Comanche before its record-breaking run at the 70th Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race. Photo by: Randy Tankoos.

Comanche before its record-breaking run at the 70th Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race. Photo by: Randy Tankoos.

The 70th edition of the Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race yielded winners in ten classes – four IRC (including one for Double-hand), four PHRF, J/44 and Multihull – and a place in the record books for Jim and Kristy Hinze Clark’s new 100-foot Maxi Comanche. Fifty eight boats started the 185 nautical mile race (from Stamford Yacht Club in Connecticut, down Long Island Sound, around Block Island, R.I. and back to Stamford) on Friday afternoon (May 22) of Memorial Day Weekend, with Comanche finishing exactly one second after 2:50 a.m. the next morning, giving her an elapsed time of 11 hours 25 minutes and 01 second.

“Each year I ask the fastest boat in the fleet to give me a call when they are abeam of New Haven on the return,” said Event Chair Ray Redniss about Comanche’s call that came in at 0024 Saturday morning. “This was the earliest one yet, and a new record was established!”
Comanche before its record-breaking run at the 70th Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race. Photo credit: Randy Tankoos. Available to download in high resolution by clicking the photo above

Redniss said that to be precise, this year’s race was one mile shorter than that on which the 90-foot Rambler’s 2013 record of 13 hours 15 minutes and 55 seconds was set. “After 15 years of being at the entrance to Stamford Harbor, the finish line was moved out to the The Cows (Red Bell “32”) in order to allow enough water depth for Comanche to compete; with a draft of 22 feet, only a high tide would allow her to finish in the harbor,” he said. In 2013,Rambler completed the 186 mile course with an average time of four minutes and 17 seconds per mile.  Comanche’s completion of the 185 mile course this year was with an average time of three minutes and 42 seconds per mile. “Speed-wise, this translates toComanche averaging 16.2 knots and Rambler averaging 14 knots.”

Comanche, which won her IRC 4 class, took home the Governors Race West Trophy for best elapsed time in the IRC Fleet; the William Tripp, Jr. Memorial Trophy for best corrected time in the IRC Fleet; and the self-explanatory Harvey Conover Memorial Overall Trophy.

“If I could have drawn the weather map, I think it is what I would have drawn,” said Comanche’s Navigator Stan Honey. The favorable conditions included winds of 15-27 knots and outgoing/incoming tides at all the right times, especially at “The Race” and “Plum Gut,” two notoriously difficult passage choices for exiting and re-entering Long Island Sound.

For Greg Gigliotti (Stamford, Conn.), owner of the 62-foot Gunboat Tribe, which won the first-ever multihull class, nothing could have been more perfect than averaging 20 knots of boat speed and reaching in flat water from The Race to Block Island in a short six hours, then fetching the finish line after returning through Plum Gut. “Everything tipped in our favor; it was a big part of getting a good time (finishing as the second boat, three and three-quarter hours behind Comanche). We had eight adults and three Opti sailors, all sons of fathers onboard. It was their first overnight, so we spent most of the race explaining that most races aren’t like this; normally you are on the rail and normally you’re not moving along at 18-20 knots. They were very lucky to be part of something special.”

Repeating its PHRF class (3) victory from last year was American Yacht Club’s J/105 Young American, another entry with junior sailors, but in this case, the kids were the majority onboard with Peter Becker serving as the team’s single adult safety officer and coach. “Last year, we won our class and finished third overall, which was a huge moment,” said Becker. “This year, we were first in PHRF division and first overall in PHRF, so we bested our performance by a big margin. The kids are on fire; they love it!”

The Young American team was pressured up at the start for their spinnaker run in 25 knots. When the tack of their chute blew out, they switched to a spare and were surfing down Long Island Sound at 15 knots.  “We were all hiking off the stern and hanging with the big boats and double-handed boats.  They started the double-hands, then small to large classes in order, so Comanche was the last start. It was really cool when it went whizzing by us doing 18-20 knots.”

