by Joe Harris
In the 2013 Atlantic Cup, we came pretty darn close to winning but somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. As we approached Montauk and Block Island in first place, we studied the Eldridge tide tables, pulled down weather info and finally decided to go around Block Island to the East, hoping for stronger winds and a more neutral (less unfavorable) tide.
We also thought the pack of boats we were leading - Bo Dream, Le Coq Cuisine and Forty Degrees were going the same way. As it turned out, we bet wrong. Once we committed to the eastern path, Bo Dream and Le Coq peeled off to leeward, telling me later that they did not think they could catch us so they opted for the westerly route.
The distance sailed in that route is slightly less than on our easterly route, so as we came back together just past point Judith, Bo dream was slightly ahead and we were about even with LeCoq. However, they had a slightly hotter sailing angle to Newport and they ended up finishing slightly in front of us, so we took third place instead of first. Disappointing.
Oh well - we hit the dock at Newport Harbor Hotel, congratulated all competitors, as everyone had sailed well and finished within 46 minutes of each other, which is pretty amazing after more than 260 miles of racing. The whole group retired to the Clark Cook House on the waterfront in Newport for burgers and beers and it was nice to unwind and get out of the rain.
So, in retrospect, the good news is that we sailed the boat well and confirmed that we have boat speed comparable to any boat given the right sail choice, ballast configuration and trim, so we go into the inshore series optimistic for better result. We currently sit in third place, and hope to move up in the standings over the six inshore races in Narragansett Bay.
So, thanks as always for tuning in - it was pretty darn exciting racing on the water and I hope everyone enjoyed the action on the race tracker
We will be back on the airways on Friday with an update.
Atlantic Cup website