A new outright record was set Friday, October 28 for the Mount Gay Rum Around Jamestown Record. Zach Marks of St. Petersburg, Florida, rode his foiling kiteboard around Jamestown with an elapsed time of 53 minutes and 37 seconds. This bests the previous record of 00:56:33, held by Lloyd Thornburg’s Mod70 Phaedo3, by 2 minutes and 56 seconds.

Marks chose to sail the course around the island to port, sailing north from the start off Fort Adams at 12:00:58 EST. All previous record attempts were set sailing around the island to starboard. Marks departed in a WNW breeze ranging from 20-25 knots at the end of an ebbing tide.

This was Mark’s third attempt to set the Around Jamestown Record. His prior attempts, also on a foiling kiteboard, were 01:09:24 and 01:03:08 in July 2014. He used a 10m F-One foil kite, on 15-meter lines. The board is an Alex Aguera and fitted with a Spotz hydrofoil.

Zach Marks said on the record, “Setting the record for this race was something that was always on my bucket list. The format and prize are so unique. It’s a refreshing break from traditional windward leeward racing.  Thanks to the local Rhode Island support crew who came out to help me. I couldn’t have done it without them.” On the Attempt he said, “The attempt was a reach most of the way around, a little upwind at the north end of the island and really, really windy up there and big ocean swell down at Beavertail. Super gusty pretty much everywhere.

I was going underneath the Jamestown Bridge, trying to do a wider groove because you’re getting ready for that blast and then the lull. I kind of got lulled and my lines went really slack and then the kite powered up really quick and I couldn’t bear away enough so I over-foiled and dropped the kite in the water. That’s pretty much the worst place you want to be down because the wind’s so gusty, but luckily [the kite] came up pretty quick. That probably cost me 15-20 seconds. I had a couple of other wipeouts, but nothing yarded [no equipment scattered everywhere] too far.

About the Mount Gay Rum Around Jamestown Record

Sailors have until October 31st to attempt to break the new outright record and also secure one of the other divisional records. If by October 31st, no other team in any division bests Zach’s outright record time, he will secure the outright record. The Around Jamestown Record, presented by Mount Gay Rum in association with IYAC is a perpetual all out record for sailing around Conanicut Island (also known as Jamestown) in lower Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island.

Similar to other outright speed records, contenders will decide when to make a record attempt and also the direction in which they will sail around Jamestown. This means contenders can choose the most advantageous weather conditions and tidal flow in which to attempt the record. Five categories of sailing boats will be recognized to vie for divisional honors with the overall perpetual trophy going to the boat with the outright fastest time. The entry fee is $150.00 per attempt for any vessel 32’ and over, vessels under 32’ the fee is $70.00.

The annual divisions recognized are:

  • Monohull 32’ and Above – 2014: 72’ mini-maxi, Bella Mente 01:19:35
  • Monohull below 32’ – 2013: Shaw 6.50, Manic, 2:00:29
  • Multihull 32’ and Above – 2015: Mod70 Phaedo3, 00:56:33
  • Multihull below 32’ – 2014: F31, Bazinga!, 01:33:53
  • Kiteboards and All Foiling Craft  – 2016: Foiling Kiteboard, Florida Pure Premium Express, 00:53:37

The 2016 record is open from Memorial Day, May 25th until Halloween, October 31st during the hours of daylight. The yacht that wins the 2016 or outright record will be awarded Mount Gay Rum equal to the Skipper’s weight at the season ending awards party held at IYAC in Newport, RI, date TBD.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).