Atlantic Cup Inshore Series

Open 40s raced in Newport this weekend as part of the Atlantic Cup's inshore series. Things got dramatic when Dragon ran aground.

Drama unfolded on Saturday in The Atlantic Cup’s inshore series in Newport, R.I., when Mike Hennessy and Rob Windsor’s Dragon hit a rock while leading the fleet past Beavertail Light. None of the crew were injured, but Dragon retired from racing for the rest of the inshore series with significant damage to the keel and and keel box structure.

The 2014 series concluded with Gryphon Solo 2, skippered by Joe Harris and Patrick O’Connor, winning on a tie-breaker with #116 – The Atlantic Cup series includes offshore legs from Charleston to New York City and from New York to Newport, ending with the final two days of inshore racing in Narragansett Bay. Per the Notice of Race, all ties are broken in favor of the boat with the most points earned on the two offshore legs, which was Gryphon Solo 2.

“It is very satisfying to win the AC in my third try and my check and trophy are now prominently displayed in my son’s bedroom,” said Harris. “Our strong offshore performance in the first two legs carried us through an OK inshore series as the light wind conditions did not favor our boat. However, we had great crew work and gained at most mark-roundings, and our reaching and running was fine—the Achilles heel was going upwind in less than 8 knots, where we were sticky. So we will have to go to work on that issue and come back next year with some solutions.”

The Open 40s had a downwind start on Saturday, exiting Narragansett Bay.
The bright red spinnaker of Gryphon Solo 2, overall winners of the Atlantic Cup
The downwind start was a challenge on Saturday, with a steady breeze around 15-17 knots in Narragansett Bay.
The Atlantic Cup consists of two offshore legs (Charleston, S.C. to N.Y. Harbor and N.Y. Harbor to Newport R.I) and two days of inshore racing.
Gryphon Solo 2 stays ahead of Flatline 25
Flatline 25 and #116 tackle the first leg of the first race on Saturday morning.
Dragon, who was in the lead with points for the Atlantic Cup, started the inshore series with a solid lead on the course.
Damage to the keel prohibited Dragon from continuing the race series in Newport.
The moment Dragon ran aground off of Beavertail Lighthouse. Fortunately, no one on board was injured but boat and crew did retire for the remainder of the inshore series.
Dragon crewmember Emma Creighton, who was on the boat’s bowsprit when Dragon ran aground off of Beavertail Light, managed to hold onto the boat and be quickly brought back on board.
As Dragon recovered, the rest of the fleet continued to the mark.
As #116 – begins their upwind leg, Gryphon Solo 2 prepares to douse their spinnaker.
The Open40 Fleet begins the second leg of the first race.
116 – crosses the finish line off of Fort Adams in Newport.
Gryphon Solo 2 nears the finish line.