A Brutal 24 Hours


Following a light downwind start to the second leg of the 2018 Atlantic Cup, the conditions have deteriorated making it a brutal 24-hours for the teams. The crews are currently battling 30 knots of breeze coming from the northeast in what’s been described to us 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.  It has a rhythm of launch, pound… pound… pound before regaining speed to continue.  36, unforgiving, relentless hours will definitely test the mental strength of these top, offshore competitors. 

The fleet has been taking a pounding and many 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. There is enough disagreement within the weather models to make this next 24-hours very uncertain.

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.” 




At 3pm ET #54 Dragon Ocean Racing currently leads the fleet. You can follow the fleet online at https://atlanticcup.org or on your mobile device via the YBRaces App. Plus we’ll share updates throughout the leg via our social channels.




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