After a light-air Leg 1 from Charleston, South Carolina, to New York City, Leg 2 of the 2018 Atlantic Cup, from the Big Apple to Portland, Maine, was a brutal one, with two teams having to withdraw because of boat damage. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, it was once again the Franco-Italian team of Catherine Pourre of France and Pietro Luciani aboard Eärendil coming in first, giving them a comfortable lead in the series, which concludes this weekend in Portland with a two-day, fully-crewed inshore regatta.
Rounding out the podium was Mike Dreese and Tristan Mouligné in second place aboard Toothface 2 (now in third overall) and Michael Hennessy and Merf Owen in second place aboard Dragon, which boosted the boat to sixth overall following a disappointing 10th-place finish in Leg 1. In second place overall are Micah Davis and Rob Windsor aboard Amhas. For complete results, click here.
The trouble started early on for the 11-boat fleet as it found itself pounding due east directly into “horrendous” seas and sustained winds of 20 to 30 knots and more for the first 48 hours as it fought its way to a “virtual” offshore turning mark southeast of Nantucket.
After that, it was bear away for a red-hot straight-line reach to Portland. However, it was already too late for First Light and Espri Scout, which were forced to retire due to a host of mechanical problems.
“We slammed a lot, two or three times in a really bad way,” Luciani said afterward of the first part of the leg. “We had strong wind and current against us on the side, and the sea state was a little discombobulated.”
“It was wild out there,” Dreese said. “You can see why some of the boats with mechanical issues retired. We had some mechanical issues, nothing life-threatening, but it was really rough…I think we only legit wiped out two or three times. We saw peak winds of 39-40, so the apparent winds were hitting 45.”
Next up for the 11 teams is the aforementioned fully crewed inshore series set for this Saturday and Sunday (June 9-10) in Portland, following a prize-giving ceremony. Despite Eärendil lead, the podium still remains very much in play, with Amhas and Toothface 2 currently tied on points and Angola Cable right behind them. For the latest on the both the Portland series and the Atlantic Cup in general, click here.