Please select your home edition
Edition app (top)

Dragon leads the fleet en route to Portland as fleet battles nasty sea state in 30-knots upwind

by Julianna Barbieri 4 Jun 2018 04:47 BST 26 May - 10 June 2018
#54 - Dragon - 2018 Atlantic Cup © Billy Black / Atlantic Cup

Following a light downwind start to the second leg of the 2018 Atlantic Cup, the conditions have deteriorated making for a brutal first 24-hours for the teams. The crews are currently battling 30 knots of breeze coming from the northeast in what's been described as a horrendous sea state.

The Class40 design is such that it launches off the top of waves, accelerating free from liquid drag before landing, belly first and pounding into the waves ahead. With the current weather conditions, many in the fleet have reported damage.

#37 First Light have reported significant damage to their solent and are heading for calmer waters to assess the damage.

#111 Power of One reported that the lashing holding the solent in place broke forcing them to climb the mast and make the required repair.

#128 Toothface has reported issues with their water ballast system leaving them unable to use it.

#81 Esprit Scout has reported similar issues of those seen by Power of One and are waiting for the conditions to subside prior to climbing their rig and re-lashing their solent.

With the low moving northeast over the fleet and the fleet turning north around Point Alpha, it's conceivable that the teams will stay within the northeast quadrant providing yet more challenging upwind sailing. However, there is enough disagreement within the weather models to make this next 24-hours very uncertain.

Michael Hennessy, #54 Dragon, is currently leading the fleet and provided this update, "It's been a tough morning, conditions are sporty, winds from the east peaking at 35 knots. The winds have dropped slightly to the mid-20s and clocked slightly to the south. We're taking a hitch back north again, trying to hold off our pursuers.

Liz Shaw O'Toole, #81 Esprit Scout: "You know morale is high onboard, but unfortunately we've had some set backs on the boat so we're limping along through sporty conditions, but certainly nothing we've not seen before... We're in 27 knots (of wind) right now, no big thing. We've had some excitement crashing through waves and as such we're just unfortunately not able to push forward as we'd like to. If you look at the tracker in the wee hours of this morning while trying to keep up with the leading pack you'll see us take a dive downwind as the lashing at the top of our solent failed. We were actually sailing quite happily with one reef in the main and solent and everything was going really well trying to keep pace with the front guys and then the lashing gave way. The solent normally flies all the time, you just furl it around the forestay instead of taking it down, but unfortunately with the lashing breaking we had to go forward and wrangle it, undo all of the other lashing and unzip it and get it back on the boat. It was a bit of a battle but nothing to terrible. The sail is intact, but unfortunately we cannot use it again until we can get up the rig and re-lash it."

Teams will face a building breeze this evening with wind speeds of 12-18 knots from the east gusting 20-24. The fleet will be racing upwind in a nasty sea state with short, choppy waves until they reach the Nantucket shoals and the only mark of the course. Once teams reach Point Alpha conditions will improve and current routing is anticipating a late Monday arrival.

Leg 2 takes competitors 360 nautical miles from New York to Portland, Maine. There is one mark of the course, Point Alpha, which is south of the Nantucket shoals. Overall in the standings French/Italian entry, #145-Eärendil is currently in first place with 22 points, followed by Amhas and Talanta. Both offshore legs of the Atlantic Cup are worth double points. The Atlantic Cup is scored on a high points system leaving 22 points up for grabs in this leg.

