Atlantic Cup, CMRC and AC news—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 20 May 2013
On the East Coast, double-handed Class 40 sailors have turned their attention to the second offshore leg of the 2013 Atlantic Cup, which is taking the eight-strong fleet from New York City up to Newport, Rhode Island. Unlike the longer Leg One, which brought the boats up to the Big Apple from Charleston, Leg Two will test each crew’s ability to push hard on precious scraps of sleep, sprinting into the storied waters of Southern New England.
Tristan Moulignac and Joe Harris on Gryphon Solo 2 in Charleston SC. Atlantic Cup 2012 GryphonSolo2
Before setting off on Leg Two, however, the sailors had an opportunity to sail a Pro-Am regatta in New York Harbor, strutting their slippery-fast Class 40s in front of one of the greatest cities under the sun.
'The starting gun went off at [1400 hours] in the Hudson River in front of the Statue of Liberty, and the fleet raced together out of New York harbor and down the coast of New Jersey to a turning mark off of Barnegat Inlet,' reported Joe Harris from aboard his well-sailed Class 40, 'GryphonSolo2'. 'So, on we go, with a bit of light rain and fog and a long night of tweaking and trimming the sails to squeeze out every last bit of speed. The finish line in Newport is about 200 miles away so we have a probable finish sometime tomorrow night.'
As of this writing, the fleet was pushing the offshore end of Long Island, with Block Island Sound in front of their bows. According to the race’s fleet tracker, average speeds were hovering between six and eight knots, meaning that the sailors are engaged in a cerebral, tactical tussle that will likely carry the fleet all the way to the finishing line. Get the full report, inside this issue, and stay tuned to the website for more on this great event, as it unfurls.
Meanwhile, match racers have been enjoying a light-air affair at the Chicago Match Race Center's (CMRC) Spring Invitational, where the RC was only able to get in three flights on Day One due to the ephemeral breeze. Sailors are competing in the Chicago Match Race Center’s fleet of TOM 28 One Designs that handled the variable conditions well; forecasts are calling for much better breeze on Day Two, so stay tuned for more, as it becomes known.
And in America’s Cup circles, Luna Rossa became the first team to go foiling on an AC72 after Artemis’ tragic accident (May 9), which led to the loss of Andrew 'Bart' Simpson. According to reports, the Italians managed a successful day of sailing on the Bay, demonstrating to their rivals that their good sailing fortunes on New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf directly translate to San Francisco. Interestingly, the Italian squad also chose to ignore a request from the America’s Cup Review Committee that each team observe a one-week training/sailing break.
'The weather today was ideal for our first trial out on the water; from a technical standpoint it allowed us to test safety measures, loads and maneuvers,' said Max Sirena, Luna Rossa’s skipper. 'However the really significant aspect was psychological: it was important for the crew to resume sailing on the AC72 and to get back into its normal training mode to prepare for the upcoming races. In the next few days we will continue with our training and development program as scheduled.'
Also inside, get the full scoop on Luna Rossa’s recent press conference with team principal Patrizio Bertelli, don’t miss the latest developments in Laser designer Bruce Kirby’s legal battle with boat builder LaserPerformance and the International Laser Class Association, and finally, be sure to check out the latest news from the Farr 40 East Coast Championships.
May the four winds blow you safely home,