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Acrobatica races into Newport to win Atlantic Cup Leg 1

by Atlantic Cup 28 May 12:45 PDT May 25 - June 7, 2024

The first finishers crossed the Newport finish line, just off Fort Adams in the morning hours on Tuesday, May 28th.

After a back and forth battle throughout the race with Everial, Acrobatica managed to hold on for line honors crossing at 07:46:16 a.m. EST enveloped in fog. Their cumulative time of 67:46:16 signified a new Charleston-Newport course record, besting the previous best time set in 2012 by team Mare (78:55:13).

Just 10 minutes 27 seconds later, Everial crossed the line followed by the youngest duo in the fleet, Sign for Com who reached the Newport finish at 10:00:12 a.m. EST.

After a slow start coming out of Charleston, S.C. thanks to extremely light winds, the sea breeze filled in to carry the fleet out and onto their journey towards Newport. However, flukey conditions with variations of wind and stormy conditions persisted throughout much of the subsequent 48-hours. Those who were able to catch the Gulf Stream's current and head furthest northwest had their positioning paid dividends- offering a quick and close dash to the finish line for the top competitors.

After Everial seized Acrobatica's lead in the late morning hours on Monday, May 29th- the Italian duo of Alberto Riva and Jean Marre pulled back ahead to reclaim their position at the top later that same day. With both teams notching impressive speeds, it was ultimately Acrobatica who held onto first-place.

Third-place finishers, Sign for Com ushered the second round of teams entering Newport. Upon what seemed to be a wide-open race to round out the podium, the young German pair of Melwin Fink and Lennart Burke played a straight, steady course- going the Western-most of the remaining fleet. The decision proved bountiful, securing the team a place on the podium just over two hours after the first two boats.

What the Teams Said After Arriving In Newport:

1st Place - Acrobatica Skipper Alberto Riva said, "This race was the very first time I have seen these waters and it was an adventure. It was the very first time I had been so close to a competitor [Everial] for such a large part of the race. For me, discovering we were able to match them and those conditions- it was a great discovery. I learned lots of things about Acrobatica."

2nd Place - Everial Skipper Erwan Le Draoulec said, "The leg was really good and complete with different conditions. The start had very light winds, but with the downwind we got some good speed and from there and had to get through the storms. The race was not perfect, but it was pretty close to perfect. This boat [Everial] is made for downwind sailing so it worked pretty perfect at the end there."

3rd Place - Sign for Com Skipper Melwin Fink said, "The race brought us so many conditions and experiences we haven't faced on the Class40 yet, so that was great- especially against such great competition."

Leg 1 Results:

* Scowling Dragon suffered damage in the early morning hours Tuesday, May 28th. The team is fine and they are slowly making their way to Newport.

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