Had Comanche not competed, Andrew and Linda Weiss’s (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) Sydney 43Christopher Dragon would have won overall. The team started ahead of Comanche in the third-to-last start (for IRC 3) and finished the race in a little under 23 hours.  “It’s the fastest race I’ve ever done, and I’ve been competing in this since the mid-1970s,” said Andrew Weiss.  “We got to 1BI in nine hours and were the second monohull around Block Island behind Comanche. Then, coming up the Sound, Snow Lion and Temptation passed us. They normally pass us before Block Island.  We’ve never won overall before; this was the closest we’ve ever come, but Comanche…it’s a different kind of boat, so we still feel like we won!”

Chairman Redniss said this was a tough year for getting boats prepared for the Block Island Race, which was a week earlier than usual. “It was quite cold and harbors were frozen; yards were simply weeks behind.  Overall, we had 68 entries; however eight notified us before race day that they weren’t going to make it, and another two did not make the start. Conditions for the race were near perfect, but of course, another 10 or 12 degrees warmer would have been nice!  We were cold on the Committee Boat overnight; I can imagine there was a lot of shivering on the rail!”

The Block Island Race was first held in 1946 and is a qualifier for the North Ocean Racing Trophy (IRC), the Double Handed Ocean Racing Trophy (IRC), the New England Lighthouse Series (PHRF), and the Gulf Stream Series (IRC). The Block Island Race is also a qualifier for the Caper, Sagola, and Windigo trophies awarded by the YRA of Long Island Sound and the ‘Tuna” Trophy for the best combined IRC scores in the Edlu (40%) and the Block Island Race (60%).This year’s Tuna Trophy was won by Christopher Dragon with first place finishes in both events.

Storm Trysail Club 70th Block Island Race
May 22, 2015 – Top-Three Finishes
Place, Yacht Name, Type, Owner/Skipper, Hometown, Results, Total Points

IRC 1 DH (IRC – 8 Boats)
1. Mireille, J 120, Hewitt Gaynor , Fairfield, CT, USA – 1 ; 1
2. Alibi, J 120, Gardner Grant , Westport, CT, USA – 2 ; 2
3. Pegasus, Beneteau First 36.7, Hartmut Ludwig , West Windsor, NJ, USA – 3 ; 3

IRC 2 (IRC – 8 Boats)
1. Carina, Custom 48, Rives Potts , Westbrook, CT, USA – 1 ; 1
2. Talisman, Farr 395, John Bailey , Darien, CT, USA – 2 ; 2
3. Red Sky, J 122, John Pearson , Setauket , NY, USA – 3 ; 3

J/44 (IRC – 4 Boats)
1. Kincsem, Joerg Esdorn , Katonah, NY, USA – 1 ; 1
2. Vamp, Leonard Sitar , Holmdel, NJ, USA – 2 ; 2
3. Kenai, Chris Lewis , Houston, TX, USA – 3 ; 3

IRC 3 (IRC – 10 Boats)
1. Christopher Dragon, Sydney 43, Andrew & Linda Weiss , Mamaroneck, NY, USA – 1 ; 1
2. Soulmates, Custom Goetz 40, Adam Loory , Mamaroneck, NY, USA – 2 ; 2
3. Warrior Won, Xp 44, Christopher Sheehan , Larchmont, NY, USA – 3 ; 3

IRC 4 (IRC – 6 Boats)
1. Comanche, Maxi 100, Jim Clark/Kristy Hinze Clark , Newport, RI, USA – 1 ; 1
2. Temptation – Oakcliff, Custom Ker 50, Arthur Santry , Newport, RI, USA – 2 ; 2
3. Snow Lion, Ker 50, Lawrence Huntington , New York, NY, USA – 3 ; 3

PHRF 1 DH (PHRF_ToT – 4 Boats)
1. Weegie, Columbia 32, Richard Fleischman , Setauket, NY, USA – 1 ; 1
2. Six Brothers, C-32, Chris Kramer , Rye, NY, USA – 2 ; 2
3. Max, Pogo 10.5, Moritz Hilf , New York, NY, USA – 3 ; 3

