Atlantic Cup - The weather forecast from our friend Ken Campbell at Commanders Weather is for winds of 10-15 knots from the West-Northwest, with gusts of higher velocity and probable rain. We are here in chilly Newport, RI ready to begin the inshore portion of the Atlantic Cup, having completed the two double-handed legs from Charleston to NYC and then NYC to Newport. Temps in the high 40's to low 50's... delightful.
GryphonSolo2 currently sits in third position, with Bodacious Dream in first and LeCoq Cuisine in second. We will have to sail well to move up in the rankings and keep the wolves at bay in the pursuing pack.
Our crew has prepared with two days of practice here in Newport and I think we are ready to go. I am joined by my co-skipper from the offshore legs Tristan Mouligne, who will serve as deck boss, while I will be driving. Our tactician is Phil Garland from Hall Spars, who has sailed for many years on Narragansett Bay and knows the water intimately. Phil is a real asset to our program. On the bow is Sam Hallowell, son of Phip who sailed with us last year who will be racing in the VX fleet that is joining us on the race course today. Sam is an experienced small boat and big boat sailor who is currently attending Hobart College. Kyle Martin from North Sails in Portsmouth recently spent time with the Puma Volvo 70 program and will be a trimmer for GS2 this week-end. Rounding out our crew is Pat O'Connor, who has been helping me look after the boat this spring and is an excellent all-around sailor with lots of big-boat, around-the-bouys experience, so Pat will be on the mast and trimming today.
I think we have a strong and well-rounded crew, so we are looking forward to putting forth a good effort today in what may be some testing conditions. You can follow the action on the Atlantic Cup web site, as the boats will have accurate trackers onboard.
The AC race committee led by Anderson Reggio from SailNewport is going to try to get three races in today, so I will report back after the day's battles. Off to breakfast and on to the boat.
It was a good day of racing out on Narragansett bay today in cold, wet and windy conditions - perfect for Class 40 racing.
All of the boats are fast and it is really up to the sailors to make the difference. Our theme today was - unfortunately - fourth place - which was where we finished in each of the three races. In each race there was some reason that we did not achieve the level of excellence we sought- but in the end, the truth is that you have to execute - (do I sound like Bill Belichick in the Patriots post-game interview... said in a complete at monotone) and you have to make plays and force turnovers. We had a few flashes of brilliance... but also a few mistakes and a lack of compelling speed and height upwind that caused our mid-fleet finish. We did pop out to front of the pack after the start of the third race, but did not go so well upwind and had a little difficulty dousing the kite in 25 knots (not as much difficulty as LeCoq Cuisine who went shrimping) but lost a place to Icarus who doused cleanly and drove up to the finish ahead of us and thus moved ahead of us in the standings to third place. Curses.
But... tomorrow is another day and after our post race crew de-brief we resolved to sail flawlessly tomorrow.
And so it will be - its all in your outlook... right?