North Sails Expert Leg 2 Review

North Sails President Ken Read Provides His Outlook On The Second Leg Of The Atlantic Cup

Leg two has been a terrific test for these crews. As predicted, quite the opposite journey from the first 600 miles, in which we saw fast boat speeds, high winds, and some tough lumps for a few retirees. The first takeaway from this 360-mile leg is that the pre-race weather forecast was spot on and it pays to do your research to find the best weather model. We saw some long and grueling upwind work turning into a nice power reach into Portland from the waypoint mark. If you had a good weather source before the race, you knew exactly what was coming.

Another important takeaway we saw was that it may be a wake up call for pre- race preparation. Sometimes when things break it is simple bad luck and other times it is likely something you may have been able to anticipate. Whether you’re doing a 300-mile race or a 30,000-mile race, you have to be prepared for what Mother Nature is going to throw at you. And boy she did not hold back this time. We saw tough up wind conditions that unfortunately took out some of the boats and sent some to the back of the pack. In any race, it’s no fun when you have a breakdown, and it is especially hard when there are just two crew aboard. Not only is it no fun, it can get very dangerous. So I applaud all who took it on, period.

What appears to be clear from these two legs is that the most prepared and fastest boat with the best offshore sail inventory has won both legs. And this time by a dominant fashion. Eärendil snuck into Portland just ahead of a high-pressure area that has engulfed the rest of the fleet. Not only did she get there in one shot, one power reach all the way in, but got there in the nick of time before the breeze shut down, leaving everybody behind in the dust. Congratulations to Catherine Pourre and Pietro Luciani on another impressive and well strategized win. Huge congratulations from all of us at North Sails on a really spectacular, solid effort. Incredible boat speed and obviously phenomenally good pre-race preparation and seamanship pay off.

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