Block Island Race Week 2015

Andy Burton

New Member
Despite the fact that I own a C&C, Sean has given me permission to post the following as it may interest many of you. Feel free to contact me with questions.

As I sit here in my living room, bracing for the first "Storm of the Century" this year, what could be more natural than dreaming about summer sailing plans? I hope more than a few on the list will plan to sail in Block Island Race Week June 21-26this year.
This regatta is a ton of fun and I think many others on the list would enjoy it. I found the logistics much simpler to organize than I had anticipated. We anchored out and there was plenty of room for others who came in mid week--the anchorage wasn't crowded at all. Everybody contributed to the provisions and we ended up with booze left over after the regatta.
BIRW is a perfect regatta for a family crew and it's not too expensive if you do it the way my crew and I did last time; by staying on the boat and mostly eating aboard. That's what our cruiser/racers were designed to do and it's fun going "old school" at such a major regatta.
One of my crew brought along his boat for additional room. A good way to be more comfortable would be for a couple of owners to team up to sail one boat and sleep on both each night.
Full disclosure, Storm Trysail is my club and I'm doing all I can to help promote the regatta. But really I'd mostly like to get a bunch of other boats out there to play with.
I can't stress enough how simple sailing in this regatta can be; you don't even need to go stripping the boat. We raced Peregrine in full cruising mode with full water tanks and a week's worth of food aboard and had a ball.
Here's a letter I wrote to the organizers after the 2013 regatta.
Dear ladies and gentlemen of the race committee,
I am nearly recovered from last week (I'm sure it will take you a bit longer!) and I wanted to drop you a line to express my appreciation and tell you how much my crew and I enjoyed ourselves. This was my first foray to BIRW in 36 years and my first on my own boat, but not my last.
First of all, I can't imagine the time and effort and sheer lifting necessary to get the equipment and personnel on site. From the outside looking in, the RC team pulled it off without a hitch. That alone is a feat worthy of Papal attention.
I appreciate the help you gave me to make sure my entry process went smoothly. My dog thinks I'm pretty special, but I don't flatter myself that you do, too, yet I was left with the impression that you found it personally important that entering the regatta was as easy and enjoyable as possible for me. What a job to do that for 182 skippers! Thank you for the hand-holding!
I normally avoid the beer tent at regattas. However, this one was so well organized and the wait for drinks so short and the company so terrific, that my crew and I showed up every night. And stayed!
Because my boat is new to me and I wasn't sure I could get and house crew, I entered the Cruising Class non-spinnaker division. The single "navigator-style" race format proved to be a lot of fun and not so taxing that my crew in their 50s and 60s were too worn out to make it to the party every single night. The racing format was an excellent idea and Bruce Bingham's execution was terrific. Bruce and his crew did everything a first class race committee is supposed to do; the lines were good, his weather intuition was spot-on, and the courses interesting and just the right length.
I know organizing Race Week must have been a full-time job for you and others for months before the event and I can only say, Thank You and Well Done
Andrew Burton
C&C 40
Newport, RI


Member II
Thanks for the post Andy. BIRW has been on my to-do list for a while, and while it's not in the cards this year because of my work schedule, I'm planning on it in 2017.