The third and final leg, the inshore Series in the The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing, gets underway today in Portland, Maine.
Teams will add four additional crew to compete in a total of five races over the two-day inshore series with each race worth nine points. Currently Spanish Team Tales II sits on top of the leaderboard four points ahead of second place French team, Eärendil. Six points separate third through sixth place.
The Atlantic Cup was designed to challenge a team in multiple ways – a long offshore leg, a short distance sprint and an inshore series which will require the teams to race with additional crew, which is not something the Class40 competes in frequently.
The teams commented on the challenges they will face racing on Casco Bay for the first time in race history.
First place, Tales II skipper Gonzalo Botín, said, “Inshore, I would say you have to be more aggressive in the start. Because inshore there is no tacking…if you’re going in straight line it’s very difficult to pass another boat because their speeds are very similar. So the start is very critical.’
After a tough defeat in Leg two, local team, Amhas is looking to move up the leaderboard. Co-skipper, Rob Windsor said, ‘The inshore series is in my opinion is the hardest part of the Atlantic Cup. The offshore stuff is easy compared to the inshore stuff which is super hard.
There is so much tide here and the wind is different on one side of the race course than the other and there are lifts and little tricks…we’ve all grown up racing in Newport not so much in Portland, so I think having a guy from Portland is going to be a big plus for us. Racing against other boats that are fast and tight is exciting and fun, hopefully we can score some points in this inshore series and climb back up the leaderboard and get on the podium.’
Pleiad Racing was forced to withdraw from the Atlantic Cup, following Leg one. Upon their withdrawal, Skipper Ed Cesare said, ‘Pleiad Racing is very disappointed not to be racing in Portland this weekend. We were a DNS for Leg two due to a family emergency and then suffered a hole in the transom from another boat while at mooring in New York during Sunday’s stormy frontal passage. We really had to get that repaired before heading offshore in the Bermuda Race next week. We want to thank Manuka and 11th Hour Racing for another great edition of the Atlantic Cup. This is an important event for Class40, for double-handed racing in the States and most importantly for ocean and planetary wellness. It aligns perfectly with the mission of Pleiad Racing and we will be on the line for the next edition. Best of luck to the rest of the fleet this weekend!’
by Julianna Barbieri