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Never finish an ocean race in a location colder than where you started: this is one of the golden rules of offshore sailing and one which The Atlantic Cup knowingly breaks for all the right reasons. This May, the best Class 40 sailing in the United States is back for its fifth edition and here at North Sails, we are thrilled to be a part, sponsoring the “Ask The Expert” forum throughout the event. The Atlantic Cup, the brainchild of Hugh Piggin and Julianna Barbieri of Manuka Sports, challenges sailors over three weeks of sailing across all disciplines. Starting with two double-handed offshore legs and then switching to fully crewed inshore racing, it is a true test of all around sailing skill. While the Portland inshore series is crucial and weighs heavily on the overall win, it is the two offshore legs which provide the greatest variety in challenges faced. For the twelve competing teams, those who are the most studious and nuanced in their approach will find themselves entering that decisive weekend with a sizable advantage. Here is a quick guide on each of the two offshore legs.
CHARLESTON TO NYC
New York City is quite familiar to people arriving by boat, but rarely do they arrive on such toys as a Class 40. Small but powerful, and built purely for offshore sailing, the class has been hugely successful due to the boat’s versatility and stability. However, the Class 40 still suffers from the age old problem of being unable to sail when the winds are light, and the opposing current is strong. Many an Atlantic Cup have been decided in the waning moments as boats struggled against the mighty Hudson River in the light springtime breezes and this year a large number of teams and the even skill amongst them could well set us up for another nail-biting finish. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves… Let’s start at the beginning.
Read more on Pg. 3 of the Atlantic Cup Race Preview.
NYC TO PORTLAND
Leaving NYC on June 4 will take our fleet of twelve back out from the city on a route the reverse of how they came in. With a packed schedule of events while in New York, teams will be feeling as though they need some time off following the grueling Leg One. However, that is not the case. They’ll jump right back into it facing the same challenges as when they entered, as the “city that never sleeps” is an accurate description of NYC on the water as well as on land. The sailors will quickly find themselves dodging ferries, barges, and large commercial ships (not to mention one another) on their way back to the open ocean down a narrow channel.
From there, turn left and head to Maine. Sounds so simple, right? Read more on Pg. 3 of the Atlantic Cup Race Preview.
After teaming up for the last Volvo Ocean Race, Charlie Enright and Anderson Reggio are North Sails’ offshore experts for the Atlantic Cup 2016! Have a question? Ask them here.