In sports, it is one thing to break a record, but it’s even more impressive when you are the record holder.
At the Storm Trysail Club’s 68th annual Block Island Race, which started on the Friday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend, George David’s 90-foot Rambler finished the 186 nautical mile course in 13 hours, 15 minutes and 55 seconds, shaving two hours, 27 minutes and 10 seconds off Rambler 100’s record-breaking time (also turned in by George David) in the 2011 race.
Tactician Peter Isler called it “unbelievable” given that Rambler 100 was 10 feet longer and 20 percent faster than Rambler the 90 footer, which was built in 2002 and has been owned and raced by David since 2006.
Those variables quickly became irrelevant, however, when strong, steady winds from the northwest obliged the fleet of 62 boats in nine classes (six IRC, two PHRF and one J/109) to engage in a fast reach to Block Island and back from the start/finish line in Stamford, Conn., where host Stamford Yacht Club is located.
Rambler jibed at Block Island to reverse her course but didn’t make a single tack until the final approach to the finish line, according to Isler, who calculated that Rambler averaged 14 knots of boat speed throughout the race. “We saw 26 knots at the top end for wind, and the boat hit 20 knots a couple times,” he said. “We were back in ng Island Sound by midnight.” (Rambler’s class started at 3:30.)