by Joe Harris
Atlantic Cup 2012, presented by 11th Hour Racing, first leg of the three stage race is underway. Joe Harris onboard GryphonSolo2 provides a progress update on the second day of racing.
GryphonSolo2 at the Atlantic Cup 2012 start
We have just rounded Cape Hatteras, under sunny skies and mellow southerly breeze of about 10-12 knots. Hatteras was our first goal and turning mark to head North to New York City, so it feels good to get around, although we not as far up in the fleet as we would like. All we can do is keep trying our best and hope that a little good luck flows our way. We are in the gulf stream, so we now have a 3 knot current boost to our speed, so we are travelling about 10 knots through the water and about 13 knots over the ground. I imagine most of the boats are in the same position, so the big question is how long to stay in the fast current of the gulf stream heading northeast before turning left and heading on a more northerly course to the entrance to NY harbor. It is a time-speed-distance equation and everyone has to estimate the trade-off of extra speed while headed slightly away from the mark versus heading straight at the mark at slightly slower speeds. While we do have routing software to help crunch these numbers, ours does not have the gulf stream current data, so it would like us to go straight up the Delaware and NJ coasts. Time will tell with over 300 miles left to go.
Meanwhile, all is well on the good ship GS2, with no breakages or malfunctions thus far, knock on plastic. We have noticed that our bow sprit is flexing a bit more than it should side-to-side, so we are not loading up the big reaching kites as much as we would like as we really do not want to blow up the sprit. It is a bit frustrating to be going downwind under solent jib instead of our A3 masthead gennaker, and I am about to go on deck to make the change and hopefully see the speedo jump. After being right next to 40 Degrees when her mast cracked and went over the side after the start, we are not anxious to see splintering carbon.
So, I will sign off for now and plan to be back online with more news later today.
Atlantic Cup website