Gulf Stream nights and AC news—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

Tristan Moulignac and Joe Harris on Gryphon Solo 2 in Charleston SC. Atlantic Cup 2012
East coast ocean-racing sailors and fans have a great contest on their hands, namely the 2013 Atlantic Cup. This three-leg, double-handed race is conducted on Class 40 raceboats and has attracted a fleet of eight boats to this year’s event, which started in Charleston, South Carolina and finishes in Newport, Rhode Island on May 26. According to reports, skippers and boats enjoyed a wild ride on their first night offshore, which-of course-involved the notorious Gulf Stream.

'It was a wild night in the Gulf Stream last night as 'GryphonSolo2' experienced high winds, lightning, squalls with heavy rain and generally trying conditions,' reported her skilled and experienced skipper, Joe Harris. 'In the wee hours of the morning, a major squall hit us and we had to take down our A6 heavy air fractional kite in about 30 knots of wind, which was difficult. We then were hit by another squall packing driving rain and gusts up to 40 knots so we had to run off under full main and solent jib to the east.'

Get the full report from the 2013 Atlantic Cup, inside, and stay tuned for more news from this race, as it unfurls.

Vendee Globe awards ceremony - Francois Gabart, Walk of Fame

Also in ocean-racing news, the Vendee Globe recently held their awards ceremony for the 2012/2013 edition of this storied, solo-around-the-world race, which concluded this winter. According to reports, race winner Francois Gabart, skipper of the French-flagged IMOCA 60 'Macif' received his trophy from Bruno Retailleau, President of the General Council in in Les Sables d’Olonne, France.

'I still cannot realize... I saw so many people during three months, including tonight,' said Gabart. 'What I know is that I realized my dream and I also made people dream. Especially since I was not expected at this stage. It’s a great surprise for 'Macif', too. I do not know why, but I had to do this Vendée Globe, I needed it. And now that it's done, I'm very happy. I hope to be back one day.' More, inside.

And in America’s Cup news, the sailing community continues to morn the massive loss of Andrew 'Bart' Simpson, who was tragically killed last Thursday when Artemis Racing’s first-generation AC72 capsized during a bear-away maneuver during a practice session on San Francisco Bay.

It was announced during an international press conference on Friday that AC34 Regatta Director Iain Murray is going to lead a review into what happened during Thursday’s training accident. 'It’s too early to speculate about the causes of the accident,' said Stephen Barclay, chief executive of America’s Cup Event Authority. 'Iain will conduct the review and will liaise with the San Francisco Police Department and the United States Coast Guard and any other third-party experts as necessary.'

Starboard hull, torn trampoline and remains of port hull on the ground - Artemis Racing May 11, 2013

As of this writing, there was still no official word as it if the capsize precipitated the boat’s structural failure, or if a structural failure lead to the capsize. Please stay tuned to the website for the latest news on this story-including images of Artemis’ destroyed AC72 being hauled-and be sure to get the full download on Mr. Murray’s review, inside.

2013 Régates Royales - Trophée Panerai

Also inside, be sure to check out the latest reports from the Walt Elliott Harbor Challenge 2013, the Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series (Porto Ercol) and the Clipper Around The World Yacht Race.

May the four winds blow you safely home,