Big breeze gets Atlantic Cup underway

Published on May 10th, 2014

Four Class 40 teams started the 2014 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing at 12:05 ET on May 10 in a southwest 20-25 knot breeze, beginning the 685-mile doublehanded leg from Charleston, SC to New York City.

All teams had double-reefed mainsails at the upwind start that saw #54-Dragon cross the line first. However, #116-JeffreyMacFarlane.com launched to the front of the fleet and led the first and only mark rounding. After the mark rounding the course became a reach to Fort Sumter and a fetch out of the jetties, which saw multiple lead changes. #106 Gryphon Solo 2 was the first team to hoist their spinnaker and enter the ocean. The fleet is still tightly packed as they head west for the Gulf Stream.

Throughout the evening, the teams were within sight of each other and are still extremely close. It’s like synchronized swimming between #106 Gryphon Solo 2, #54 Dragon and #39 Pleiad Racing. All three gybed this morning and are heading straight for Cape Hatteras. #116 Jeffrey MacFarlane took a later gybe and is the furthest east in the Gulf Stream. Will it work? Hard to say, but the team has been hampered by ripping their big spinnaker (the A2) and are now forced to sail with their smaller kite. With downwind conditions forecast for the remainder of the leg, this sets up a big challenge for team #116.

Joe Harris, sailing with Patrick O’Connor on current leader #106 Gryphon Solo II, reports on the first 24 hours:

“The conditions have been great from the start and we have been sailing downwind in the big A2 running kite for coming up on 24 hours which has been wonderful. We came though a squall this morning and had to take the A2 down after rounding up in a 27 knot puff- so we went to the solent jib for awhile, then changed to the A6 heavy air kite and then finally back to the A2 after the squall passed. We are honking along at about 11.4 knots but getting only a small boost from the Gulf Stream, which is puzzling. Hatteras is about 100 miles away and then we will turn our attention to the NYC waypoint. Pat and our media guy Parker are also doing great and have come though the night with a little sleep and a great attitude. We are all psyched to continue to keep the hammer down and hopefully separate from the pack.”

The race was to start with five teams, but #25 – Flatline skippered by Kyle Hubley and Frederic de Mesel were unable to make the start in Charleston, SC. They will join the fleet in New York City. Flatline will be scored as DNS (did not start) and be given 0 points for the first leg. The first leg represents one third of the scoring for the overall Atlantic Cup, so Flatline is still in contention once they join the fleet.

LINK TO PHOTOS OF THE START:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yl9jjf22htwzd6b/AAA7KCkkU_1gSnXWi38zUYJUa

The 4 teams will continue en route to New York Harbor. Models are showing an exceptionally fast, downwind race with an estimated arrival time of sometime Tuesday afternoon, May 13. The second leg of the competition departs on May 17 at 2 p.m. The annual event culminates in Newport, R.I. with two days of Inshore racing (May 24-25).

While racing tracking will update every five minutes and can be found at: http://atlanticcup.org

The Atlantic Cup Expert will also provide analysis daily at what’s happening on the course, which can be found at: http://www.atlanticcup.org/race#expert

SCORING SYSTEM
Points & Prize Money
Scoring for the 2014 Atlantic Cup will be based upon a “High Point” scoring system. Each boat’s overall score will equal the total points earned in both offshore legs plus points earned from the inshore races. At the conclusion of the event, the boat with the total highest score will be declared the winner.

To determine the podium winners, the “High Point” scoring system combines all three legs of the race into the boat’s overall score. The points for individual race scores are based upon the number of entrants (unless disqualified or retiring after finishing). The points for each leg are allotted as follows; 1st place will be awarded points equal to the number of entrants, 2nd place points equal the number of entrants minus 1, 3rd place points equal the number of entrants minus 2, 4th place points equal the number of entrants minus 3, and so on.

For two the offshore legs, points awarded will be weighted by a factor of 2. For each inshore series, points will be weighted by a factor of one. The inshore series will consist of a maximum of five races, should four or less inshore races be completed; all races will count toward the boat’s overall score. If five inshore series are completed, a boats overall score will consist of the four best inshore races. In the event of a score tie between two or more boats, the tie will be broken in favor of the boat with the most points earned amongst the two offshore legs.

The competitors have a chance to win prize money in all portions of the race. The $15,000 purse will be split between the three legs with $5,000 available per leg. The prize money for each leg will be divided as follows: 1stwill receive $2,000, 2nd, $1,500, 3rd, $1,000 and 4th place receives $500.

About the 2014 Atlantic Cup
The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing is a dedicated professional Class 40 race held annually in the U.S. that focuses on being environmentally responsible and aims to be completely carbon neutral. The five-team field will depart Saturday, May 10 from Charleston, South Carolina and race double-handed 685 miles offshore to New York City. Following a brief stop-over in New York, teams will depart from North Cove Marina Saturday, May 17 to race 240-miles to Newport, R.I. The Atlantic Cup is the longest offshore race along the east coast of the United States. In Newport, competitors will take part in a two-day inshore series with a crew of six. The crew with the combined highest score from all three legs will be the Atlantic Cup Champion. For more on the Atlantic Cup and its Green Initiatives, visit www.atlanticcup.org.

Teams Confirmed to compete in The 2014 Atlantic Cup include:

#25 Flatline-USA
Kyle Hubley (Canada) and Frederick De Mesel (Belgium)

#39 Pleiad Racing-USA
Ed Cesare (Norwalk, CT) and Chad Corning (Larchmont, NY)

#54 Dragon-USA
Michael Hennessy (Mystic, CT) and Rob Windsor (Centerport, NY)

#106 Gryphon Solo II -USA
Joe Harris (South Hamilton, MA) and Patrick O’Connor (Buffalo, NY)

#116 jeffreymacfarlane.com-USA
Jeffrey Macfarlane (Franklin Lakes, NJ) and Jake Arcand (Honolulu, HI)

Report by event media.

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