Nail-biting Finish to Atlantic Cup

Neck and neck in the home stretch entering Narragansett Bay

In winning the second leg of the Atlantic Cup, Jeff MacFarlane and Jake Arcand aboard the Class 40 #116– not only set a new record for the New York-to-Newport leg, they also won by the smallest delta in Atlantic Cup history over second-place Dragon.

“We could see Dragon almost the whole night except for after dark for a couple of hours where we could barely see their masthead,” Arcand said afterward. “Our plan [coming into the finish] was just to cover. If they were going to go around the backside of Block Island, we were going to go around the backside…. At Point Judith we were not more than a boat length apart from each other.”


In the end, #116 completed the 231-mile doublehanded leg in just 29 hours 51 minutes and 7 seconds, edging out Michael Hennessy and Rob Windsor aboard Dragon by a mere 1 minute 20 seconds.

The leg to Newport comes in the wake of a 642-mile stage 1 race from Charleston, South Caroline, to NYC, won by Joe Harris and Patrick O’Connor aboard Gryphon Solo 2. In that race, #116 was knocked out of the running early on when it exploded its largest spinnaker in the heavy air that marked the beginning of the leg.

Jeff MacFarlane (left) and Jake Arcand celebrate their win

Gryphon Solo 2, which finished third at Newport remains in first place overall, with Dragon in second. The third and final stage of the regatta, which features $15,000 in prize money will come this weekend with a series of fully crewed inshore races on Narragansett Bay.

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