1. Home
  2. /
  3. McMichael News
  4. /
  5. News
  6. /
  7. 77th Annual Block Island...

77th Annual Block Island Race: A Game of Chutes and Ladders

Request Price  |  length:   |

By Buttons Padin 

Photos: Rick Bannerot

The Storm Trysail Club’s description of the 77th running of the Block Island Race summed up the sailing by referring to a familiar kids game: the race was a game of Chutes and Ladders. With winds up and down, from one direction to another, and the regular changes in currents, boats were jockeying back and forth with each other as they crossed the Sound, made it out of or back into the Sound, etc. Just like the kids’ game, sometimes there was a ladder for you to climb for an advantage but then...with the next spin of the wheel...down a chute you went.

Starting and finishing in Stamford, CT, the fleet of 76 boats embarked on the 186-nautical-mile journey around Block Island. Described by some as a race of “chutes and ladders,” with multiple restarts in light conditions, 52 boats successfully completed the race in light conditions.

There were four “big boats” (David Greenstein's Mills 68, Space Monkey, Andrew Berdon's TP52, Summer Storm, Art Santry’s JV 66 Temptation, and Oakcliff Sailing’s RP 86) that got out and around Block and then back into the Sound before the wind shut down. They all finished in the early afternoon Saturday and, collectively, walked away with the ORC leadership. Space Monkey was the first to cross the finish line, completing the race in 27 hours and 11 minutes. However, the ultimate victory in the ORC class was claimed by Andrew Berdon's TP52, Summer Storm, with a corrected time of 25 hours and 55 minutes.

It would be many hours before the next boats finished, and, with the lack of wind, a full two dozen boats retired.

Berdon noted, "The key factor was staying in touch with these bigger boats throughout the race. None of them disappeared over the horizon." A decisive move north to the Connecticut shore after re-entering Long Island Sound helped Summer Storm stay in the breeze while the wind died down for the rest of the ORC fleet, securing their overall win. "That's just the nature of racing on Long Island Sound," Berdon remarked.

In the PHRF fleet, Loki, a J 122 skippered by David Rosow, was both the first to finish and the class winner. Rosow credited their success to strategic positioning in Block Island Sound, staying south of the fleet on both the outbound and inbound legs. "We seemed to have slightly better breeze and were positioned well for the local current effects," Rosow explained. Like Berdon, Rosow was new to his boat and expressed his delight with the outcome: "I was thrilled and surprised we produced such a successful result with so little time in the new boat."

There was an even dozen McMichael customers sailing their boats in the Block Island Race. The top finishers were Linda & Andrew Weiss’ Italia 11.98 Christopher Dragon finishing second in ORC 6; the three J/99s Thin Man, Velocity2, and Wizard, owned by Todd Aven, Kevin Marks, and Adam Zakka, respectively, finishing 2, 3, and 4, respectively; Paul Michalowski ‘s Passport 50 Alliance in Class 4; Kurt and Anne Locher’s Atalanta (3rd), Don Irion’s J/109 Full Tilt, and Stefano Basilico’s Hanse 458 Wanderer in Class 5; Pito Chickering’s J/111 The Roost (second) and Markus Lahrkamp’s Dehler 46 Scylla in Class 7; and HL DeVore’s J/44 Frolic in Class 8.

It should also be noted that Andrey & Linda Weiss’s Christopher Dragon was awarded the Tuna Trophy for best combined performance in Larchmont Yacht Club’s Edlu Race and the Block Island Race.

Check out the full results here.

Scroll to top