North Sails NEWS
Story Contributors: Jonathan Bartlett, Ken Read, Tom Castiglione
#NSVICTORYLIST: STORM TRYSAIL CLUB BLOCK ISLAND RACE WEEK
10 Class Wins and Three Podium Sweeps for North Sails Clients
Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race week is always a much anticipated and highly-competitive regatta that attracts a mixed-class entry list from Maine to Annapolis every other year. This year a number of first-timers joined the record-breaking fleet of 158 boats, a positive sign for sailing after so many events in 2020 were cancelled due to Covid restrictions.
For North Sails, this event showcased both our sailing expertise and full-service support. Preparations for the 2021 edition began in early spring with a webinar to help participants prepare for a week of Block Island Sound racing; topics included local knowledge, sail recommendations and race-winning tips and tricks. Service and support continued on the island, where North Sails set up a Certified Service pop-up sail loft at the Block Island Maritime Institute that provided overnight repairs for all regatta participants.
North Sails inventories and experts helped several clients win their division and added 30 new results to the #NSVictoryList. Below are the highlights from a great week of sailing.
Ken Read sailed with Jim Grundy on the Dunning 44 Rigadoon, winner of ORC B.
Jim says that winning Block Island Race Week was a goal established in 2019, after a tough regatta in their previous Harry Dunning-designed 42. “The new 44 was planned to compete at a much higher level, with extensive design support and performance analysis from K&D engineering and North Sails. We chose North to support our design team recognizing their ability to support the entire aero package and design development. Mike Marshall, a brilliant young sail designer, delivered near perfect sails out of the box. Ken Read, who was onboard for our BIRW win, backed up our program with his infinite knowledge and generous on-the-water support. I’ve always recognized preparation and practice are essential components of winning. Our mostly family and amateur team put in the time, and all our effort came together at Block Island.”
North Sails expert Tom Castiglione sailed with Jonathan “JR” Rechtschaffer, owner of the J/109 Emoticon*, won the J/109 East Coast Championships as well as the regatta’s One Design Trophy. The secret was the excellent crew work that only comes with a consistent team, JR says—combined with excellent speed and height across the wind range.
“We were lucky to sail with the same team that we had at the Cedar Point One Design Regatta, and we sailed a near perfect regatta as far as crew work was concerned. We have developed an upwind sail and rig tune package with the North team that allowed us to get ourselves out of sticky situations. Steve Kenny’s team Gossip sailed a heck of a regatta and it was a great battle from the very first race. They kept the competition tight and were about a boat length apart for just about all of the Around the Island race.”
Bill Clemens, owner of Bolt 37 Coyote, winner of the PHRF Div 1 commented;
“Our Block Island win was a special one. We have never won- placed many times but never won, and we did it with my children, their friends and my close friends of thirty-plus years. No pros! And totally old school, because of course our new instruments weren’t working. The boat was doing what it was supposed to do and the sail development since we started sailing her has proven very fast. This was truly a team family effort from onboard crew to shore crew.”
Robin Team, skipper of J/122 Teamwork, finished second in the ORC D Division with North Sails expert Jonathan Bartlett onboard.
Robin says they focused each day on sail selection that would match the forecast and expected courses, but they also tried to stay flexible and remain positive when things didn’t go exactly to plan. “Everyone is always complimenting the others,” he explains. “Our North Sails expert and tactician, Jonathan Bartlett, is a master at keeping our head in the game, focusing on recovery and maximizing our potential for each circumstance.”
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