Winners emerge at Block Island Race Week
24 june 2017
edition of Block Island Race Week after a long week of racing that
featured nearly all weather conditions: fog, sun, light air and flat
water and breeze-on and waves. Courses were windward/leeward all
week in three course areas to divide 16 IRC, ORC, PHRF and
one-design classes, except for Wednesday’s iconic Around the Island
Race where the fleet of 143 entries sailed counterclockwise through
sun and fog. ORC made its debut as a class at Block Island Race Week
and The Cat Came Back, a Swan 42 owned by Jamestown, Rhode Island
resident Lincoln Mossop led from start to finish. Tactician Michael
Campbell has been sailing many years with Mossop, who dedicated his
first Block Island Race Week win to his late father.
“I’ve been doing Block Island over 20 years and it feels great to win this regatta,” Mossop said. Campbell credited clean starts and solid boat-handling from the crew for the success of The Cat Came Back, which won six races and placed second in the other two. Among the other class winners was Steven Benjamin and his top-notch team on Spookie who spent the week match racing his TP 52 against Hooligan, which is campaigned by the Naval Academy Varsity Offshore Sailing Team. Spookie wound up winning all eight races, but Benjamin said it was exciting competition.
“I thought the Navy boat did a very good job of starting all week and improved every day. They got the better of us at one point today and we had to tack away,” said Benjamin, who worked with the Midshipmen on their sail trim throughout the week. Benjamin walked away with one of the most notable perpetual trophies handed out by host Storm Trysail Club. The South Norwalk, Connecticut resident was presented a Rolex timepiece as overall winner of the 2017 Around the Island Race. Spookie showed superb speed while sailing downwind under its large spinnaker and on a tight reach using its Code Zero asymmetrical kite in posting an elapsed time of 1 hour, 56 minutes and 26 seconds in the 20-nautical mile circumnavigation of Block Island. “This is probably the best crew we’ve ever had on Spookie. I think the chemistry is particularly good,” Benjamin said. “We always enjoy coming to Block Island. It is one of the most well-run regattas in the world.”