There is quite a battle going on in the western Atlantic right now! The Atlantic Cup fleet has been drag racing up the east coast for the last 24 hours and the front two boats are virtually match racing one another with only a few hundred meters between them.
11 Class 40s left Charleston, South Carolina yesterday and after clearing the jetties there were two clear tactical options. The first was to punch east heading for the gulf stream and the second was to sail less miles and closer to the rhumb line. As in Buddhist philosophy, taking the Middle Path has paid off, with Amhas and Angola Cables taking a clear advantage and pushing ahead of competitors positioned to either side.
The fleet is now at Cape Hatteras and it looks like the leaders will continue to use the gulf stream as they sail north up to New Jersey. The crucial play in this first leg will be when the teams decide to gybe back towards New York as it looks like there is a large area of light and fluky breeze that may cause a park-up and re-start.
This certainly looks to be among the most competitive fleets the Atlantic Cup has seen. I certainly cannot pick the top three and even the rookies on the oldest boat in the fleet are staying in touch! Great stuff to watch and you can track the race by visiting www.atlanticcup.org. Stay tuned!