Day 3: Sun, Fog, and Wind- Around the Island We Go The 1BI: A daily e-newsletter for the 27th Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week

With just perfect wind conditions mixed with intermittent fog and sun, the RC sent the boats out on time today with many of the fleets doing a Windward-Leeward before being sent Around the Island for everyone's favorite day of race week.

Cover Photo: Stephen R Cloutier

Welcome to The 1BI

Named after the Block Island North Reef Lighted Bell Buoy 1BI, which is an indication for sailors coming from the North and East that the entrance to New Harbor is just a few more miles.

The 1BI will bring you the daily recap of the day with video, photos, and articles on and off the water. Continue to find move coverage on our Facebook Page.


  • VIDEO: Day 3 - Around the Island
  • PRESS RELEASE: Day 3 Recap
  • Photos of the Day
  • The Haunted Crew House
  • Teamwork in the North
  • Behind the Scenes with the Race Committee
  • Thanks to our Sponsors

Photo: Stephen R Cloutier

Official Race Information

Results, RC Blogs, and the Official Notice Board can be found on Yacht Scoring.

Photo: Stephen R Cloutier


Be sure to go to our Facebook page for more videos and LIVE coverage of the racing.

Hooligan, Navy Sailing Photo:

Press Release

Wednesday provided ideal conditions for the Around the Island Race, which has long been the signature of Block Island Race Week. However, event organizers weren’t thrilled with the idea of going into Thursday with just one buoy race in the bag.

So principal race officer Dick Neville came up with a creative solution. For the first in anyone’s memory, a windward-leeward race was held on the same day as the Around the Island Race.

Principal race officers on all three circles conducted the buoy race in the morning then got everyone reorganized and started the distance race in the afternoon.

“Traditionally, we don’t do that. However, having lost a day and a half of racing this week, we were trying to gain a buoy race without doing away with the Around the Island Race,” Neville said. “We had a pretty good forecast so we decided to give it a try. It was a little risky, but we got it done.”

Neville is planning to conduct three races on all three courses on Thursday and could possibly do so again on Friday. There is no restriction on what time principal race officers Ray Redniss (Red Fleet), Dave Brennan (White Fleet) and Bruce Bingman (Blue Fleet) can start races on Friday.

“We want to have the opportunity to run three if conditions allow,” Neville said.

Competitors had no problem with Wednesday’s plan, even though it made for a rather long day on the water.

“Obviously, the committee needed to do something to increase the number of races. I thought it was a really good idea and it worked out well,” said Carl Olsson, owner of the J/109 Morning Glory.

As usual, there were plenty of great stories from the Around the Island Race, which ranges from 20 to 24 miles depending on the fleet. Themis, a C&C 30 owned by Walt Thirion, managed to get around Block Island without working electronics. Brandon Flack pulled up the Navionics app on his phone and was able to tell Thirion and tactician Geoff Ewenson which way to go.

“We didn’t have the normal information every boat relies on so it was tough,” Ewenson acknowledged. “Fortunately, I’ve done this race a bunch of times and am very familiar with the turf. Brandon really saved the day by navigating using his phone.”

Themis wound up winning the distance race for C&C 30 class despite the handicap. The Annapolis-based boat trailed Extreme2 and Just a Friend early, but made gains downwind.

“We sailed with the jib until we could set the big kite. Some of the other boats set the small spinnaker then switched to the big one. We skipped a maneuver and that paid dividends.”

Extreme2 rounded 1BI in first place then split from Themis and went inshore. Ewenson said Themis sailed away from the island, got stronger breeze and managed to pass Extreme2.

“Today in general is a confidence boost for the team. We sailed the boat really well,” Ewenson said.

Ewenson and Flack both had high praise for the steering performance of Thirion, a Utah resident who is relatively new to competitive sailboat racing. “Walt has really improved as a driver. He has put in a ton of effort over the last 12 months and it has made a big difference.”

Extreme2, skippered by Dan Cheresh of Holland, Michigan, won the windward-leeward race on Wednesday and leads the C&C 30 class by two points over Themis.

Jeffrey Willis led Challenge IV to victory in the distance race and that enabled the Huntington Bay, New York entry to take the lead in the venerable J/44 class. Willis said his boat was doing 11 knots under spinnaker at one point when the wind piped up to 24 knots on the east side of Block Island.

“We got a very good start, stayed left on the first beat and got lifted. That allowed us to round the windmark mark in first and we managed to stay in front the rest of the way,” he said.