Resuts after Leg 1:

      Finish Time Elapsed Time Time Leg Leg
Team Start Time Date Finished H   M   S H:M:S Difference Position Points
Earendil 12:00:00 5/29/18 17 : 02 : 46 77:02:46 0:00:00 1 22
Amhas 12:00:00 5/29/18 18 : 42 : 52 78h34m13s 1:31:27 2 20
Talanta 12:00:00 5/30/18 02 : 49 : 12 86h49m12s 9:46:26 3 18*
First Light 12:00:00 5/30/18 03 : 33 : 29 87h33m29s 10:30:43 4 16
Toothface II 12:00:00 5/30/18 04 : 06 : 01 98h06m1s 21:03:15 5 14
Angola Cables 12:00:00 5/30/18 04 : 27 : 16 98h27m16s 21:24:30 6 12
Power of One 12:00:00 5/30/18 07 : 15 : 27 101h15m27s 24:12:41 7 10
Privateer 12:00:00 5/30/18 08 : 40 : 59 102h40m59s 25:38:13 8 8
Esprit Scout 12:00:00 5/30/18 09 : 23 : 27 103h23m27s 26:20:41 9 6
Dragon 12:00:00 5/30/18 11 : 21 : 10 105h21h10s 28:18:24 10 4
Oakcliff 12:00:00 5/30/18 13 : 29 : 27 107h08m37s 30:05:51 11 2

*Result pending protest to be heard in Portland, Maine.

Related Articles

2020 Atlantic Cup cancelled due to COVID-19
Atlantic Cup Kids programming will be made available virtually It is with great regret that Manuka Sports Event Management announces the unavoidable cancellation of the 2020 Atlantic Cup, which was scheduled to take place June 5-21. Posted on 1 Apr
AtCup Kids home and remote learning resources
Atlantic Cup Kids has a variety of worksheets on marine life In times like these, we recognize the tremendous amount of stress on parents and teachers to keep kids engaged and learning in a remote environment. Posted on 19 Mar
11th Hour Racing: Atlantic Cup's education partner
Since 2012 over 4,200 students have participated in Atlantic Cup Kids Days With 11th Hour Racing's support, the Atlantic Cup is able to expand upon the already successful Atlantic Cup Kids Program that debuted in 2012 and has since then reached more than 4,000 students. Posted on 14 Mar
The Atlantic Cup returns for 7th edition June 2020
Longest Offshore Race in the Western Atlantic to start in Charleston Longest Offshore Race in the Western Atlantic to start in Charleston, with a stop-over in New York and finish in Portland. Posted on 20 Jun 2019
Atlantic Cup Inshore Series Day 2
Catherine Pourre is first woman to win Atlantic Cup French/Italian team #145 Eärendil, skippered by Catherine Pourre and Pietro Luciani, captured the 2018 Atlantic Cup as they dominated the two offshore legs and held on to a narrow advantage as #128 Toothface II closed the gap with exceptional racing Posted on 11 Jun 2018
Atlantic Cup Inshore Series Day 1
Eärendil remains atop the leaderboard heading into final day of racing Under sunny skies and a north-northwesterly with periods of 7-10 and 10-12 knot breeze, a total of three races were held in the third and final leg of the inshore Series in the Atlantic Cup. Posted on 10 Jun 2018
Atlantic Cup Leg 2 NYC-Portland complete
All teams have now finished what many teams called a brutal Leg 2 Finishing in fourth place was the Angolan/Brazilian team, Angola Cables followed shortly behind by Portland, Maine based Amhas. Both Toothface 2 and Amhas are tied on overall points with 34 heading into the Inshore Series. Posted on 6 Jun 2018
Atlantic Cup: Team Eärendil wins Leg 2
Team Eärendil maintains overall spot atop the Atlantic Cup standings Eärendil skippered by Catherine Pourre of France and Pietro Luciani of Italy won leg two of the Atlantic Cup, a 360-nautical mile leg from New York to Portland. Posted on 5 Jun 2018
Atlantic Cup: Teams blasting to Portland
Early Tuesday arrival expected for first finishers The 2018 Atlantic Cup fleet is steaming ahead for Portland, Maine after pounding upwind the past 48-hours. Posted on 4 Jun 2018
First Light Retires from The Atlantic Cup Leg 2
Damage sustained to sails forces team to divert to Newport At 16h40 Skipper Sam Fitzgerald of #37 First Light made contact with Hugh Piggin, Atlantic Cup Race Director to inform Race Management that it was their intention to retire from the second offshore leg. Posted on 4 Jun 2018