Stormy Start for Atlantic Cup 2016

Published on May 28th, 2016

Charleston, SC (May 28, 2016) – Nine teams representing the United States, England, Sweden, Canada, France and Spain started the 2016 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing at 12:05 ET today in light rain and a northeast 10-15 knot breeze.

The oldest boat in the fleet, Pleiad Racing owned the start line. Coming into the first mark teams had to make a very physical sail change from their Code 0 to solent in order to sail upwind at a tighter angle of which the Spanish team, Tales II, executed flawlessly and launched to the front of the pack.

After the mark rounding, Tales continued to extend on the fleet with Eärendil, Pleiad and Oakcliff close behind. As the teams exited the jetties to enter the ocean, rain increased, the breeze became puffy and the sea state became lumpy.


 
The first 24-hours will be extremely challenging and present difficult conditions as the teams race to get over the top of the tropical depression that has formed just to the southeast of Charleston.

North Sails Atlantic Cup Expert, Anderson Reggio said:
“There’s a tropical depression coming in towards the Carolina coast, which will become a tropical storm tonight. The boats need to get over the top of it and get to the Gulf Stream to make their way north as quickly as possible. The challenge in going over the top is that they will be getting headed the entire time, which means the decision of when to leave port tack and move to starboard is crucial. The longer you wait, the better the shift, but it also puts you more towards the center of rotation and it’s going to be upwind 15-foot waves, 30-knots of breeze tonight. Strategically, the boats that move north first are going to be playing a more conservative long-term game. The boats pushing east will have a much better shift and will be in kites a lot sooner, but again they will have to get closer to the center of rotation and they’ll be dealing with the worst of the seas and the wind.”

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About The Atlantic Cup
The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing is, at 1,045 nautical miles, the longest offshore in the Western Atlantic. The Atlantic Cup was created and is owned by Manuka Sports Event Management. It started in 2011 as a concept event and grew to a multi-stage race. Since its inception, the Atlantic Cup has aimed to be the most environmentally responsible sailing race in the United States. The race is sailed solely in Class40s, a monohull race boat designed for shorthanded racing.

The first doublehanded leg starting May 28 takes the fleet 648 nm from Charleston, SC to Brooklyn, NY, with the second doublehanded leg starting June 4 for 360 nm to Portland, ME. The final stage on June 10-11 will have 6-person teams complete an inshore series of races in Portland.

The Atlantic Cup ran annually in May from 2011 through 2014. After 2014, the race moved to a biennial event. The course in 2011 was a sprint from New York to Newport with an inshore series in Newport. From 2012-2014, the race was a three-stage event that started in Charleston, South Carolina included a stop-over in New York City and finished in Newport, Rhode Island. In 2016, the Atlantic Cup will continue to comprise of three legs, with stop-overs in Charleston, S.C., Brooklyn, N.Y., and for the first time, Portland, Maine.

Source: Atlantic Cup

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