Please select your home edition
Edition
Protector 728x90

Ratcheting up the program

by Emma Creighton on 23 Mar 2012
Initiatives at last year's Class40 Worlds - Atlantic Cup Emma Creighton
American skipper Emma Creighton prepares for the 2012 Atlantic Cup with co-Skipper Jorge Madden (ESP) aboard a Class 40.

Chalk it up it to a tough economy or the difficulty of making the grade, but the hard fact remains that only five of the 79 skippers who participated in the 2011 La Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 (AKA, the Mini Transat) advanced from their Class Mini yachts to the faster Class 40 race boats for the 2012 season. American Emma Creighton (27)—the third American female skipper to have completed the Mini Transat—is thrilled to be amongst the fortunate few. 'I can’t wait!' reported an ecstatic Creighton. 'The chance to step onto a bigger boat with a great teammate is huge.'

This May, Creighton and co-skipper Jorge Madden (28; ESP) will race the Class 40, Initiatives (GBR 30), in the 2012 Atlantic Cup (May 11 to 27). The three-stage race includes a 645-nautical-mile distance leg from Charleston, South Carolina to New York City, NY, where the fleet will also participate in a fun-spirited 'Pro-Am' race. Next up is the 260-nautical-mile sprint from the Big Apple to Newport, Rhode Island. The event’s grand finale is a weekend (May 26 and 27) of fully crewed, around-the-buoy racing, which will be contested off of Newport.

'This year’s race will be the first time that the European Class 40s will be racing in the States with the U.S. fleet,' said Creighton. 'So this is going to be a super exciting and competitive event.' Creighton and Madden may be long on enthusiasm, but they freely admit that their lack of Class-40 experience is a weakness. While both skippers are fresh off big 2011 seasons that included the singlehanded, 4,200-nautical-mile Mini Transat, this will be their first Class 40 event, and their first partnership. Interestingly, Creighton and Madden are also the youngest team entered the Atlantic Cup, and Creighton is the only American female skipper—and one of only two women—competing.

Fortunately for Creighton and Madden, the two will have time to get acquainted with Initiatives when they sail her from Progreso, on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, to Charleston, South Carolina, a trip that Creighton estimates will take a week to ten days. Not only will the co-skippers use this delivery to shakedown their sails and systems, but Creighton also plans to use it to fine-tune her own fitness.

For the past five months, she has been logging hard days in the gym and with her physical therapist, working to re-gain strength and hard-won range of motion following a November 2011 shoulder surgery. 'I’m fully recovered, but I’m not as strong as I was before the surgery,' said Creighton of her repaired right wing.

'I’ve still got some strength training to do, but I expect to accomplish that on the delivery.' Once in Charleston, the co-skippers will have three to four weeks to make their final preparations before the May 11 start of the Charleston—New York leg.

Given the Class 40’s far heavier sail inventory and bigger equipment, both Creighton and Madden can expect some athletic days aboard Initiatives, hoisting sails and dealing with serious loads on the running rigging. Fortunately, Class 40s are essentially scaled-up Classe Minis—boats that Creighton and Madden know well. Moreover, Creighton spent three weeks this winter helping Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives’ owner) to prepare the boat for the now-ongoing La Solidaire du Chocolat (Nantes, France to Progreso, Mexico). This involved re-stepping the rig, digging into all of its systems and conducting a 90-degree test—an invaluable experience for reducing her learning curve and increasing her confidence.

'That was a great opportunity to learn the boat under Tanguy’s tutelage and to do some sailing together,' said Creighton. 'He’s wonderful about mentoring younger sailors—I’m really fortunate to be able to race his boat in exchange for some delivery work.'
As for conditions, the North Atlantic in May isn’t exactly the Southern Ocean, but it’s also far cry from the Horse Latitudes. 'It’s quite likely there will be a big-wind scenario, especially for the first leg,' said Race Director Hugh Piggin. 'If it’s from the north, it could make getting around Cape Hatteras hazardous with the Gulf Stream in the mix.' While admitting that the weather could be tricky, Creighton was non-pulsed by the prospect of lumpy water and instead focused on the positives. 'I’m not nervous at all—just excited!' she said. 'I already have a pretty good feel for how weather systems work, but I’m really looking forward to having access to weather-routing information, and to becoming better at using routing software.'

Perhaps this can-do attitude is precisely why Creighton and Madden earned a coveted Class 40 opportunity in what can only be termed a 'challenging' environment.

