The Atlantic Cup Shares the Dream

cyclone_lusi_175Here in Wellington, preparations for our departure are just about wrapped up. Bodacious Dream is ready and waiting to take off on Leg 3 of our single handed circumnavigation, but as has happened before … weather considerations are conspiring to delay our departure. A cyclone named “Lusi” is dropping down from up north  and should be upon us Saturday evening and stick around through Monday. (You can keep track of it for yourself in near real-time view on the marvelous EarthWindMap website.)

Once Luis passes through and the weather stabilizes, Bo and I will depart this lovely place and head east to a waypoint along Longitude 100 West – about a three-week sail from Wellington. Once there, we’ll carefully weigh all the seasonal weather projections and at that point make a final decision as to the prudency of either heading south and around Cape Horn as planned or instead head north along the west coast of South America to the Galapagos Islands and from there onto and through the Panama Canal. Whichever way it goes, big decisions and big adventures await us. More on all of this very soon!

In the meantime, we want to update you on a SUPER cool initiative undertaken by our good friends from the Atlantic Cup Race – 11th Hour Racing and Manuka Sports.

After what I know has been a particularly harsh winter for many, springtime once again approaches … and as it does, thoughts of another sailing season begin to stir.

Atlantic CupFor the past two years, Bodacious Dream has started its season off by racing the Atlantic Cup, a challenging three-leg event up the Atlantic Seaboard, starting in Charleston, SC, with a stopover after reaching New York City before finishing up in Newport, RI for the inshore leg. With Bo and I being in the Southern Hemisphere this season, we’ll sadly be missing the fun this year. I have many fond memories of the past two years, especially last year, where after winning the first two legs sailing double handed with Matt Scharl, I along with a stellar inshore crew held off an incredibly competitive fleet of challengers to win the overall event!

That’s Bodacious Dream from last year’s AC … with the Jamestown FiSH sail!

Another exciting side of the Atlantic Cup is that the sponsor, 11th Hour Racing along with race organizers Manuka Sports, run by Julianna Barbieri and Hugh Piggin take a very active interest in providing educational opportunities to youth in the harbors into which the racers sail. We have always enjoyed taking part in these “Education Days,” as you know our abiding interest is to share the Bodacious Dream experience, just as we do now with our own educational aids for kids and teachers through our BDX website and Explorer Guides.

gulf_stream_ac_550Raising questions from nature … 

Sharing our mutual interest in providing learning experiences for people and kids, the Atlantic Cup has chosen this time around to combine our efforts with theirs and by utilizing some of our Explorer Guides materials to launch their own new KID’S PAGE this year. So, while Bodacious Dream will greatly miss competing in this year’s Atlantic Cup, (truly one of the top Class 40 regattas worldwide,) we are grateful that our presence will be felt in the student guides on the Kids Page of the Atlantic Cup Site. This chance to continue to influence and educate people and kids, (and even to see myself represented as a friendly cartoon) – is almost as big a kick and honor as winning the event itself.

Capt. Dave Education Guide
I guess I DO look like that! What do you know. Open their PDF by clicking on the above image.

This is only the latest turn in the story between the Atlantic Cup and Bodacious Dream. Last year, at the request of 11th Hour Racing, I drafted a blog post wherein I tried to capture some of what I have to know about learning and discovery. I titled it … If I knew then, what I know now … and you can find that by clicking on the link. In it I try to make that case that the true test of what you learn will not be your test score as much as it will be the tangible gifts that a new skill or awareness brings to your life and to your relationships with others. Ultimately, we learn best what we learn from each other. Check it out if you like and drop me a line if you find yourself so inclined.

education_Day_550Matt Scharl and I try to stand up to tough questioning … 

Beyond their youth education outreach, we also support 11th Hour Racing in their efforts to establish dynamic new platforms for “public” education that emphasize the responsible use of energy and resources in the context of competitive sailing. Through sponsorship of winning sailing teams and regattas, advanced sailing and production practices, they help improve the energy profile and performance of racing boats, and increase the personal investment of sailors in the health of our waters.

As an organization, 11th Hour Racing has worked hard the past two years to make the Atlantic Cup the most environmentally responsible sailing race in the United States – with both racing teams and race management working together to create a fully carbon neutral event. Their commitment to this goal is year-round, such that whatever carbon emissions the race does create get offset post-race.

Here are some of the other ways they minimize their footprint. If you sail or race, perhaps you can try duplicating some of these efforts, or adding more of your own!

  1. Requiring teams to use alternative energy (i.e. biodiesel, fuel cells, hydro generators, solar panels)
  2. Eliminating single-use plastic water bottles for all shore and land based events (this includes the teams)
  3. Using recycled paper, signage, flags and banners for any materials we print in office and at the events
  4. Minimize air travel for staff (Their staff caravans to Charleston and back up the coast in our own little event staff mini-race)
  5. Monitor and conserve attendee and team travel usage
  6. Monitor and conserve power and fuel usage and fuel usage for both on water and on land support vehicles.

seas-regThe Atlantic Cup sets an exemplary example when it comes to their commitment to being the most environmentally responsible sailing race in the United States. In the past two years, teams and race management have worked together to create a fully carbon neutral event. For three years running, the Atlantic Cup has achieved the highest Clean Regatta certification possible from Sailors for the Sea. In 2013 Sailors for the Sea announced a new Platinum Level Status, for which the Atlantic Cup was the first event to meet all of its requirements.

So, as I prepare Bodacious Dream for the final 12,000-mile homeward journey, I hope you will follow this year’s Atlantic Cup as well as check out and share their Kids page  with your younger friends. There will be more great information coming from them once the actual race gets underway, but this is a terrific starting point for our younger followers, and those who care about their futures.

– Dave and Bodacious Dream

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