The Atlantic Cup announces final field and plans for Friday race start

Atlantic Cup - NYC
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The 2012 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing, the first carbon-neutral sailing event in the United States, announced today its final plans and competition field for the second running of the premier U.S. Class 40 sailing event in the country. The event will feature 15 boats from around the globe, the most Class 40s to ever compete in the United States, including teams from the USA, France, Germany and Great Britain. Teams will set sail from Charleston, S.C. on Friday, May 11 at 6 p.m. EDT en route to New York Harbor for the second leg of the competition and a Pro-Am event (May 14 - 19) before departing on May 19 at 11 a.m. on the final leg of competition. The annual event culminates in Newport, R.I. with two days of Inshore racing (May 26 – 27).

'We are proud to have a fleet of 15, with crews ranging from round the world veterans to the top up and coming young talent, racing on some extremely advanced race boats,' said Hugh Piggin, Manuka Sports Event Management founder and Atlantic Cup Race Director. 'We are excited for what should be an exceptionally interesting and tough ocean race. Over the past week the skippers and boat captains have been grinding out the final maintenance and preparations as they look forward to getting out there to start racing!'

Some additional highlights of the event include:
Viewing Opportunities for fans to see live Sailing Competition in Each City:
With host cities chosen specifically to enhance the fans onsite viewing experience, the Atlantic Cup will offer opportunities for the general public to watch the race live on-shore in Charleston (Friday, May 11, 6 pm), New York (Saturday, May 19 at 9:30a-12p) and the event’s inshore racing conclusion in Newport (Saturday/Sunday, May 26/27 at Noon – 4 pm).

Partnership with 11th Hour Racing and Green Mountain Energy to achieve carbon neutrality:
Thanks to the event’s title sponsor, 11th Hour Racing, and a new partnership with Green Mountain Energy, the 2012 Atlantic Cup is the first carbon-neutral sailing event in the United States. The carbon footprint will be calculated prior to the race start by Green Mountain. Based on these calculations and a post-race assessment, carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates (RECs) will be retired in order to offset emissions associated with the event, such as staff air travel, ground and water transportation, staff hotel stays, and event electricity usage. For more on the Atlantic Cup’s Green Initiatives, click here.

Partnerships with Oakcliff Sailing and Kwokman Productions to provide unrivaled video and social media event access:
Sailing fans around the world will have more access than ever before as each entry will have at least one onboard camera to produce video and social media content as the race unfolds. Eight Oakcliff Sailing students will participate in the event; with four serving as media crew members during the first two offshore legs of the competition, and an additional four racing on board select boats for the fully-crewed final stage inshore series of the Atlantic Cup in Newport on May 26 and 27. The media crew members (ages 18 -30) will be under the tutelage of Kwokman Productions, now in its second year with the Atlantic Cup, and Manuka Sports Event Management, owners and operators of the event, to provide race highlights, recaps and interviews on the race’s official http://www.youtube.com/user/TheAtlanticCup!YouTube_channel!new. Fans can also visit the Atlantic Cup’s official website.

Pro-Am Event in New York Harbor Featuring Boomer Esiason on Friday, May 18:
The best Class 40 yachtsman in the world add new crew members as former NFL MVP (1988) and New York Jets QB Boomer Esiason, among other sailing hopefuls, experience the rush of sailing firsthand as they compete against each other in New York Harbor on Friday, May 18. The Fleet will be at the Marina from 9 a.m.-noon, before departing for the Pro-Am race. The Boomer Esiason Foundation is the official charity of the Atlantic Cup, with a portion of the proceeds from the event going to help fight the battle against cystic fibrosis.

'Short-handed Sailing in the USA' Seminar in Newport’s Jane Picken’s Theatre on Monday, May 21:
The Atlantic Cup looks to spread the word on the exciting world of short-handed sailing by offering this seminar to people of all ages in Newport’s famed Jane Picken’s Theatre on Monday, May 21 at 6 p.m. Hosted by popular sailing journalist and Atlantic Cup competitor Chris Museler (Dragon), this exciting evening will feature some of the top U.S. short-handed sailors and competitors in the world as they talk about their ocean racing adventures and what it’s like to race short-handed. Speakers include Atlantic Cup organizer Hugh Piggin and skippers Ben Poucher (Icarus), Hannah Jenner (40 Degrees), Halvard Mabire (Campagne de France) and J.C. Caso (Groupe Picoty), along with special guest Brad Van Liew, the only American to complete three solo around the world races.

Teams expected to compete in The Atlantic Cup include:
No 17 Transport Cohérence – FRA - Benoît Jouandet and Jorge Madden
No 20 Sevenstar Yacht Transport - FRA- Jean Edouard-Criquioche and Anna-Maria Renkin
No 30 Initiatives – USA - Emma Creighton and Rob Windsor
No 54 Dragon – USA - Michael Hennessy, Merf Owen (Leg 1) & Chris Museler (Leg 2)
No 73 Toothface – USA - Mike Dreese and Ken Luczynski
No 85 Groupe Picoty – FRA - Jacques Fournier and Jean Christophe 'JC' Caso
No 90 40 Degrees – GBR - Hannah Jenner and Peter Harding
No 101 Campagne De France – FRA- Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron
No 105 Eole Generation – GDF Suez – FRA - Sebastien Rogues and Jeffrey McFarlane
No 106 Gryphon Solo 2 – USA - Joe Harris and Tristan Mougline
No 109 Talan-Bureau Veritas – FRA - Stephane Le Diraison and Jesse Naimark-Rowse
No 113 Partouche – FRA - Christophe Coatnoan and Ari Sebag
No 115 Mare – GER - Jörg Riechers, Ryan Breymaier (Leg 1) & Charles Euverte (Leg 2)
No 116 Icarus Racing – USA - Tim Fetsch and Ben Poucher
No 118 Bodacious Dream – USA - Dave Rearick and Matt Scharl

The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing is a dedicated professional Class 40 race held annually in the U.S. with a focus on running an environmentally responsible event. The 2012 edition of the Atlantic Cup starts Friday, May 11th in Charleston, South Carolina and will showcase the top Class 40 sailors in the world as they race a 642 nautical mile off-shore leg double-handed from Charleston around the infamous, Cape Hatteras then north to New York City. Once in New York there will be a brief stopover before competitors start the coastal leg of the race. The coastal leg will take competitors along the same course as the 2011 race: 231 nautical miles, south out of New York to a turning mark off the New Jersey coast before heading north to Newport. Once in Newport, competitors will race a two-day, inshore series with a crew of six. The combined overall winner of both stages will be the Atlantic Cup Champion. The prize purse will be $30,000, making it again one of the largest purses for sailing in the United States.

The Atlantic Cup website