PHRF 2 (PHRF_ToT – 6 Boats)
1. Argo, Catalina 400, Boris Keselman , Brooklyn, NY, USA – 1 ; 1
2. Inisharon, F&C 44, Jim Murphy , Rye, NY, USA – 2 ; 2
3. Audacious, Frers 33, Robert Farnum , Oxford, CT, USA – 3 ; 3

PHRF 3 (PHRF_ToT – 11 Boats)
1. Young American, J 105, AYC Jr. Big Boat Team – Becker , Rye, NY, USA – 1 ; 1
2. That’s Ridiculous, Beneteau First 36.7, Francis Nilsen , Sound Beach, NY, USA – 2 ; 2
3. Milky Way, Dufour 40, Alexander Natanzon , Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA – 3 ; 3

PHRF 4 (PHRF_ToT – 2 Boats)
1. Sundari, Farr 400, Barry Gold / Scott Florio , Mamaroneck, NY, USA – 1 ; 1
2. Brigand, Custom 50, Sean Saslo , Branford, CT, USA – 2 ; 2

Multihull (NEMA) (ToT – 3 Boats)
1. Tribe, Gunboat 62, Greg Gigliotti , Stamford, CT, USA – 1 ; 1
2. Fault Tolerant, GB 60, Robert Alexander , Rye, NY, USA – 2 ; 2
3. Infidel, Dragonfly 32, Daniel Galyon , Binghamton, NY, USA – 3 ; 3

OVERALL TROPHIES

GEORGE LAUDER TROPHY – Best performance by a Vintage boat (25 years old +): Kincsem,   Joerg Esdorn

COMMODORE’S GRAIL TROPHY – Best corrected time by a Multihull: Tribe,Greg Gigliotti

GOVERNORS RACE WEST TROPHY – Best elapsed time in the IRC Fleet: Comanche,Jim Clark/Kristy Hinze Clark

WILLIAM TRIPP, JR MEMORIAL TROPHY– Best corrected time in the IRC Fleet: Comanche, Jim Clark/Kristy Hinze Clark

 TERRAPIN TROPHY– Best corrected time in PHRF: Young American, AYC Jr. Big Boat Team

 GOVERNORS RACE EAST TROPHY – Best elapsed time – PHRF: Sundari,               Barry Gold

GEROLD ABELS – Best Performance Double-Handed: Mireille, Hewitt Gaynor

 RODDIE WILLIAMS TEAM RACE TROPHY: Storm Trysail White, Carina/Sundari/Talisman

 TUNA TROPHY – Best IRC combined scores in the Edlu (40%) and the BI Race (60%): Christopher Dragon, Andrew & Linda Weiss

 COMMODORE’S TROPHY – To the boat that has won a handicap class by the smallest margin of time over the 2nd and 3rd place boats: Carina, Rives Potts

 HARVEY CONOVER MEMORIAL OVERALL TROPHY – Awarded to the boat that has won her class and, in the judgment of the Flag Officers and Race Committee, had the best overall performance: Comanche, Jim Clark/ Kristy Hinze Clark

 

Shockwave and Bella Mente (Photo by George Bekris)

Shockwave and Bella Mente (Photo by George Bekris)

By Talbot Wilson

Three boats had finished the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race by late Monday afternoon

— Shockwave, Bella Mente, Caol Ila R

George Sakellaris’ big white Richel/Pugh mini-maxi Shockwave crossed the finish line off Bermuda’s St. David’s Lighthouse Monday morning at 5:34 race time EDT (6:34AM local time). Her elapsed time was 63:04:11. Bella Mente, Hap Fauth’s 72 foot Judel/Vrolijk mini-maxi, followed by seven minutes with her time at 63:11:25. The two had battled head to head within sight of each almost continuously for over 635 miles.