Challenge IV was able to hoist the spinnaker earlier than the other six boats and increased the lead as a result. “As soon as we rounded 1BI the fog really came in. We had almost no visibility and had to get the horn up on deck,” Willis said.

Kenai (Chris Lewis, Houston, Texas) won Race 1 on Tuesday while current Storm Trysail Club commodore Leonard Sitar won Wednesday’s buoy race, displaying the balance within the J/44 class.

“Kenai and Maxine are both going fast while Vamp is always tough. It’s a very competitive group,” said Willis, who has captured class honors in six straight editions of Block Island Race Week.

Morning Glory emerged from the day atop the J/109 class, which is contesting its North American Championship. Quantum professional Terry Flynn is calling tactics for Olsson, who credited solid crew work for a second place in the buoy race and fourth place in the distance race.

“It was a fantastic day on the water. We made a few mistakes, but not many. Fortunately, everyone else made more mistakes,” Olsson said.

Olsson has brought five different version of Morning Glory to Block Island Race Week, including a J/105, Tripp 41 and J/34. The New Rochelle, New York resident is still seeking his first class victory here.

Jazz has set a strong pace in J/88 class, winning every race so far. Skipper Douglas McKiege (Mamaroneck, New York) and crew have built a six-point lead over Red Sky (John Pearson, Setauket, NY).

“The boat is going really well. We have a good team and good equipment. Everyone is focused on doing their job and we are hiking really hard,” said McKiege, who has close friend Steve Kirkpatrick trimming the main and calling tactics.

This is the first time McKiege has brought his J/88 to Block Island and he is looking to come away with the East Coast Championship.

Temptation/Oakcliff, skippered by Arthur Santry, has also posted straight bullets. Back-to-back heavy air days have benefitted the Custom Ker 50, which has built an eight-point lead in IRC 2. Andrew Weiss, owner of second-place Christopher Dragon, is hoping the lighter conditions predicted for Thursday will help his Ker 43.

“We need something to turn things around because Temptation is sailing really well,” Weiss said. “We raced against Temptation at the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta and got the better of them in light air.”

Settler finds itself in a similar situation within ORC Club as Lincoln Mossop and his crew have sailed The Cat Came Back to a strong score line of 1-1-2. Skip Matos, driving the Swan 42, credits his crew’s teamwork for the wins in the buoy races and second place just behind the Sydney 38 Kurranulla in the Around the Island Race.

Settler, a Tripp 43 owned by Thomas Rich of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, is four points behind The Cat Came Back. “Lincoln and his team are doing a really good job. We owe them a lot of time and we just haven’t been able to extend enough,” Rich said. “We’re not quite sure what to do. We obviously have to find some more speed.”

It was a good day for Good Trade, which took over the lead in J/105 class by winning both races. Owner Bruce Stone steers while wife Nicole Breault calls tactics for the San Francisco team.

“It was a lot of drama, a lot of fun. We had two incredible starts and raced really hard around the course,” Breault said. “Everyone is super happy with the results.”

Breault was still kicking herself for overstanding the first windward mark, but she played the fog well and passed a few boats. Good Trade carried the spinnaker for a long stretch and caught loulou at 1BI. It was a tacking duel to the finish with Good Trade finding better air by going toward the beach.

Skipper Brad Porter and his team on XLR8 are looking like the boat to beat in PHRF 2, which is competing for an East Coast Championship. Winning the Around the Island Race after taking second in the windward-leeward start gives the Carrera 280 a three-point advantage over Dark Energy (Melges 24, Laura Grondin).

“I’m very fortunate to sail with a very talented team that has been together for 20 years. We have an extremely seasoned group of sailors,” said Porter, out of Westbrook, Connecticut. “We’ve had outstanding starts, hit a couple good shifts and gotten great crew work. Everything has been perfect so far.”

Porter also owns an Evelyn 32 and rotates which boat he brings to Block Island Race Week. He captured class honors in four straight editions from 2007 to 2013, twice with the Carrera 280 and twice with the Evelyn 32.

It was a day for the Farr 395 entries in IRC 3 with Old School (Ganson Evans) winning the windward-leeward race and Avalance (Craig Albrecht) taking the distance race. Teamwork, a J/122 owned by Robin Team of Lexington, North Carolina, has shown consistency and continues to lead the class on the strength of a 1-2-2 score line.

Same could be said of Partnership, a J/111 owned by David and Maryellen Tortorello that is atop PHRF 1 thanks to a pair of seconds surrounding a bullet. Partnership won Wednesday’s windward-leeward start before placing second in the Around the Island Race and is three points up on the Farr 30 Sea Biscuit (Kevin McNeil).

