Regatta Reports
Bacardi Cup Report
By Janet Maizner
Mar 19, 2004, 23:29

Overall results of the Bacardi Cup are on the racing results page. The history of the event is also available. Photos of the event by Jan Walker are published.

Cayard Takes First Day at Bacardi Cup in Miami
Mar. 7 - Shifty and patchy light winds of under four knots caused two general recalls of the 97-boat Star Class fleet and delayed the start of the 2004 Bacardi Cup by almost three hours today.

US Olympic hopeful Paul Cayard and crew Phil Trinter of San Francisco ended the day in first place after edging out former German Olympian Marc Pickel and crew Ingo Borkowski who led for most of the race. Cayard, who is widely recognized as one of America‚s sailing elite winning five America’s Cups and the Whitbread Round the World Race, has never won a Bacardi Cup.

"We were a little lucky today, said Cayard. "The fleet was battling behind us. It gets progressively harder to sail in heavy traffic, and [Pickel] and I had an advantage being ahead in the leeward part of the course. At the end, the wind just filled up from our side and we made the most of it.

Third place was taken by Canadian Olympic medallist and four-time Bacardi Cup champion Ross Macdonald who ran consistently in the top 10 throughout the race. "I would have been happy with a top 12 finish so this is great, said Macdonald. "One of the weird quirks about sailing is that there is no definitive start time, just whenever the wind blows, he said.

Andy Lovell of New Orleans with crew Magnus Liljedahl, a four-time Bacardi Cup champion, were in the top five for most of the race but fell back to a 10th place finish after rounding the third mark. The USA teams of Rick Merriman/Bill Bennett and John Dane III/Henry Sprague finished in the top 10 as well.

Defending Bacardi Cup champion Peter Bromby of Bermuda and former Bacardi Cup champions Mark Reynolds, a seven-time winner, and Vince Brun , a six time winner and both from San Diego, finished in the top 20.

The German teams had a strong finish today with Michael Koch/Markus Koy in 11th place and Alexander Hagen/Wolfram Jochen in 13th.

Today was a good day for the 2002 Star European champion Frederik Loof of Sweden and Italian Flavio Marazzi with crew Enrico De Maria both of whom ran in the top 10 and finished in 9th place

Great Britain’s Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell didn’t see much of the race after being disqualified for a false start. “One more mistake and the event is over for us,” Percy said. George Szabo and Mark Staube who were expected to do well in light wind, did not finish today’s race.


Bromby Wins Second Race in Prestigious Bacardi Cup; Swedes Take Overall Lead
Mar. 8, 2004 - -With a light chop and winds of 15 knots, the second race of the six-day Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta started after one general recall and a false start disqualification for day one leaders Paul Cayard and Phil Trinter.
Swedish team Freddy Loof and crew Anders Ekstrom were seconds in front of today's winner, defending Bacardi Cup champion and Bermuda Olympian Peter Bromby, sailing this year with new crew Lee White, through the first two marks. Both teams were a full minute ahead of the rest of the fleet. The two teams switched places after the third mark, which they attacked from opposite ends of the race course.

There were a lot of place changes today, but none as notable as when five-time Bacardi Cup champion Vince Brun and crew Mike Dorgan maneuvered from ninth position to cross the line ahead of the Swedes, just behind Bromby.
"Not bad for an old guy," Brun said. He credited his quick move up on the final run to "a bit of skill, bit of making the right call, and just a good break.. I thought we might win today, but Loof was tough."

"This is a great fleet; every world class sailor is here," Loof said.

Former German Olympian Marc Pickel and crew Ingo Borkowski were in sixth place after the first two marks but when the wind dropped to10 knots after the third mark, they fell back to eighth place and finished 11th. Pickel is currently in second place overall.

Great Britain's Iain Percy and crew Steve Mitchell made a comeback today taking eighth position after a first day false start disqualification.
Yesterday's third place finisher Canadians Ross Macdonald and Mike Wolfs were in sixth place at the start and fell back to 13th place. They are in fifth overall.

