Block Island Race Week day 3 a loss but also a gain

J-105 ECLIPSE leads after three races - Block Island Race Week 2011
At the Storm Trysail Club’s (STC) biennial Block Island Race Week XXIV presented by Rolex it didn’t matter that the sun wasn’t out, just that there was a slight promise the wind would blow on the third day. 

The Race Committee sent the event’s fleet of 134 boats off to sail in 14 classes on Block Island Sound but the wind failed to deliver and the competitors returned ashore to wait for further instructions. At 1:00 the Committee decided it best to cancel racing altogether for the day.

'Between the lack of wind and a squall getting ready to roll over the island, it was the prudent thing to do,' said Principal Race Officer Dave Brennan, noting that light air also caused postponements ashore on Monday and Tuesday but allowed for racing in the afternoons nevertheless. Unfortunately, the front passing today would have only rain to offer and nothing behind it wind-wise.

'It is what it is,' said Kevin Burnham (Coconut Grove, Fla.), a Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and 470 Men’s Olympic Gold Medalist sailing in IRC 2 aboard Jack Lefort’s (Stuart, Fla.) After Midnight. 'We’re here for fun, not for sailing in the rain, so they made the right decision.'

That might have been easy to say back on shore, but action on the water in this class has been painting a fiercely competitive picture. 

The Oar Restaurant at headquarters - Block Island Race Week 2011

After Midnight is a Tripp 41 chartered by LeFort and owned by Steve and Heidi Benjamin (Norwalk, Conn.), who are sailing their Custom 41 High Noon in the same class. (Burnham playfully pointed out that the respective sail numbers, US 1201 and US 1200, are a play off the two boat names.) Both teams are champion material, but they are in eighth and fifth, respectively, and Lawrence Dickie’s (Greenwich, Conn.) Ker 43 Ptarmigan is seemingly unstoppable, leading with three bullets in as many races. 

For Henry Little (Newport, R.I.) aboard Charlie Milligan’s (also Newport) Act One, currently fifth in IRC 4, having the afternoon off wasn’t such a bad prospect, even though a few races today would have bettered the boat’s chances of catching up with class leader Settler, owned by Tom Rich (Middletown, R.I.). 

'Block Island is a wonderland for things to do,' said Little, who soon began planning with David Doody (Bedford, N.Y.), a crew member off Bill Clemen’s (Riverside, Conn.) Coyote in IRC 3, to buy a clam rake for $64 dollars and a one-week clamming license for $20 in order to dig up a raw bar of Little Necks, Quahogs and Steamers. 'Eighty four dollars for as much fun in the mud as you can have?,' he joked, 'I’d say that’s a good deal.'  

Doody said Coyote hasn’t been faring as well as his team would have wished on the race course (they are currently tenth), 'but today I can say we held our own, and if we can get a couple o’ dozen littlenecks ahead of the game, we’ll be in good shape.'

And then the rain came down - Block Island Race Week 2011

Tomorrow, more rain is in the forecast for the morning, and light air is anticipated after that. Dave Brennan said that Race Week’s Around the Island Race, which is traditionally held on Wednesday, might be held on Friday.  'That’s the last day with sufficient enough wind to possibly get the boats around,' he said.

Racing concludes Friday for the five-day competition, which is hosting IRC (four classes), PHRF (five classes) and One-Design (Farr, NYYC Swan 42, J/44, J/109 and J/105) racing. The event is also serving as the 2011 IRC East Coast Championship, the J/122 National Championship (with the contenders sailing in IRC 3), and the J/109 East Coast Championship. 

 Cruising Non-spinnaker (PHRF - Five Boats)
1. Patience, C&C 36, Jim Goldman , West Hartford, CT, USA - 3, 1, ; 4
2. Crackerjack, Cambria 40, Alan Krulisch , Arlington, VA, USA - 1, 3, ; 4
3. Manitou, C&C 110, Greg Slamowitz , New York, NY, USA - 2, 2, ; 4

PHRF 3 (PHRF - 10 Boats)
1. Hustler, J 29, John and Tony Esposito , Mohegan Lake, NY, USA - 1, 2, 5, ; 8
2. Incommunicado, Omega 36, Tracey / Polk , Severna Park, MD, USA - 2, 5, 2, ; 9
3. Rival, Taylor 38, David Curtis , Marblehead, MA, USA - 3, 6, 1, ; 10

PHRF 4 (PHRF - 10 Boats)
1. En Charette, Noe 27, Paul Jennings , Branford, CT, USA - 3, 3, 2.5, ; 8.5
2. Project Mayhem, Santana 30, Doug and Amy Stryker , Cranford, NJ, USA - 7, 1, 1, ; 9
3. Rumor, J 80, John Storck Jr , Huntington, NY, USA - 1, 2, 6, ; 9