Upsetter did just that in winning the Around the Island Race in PHRF 3. Skipper Jason Viseltear steered the J/80 across the line in third, but corrected over a pair of J/29s – Hustler and Cool Breeze.

Testing Life, owned by Brian and Deb Mulhull of Ocean City, New Jersey, has now won both distance races in the Performance Cruising Spinnaker class. Starlight, a Cambria 46 skippered by John de Regt of Rowayton, CT, won Wednesday’s distance race is sits atop Performance Cruising Non-Spinnaker by virtue of tiebreaker over Rascal (Ericson 39, Christopher Schneider).

Jammy, a Gunboat 55 owned by Block Island resident Tommy Lee, has won both races among the Multihull fleet.

Photos of the Day

Photo: Cate Brown Photography

Photo: Stephen R Cloutier

Photo: Cate Brown Photography

Photo: Stephen R Cloutier

Photo: Stephen R Cloutier

Photo: Stephen R Cloutier




The Haunted Crew House

By Bill Wagner

Jason McShane didn’t sleep very well his first night on Block Island.

McShane was startled awake around 2:30 in the morning by a distinct sensation of someone touching his leg.

“I woke up and it seemed like someone was sitting on the edge of the bed,” McShane said. “Then I felt this hand on my leg. I completely froze and the hair on my arms stood up.”

McShane, bowman aboard the C&C 30 Flying Jenny V swears he saw a shadow at the end of the bed once his eyes adjusted to the darkness.

McShane and the entire crew of Flying Jenny are staying at Lynn’s Way, a restored farmhouse with six bedrooms. Also known as Old Beck Farm, it was originally built in 1870 and apparently has a colorful history.

Shortly after McShane’s scary encounter in the wee hours of Sunday morning, headsail trimmer Jason Currie had his own frightful experience. At around 3:30 a.m., Currie was stunned to hear a loud noise and realized that his toilet kit had been flung across the room.

“I couldn’t believe it. I was petrified. I didn’t move a muscle for hours,” Currie said.

When the sun came up, Currie got up the courage to collect the spilled contents of his toilet kit then did a test. He placed the bag back on the end table of his bedroom and opened all the windows to see if it was possible the wind caused the incident.

“This was a pretty heavy bag that was sitting in the middle of a table. It darn sure didn’t fall off and the wind couldn’t blow it off,” said Currie, adding that his windows were only partially open on the night in question.

Currie and McShane began investigating the history of Lynn’s Way at Old Beck Farm and found some very interesting, and disturbing, information. Apparently, dead bodies were stored in the house, both in the cellar and attic, during the winter when the ground was frozen and thus graves could not be dug.

In fact, Lynn’s Way, which in the past has been known as Sands Farm and Summit House, is pictured on the cover of “Ghosts of Block Island,” a book written by Fran Migliaccio. That particular farmhouse practically has its own chapter in the book, which also tells of an old man dying there after falling off the top of the staircase.

One of the most commonly told stories by dozens of visitors to Old Beck Farm is that of late-night visitations by a mysterious woman. McShane thinks he may have been the latest Lynn’s Way lodger to get a visit from the woman.

Multiple people that stayed at Lynn’s Way reported that their dogs refused to enter the house. In doing research on the property, Currie learned that many renters did not last the week after being so unnerved by the ghost activity.

Grizzled cab drivers have told the Flying Jenny crew that Lynn’s Way might be the most haunted house on Block Island. “One cabbie couldn’t get out of the driveway fast enough. They were freaked out just being on the property,” Currie said.

A local psychic told Currie and McShane they simply need to speak to the ghosts and let them know they mean no harm.

“We were told to go back to the house and tell the spirits we are peaceful, that we are here for a sailing regatta and to please direct their energy in a positive way to our boat,” McShane said.

The Flying Jenny team elected to remain at Lynn’s Way and over the course of the week there have been multiple incidents. A lamp in the bedroom of mast man Brady Stagg was somehow unplugged. There was another episode when all the lights in the house were suddenly dimmed. Electronic devices such as laptop computers and cell phone chargers do not work at the house, but operate just fine elsewhere.

“I kid you not, I slept with the lights on last night,” Stagg said. “I think a lot of our crew are doing that. That house is just too scary in the dark.”

Behind the Scenes with the Race Committee

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Kate Wilson, Elisabeth Whitener,, Stephen R Coultier

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