Co-skippers Joe Harris and Patrick O’Connor aboard Gryphon Solo 2 won the fourth annual Atlantic Cup in a tiebreaker, closing out a dramatic series marked by both a hard grounding and the closest offshore race finish in Atlantic Cup history.
Second place overall went to Jeffrey Macfarlane and Jake Arcand aboard #116 JeffreyMacFarlane.com, with the third overall spot going to Pleiad Racing’s Ed Cesare and Chad Corning, winners of the inshore stage May 24-25 on Narragansett Bay.
Dragon runs aground at start of inshore series
Although Gryphon Solo 2 and #116 JeffreyMacFarlane.com were tied for points at the end of the final day of inshore racing, Gryphon Solo 2 ultimately prevailed thanks to its performance in the preceding two offshore stages.
“It feels great, we really got off on the right foot by winning leg one [from Charleston, SC, to New York City],” Harris said afterward. “Going into the inshore series, I was nervous because the boat is very fussy…This is my third Atlantic Cup, I got 3rd place in 2012, 4th last year, so to have a win this year is terrific.”
As for MacFarlane, he appeared equally pleased, especially given his team’s slow start when it lost its light-air spinnaker shortly after the start of stage one, a doublehanded offshore leg from Charleston, SC, to New York City. MacFarlane, who won the second stage from NYC to Newport, RI, by a mere 1 minute 20 seconds over Michael Hennessy and Rob Windsor’s Dragon, added that he was especially happy with his team’s boat speed in the latter portions of the regatta.
As for Dragon, despite being in second place overall at the start of the inshore series, the team’s hopes were dashed when it experienced a hard grounding on the first day of the series that knocked them out for the remainder of the regatta.
“We went out yesterday and practiced our timed starts and felt really good about our boat handling skills,” said co-skipper Windsor. “Today we were about 15 boat lengths ahead, and the boat was super fast. We were getting ready to take the kite down and Emma [Creighton] went out on the end of the sprit to get the lazy spinnaker sheet so we could douse. As she went out, we hit a rock doing 12 knots…We were about 15 feet inside of where we should have been. It was a mistake, it got made and that’s it. We were in the wrong place with not enough tide.”
Windsor added that the boat is badly damaged, and will require substantial work before it can race again. “The keel grid, the structure foundation that holds the keel into the boat, is cracked and broken inside the boat and the faring all around the outside is broken as well. I’m disappointed, I’m really disappointed, we were doing very well, and we are all very disappointed.”
For complete results and other details regarding the three-stage regatta, which is open to both pros and amateurs, click here.