2013 Atlantic Cup Leg 1 Day 1 Report
May 12, 2013
It seems like the first night of the 2013 Atlantic Cup was pretty wild for all the teams. The position reports showed speeds in excess of 15kts for all the boats as they raged along in the nighttime conditions.
After an exciting start out of the Charleston harbor, which saw multiple lead changes between #116 Icarus and #118 Bodacious Dream, the bulk of the fleet headed on ENE track to get out towards the Gulf Stream. Throughout the night, the teams experienced multiple squalls and wind speeds spiked close to 40 kts. Coupled with a moonless night it had to make for tense moments. The team that seemed to push the hardest and make the most of the conditions was #54 Dragon who did a nice job of balancing getting in the Stream, but still maintaining northerly progress.
At the time of this writing Dragon seems to have a slim lead on #116 Icarus almost directly astern and #90 40 Degrees, who struggled out of the harbor but has established themselves as the most westerly boat. On the far eastern side of the track, #121 Lecoq Cuisine and #118 Bodacious Dream have set themselves up to take advantage of potentially greater push from the stream and I would expect these two boats to close some distance on Dragon as the day progresses. The trailing duo of #39 Pleaid Racing and #106 Gryphon Solo are slightly East of the leading pair and also might gain some leverage as the day progresses. Perhaps the most impressive part of the early going is how close the boatspeed between the boats seems to be and how well all the teams are sailing. I really don’t see anybody as the favorite at this point and the fight to NYC will be close the entire way
Ultimately the first big shakeup will be later this 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. Stay tuned this evening and see who makes the most of the changing weather