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Atlantic Cup: Small field, big sport – Melwin Fink and Lennart Burke before the start in America

Atlantic Cup: Small field, big sport – Melwin Fink and Lennart Burke before the start in America

A total of about 1,050 nautical miles must be mastered in the Atlantic Cup. Through three stages, the Class40 test, which began in 2011, offers its participants a diverse race. Eight double crews take on the challenge in the seventh edition of America's only offshore regatta for Class 40 yachts. A few of the registered crews were unable to cross the Atlantic initially for various reasons. The starting signal for the only sailing marathon in the United States that takes participants across Cape Hatteras and Cape Cod will sound on May 25 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Atlantic Cup: One American crew and seven European duo

The field of the first edition since 2018 is small but beautiful: famous Class40 crews such as the Frenchman Erwan Le Drolac and Tanguy Legelatin in the design of Verdier “Everial”, Jules Bonnet and Julie Simon in the design of Manuard “Nestenn – Entrepreneurs Pour”, “La Planete”, the Italian Alberto Riva and Jean-Marie participate in “ Acrobatica” or William Mathlin Morrow with Pietro Luciani on the “Dekuple” at the American East Coast Race. Both “Acrobatica” and “Dékuple” come from the design office of Gianluca Guelfi.

Sailors from France, Italy, Germany and the United States of America participate in the Atlantic Cup with its eight crews. Mike Hennessey and co-driver Roger Jeunet start the 40 Class Power Test under the American host flag. Her boat 'Scowling Dragon' is a new build for Owen Clarke as of this year.

Versatile challenge

The challenge is exciting: The first stage takes the course from Charleston over 708 nautical miles to legendary Newport in Rhode Island, where the heart of American sailing beats particularly loudly. On June 1, we will continue over 249 nautical miles to Portland, Maine. There the crews will be challenged in the final on June 5 and 6 in the coastal medley race in two days of races. Melwyn Fink and Lennart Burke want to test the Verdier design from 2022 in new territories on the other side of the Atlantic in the face of strong competition. The Atlantic Cup starts on Saturday at 12pm local time (6pm German time).

On the eve of the start of the regatta, Melwyn Fink and Lennart Burke were well prepared for the Atlantic Cup in Charleston. “The weather is beautiful here, it's comfortable. Of course we want to be at the front and we want to finish the regatta in the first third,” said Melwyn Fink. Fink described Everyal and Acrobatika as the strongest boats, but he also said: “Everyone competing here is good. We don't really know Americans. But they write on their home page that they want to win.”

At first calm, then headwinds

The first 24 hours of the first stage will cause a lot of headaches for the small but soft field: with calm winds and adverse currents, the crew is faced with the question of whether they should go closer to the coast or go out to sea towards the sea. Gulf Stream. “We have to push ourselves through the off-season first. Then we have to have downwind or reach conditions for most of the race. That's good for us,” explained Melwyn Fink.

The weather forecast is promising. The crew expects largely pleasant conditions for the remainder of the first phase. “We expect a maximum of 20 or even 25 knots of wind during the three-and-a-half to four days of the first phase,” says Melwyn Fink. “Most of the time it will be lower. So it won’t be a real explosion. So we can’t expect any major challenges, but we can certainly To expect a nice and exciting race, Melwyn Fink has been setting up “Sign for Com” in Charleston for a week, while Lennart Burke is still in Germany and has brought some equipment with him. The start signal could come on Saturday for both.

A historic German victory 12 years ago

Melwin Fink, 22, and his teammate Lennart Burke, who is four years older than him, have a well-known German predecessor in the Atlantic Cup. In 2012, Hamburger Jörg Reichers and his co-driver Ryan Brehmeier won the Atlantic Cup with the “Mutts”. Even then, Mike Hennessy – in this case with Christopher Mosler – was in the running with “Dragon,” just like the 2011 Atlantic Cup premiere.