Hal Madison Race results

Thu, 08/22/2019 - 9:30pm

Veteran Block Island sailor Bob "Red" Closter was the winner of the 36th annual Harold Madison Yacht Race hosted by the Block Island Club on Saturday, Aug. 10.

Fair skies and strong, gusty west-northwest winds greeted the fleet gathered for a start just outside the entrance to the Great Salt Pond. Seven boats registered and five braved the conditions to finish the around-the-buoys, windward/leeward/windward course on Block Island Sound.

Henry duPont on his Tripp 26 Rush led the fleet around the course, and his crew was the only one to fly a spinnaker in the blustery wind and confused sea. However, on corrected time, Closter, who raced his J/24 Island Spirit double-handed, added to his trophy collection with a victory margin of under one minute. Closter, a repeat Madison victor, won the perpetual Madison Cup.

Three Colgate 26s finished the race. Block Island Club sailing instructor John Seider was first in the cruising class. Cameron Greenlee and I co-helmed a Colgate to second in cruising, and Briggs Whiteford took third place silver. 

Block Island Club Manager Alex Donohue set the course with Seider and managed the race, while club staff arranged the after-party.

The Madison race began in 1983, founded by two Block Island Club sailing instructors. Harold Madison was a founding member and early president of the club who helped lay the foundations of the junior sailing program.