Article Written by Ben Hunt, Webb Big Boat Captain
Webb Institute Big Boat Sailing Team took 1st place in ORC 2 at the 2019 Block Island Race Week.
The week got off to a rough start with a fourth-place finish in the first race and the abandonment of another race in which we would have placed first. This put us in second place behind the J122 TeamWork after the first two days of racing.
The team took the Wednesday lay day to pull itself together. On Thursday, the team managed to take first place in both races. The first place finishes brought us a two-point lead over the J122 TeamWork. Although we were excited, we knew there was still work to be done. After a good night’s sleep, it was time for the final day of racing. The team managed to win both races of the day again, securing first place by 11.5 points. The team ended the week with 12 points total and 6 first-place finishes over a total of eight races.
Peacemaker, a Ker 11.5, was sailed to its victory by a solid team of students, coaches, and a Webb professor. Matt Kepner ‘22 trimmed the main sail and kept the boat moving fast. Ben Lilly ’22, and Coach Vlad Shablinsky trimmed the head sails. Peacemaker was helmed by Head Coach Leo Vasiliev. Ben Hunt ’21 was in the pit while Blake Loncharich ’19 was on the mast. Peacemaker was expertly navigated by Professor and Director of Research, Dr. Richard Royce.
The final awards party involved a guest appearance and impromptu performance by Jimmy Buffet, whose lifestyle company was the proud sponsor for this year’s regatta. “I think Margaritaville is Block Island right now,” declared Buffet to the Storm Trysail Club.
I would like to thank the Webb community, our coaches, and Professor Richard Royce for all the support we have received. Without their help, the team would never have made it to the starting line. This was an incredible experience for all the students involved.