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Atlantic Cup - Tales II on pace to smash Leg 1 course record
2016 Atlantic Cup Billy Black http://www.BillyBlack.com

Atlantic Cup 2016

Atlantic Cup 2016 – Current leader in the Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing Tales II is just 100nm to the finish in Brooklyn, NY and models are showing a 7am ET, Tuesday, May 31 arrival time. Tales is on pace to break the course record of 78 hours 55 minutes 13 seconds set in 2012 by Mare.

Tales’ next closest competitor is Amhas, just over 19nm away and only 15 nm separate second through fifth place, setting up the finish to be extremely close. The finish line is just off Pier five in Brooklyn, which will make navigating into New York City at rush hour tomorrow morning extremely challenging.

Rob Windsor, Amhas, Currently in second place 19nm behind Tales

‘Last night was windy, we had the A2 up for a little while and it got a little dicey. We were right on the edge of the Gulf Stream and were doing about 20 knots. There were a bunch of squalls and because it’s such a long race we knew we would need it (the A2) so we took it down and put the A3 up.

We both got a couple of hours of sleep last night, I don’t think we’re eating enough food, but we’re all right, we’ve been super busy.

Libby Greenhalgh, Oakcliff Racing, Currently in fifth place 36.5nm behind Tales

“I think generally our big losses are coming from our sail changes. We changed to the zero last night and it was all quite full on but then once we got that up we were whipping around probably 20, 24 knots at the max speed. We had a good fast few hours then we had our first change to our proper A-sail and again that wasn’t as straight forward as we were expecting. Everything takes us a bit longer because this is the first time we’ve done it. Same with the jibe we really struggled to sock and un-sock the sail so it kind of pushed us a bit past where we ideally wanted to be on lay line. Overall we’ve been relatively pleased, we reckon we’ve got good boat speed when we do get going in a straight line.

We’ve been thinking about our plan for coming into New York a lot, but obviously we’re very lacking in any information because the boat computers died, so we’re still going off the forecast that I wrote down before we set off the dock in Charleston.

 Atlantic Cup - Tales II on pace to smash Leg 1 course record

2016 Atlantic Cup Billy Black http://www.BillyBlack.com

North Sails Atlantic Cup Expert, Charlie Enright, recaps what he is seeing on the race course and discusses the tricky nature of sailing into New York:

“Well it appears that for the teams who took a more inshore route, it was high risk, but it yielded a high-reward especially for Tales. That said, the teams (Amhas, Dragon, Oakcliff) that used the Gulf Stream to make gains have clawed back a lot of miles on Tales, but they now have to get the bow towards New York City and get there as fast as they can.

New York City is a pretty tricky place when it comes to the geography and the current and to some extent depending on what time you get in, all of the maritime traffic. Obviously the tide counts, but something some of the teams will likely have studied is the currents and back eddies around the islands approaching New York. They’ll be looking not just when the tide is switching, but where are the protected areas, the accelerated areas and those areas are not always the traditional deltas you see in other parts of the world.

Water can squeeze through some pretty narrow spaces and the islands do a good job of creating protection from adverse tides and it’s pretty complicated terrain. Having to come all the way into Brooklyn, presents a different geographic challenge, when I was there recently it was amazing to see the difference between the middle of the Hudson and the tip of Manhattan, it could be as much as 10 knots in wind strength.

Ultimately, I think this is Tales’ race to lose, but I am very excited to see Liz and Libby in third place and hope they can stay up on the podium.

by Julianna Barbieri

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