Sunday, 19 May 2013
by Dave Rearick
What a week it’s been! New York is exciting enough on its own, but when you add in time spent with an incredible group of fellow sailors and all the great folks who put on the Atlantic Cup, as well days and nights filled with some super and very worthwhile events … well, it makes you very grateful for the opportunity to live such an amazing and “amphibious” life.
We crossed the finish line late Tuesday night. As it turns out, coming in first gets you a few extra perks … like being followed and videotaped by a “media” boat … kinda fun one this with the towering Manhattan skyline all lit up.
Wednesday was given over mostly to boat cleaning, body resting and food eating. Thursday … was the Atlantic Cup’s “Education Day.” The event was produced in conjunction with the dedicated folks at The Rozalia Project for a clean ocean. Several of the skippers, including Matt and myself had the privilege of going down to the marina, where our boats were all moored, and there hang out and talk to these very bright kids about sailing and about the perils of marine debris.
Among the questions that the kids asked, was what we ate on the boat. I had to tell them the unadorned truth – that we mostly eat freeze-dried food – that it comes in a pouch, we boil up a cup of water and pour it in, mix it up, let it sit for about 10 minutes … and voilà! And while it doesn’t always look like what you see on the label, it pretty much tastes like it … and when it doesn’t, we make sure it ends up tasting like something … with a lot of Tabasco sauce on it – the essential ingredient in a sailor’s spice rack!
Among its other achievements, the Atlantic Cup is also the first carbon neutral sailing race in the United States. On Thursday night to help build on that agenda, they sponsored an evening seminar called, “Living on the Edge: The Atlantic Cup Presents Coastal Communities and Climate Change.” Among the speakers were some highly respected voices on the ocean and environment, representing some very forward thinking organizations including: Sailors for the Sea, Global Green USA, Climate Central, Grist.org, Green Mountain Energy as well as our fellow Atlantic Cup competitor Hannah Jenner, skipper for 40 Degrees. All in all, it was a great night, filled with many learnings and inspirations.
Day 3 Leg 1: Champagne sailing off NYC
Then yesterday, we participated in the Pro-Am race, and what a hoot that was! We were lucky to have onboard with us one of the race sponsors, Lauren and Michelle from Block Island Organics, along with two Rearick family members! While I’d like to say we dominated the event, the truth is far from that. What was interesting though was that the first and second place finishers of the first leg on the Cup race, were last and second to last in this one. But we all had a ball. Hats off to Icarus for winning the Pro-Am event!
Among the many happy memories of the past week, here’s another … a video I shot on the afternoon of Day 3 of the race, as Matt and I were making our approach to New York City.
But with all that behind us, it’s time to get back to what’s ahead of us … which is the “second” leg of the race. We take off again today at 2pm EDT for another double-handed round, bound for Newport RI. Whereas the first leg of the race was 642 nautical miles, this second leg will only be 231. The course looks a little slower, with fair weather and light winds, so it may take us until Tuesday morning or thereabouts to get there. Getting out of the harbor first is going to give whoever does that a significant advantage. While we won’t likely be setting any speed records, I know Matt and I will be working very hard to stay in the game. Keep watch, if you can – the link to the race tracker is right HERE! (And there’s an app to for phones or pads … search under “Yellowbrick.”)
Then next weekend, still in Newport, we’ll begin the third part of the race … two days of inshore racing, at which point, we’ll all be joined by additional crew members (up to six per boat.) Those races will take place on beautiful Narragansett Bay … so expect some wild and edgy competitive maneuvering … (and some great night time repasts at our boat sponsor’s restaurant, Jamestown FiSH!)
For those of you who asked about how scoring works in this race, and how they go about calculating a “three-legged” winner, it is a little complicated, but basically the winners receive points for each leg equal to the number of participants, and then from there on down, they subtract 2 points for each additional position. In any case, here to the left is the current leaderboard.
As conditions were so challenging during the first leg of the race, and this week so filled with things to do, I haven’t had time enough to address some of the many interesting issues that we raised in our Bodacious Dream Expeditions Atlantic Cup Coast “Explorer Guides.” As much as I wanted to, and as much as there was to say … the ocean is the ocean, and in the end, it’s the boss of bosses and the keeper of our clocks. Reminding yourself of that, also serves as a humbling reminder of just how completely unique ocean racing is, compared to many other sports. You start at one designated spot on the globe and you end at another … and in between … you have NO idea what will happen. That makes finishing the race, an achievement in itself … and finishing ahead of your fellow racers … well, that’s the special sauce, isn’t it? Anyway, thanks to all of you for keeping an eye on Matt and I … along the way. Believe me, it’s much appreciated.
We’ll be back as soon as we can with more. Until then, have a great mid-May weekend. I know we will.
The Atlantic Cup