All told, the 2012 Atlantic Cup encompasses 905 nautical miles of offshore racing, a great weekend of buoy chasing and months of planning, preparation and training. Please visit Creighton’s website or Facebook page (search: Emma's Sailing Exploits) for more information on her sailing campaigns, and stay tuned for more news from this talented American sailor.

Interview requests and sponsorship inquiries are welcome. Please contact: Emma Creighton, co-Skipper, GBR 30 Tel: U.S. Mobile: 508-736-7616 E-mail: emmatcreighton@gmail.com
http://emmacreighton.net/

Zhik Isotak Ocean 660x82Protector - 660 x 82North Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Vendée Globe – Costa to cross Thursday morning for 14th
Progress has remained painfully slow for Kiwi skipper Conrad Colman today as he sails into a wide high pressure ridge Progress has remained painfully slow for Kiwi skipper Conrad Colman today as he sails into a wide high pressure ridge which stands between him and the favourable westerly breezes which should finally allow the jury rigged Foresight Natural Energy to sail more directly towards the French coast and the finish line
Posted today at 5:22 pm
Sanya awarded Youth Sailing World Championships
World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport is pleased to announce that Sanya, China will host the 2017 edition The 2017 selection process opened in November 2016 after the Israeli Sailing Association exercised the right to withdraw from hosting the 2017 edition as a final contract had not been concluded.
Posted today at 4:05 pm
RORC Caribbean 600 – Day 3 – Phaedo3 takes multihull line honours
While the multihull race record was not broken this year Phaedo3 and Maserati had an incredible 600 mile high-speed duel Phaedo3 held on to win the battle of the trimarans, just 12 minutes ahead of Giovanni Soldini's Italian MOD70, Maserati. The high-speed battle saw the lead change hands at least four times during the race.
Posted today at 3:18 pm
Volvo Ocean Race – Pablo Arrarte joins MAPFRE as watch captain
With just 242 days to go until the start of the 2017-18 edition on October 22, preparations are already well underway. Arrarte, who raced onboard Brunel in 2014-15, will also assume the role of deputy to Olympic gold medallist Xabi Fernández, who was named as skipper on Friday.
Posted today at 1:39 pm
Maserati Multi70 finishes a close second in RORC Caribbean 600
Soldini and his seven-man crew brought Maserati Multi70 across the finish line off Charlotte Point in Antigua. Soldini and his seven-man international crew brought Maserati Multi70 across the finish line off Charlotte Point in Antigua.
Posted today at 1:09 pm
Red Bull Sailing Team returns to the Extreme Sailing Series
The team will have eight Acts to out-sail the world's best in what looks to be the most competitive season yet. The team will have eight Acts to out-sail the world's best in what looks to be the most competitive season yet.
Posted today at 12:29 pm
New Zealand's influence at JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship
Can the Yamaha 18ft Skiff team become the first NZers to win the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour? Can the Yamaha 18ft Skiff team of David McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins become the first New Zealand team in the 79-year history to win the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour? The team came within one point of the 2016 winner, Smeg, and are determined to go that one better this year.
Posted today at 9:18 am
RORC Caribbean 600 - Maserati Multi70 in a fight for lead with Phaedo3
After 24-hours of racing in RORC Caribbean 600 Race Maserati Multi70 trimaran is locked in a fierce struggle for lead After 24-hours of racing in the RORC Caribbean 600 Race the Maserati Multi70 trimaran skippered by Italian ocean racer Giovanni Soldini is locked in a fierce struggle for the lead with the race record holder Phaedo3.
Posted today at 5:09 am
3rd line honours in a row for Phaedo^3 in the RORC Caribbean 600
After an epic battle with their MOD70 sistership Maserati, Phaedo^3 took multihull line honours in RORC Caribbean 600. After an epic battle with their MOD70 sistership Maserati, Phaedo^3 took multihull line honours in the RORC Caribbean 600.
Posted today at 4:04 am
Phaedo^3 side by side with Maserati South of Guadeloupe
It was a Gybe for Gybe competition for the two MOD70’s in a Monsoon like storm South of Guadeloupe. It was a Gybe for Gybe competition for the two MOD70’s in a Monsoon like storm South of Guadeloupe. Phaedo^3 has now managed to pull away on the leg up to next mark off Barbuda.
Posted today at 4:01 am