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Eight teams representing four countries depart Charleston for Newport in Leg 1 of the Atlantic Cup

by Atlantic Cup 25 May 16:41 PDT May 25 - June 7, 2024

Eight teams representing four countries started the 2024 Atlantic Cup at 12:00 ET today in sunny skies, with an initial 3-5 knot north breeze, that soon after switched to southeast. The start cannon was fired off the Spirit of South Carolina with over 100 spectators on land, and over 40 spectator boats looking on from the water.

The German team Sign for Com won the start, with Nestenn Entrepreneurs Pour La Planete and Scowling Dragon closely behind. With extremely light and flukey conditions the teams struggled to reach the mark, however once the sea breeze began to fill in the teams were able to gain speed and broad reach out of the harbor. Turning north out of the jetties, the teams deployed their spinnakers to sail downwind towards the Gulf Stream. The major tactical decision facing the group is to decide how best to position their boats ahead of tomorrow's lack of winds. Thus, the boats that can get the furthest northwest in the next 12 hours will be in the best position heading into Newport- resulting in a straight boat-speed drag race to the finish-line in Rhode Island.

Atlantic Cup Race Director, Hugh Piggin said, "With the current pushing the teams out of the harbor in flukey winds, it was a very difficult start. Once they got into the harbor entrance the sea breeze filled in and the teams were able to increase speeds. I'm sure they are happy to be out of the harbor. They've got to get as much progress this evening as they can because the wind is going to die down tomorrow. With all things considered, the race start went smoothly, and it was nice to see such a strong presence of the South Carolina community out for the Atlantic Cup's return!"

Over the next 24-hours, the wind will get significantly lighter proving a difficult stretch for the teams to gain momentum. The breeze is expected to strengthen soon afterwards, resulting in a storming run through Newport.

The eight teams will continue en route to Newport, where they are projected to finish just off Fort Adams on May 28th-29th. Models are showing a fast race with an estimated arrival time likely in the early morning hours on Wednesday, May 29th. The second leg of the competition departs on June 1st at 12 p.m. The event culminates in Portland, Maine with a two-day coastal racing series (June 5-6).

While racing, tracking can be found at: atlanticcup.org as well as on the YB Tracking website for desktop/laptop users and app for those using mobile devices.

Team updates will be posted on the race's social media channels at: Facebook and Instagram.

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