IRC 1 (IRC - 7 Boats)
1. Vesper, TP 52, Jim Swartz , Park City, UT, USA - 1, 1, 1, ; 3
2. PowerPlay, TP 52, Peter Cunningham , George Town, Grand Cayman, CAY - 3, 3, 2, ; 8
3. Flying Jenny 7, TP 52, David and Sandra Askew , Annapolis, MD, USA - 2, 4, 3, ; 9

IRC 2 (IRC - 9 Boats)
1. Ptarmigan, Ker 43, Lawrence Dickie , Greenwich, CT, USA - 1, 1, 1, ; 3
2. Cool Breeze, Mills 43, John Cooper , Springfield, MO, USA - 2, 2, 6, ; 10
3. Convictus Maximus, Farr 42, Donald Nicholson , Scotch Plains, NJ, USA - 3, 4, 4, ; 11

IRC 3 (IRC - 13 Boats)
1. Avalanche, Farr 395, Craig Albrecht , Sea Cliff, NY, USA - 2, 5, 1, ; 8
2. Sarah, X 41, Gregory Manning , Warwick, RI, USA - 5.5, 2, 2, ; 9.5
3. Wings, J 122, Mike Bruno / Tom Boyle / Jim Callahan , Irvington, NY, USA - 7, 1, 4, ; 12

IRC 4 (IRC - 10 Boats)
1. Settler, Peterson 42, Thomas Rich , Middletown, RI, USA - 1, 4, 1, ; 6
2. Troubador, Express 37, Jamie Anderson , New York, NY, USA - 2, 1, 3, ; 6
3. Out of Reach III, X-35, Louis Nees , Erdenheim, PA, USA - 5, 3, 2, ; 10

NYYC Swan 42 (One Design - 13 Boats)
1. Daring, NYYC Swan 42, John Hele , Newport, RI, USA - 4, 2, 3, ; 9
2. Blazer, NYYC Swan 42, Chris Culver , New York, NY, USA - 1, 3, 6, ; 10
3. Apparition, NYYC Swan 42, Kenneth Colburn , Dover, MA, USA - 5, 1, 5, ; 11

Farr OD (PHRF - Eight Boats)
1. Tsunami, Farr 40, Preben Ostberg/Todd Olds/ Bud Dailey , Rockville, MD, USA - 1, 1, 3, ; 5
2. Barking Mad, Farr 30, James Richardson , Boston, MA, USA - 2, 4, 1, ; 7
3. Nightshift, Farr 40, Kevin McNeil , Annapolis, MD, USA - 3, 2, 2, ; 7

J 44 (One Design - Five Boats)
1. Challenge IV, J 44, Jeffrey W. Willis , Huntington, NY, USA - 1, 3, 1, ; 5
2. Maxine, J 44, William Ketcham , Greenwich, CT, USA - 2, 1, 2, ; 5
3. Resolute, J 44, Don and Rick Rave , Huntington Bay, NY, USA - 4, 2, 3, ; 9

 J 109 (One Design - 15 Boats)
1. Rush, J 109, Bill Sweetser , Annapolis, MD, USA - 2, 1, 1, ; 4
2. Dragonfly, J 109, Skip Young , Guilford, CT, USA - 6, 2, 4, ; 12
3. Caminos, J 109, Donald Filippelli , Amagansett, NY, USA - 7, 4, 2, ; 13

 J 105 (One Design - 13 Boats)
1. Eclipse, J 105, Damian Emery , Shoreham, NY, USA - 1, 1, 1, ; 3
2. Jouster, J 105, Bruce Stone Julian Croxall , San Francisco, CA, USA - 2, 3, 3, ; 8
3. Shakedown, J 105, Jordan Mindich , Huntington Bay, NY, USA - 5, 2, 2, ; 9

 PHRF 1 (PHRF - Seven Boats)
1. Jammy Beggar, Melges 32, Tom Lee , Essex, CT, USA - 1, 1, 3, ; 5
2. Partnership, J 111, David / MaryEllen Tortorello , Fairfield, CT, USA - 2, 2, 2, ; 6
3. Wicked 2.0, J 111, Douglas Curtiss , South Dartmouth, MA, USA - 4, 4, 1, ; 9

 PHRF 2 (PHRF - Nine Boats)
1. Whirlwind, Beneteau First 36.7, William Purdy , New York, NY, USA - 3, 2, 3, ; 8
2. Freightrain, Frers 36, Dick Hyde , Belmont, MA, USA - 7, 1, 1, ; 9
3. XLR8, Carrera 280, Brad Porter , Westbrook, CT, USA - 1, 3, 5, ; 9

Block Island Race Week website