Shockwave heading for a dawn finish off St David's Lighthouse. Photo Barry Pickthall/PPL

Shockwave heading for a dawn finish off St David’s Lighthouse. Photo Barry Pickthall/PPL

Caol Ila R, Alex Schaerer’s 68 foot Mills IRC racer, crossed third at 8:33 local time, three hours behind Shockwave at 66:03:52.

Based on preliminary ORR results, Shockwave stands first on corrected time in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division, Bella Mente is second and Caol Ila R is third.

The next boat on the course, the US Naval Academy TP52 Constellation, is expected to finish more than 16 hours after the leader on Monday night. The remainder of the fleet is caught in the fickle winds of a frontal zone, waiting for the system to drift east-southeast and weaken. The picture is not pretty for boats still on the course. Light conditions will prevail through Wednesday and maybe longer.

Robbie Doyle sailed his 12th Newport Bermuda Race as the “stratitician” on board George Sakellaris’ Shockwave.

Doyle said, “Different guys called different things for the general strategy. The navigator made a lot of big calls. We had to hunt to find the (Gulf) Stream… we never found the 4 knot real road to Bermuda. It had broken up before we got there. Forecasters had predicted it might, but they suggested we might get there before it would start to dismember. The Stream was really breaking up pretty quick.”

“We got a knot and a half out of it.” He continued, “The stream came around (motioning to indicate a southwest to northeast direction to southeast direction) and what happened is that this part (flow) stopped and decided it was going to reconnect itself eventually and just become a smooth stream. We got through it.”

When asked about the cold core eddy predicted below the flow, Doyle said, “We caught that eddy, but it was only a knot and a half of current; still nice because we had it for 40 nautical miles. It wasn’t the three knots we had fought to get to that point for.“

Congratulations to George Sakellaris and the team aboard Shockwave for winning line honors in this year’s race. The win adds to Shockwave’s growing list of recent victories, highlighted by their division win in the 2012 Newport-Bermuda Race, the 2013 Montego Bay, and the 2014 RORC Caribbean 600 Race. Originally launched in 2008 as Alpha Romero 3, Shockwave continues her winning ways.

George Sakellaris, owner of the first to finish yacht Shockwave celebrates with Gosling's Dark 'n Stormy drink with his crew on arrival at the Royal Bermuda YC dock. Photo Barry Pickthall/PPL

George Sakellaris, owner of the first to finish yacht Shockwave celebrates with Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormy drink with his crew on arrival at the Royal Bermuda YC dock. Photo Barry Pickthall/PPL

Commander’s Weather
1) Frontal zone is located from 35/65w to 33n/70w to Savannah early this morning
a) This front will continue to drift ESE and weaken

2) An expanding area of light winds will develop along and N and S of the frontal zone
a) The shower and squall activity will be diminishing this morning and will become at most isolated this afternoon and tonight
b) The nice SW winds in Bermuda will become much lighter late today and tonight

3) By Tue morning, the frontal zone will be located from 35n/60 30w to 33n/65w to a weak low near 32-33n/74w
a) Light NE-E winds north of the front and very light SW-W winds south of the front
b) Shower/squall activity will be at most isolated and possibly non-existent

4) Wed will see the light wind conditions continuing
a) The frontal zone will be drifting N with light SW and S winds also spreading slowly north during the day

For scratch sheets, crew lists, and other information about the boats, go to Race Documents & Rules.

Twenty-nine of the two Newport Bermuda Lighthouse Divisions’ entries are also sailing the 25th Onion Patch Series, a tough triathlon of offshore racing. These Onion Patch racers have just sailed the NYYC 160th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex in Newport and will form the core of the June 27nd RBYC Anniversary Regatta which now has 32 entries. The RBYC Anniversary Regatta is open to all IRC or ORR rated yachts over 25 feet in Bermuda. Anniversary Regatta entries close at noon on June 25th. Information is online at www.onionpatchseries.com and at www.rbyc.bm.

www.BermudaRace.com — carries Newport Bermuda Race rules, news, videos, photos, history, and expert advice. Race news is also posted on the Newport Bermuda Race 2014 Facebook page and on Twitter at @BdaRace.

