As of mid-afternoon today three (3) of the nine (9) remaining yachts in the traditional Atlantic Cup race had arrived at Maine Wharf on the Portland waterfront to complete the third leg of the race in Casco Bay later this week.
Two yachts retired from the race around Newport, Rhode Island because of equipment damage due to the horrendous winds. Originally eleven (11) yachts left Charleston, South Carolina in the first leg of this race.
Catherine Pourre, captain and owner of Earendil , (see below right photo), arrived at Maine Wharf this morning about 3:30 am. She told this blogger that “the worse winds were 38 knots coming up from Connecticut to Portland overnight.” She said there were fifty (50) hours of “upwind misery” with seas of 9 l/2 ft in height coming up from Connecticut. Winds off the New York coast were reported previously herein at 30 knots and caused boat problems – forcing the two aforementioned to retire from the race.
Arriving at Maine Wharf after Earendil was Toothface 2, the sister yacht to Amhas. Both yachts were constructed at the Maine Yacht Center from hulls built in Tunisia. Toothface 2’s home port is Boston and Amhas remains at the Maine Yacht Center, Portland.
“We are going to kick their butt,” said a grinning Tristan Mouligne, co-skipper of Toothface 2, this afternoon. Portland based Amhas has consistently stayed in second place, after Earendil. According to Hugh Piggin, Race organizer, Amhas broke a tack line on the staysail. Rob Windsor had to stop to fix it – which caused the home-town favorite to loose ten miles.
Currently Amhas, along with other yachts is in a “no wind zone” – making it hard to make up that time according to Piggin. Toothface 2 and Amhas are tied in second place overall – with 34 points each – with the Inshore Series coming up this weekend. “We’ll see, Tristan!
Merf Owen, on Dragon 111, the third yacht into Portland this afternoon, said that these yachts during a race are all permitted a main engine for docking and undocking purposes. At the end of the race, crews must sign a declaration that they have abided by the rules – including use of the auxiliary engine for emergencies only.
This afternoon Angola Cables was nine (9) miles away from Portland Harbor with Amhas close behind. Talante, a boat from Sweden, signaled late this morning to race officials that it would not drop out of the race despite sails that needed to be replaced and non-functioning water ballast on board. Talante is expected to arrive in Portland tomorrow morning, Wednesday, June 6th according to a race official this afternoon.
“Sailing is unfair and we practice it everyday. Right now we are struggling with speed in terribly light winds. We are sailing at 40% of target speed. Hope there will still be beer for us when we get to Portland,” emailed a member of the Talente crew to race officials around 11:00 am this morning.
The best place from which to view the races later this week is at Fort Allen Park, on the Eastern Promenade on Munjoy Hill.
Please visit previous posts on this blog for more background information on the Atlantic Cup.