followed by HL Devore's J/44 FROLIC in fourth place and Ove Haxthausen's J/133 RUMBA in fifth place.

ORC 9 Division

Winning the nine-boat class was Steven Levy's J/121 EAGLE by a 26-minute corrected time margin on ORC 6 kts wind ratings!

The post-race party at Stamford Yacht Club was well attended. There was great music and a vibrant atmosphere as the class winners were awarded. A special thanks goes to Raymarine for their generous giveaway of an electronics package, which went to doublehanded skipper Marc Berkowitz.

The Block Island Race, as always, is a true test of strategy, resilience, and determination of all participating sailors. Sometimes you ride the elevator, and sometimes you fall down the mineshaft, but it's a great race to shake out the cobwebs before summer, especially for the 57% of the teams going onto sail in next month's Bermuda Race.

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North Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTER