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Joe Harris reports on Atlantic Cup Inshore Series's preparation

'Atlantic Cup Inshore series in Newport, RI.'    Billy Black    Click Here to view large photo

GryphonSolo2's Joe Harris reports on preparation for the first day of the Atlantic Cup Inshore Series from Newport, RI.

We are preparing for the first day of the Atlantic Cup Inshore Series. We enter this third and last phase of the Atlantic Cup with 16 points- tied for first place with the dreaded 'Dragon'. Today the Race Committee hopes to get in three races, followed by two races tomorrow for a total of five. If five races are completed, competitors can throw out there worst score and only their best four races will count.

However, the weather forecast is for the wind to be 10-15 out of the N-NE at the start at noon but then diminishing quickly over the course of the afternoon so I am not sure if three races will be completed. The forecast for tomorrow is for very little wind…… so who knows.

Anyway, we had an eventful day yesterday as we continued to battle through our engine issues. In addition to the cooling system problem I described during the last offshore leg which gave rise to our 'bucket brigade' cooling system, we also discovered that we had taken on some bad fuel- in fact a marina in New Jersey gave Pat two jugs of gasoline instead of diesel- which had messed up our injectors and caused the engine to run very rough. The mechanic took the injectors out on Wednesday and as supposed to have them back by noon Thursday so we could go for our practice sail, but he didn’t show up.

Finally at 2:00 we decided we needed to go sailing- engine or no engine- so we were towed off the dock and went out for a great practice sail. Our crew: Dobbs Davis, Tactician; Guiness Gunneman, bow; Tim Fetch, mid-bow; Brian Giorgio, Trimmer, Pat O’Connor, pit- floater; Joe Harris, Driver- clicked immediately and the sails were flying as we sped through our inventory in record time with a series of sail changes and peels that was quite impressive. We came back after a couple of hours feeling good that the new guys were awesome and had gotten to know the boat and its systems extremely quickly and that we were in good shape.

By 4:00 the injectors had arrived from the diesel repair shop and Brian Giorgio, who is an Engineer and Merchant Seaman and Guiness re-installed the injectors with a level of professionalism that was astonishing. The engine required a lot of bleeding to get going but finally did as we all cheered and hoisted a PBR toast! We capped the day with a team dinner at the Oyster House in Jamestown after going to the race party at 'Fish' in Jamestown so the team bonding was complete. Great guys, with impressive skills, who stepped in and really helped the cause on day one - bodes well.

So, now that the engine drama seems to be past, we can focus on the job at hand, which is to sail smart and fast and win the inshore series and the overall regatta. We know the competition will be fierce and that the conditions may be light- which does not favor our beamy hull shape- but we will take whatever comes and make the best of it. I am very pleased with our crew and know that we will have a lot of fun whether we win, lose or draw….. but we are all competitive guys, so we will give it our all.

So stay tuned for a report tonight or better yet- come on down to Newport and watch from Ft. Adams or at least jump on the website and follow the racing on the tracker.

by Joe Harris


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1:46 PM Sat 24 May 2014GMT

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