HIRO MARU and the Class 1 St. David's Lighthouse Division Start 2014 (Photo by George Bekris)

HIRO MARU and the Class 1 St. David’s Lighthouse Division Start 2014 (Photo by George Bekris)

It Was a Little Messy, but the Bermuda Race Fleet has Started

Spirit of Bermuda Starts off the Race for 2014 (Photo By George Bekris)

Spirit of Bermuda Starts off the Race for 2014 (Photo By George Bekris)

By John Rousmaniere

If it was more fun for  spectators than the sailors, the reason was the sea breeze that inched toward the starting line until it finally dominated the northerly.Newport. RI, June 20, 2014, 7 PM.  Who would have thought that spinnakers would be flown at the starts of two Newport Bermuda Races in a row?  The race did not gain its well-known nickname, “The Thrash to the Onion Patch,” because it’s a downwind sleigh ride, like the Transpac.  The 2012 start was a fast run before a fresh northerly for every one of the 165 boats in every class.  This year was a little more complicated for the 164 starters. As the five divisions in 14 classes got going over a period of two and one-half hours, the first half of the fleet in seven starts got away in a leftover northerly breeze under spinnaker.   Not so the last seven.  Like a typical summer day on Long Island Sound, the mouth of Narragansett Bay was full of confusion.

Some of the Class 2 fleet St. David's Lighthouse Division Start 2014  (Photo by George Bekris)

Some of the Class 2 fleet St. David’s Lighthouse Division Start 2014 (Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

The afternoon’s winners appear to be the boats that started early, Classes 1, 2, and 3–the smaller and medium-size boats in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division.  With the light to moderate northerly on their stern, they tacked downwind to the buoy marking the outer reaches of Brenton Reef, and carried their chutes around the mark and onto the southeasterly course to Bermuda. When the southwester filled in like a light summer blanket, all they had to do was raise the jib, douse the spinnaker, and tack onto starboard, meanwhile holding the same course.

Newport_Bermuda_2014_george_bekris_June-20-2014_-1-001

One of the biggest of those winners may be Sinn Fein, the Cal 40 that’s always sailed well by Peter Rebovich, Sr., and his crew of family and friends from Raritan Yacht Club, in New Jersey.  The two-time winners of the St. David’s Lighthouse Division (in 2006 and 2008), they’ve been preoccupied by other concerns since the 2012 race: rebuilding their boat after she was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Today they set the spinnaker promptly and effectively, found the right apparent wind angle, and pulled away. When last seen, Sinn Fein was on the far horizon, closehauled in the seabreeze and racing to Bermuda near the head of a clump of at least 50 other smaller boats. The Pantaenius tracker at 3 p.m. (about two hours after the Class 1 start) showed Sinn Fein slightly behind William Klein’s CC 40, Glim. We’ll know when we see later tracker readings (being sure to remember the 4-hour time delay) and a get a sense of the wind and wave conditions as the big fleet gets out into the Atlantic.

(Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

But at least everybody’s racing, and headed toward the Gulf Stream, where (the forecasters are telling us) they may find more to worry about than a shifty wind—such as squalls and big seas that could turn this race into a real thrash.The boats that started an hour or so later than Class 1 had any number of troubles as the seabreeze slowly pushed away the northerly. At one moment a Class 6 medium-size St. David’s Lighthouse boat with a red spinnaker up and pulling well on port tack was less than 25 yards abeam of another Class 6 boat with a green and yellow chute pulling well on starboard tack.  A few minutes later, the seabreeze reached the starting line in the mouth of Narragansett Bay just as Class 8 (large St. David’s boats) was making its final approach—some running in the dying northerly, others beating in the slowly building southerly.

(Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

 

For More Photos of the Newport Bermuda Race visit George Bekris Photography HERE 

 

 

– See more at bout the race at: http://bermudarace.com/little-messy-bermuda-race-fleet-started/#sthash.aMUaHBGw.dpuf