James Boyd Photography / www.thedailysail.com

Strong Class 40 competition lining up in the USA

10 boats to line up in the Atlantic Cup this May

Tuesday March 6th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: United States

With just over two months until the start of the second annual 2012 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th HourRacing, Manuka Sports Event Management is pleased to announce an additional six teams entered into the race. Teams from France, England, USA and Germany are all slated to be on the start line for what will be the largest fleet of Class 40s ever to race in the United States.

The Atlantic Cup will feature one of the largest prize purses for sailing in the USA (US$30,000) and will be the first 'eco-friendly' competition of its kind, using biodiesel and hydrogenerators to limit the use of fuel during the competition and eliminating single-use plastic bottles in its hospitality villages.

Manuka Sports Event Management Founder and Atlantic Cup Race Director, Hugh Piggin, commented: “The growth we are seeing for the 2012 Atlantic Cup is terrific. This year’s race is going to be an extremely tough and challenging competition for everyone involved. For the fans it will provide some of the best short-handed sailing the United States has ever seen. If you will be in Charleston, New York or Newport you will not want to miss seeing this many Class 40 boats lining up against each other. And just like last year we will provide up to the minute tracking and updates from all boats via our website and facebook page, making it easy to follow the Atlantic Cup whenever and wherever you may be.”

Competition Schedule:
11 May - Depart Charleston, South Carolina, for double-handed (two people on board) 645 nautical miles from Charleston to New York Harbor, New York around the challenging Cape Hattera
18 May - Compete in a one day Pro-Am race in New York Harbor
19 May - Depart New York Harbor with double-handed 260 nautical miles from New York to Newport
26 May - Two days inshore fully crewed (six people on board) buoy racing held over the weekend of May 26 in Newport, RI
27 May – Event finish - party and prize giving at Newport Shipyard

Teams that have announced their entry into the Atlantic Cup include:
40 Degrees (GBR) - Hannah Jenner and Peter Harding
Toothface (USA) - Mike Dreese and Ken Luczynski
Groupe Picoty (FRA) - Jacques Fournier and Jean Christophe 'JC' Caso
Masai (FRA) - Stephane Le Diraison
Partouche (FRA) - Christophe Coatnoan
Mare.de (GER) - Jorg Riechers and Marc Lepesqueux

Previously announced entries:
Dragon (USA) - Michael Hennessy
Gryphon Solo 2 (USA) - Joe Harris
Icarus Racing (USA) - Tim Fetsch and Ben Poucher
Bodacious Dream (USA) - Dave Rearick and Matt Scharl

The English entry 40 Degrees will be skippered by Peter Harding and Hannah Jenner. Harding started sailing at the age of 16, but took to shorthanded racing in 2007 and has since completed four trans-Atlantic races and placed in the top ten in 13 Class40 races aboard 40 Degrees. Hannah Jenner was the only female to skipper the Clipper Around the World Race and took third place in the 2011 Transat Jacques Vabre.

When asked about what she thinks the toughest aspect of the Atlantic Cup will be, Jenner stated: "The Atlantic Cup presents a great variety of challenges for us. The combination of inshore and offshore racing,interesting weather patterns, ocean currents and intense competition will keep us on our toes. The stages of this race allow interaction between teams shore side and of course make for a great social as well as sporting event. We are very much looking forward to the Atlantic Cup."

Team Groupe Picoty is made up of two skippers who combined have completed 12 transatlantic crossings. Jacques Fournier, formally the Class40 Oresident, is teaming up with Jean-Christophe “JC” Caso. Caso is known for being an expert technician and has managed four Vendee Globe projects since 1996 and was one of the shore crew for Brad Van Liew’s first place finish in the 2010/11 Velux 5 Oceans Race.

Caso expressed his excitement for racing in the USA: “Jacques and I are looking forward to be in Uncle SAM territory, and take part in the ATLANTIC CUP! It’s definitely a pleasure to see some class 40s for a departure in Charleston, the race is gonna be really tactical on the east coast up to Newport via New York. We think all the crews will give their best to win; it will be a nice fight on the water and a nice cultural exchange with all the international crews. (ouahhhh big parties)!!!!!!!!”

Also from France, Christophe Coatnoan, skipper of Partouch, has been sailing competitively for over 14 years. In 2007, Coatnoan won the Morgan Cup and he completed his second Transat Jacques Vabre last autumn finishing 8th. This will be his first appearance in the Atlantic Cup.

Coatnoan said of the Atlantic Cup: “The 2012 Atlantic Cup is perfectly integrated into the schedule as it is set between two Transats: Transat Jacques Vabre and Quebec St Malo. This winter, I was able to race the West Indies, and then keep the boat quietly in Charleston. The course is a key asset of the Atlantic Cup as well, because of Charleston to Newport, via NY, all these places have a feel of legend for us Europeans. Finally, this race will give us the opportunity to meet with the U.S. Class40 teams.”

The Atlantic Cup is a dedicated professional Class 40 race held annually in the USA with a focus on running an environmentally responsible event. The 2012 edition of the Atlantic Cup starts Friday, 11 May in Charleston, South Carolina and will showcase the top Class 40 sailors in the world as they race a 648 nautical mile offshore leg doublehanded from Charleston around Cape Hatteras then north to New York City.

Once in New York there will be a brief stopover before competitors start the coastal leg of the race. The coastal leg will take competitors along the same course as the 2011 race: 260 nautical miles, south out of New York to a turning mark off the New Jersey coast before heading north to Newport. Once in Newport, competitors will race a two-day, inshore series with a crew of six. The combined overall winner of both stages will be the Atlantic Cup Champion. The prize purse will be US$30,000, making it again one of the largest purses for sailing in the United States.

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