The fifteen Class 40 sailboats racing for the Atlantic Cup are now 48 hours into the first doublehanded leg from Charleston, SC to New York City. The fleet sailed the first part of the race from Charleston Harbor to Cape Hatteras closely bunched and looking very much like the near one designs they are. One boat attempted to reach the Gulf Stream quickly by putting in a lot of easting, but that didn't pay off. At Cape Hatteras, though, the fleet split with one group, currently containing the leaders, heading offshore far enough the get a boost from the Gulf Stream. The other half have gybed and are heading up the Virginia/Delaware coast. These boats sail fast enough on a reach to justify gybing downwind in the present southwesterly breezes, which are expected to soften Sunday night. How and when the boats currently getting a boost from the Gulf Stream choose to gybe and head back inshore will probably determine which pack wins this leg.
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