Boat sponsored by Jamestown Fish wins Atlantic Cup race
When Bodacious Dream crossed the finish line off Fort Adams in the fading sunlight on Sunday it made for a sweep of the first two legs of the third annual Atlantic Cup for the Class 40 boat, which is sponsored by Jamestown Fish.
In earlier racing, Bodacious Dream finished first in the double handed race’s first leg from Charleston, S.C. to New York City. Both legs featured close racing among the fleet of seven one- design boats.
The race got off to a tough start when the fleet encountered rough weather on the very first night out of Charleston. There were high winds and thunderstorms, and one boat, 40 Degrees, reported being knocked down twice in a squall. When things settled down the boats began making good time to the north, with some boats opting to stay close to shore, while others, including Bodacious Dream, headed further out to sea where the Gulf Stream awaited.
Crewed by Dave Rearick of Indiana, and Matt Scharl, of Michigan, it is Scharl who handles most of the tactics for the boat and made the decision to head east. Scharl said he wanted Bodacious Dream to be the first boat to the Gulf Stream, and then to ride the stream’s prevailing current to the north.
Scharl said he was laid low with food poisoning on the first night out. Fortunately he and Rearick were able to dodge the squall lines and thunderstorms that plagued the rest of the fleet.
“We sailed for several hours looking at lightning all around us, but somehow we managed to slip through all the squalls without anything happening whatsoever,” Rearick said.
Bodacious Dream stayed to the east even when other boats headed closer to shore. Scharl said that it was always part of the plan to be the boat furthest to the right approaching Cape Hatteras. Their position was dictated by the exit point of the Gulf Stream off Hatteras.
“We hung out to the right until the gybe was in the right spot to reach that exit point,” Scharl said.
The crew’s next challenge was to enter busy New York Harbor for the finish of the leg. They arrived in the area at approximately 5 p.m. with a pretty good lead. The winds began to pick up into the 20 mph range and Bodacious Dream was flying a spinnaker. There were two successful gybes, but the third one caused the crew to momentarily lose control of the boat with a freighter bearing down on them. The decision was made to douse the chute. Seeing the second place boat closing in light air required the crew to set the spinnaker again however, and Bodacious Dream managed to cross the line first.
“It was a little more drama than we care to have,” Rearick said.
After a few days in New York City the fleet set sail for Newport. While some boats hugged the Long Island shoreline, Bodacious Dream once again headed further offshore. The key moment in the second leg came when Scharl made the call to go south of Block Island while several of the other boats went north.
“Historically staying to the right and going south of Block Island is usually the better way to go about it,” Scharl said. “I felt that there was going to be a little better wind offshore.”
An expected wind shift never developed, and a navigational error occurred when an incorrect waypoint was entered in the boat’s GPS system, resulting in other boats passing Bodacious Dream.
“We really needed to get to the left,” Scharl said.
To do that the crew raised what Scharl said was probably the wrong sail at the time, but it had the effect of pushing the boat to the north while confusing the other competitors who thought that Bodacious Dream was staying offshore. The “wrong” sail remained up until Bodacious Dream was halfway past Block Island. At a point where the closest competitors could no longer choose to go south of Block, and aided by poor visibility caused by rain and fog, the crew then changed to the correct sail and took off into the lead again.
The seven-boat fleet finished within a little over 45 minutes of each other after 230 miles at sea.
The Class 40 boats are now docked at the Newport Harbor Hotel where the public is invited to view them. Other public events will include a film screening by the Atlantic Cup in collaboration with Newport Film on Thursday. “The Last Ocean” is a documentary about the threat to the Ross Sea from commercial fishing. It will be shown at the Casino Theater in Newport at 7 p.m.
On Friday at 6 p.m. there will be a Skippers’ Party on the patio at Jamestown Fish. All of the crews are expected to attend, and the public is invited to welcome them to Jamestown. In the event of bad weather, the party will be moved to the Narragansett Café.
The Atlantic Cup will conclude with two days of inshore racing on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The size of the crews increases to six for the racing on the bay. The best vantage point from the shore will be at Fort Adams. On Sunday at 6 p.m. the prize ceremony will take place at The Landing in Newport, and once again the public is invited to attend.
“All of us at Jamestown FiSH, cannot be excited enough about the back-to-back first place finishes by Bodacious Dream,” said owner John Recca. “Our congratulations go out to Dave and Matt on their fantastic racing. I hope these two races create further buzz for the Atlantic Cup. It should be a great inshore series to cap off the regatta,” Recca added.