The Atlantic Cup: Will the Gulf Stream deliver?

Published on May 12th, 2013

Seven Class40 teams from the United States and England started the first of three stages of the 2013 Atlantic Cup on Saturday, commencing the 648nm doublehanded leg on from Charleston, SC to New York, NY. Click here for photos.

After an exciting start out of the Charleston harbor, which saw multiple lead changes between Icarus (Ben Poucher/ Tim Fetsch) and Bodacious Dream (Dave Rearick/ Matt Scharl), the bulk of the fleet headed on ENE track to get out towards the Gulf Stream. Throughout the moonless night, the teams experienced multiple squalls and wind speeds spiked close to 40 kts.

Icarus deviated from the pack first, gaining leverage to the north to take the lead. However, since daybreak on Sunday, Dragon (Mike Hennessy/ Rob Windsor) jumped to the west of Icarus’ line and is now leading both the western contingent, and the race. To the east by 15 miles is Bodacious Dream, committed more to seek the benefit of the Gulf Stream.

Now midway through the race, a big shakeup could be later Sunday evening as the SW flow shifts, potentially radically, to the WNW. This may favor the western boats in terms of positioning but the breeze may lighten more closer to shore and the additionally current the eastern boats have may be the deciding factor as the group rounds Hatteras. Click here for tracking.

Background: The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing is a dedicated professional Class 40 race held annually in the U.S. The 2013 edition starts with a doublehanded leg on May 11 from Charleston, SC to New York, NY (648 nm), and another doublehanded leg on May 18 from New York to Newport, RI (260 NM). The event concludes on May 25-26 with inshore fully crewed (six people on board) buoy racing in Narragansett Bay. –

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