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Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Carousel Feature, Racing Sailboat, Sailboat Racing, Sailing, US | 0 comments

Nautical Nomad: Atlantic Cup Mascots

Memorial Day weekend was a holiday for most here in the US, but not for the intrepid sailors of the Atlantic Cup fleet.

The Atlantic Cup, now in its fourth year, is the only specific Class 40 event in the US. In addition, it boasts some pretty impressive green credentials: it is a carbon-neutral regatta with a big emphasis placed on both sailing in an environmentally conscious way and educating kids about the importance of looking after the oceans.

I have started this race twice. My first attempt back in 2012 sadly lasted all of 5 minutes before the rig fell over the side in Charleston Harbour just after the start. If you are ever considering where might be a good place to drop your rig, I can thoroughly recommend good old “Chuck Town” SC, which might even hold the record for least time from bang to beer!

Thankfully my second attempt in 2013 was significantly more successful and a very enjoyable race.

The Atlantic Cup is run in three stages. First the boats sail doublehanded from Charleston to New York, which is usually about a three and a half day leg. After a brief break (and a lot of beer to refresh), the same doublehanded teams sprint 200-plus miles from New York to Newport RI. Their Class 40s are then stripped out from offshore mode to inshore mode, and full teams are allowed on for a two day inshore series.

Atlantic Cup sailors and mascot

Dragon’s Rob Windsor and Gryphon Solo’s Pat O’Connor talk some smack about the lucky gryphon that showed up—prophetic words, sadly.

Anyone who follows the sailing media will know that Dragon sadly hit the rocks pretty hard during the first day of racing. Just hours before the incident I got the chance to catch up with Dragon’s Rob Windsor and Pat O’Connor, who was sailing aboard the eventual winner Gryphon Solo. Their chat about sailing quickly descends into talking smack and nonsense about mascots. Way too much time alone at sea I think! See if you agree.

Standing by in Newport for my next Nautical Nomad adventure…

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