While many races on the 2020 calendar have been canceled or are in doubt, we would all like to have something to look forward to. So with one year to go, we are announcing the dates of the always-eagerly-anticipated Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race Week. Next year will be the 29th edition of this world-renowned regatta, and it will be held June 21-25 in picturesque Block Island, Rhode Island.
Storm Trysail Club Rear Commodore and STC-BIRW Event Chair Ray Redniss is in the midst of ramping up the planning for the week-long event. “We anticipate over 125 boats with a wide array of designs. The yachts typically range from world-class Grand Prix teams all the way to families and friends racing and staying on aboard their cruisers, and everything in between. Courses will include the usual Windward-Leeward racing for the majority of the classes, but we will also offer Pursuit and ‘Solent-Style’ racing formats. These formats were very popular the last go-around, and we had a significant number of first-time entrants reflecting well on the health of the event.”
Dick Neville, BIRW’s On Water Director, explains, “Pursuit racing assesses every boat’s handicap at the start of the race. Each boat starts individually at different times and then they race boat-for-boat to the finish. This is a more family-friendly ‘beer-can’ format for the casual racer that avoids the close-quarters maneuvering that occurs during traditional starts. We plan to expand upon Solent-style racing (sometimes called ‘Navigator courses’) we debuted last year which mixes drop marks and permanent government buoys.
By providing a variety of course options, we hope to continue to appeal to those crews who are looking for a very competitive format, but who do not wish to sail multiple races a day on shorter courses. It is a little less intense physically, but still exciting. All of these novel formats are aimed at re-emphasizing the fun of racing.”
Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race Week typically offers 4 days of racing and one flexible, weather dependent “lay-day”, the highlight of which is the Around Block Island Race with the entire fleet circumnavigating the beautiful island.
Each day of racing is followed by daily awards during a festive cocktail party under the tent that serves as Race Headquarters on the lawn of the Narragansett Inn overlooking the Great Salt Pond.
The biennial event was first held in 1965 after a number of Storm Trysail members participated in Cowes Week in England and were inspired to create an American version. Over a thousand sailors, and many of their families, attended this very popular regatta’s last edition and Storm Trysail Club looks forward to bringing the fun of sailing once again next summer.
The Notice of Race will be posted on Yacht Scoring sometime this Fall. In the meantime, mark your calendars and set your race watch to countdown to the first start.