NEW SHOREHAM, R.I. (June 9, 2015) – The organizing committee for the Storm Trysail Club’s 50th anniversary Block Island Race Week, scheduled June 21-26, has set out an ambitious sustainability program and an important part of the plan is a new app for use with iOS and Android operating systems. The app, launched today in Beta version, will be the primary vehicle for all communications to competitors about Block Island Race Week, including daily notices and results, and will eliminate many forms of paper communication, such as the daily newspaper.
“Simply by eliminating the daily newspaper, which was printed in Massachusetts and then delivered to the island by truck and ferry, we significantly reduce the carbon footprint of Block Island Race Week,” said Chairman Peter Rugg. “Nearly every competitor has a Smartphone, so this is the most direct way to communicate with them.”
When launching the app the homepage has two primary portals. One takes users to the official regatta page on Yacht Scoring where users can access the entry list, scratch sheet, all regatta documents and weather data as provided by SailFlow. The second portal takes users to WindCheck magazine’s website, which will host the daily story in lieu of the newspaper.
Secondary links on the homepage take users to the official Block Island Race Week website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube sites. Each will have the latest post on the app homepage.
“Conceptually, we wanted a centralized hub to host all content related to race week,” said Ed Cesare, the technical director for race week and a co-creator of the app. “The Yacht Scoring and WindCheck portals are most important because they link to all of the primary information. The social media links serve nicely to round out the app’s homepage with what competitors and their families and friends are doing.”
The app was created by JB Design of Norwalk, Conn., in conjunction with Storm Trysail Club members and WindCheck magazine. It has gone through 10 revisions leading to the Beta launch. In its desire for a sustainable event, the Storm Trysail Club has adopted the protocol set forth by Sailors for the Sea for a clean regatta, primarily committing to paperless race documents, reusable water bottles, water stations on the docks, recycling and composting. The Storm Trysail Club also plans to host three beach clean-ups in conjunction with Clean Ocean Access on Wednesday, June 24.
“Bravo!” said Greg Cutter, skipper of the Andrews 28 Diablo and a Professor of Oceanography at Old Dominion University who studies chemical-biological processes in the ocean. “Things such as reusable water bottles and water filling stations are easy to do. They help the environment and there’s so much less trash on the boat at the end of the day that it’s a no brainer.”
The entry list for Block Island Race Week includes more than 170 boats ranging in size from 6.5 meters (21 feet) to 65 feet. Racing is planned on three circles for one-design and rated classes (IRC, HPR and PHRF). Additional classes for double-handed crews, and cruising spinnaker and non-spinnaker entries will sail one race a day around fixed marks.
A highlight of the week is the Around Block Island Race, a 20-nautical-mile sprint that challenges crews with swift tidal currents, rocky outcrops and windless holes while racing against the picture-perfect sand dunes and lush flora and fauna of the island.