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The 89th Annual Around the Island Race

The oldest continuing yacht race on Narragansett Bay

Conanicut Yacht Club 89th Around the Island Race
An 18-Mile Sprint Around Conanicut Island

JAMESTOWN, R.I. (September 5, 2016) -- 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.

CAPTION: Perpetual trophy winners White Rhino 2 (left) and Watermark (right) at the start
(Photo Credit: Cate Brown Photography)  
Photos are available in high resolution editorial free by clicking image above. 
However, for cover usage, please contact 

“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.  

CAPTION: The Around the Island Race Fleet heads downwind on the west side of Conanicut Island
(Photo Credit: Cate Brown Photography)  
Photos are available in high resolution editorial free by clicking image above. 
However, for cover usage, please contact 

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.

Conanicut Yacht Club 89th Around the Island Race
(Top Three Results Follow: Boat Name, Captain, Hometown)
(based upon elapsed time corrected with a PHRF-NB rating)

Division: A (12 boats): 
1. Boat: Serendipity, Captain: Gary Venable, Yacht Club: SIRA / NYC   
2. Boat: Sabasa, Captain: Robert Connerney, Yacht Club: Ida Lewis
3. Boat: Mystic, Captain: Chris Borden

Division: B (13 boats): 
1. Boat: Lynx, Captain: Dennis Nixon, Yacht Club: CYC  
2. Boat: Sugaree, Captain: James Cornwall, Yacht Club: RIYC 
3. Boat: Coup D' Etat, Captain: Michael Shea[B], Yacht Club: NYYC   

Division: C (7 boats) 
1. Boat: Lucy, Captain: Katja Sertl, Yacht Club: CYC  
2. Boat: Kona, Captain: Neil McDermott[C], Yacht Club: Wickford Yacht Club
3. Boat: Conundrum, Captain: William Porter, Yacht Club: CYC    

Division: D (5 boats) 
1. Boat: Junkanoo, Captain: Suzy Leech, Yacht Club: CYC 
2. Boat: GiJima, Captain: Gordon Fletcher, Yacht Club: Wickford Yacht Club
3. Boat: Lucky, Captain: Chris Murray, Yacht Club: ILYC  

Division: E (14 boats)
1. Boat: Obstreperous, Captain: Mike Hill, Yacht Club: CYC    
2. Boat: Risky Business, Captain: Matt Coughlin, Yacht Club: EGYC   
3. Boat: Luna, Captain: Chris Brown, Yacht Club: JYC 

Division: F (14 boats) 
1. Boat: Aurora, Captain: Andrew Kallfelz, Yacht Club: CYC   
2. Boat: XS, Captain: Ed Adams, Yacht Club: ILYC 
3. Boat: Mischief, Captain: David Schwartz, Yacht Club: Bristol Yacht Club

Division: G (9 boats)
1. Boat: Hidalgo, Captain: Richard Moody, Yacht Club: RDYC / JYC  
2. Boat: Dragon, Captain: Hugh Balloch, Yacht Club: CYC  
3. Boat: Picante, Captain: John Sahagian, Yacht Club: JYC

Division: H (7 boats)
1. Boat: Avalanche the 5th, Captain: Jake and Ben Jacobsen, Yacht Club: CYC
2. Boat: Kestrel, Captain: Sean Doyle, Yacht Club: CYC / NYYC
3. Boat: Manic, Captain: Alex Wadson, Yacht Club: RBYC

Division: J (9 boats) 
1. Boat: Watermark, Captain: Jack Lefort, Yacht Club: CYC / NYYC
2. Boat: White Rhino 2, Captain: Todd Stuart, Yacht Club: NYYC
3. Boat: Reef Points, Captain: Gurdon Wattles[J], Yacht Club: NYYC 

Conanicut Yacht Club Awards:

  • Eads Johnson Trophy (large boat, fastest corrected time)
  • Boat: Watermark, Captain: Jack Lefort
  • Robert A. MacLeod Rear Commodore Trophy (day-sailer, fastest corrected time)
  • Boat: Lucy, Captain: Katje Sertl


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