Eärendil Takes The Lead As The Fleet Rounds Point Alpha!



The 2018 Atlantic Cup fleet is steaming ahead for Portland, Maine after pounding upwind the past 48-hours. Nine boats remain on the racecourse following the decisions made last night by #37 First Light and #81 Esprit Scout to retire from Leg 2 and seek refuge in Newport, Rhode Island in order to further assess their damage. 

For those that still remain on the racecourse, the conditions are still showing sustained winds of 20+ knots, however as teams round Point Alpha the final 160 miles are a reach as opposed to upwind. Seven teams, led by the French/Italian duo of Catherine Pourre and Pietro Luciani onboard Eärendil have now rounded the virtual mark of ‘Point Alpha’ and are using the conditions to their advantage. Having been in upwind conditions for 48-hours, the crews delight at changing to a starboard tack, increased boat speed and a direct reach to Portland is evident!  

Boat speeds have increased from an average of 5-6 knots to 18 knots and with 160 nautical miles of racing remaining it’ll be fascinating to see whether #54 Dragon, the second oldest boat in the fleet, can maintain their 2nd place position against the charging Toothface 2 and Angola Cables!

The first arrival is expected in the very early hours of Tuesday with the remaining fleet expected into Portland throughout Tuesday morning. 


Read The Latest from #128 Amhas and #127 Toothface II



Micah Davis, #127 Amhas:

“Everything is OK (onboard), we replaced the tack line for the stay sail in New York, specially because we knew we were going to bash upwind and right as we were about to tack over, about a quarter of a mile behind toothface, it blew! No staysail in 25 kts is slow, so we did a little bit of everything, a little backwards, a little tacking, and we finally got it re-rigged and now we are on going, back in the fight. It sucks, it really sucks, but were doing good. 3 days of 25 kts wind is (£@$#) and its bloody cold out. I can’t wait to turn the corner and we are ready to come home. My mom and dad are there and my sisters will come down, whew, we are ready.” 


Tristan Mougliné, #128 Toothface:

“We have no water ballast this leg, which isn’t so good for going upwind and has slowed our performance but we managed and are in an OK position but nothing great. So that was disappointing but we are still on our way! We have been really aggressive with the stack. We tried pinching a little bit with too much sail and it didn’t really work, then we tried to foot a little bit with smaller sails and that seemed to go OK. We were side by side with Eärendil for awhile, which was fun but they were just quicker with water ballast so it was a little bit tricky. We did just cross Amhas, we were on starboard, they took our stern on port a little while ago which was a good feeling and I’m sure we will converge at the turning mark… Of the 5,000 At Cup mile I’ve done, these have been the toughest 200.” 

Listen In To The Latest News Direct From The Boats

Listen into the latest news direct from the racecourse! We’ve got updates from Rob Windsor, Micah Davis and Tristan Mougliné!
#37 First Light and #81 Esprit Scout Retire

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 due to significant delimitation of their mainsail and further damage sustained to their solent and staysail. 

Shortly after receiving notice from #37 First Light Liz Shaw O’Toole made contact with the Organizing Authority to inform them that #81 Esprit Scout was also reluctantly making the decision to return to the calmer waters of Newport, Rhode Island to assess the mechanical and electrical issues facing the boat. They have since officially retired from the second leg and will make an informed decision about their next steps soon. 

Sam Fitzgerald, #37 First Light:
“We had our third batten blow out of our solent when we were trying to furl it, and then we saw the main sail was starting to delaminate again. We thought for the longevity of the vessel and for the (USMMA) foundation’s sake it would be best to try to minimize damage and make a conservative move to call it a day. We got a new forecast update while we were out there and it looked like the pressure system was going to be backing and on the nose the entire time at 30kts. With all those variables we decided to make the call and head for Newport.” 
Liz Shaw O’Toole, #81 Esprit Scout:
“We are really disappointed to be here in Newport. We were charging through some pretty challenging issues with the boat, trying to make it to Portland, but ultimately, there was a straw that broke the camels back. The final straw was after a number of issues with the boat we figured out that we did not have a second source of power and the solar panels on our boat were not functioning and our engine stopped co-operating so we couldn’t charge our batteries. That means no electronics, nothing, going around Nantucket shoals or into Portland. We worked really hard to stay at the front of the pack with a boat that we were just introduced to.” 
Kyle Hubley #81 Esprit Scout:
“It was a valid butt-kicking Class40 day, upwind we were seeing 20-30 kts, which all of these sailors have been in. The sea state adds a bit of spice, and sometimes the wave periods were short, there was 6-10 feet in some places, it was just banging over and over again.” 


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