THE ATLANTIC CUP: Bodacious Dream gets first dance with Lady Liberty

Published on May 15th, 2013

With a fleet of seven Class 40s competing in The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing, it was Bodacious Dream with Dave Rearick and Matt Scharl that crossed the finish line first at 21:06:15 ET on Tuesday, May 15, with an elapsed time of 78:55:13 to complete the 642 nautical mile first leg of the Atlantic Cup from Charleston, S.C. to New York Harbor.

Bodacious Dream finished just 8 minutes 28 seconds ahead of Lecoq Cuisine (79:09:43), followed by the English team of 40 Degrees (79:56:12). All seven boats finished within four hours of each other.

The teams left Charleston harbor on May 11 with Icarus jumping out in front of the fleet for the second year in a row with the best start. While tightly packed together, the fleet experienced severe the weather the first night that included heavy lightning and thunderheads with sustained winds of 25kts and a confused sea state. After rounding Cape Hatteras the fleet was mostly in agreement to heads towards shore as the forecast called for a wind hole and the land breeze would keep them moving.

The critical point in the race came at the timing of the gybe in towards shore and those that picked right established a small lead and the challenge was to defend the rest of the way. The leading four teams traded positions in the run up to New York where ultimately first through fourth were separated by a mere 1 hour and 26 minutes.

A night finish in the busy harbor proved to be an intense test for the doublehanded teams. “We were doing 15 knots right into Ambrose channel and the shipping lanes of one of the world’s busiest ports,” shared Joe Harris, who along with Tristan Mougline finished fifth on Gryphon Solo 2. “We doused the kite and got out the jib as we approached the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and the wind went all squirrelly as the tides for the different rivers came together. We then had to get the kite back up and gybed about six times in the light and flukey dead downwind conditions to finish just opposite the Statue of Liberty.”

The next stage of the Atlantic Cup begins May 18 with another doublehanded leg from New York to Newport, RI (260 nm), and then concludes on May 25-26 with inshore fully crewed (six people on board) buoy racing in Narragansett Bay.

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