Race Day is Here!

Well, here it is start day … only it’s 1:00 AM, and both my brain and body tell me it’s time to rest. Matt Scharl, my co-skipper and I spent a long day getting the last items on the worklist done to prepare Bodacious Dream for the start of the race at 2:00 PM (EDT.)

We put the mainsail on and got that all set up, made a trip to the top of the mast to mount the wind instruments, moved the last of the unnecessary equipment from the boat into storage, packed away all the necessary equipment and spent some time studying weather strategies. This is going to be a very interesting race, for which I’m sure each boat will have their own strategies for how to get up the coast through what look to be a series of complex weather changes. A cold front that passed through the Midwest will be reaching us sometime on Sunday, which will force us to make a decision as to which side of the course to take. While we can do some planning in advance, we really can’t make a committed decision until later tomorrow when we see just how the racing sets up.

Point a camera at me, and watch me go …

Sailboat racing isn’t just about going fast; there is so much more to it than that. While you might be going fast, a competitor might be sailing a shorter distance … or, while you are going fast, you suddenly find yourself in a spot where the wind drops off, while your competitor who is sailing more moderately keeps pace with the wind for a longer period of time. Your brain is in constant calculation mode, running all sorts of scenarios, each with their unique set of time, distance and speed variables. Then throw in the predictably unpredictable weather, and you’ll typically find the winner has made the right decision about 55% of the time. As we often say, the boat that wins the race usually made the second-to-last mistake on the race course! Once we get on the water, I will try to share explain our thinking and decision-making process as we go along.

Here’s a passing look at our competition …

All the competitors look ready and strong, and as today turned to evening, everyone gathered over at Icarus, the Class 40 sailed by locals Ben Poucher and Tim Fetsch – two very talented young men who have brought their boat, Icarus back to life, after she was lost and washed ashore a few years ago. They stand to do very well in this year’s race. Anyway, we all shared some laughs before going our separate ways to do our last bits of work and planning for tomorrow.

Tomorrow morning will come quickly, so I’m going to keep this update short. We will hopefully have more to share with you by late tomorrow afternoon.

:: Here’s the link to RACE TRACKERhttp://atlanticcup.org/race-day/leg-one-tracking/

So, stay tuned, watch the tracker, follow the race and enjoy. I hope our efforts bring as much excitement to your living room as it does to us out there sailing. Without you guys watching and following us, it most certainly wouldn’t be nearly as much fun!

Map of the Atlantic Cup Race
Once again, a Map of the Race … 

Be back soon with more … On to New York City then!

– Matt, Dave & Bodacious Dream

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