Just 24 Hours Until The 2018 Atlantic Cup



With under 24 hours until the start of the 2018 Atlantic Cup teams are busy finalizing their preparations and submitting sail declaration forms. This afternoon they’ll try to get a little rest and make the all important phone calls home! Below we offer a weather preview of the first 24 hours and information on how to follow the race both in Charleston and from afar.  It’s been a terrific week here in Charleston welcoming 540 school children and celebrating the teams in town last night. 



Weather Preview
This year’s running of the Atlantic Cup looks to be an exciting one!  While the weather is a little unsettled, every sailor is asking the most critical question in sail boat racing… “what’s the wind going do?”
Saturday morning the winds look to be exceptional for the start. 15-20 knots from the southerly quadrant, sometimes east and sometimes west, should make sailing in the harbor and the exiting of the port, exciting to watch.  
Once the boats exit the Charleston Harbor, the teams have to decide whether the speed of their sailing warrants working east, offshore to the Gulf Stream or, if they are fast enough, taking the shorter, direct route to Cape Hatteras. Here’s where knowing math and your boat play a big part in how you set up for the second part of the race; Cape Hatteras to the New Jersey Finish.
The winds are forecast to turn to mixed conditions as the Class40’s round Cape Hatteras and leave it behind in their wake. If the sail to Cape Hatteras is quick and stable, the boats may arrive before the winds turn fluky and make good distance towards New Jersey.  If not, the sail from Hatteras to New Jersey will turn into a real game of strategy dictated by weather predictions and real-time weather conditions.   Stay tuned, the weather is fairly predictable within 48 hours, but Cape Hatteras is beyond that threshold at this time.
Oh, there’s one other element to watch for these sailors.  In the unsettled weather, there are bands of rain and thundershowers often embedded with squalls of increased wind, rain, and lots of work for the sailors.  For the boats that head east to the Gulf Stream hoping the additional 3-knot current will get them to Hatteras sooner, thunderstorms may make their nights exciting as the warm water of the Gulf Stream stirs up the already unsettled weather.   This can be a benefit if the gusts are handled well, giving the experienced sailors extra burst of speed through the storms.
Stay tuned and see below how to follow the race!
Word on the Dock
Mikael Ryking: #95 Talanta
“We are discussing tactics and strategies, how to find speed in the boat. We’ve offloaded a lot of weight and the boat feels very prepared. We have some small things to do, hull cleaning, wind service, and looking deeper into weather systems to see what we expect as far as angles to the wind, wind strength and see what will be the best way to go. Im not gonna tell you any more details about what we think about it.” 
Pietro Luciani: #145 Eärendil
“For sure Eärendil is the boat you want to sail on, everyone would love to sail on this boat, I think it’s the best boat in the fleet. Doublehanded is limited, so hopefully it’s not the boat that wins but us the sailors. There are a lot of guys that have sailed many more miles together. It is going to be difficult. If we have a good performance it will be thanks to the boat, but if we do badly it will be the fault of the sailors. This is the worst position you can be in.”
Fred Strammer: #37 First Light
“I’m definitely anxious, the boat was donated to USMMA, but before that it was on the hard for two years. So nothing was closely looked at. My mind is racing, did I check this or that, are the lines alright, from a mechanical standpoint is anything going to breakdown. Mentally its kind of a frenzy up there, but Im trying to calm it down as much as possible. That said I’m excited to be getting some offshore racing in!”


How to Watch the 2018 Leg 1 Race Start
The race starts at 12pm on Saturday, May 26th just off the Charleston Maritime Center. The best vantage point from land is the park next to the Maritime Center at the corner of Inspection and Wharfside Streets. Come down to the Maritime Center and bid farewell to the teams as they head north on the 642-nautical mile run to New York!


How to Follow the Race Online

As soon as the start gun goes off on Saturday at 12pm you can track the boats online as they race to New York! Head to the Race Tracking page on the website and follow the teams in real time thanks to the Yellow Brick online tracker.

#AtCup – Be sure to follow us on all of our social channels for the most up to date information on the race and from the teams. 



Latest Images From The Docks!
Charleston Kids Day Success!

On Thursday May 24th 540 children participated in the Atlantic Cup Kids day at Charleston City Marina. Atlantic Cup Kids is presented by 11th Hour Racing and is a program of the Atlantic Cup that teaches children about offshore racing, sustainability, and ocean health

Students ranging in age from 9-12 representing area schools including Goodwin Elementary, Moultrie Middle School, and St. Andrew’s of Math and Science spent two-hours at the Atlantic Cup base. Students rotated through stations that included knot-tying, a plankton and whale experiential learning station run by Sailors for the Sea, and an alternative energy station where students got to see and feel solar panels along with a Watt and Sea hydrogenerator. The final station included a boat tour on one of the Atlantic Cup boats. 

Atlantic Cup 2013 Champion and Kids Director, Dave Rearick said “I was here in early May visiting with the schools and today was a culmination what they’ve been learning about in the classroom where they got to see the boats and experience the race. One unique aspect is that a lot of these kids are the younger siblings of kids who have come through the program two and four years ago. It’s really wonderful to expose children to the ocean, environment and sailing and how we’re all connected worldwide.”



North Sails Skippers Party

On Thursday evening the Atlantic Cup Skippers were treated to a fantastic skippers evening hosted by North Sails! Over 100 people attended the event and enjoyed a number of Shipyard Breweries speciality brews!








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