Vento Solare sailed the Twenty Hundred Club Around Aquidneck Island Challenge on Sunday 21 October and set a new record for non-spinnaker at 4 hours 37 minutes 35 seconds (corrected to 3 hours 47 minutes 27 seconds for PHRF 94). Previously we set the record in 2017 with a corrected time of 4 hours 20 minutes 26 seconds. Earlier this week Sabre 38 Tamanoa skippered by Gregg Morash beat the 2017 Vento Solare record with a corrected time of 4 hours 6 minutes 43 seconds.
Planning for this run started 2 days prior where winds and currents were evaluated. The gribs downloaded from NOAA showed that Sunday was going to be excellent conditions to set a record. As it turns out, actual conditions for wind direction and speed were very close to predicted. The elapsed time was 15 minutes greater than predicted, which is about what we lost when the jib car adjuster blew out.
The crew was Larry Bissonnette and Bill Kneller – we could have used a few more but managed to do just fine. We started and finished by the Newport bridge. Winds were “sporty” in the high teens gusting in the mid twenties, with a top gust of 30 kts. The leg from the Newport bridge out the channel was a reach, followed by a reach across the South side of the island. Up the Sakonnet was close hauled and required 2 tacks. The port jib car adjustment block blew out on the leg up the Sakonnet, but we were able to make a temporary fix and kept sailing. We stopped in the Tiverton basin to eat lunch and make better repairs to the port jib car. The clock stops while in the Tiverton basin where competitors may stop as long as desired, provided that the entire course is completed within 24 hours from the start. Following the stop in the Tiverton basin, we were close hauled up to the top of Aquidneck Island, then were able to reach the rest of the trip back, through the Mount Hope Bridge, all the way back to the Newport bridge. The RaceQs replay is available at this link to show the record run.
Stay tuned and watch the weather for an attempt at the spinnaker record sometime this coming week!