An 18-Mile Sprint Around Conanicut Island
For the 89th Annual CYC Around the Island Race yesterday, it was a sprint around Conanicut Island, with competitors experiencing strong chop and breeze between 20 and 25 knots throughout the day. The 68-boat fleet started on time, with a majority of the boats finishing the race before 3pm.
“I’ve wondered all week if we would actually be able to do a race on Sunday,” said Race Chairman Alan Baines adding that the impending threat of Tropical Storm Hermine had many people worried that the conditions would be too rough. “However, everything turned out all right and the fleet started in a breezy northeasterly wind, heading up East Passage, and around the top of the island before flying downwind down the West Passage of Narragansett Bay. Rounding Beavertail Point, competitors experienced a bit of a swell, courtesy of Hermine, before beating back up the Bay to the finish off Conanicut Yacht Club.”
The annual event is one of the oldest ongoing sailboat races on Narragansett Bay, featuring a complete circumnavigation of Conanicut Island (predominantly for competitors racing mono hull sailboats over 22 feet in length that are rated for PHRF-NB). This year saw the addition of an F18 catamaran class, with five entered, but unfortunately conditions were a bit strong for these high performance boats, and all sensibly withdrew.
The other change this year was that all boats activated a cellphone tracking app, by Kattack, which proved to be a real hit with spectators in the clubhouse, who could watch the fleets progress in real time, and also for the race committee to know where the boats were.
The race was followed by a post-race party, dinner and awards at the host club. Winners were crowned in the event’s nine divisions, with four perpetual trophies awarded.
Jack Lefort’s Hinckley Bermuda 50 Watermark took home the Commodore John C. Quinn Trophy for fastest corrected time around the island (2 hours, 40 minutes and 24 seconds). The perpetual trophy is named after the club’s former commodore, an accomplished sailor at all levels of the sport.
The Commodore Bruce R. Brakenhoff Trophy, went to Todd Stuart’s Carkeek 47 White Rhino 2, which completed the race with the shortest elapsed time around the island (1 hour, 57 minutes), which is a course record for this race.
Photos by Cate Brown Photography are available for purchase at http://catebrownphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery-collection/CYC-Around-the-Island-2016/C0000lYvUKK_e4Fo