Swiss team Flavio Marazzi and Enrico De Maria finished fourth today and move into third place overall. Afonso Domingos and Bernardo Santos of Portugal finished in seventh place two days in a row.


Europeans Take Day Three
March 9 --- It didn’t look or feel like a sailing regatta today as the 93- boat Bacardi Cup fleet went searching for wind on Biscayne Bay. Despite the shifty light breeze, the race was won with a long lead by the Portuguese duo of Alfonso Domingos and crew Bernardo Santos. With half the races completed, they are now in first place overall at the Bacardi Cup.

Second place went to Austrians Hans Spitzauer and crew Andreas Hanakamp, followed by Americans George Szabo and crew Mark Staube in third place. Most of yesterday’s leaders were caught in the back of the pack with no wind.

The Austrians were in ninth position after the first and second marks and as crew Hanakamp put it, “we were on a good tack after rounding the second mark and just kept going. We had more luck today.”

It was a big disappointment for six-time Bacardi Cup Champion Mark Reynolds who was among the four teams disqualified for an early start after waiting more than an hour to start the race. The Irish team of Maxwell Treacy and crew Anthony Shanks were also disqualified for an early start for the second day in a row, thus ending the race for them.

Americans Howie Shiebler and crew Will Stout finished in fourth place and move up to fourth place overall behind Bermudans Peter Bromby and crew Lee White who finished in 13th place and are now third overall.

Canadian Olympian Ross Macdonald and crew Mike Wolfs finished in fifth place today and move up to second overall. “It was a tough race today with incredibly shifty wind, so shifty that nothing was for certain. We were extremely conservative as anything could get thrown at you and holding to a fifth place through the race was the best part of the day,” said Macdonald.

Marc Pickel the skipper of the German team best expressed the day. “It was very shifty wind and basically we didn’t get it right. We went right up the middle and passed a few boats and then got stuck there,” he said. Pickel and crew Ingo Borkowski placed 61st today.


Portuguese Claim Second Place and Keep First Place Overall
March 10 - With the best wind of the last four days, the British team of Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell finished in first place redeeming themselves from a first day race disqualification for an early start. The former World champions took an early lead and held it through the finish line.

"We tacked across the fleet and managed to get ahead and stay ahead. Normally the easiest race is when you get in front, but that wasn't the case today," said Percy. "The fleet kept closing the gaps, but we were able to pull ahead at the end."

Yesterday's first place finishers, the Portuguese team of Alfonso Domingos and Bernardo Santos, took second place and maintain their first position overall.

"We stayed left today and had a good downwind after the second mark Our boat speed was not very good at the end, but we held the rest of the fleet off," said Domingos. The conditions were shifty, but the Skipper admitted he likes the challenge. His best Bacardi Cup finish was eighth in 2002. Australian World champions Colin Beashel and crew David Giles finished in third place and are currently fourth overall.

Former Olympians Mark Reynolds and crew Steve Erickson made a comeback today with a fourth place finish. Reynolds is in a two-way tie with Ding Schoonmaker of Naples for six Bacardi Cup wins.

"It was the shiftiest, toughest day yet. The wind favored the right and the first 100 yards were really critical," said Skipper Howie Shiebler of San Francisco. "The leaders today came out of the right." He and his crew Will Stout move finished in eighth place today and move into third place overall.

"We started about a third down the line while most of the leaders came from the left side of the course," said Canadian Ross Macdonald. "Everyone's biggest fear today was would the wind die, but it just hung in there," he said.
Californians George Szabo and Mark Staube finished 33 rd today after a third place finish yesterday. "We went the wrong wall all day and hit a lot of holes, " said Szabo.

Many of the sailing elite who were expected to lead in the Bacardi Cup are having a difficult time with the shifty winds on Biscayne Bay. French 2003 World champions Xavier Rohart and crew Pascal Rambeau, are in 15th overall after a 19th place finish today.

Swedish World champion Freddy Loof and crew Anders Ekstrom and five-time Bacardi Cup champion Vince Brun and his crew Mike Dorgan were among four boats that did not start in today's race. Skipper Paul Cayard, a former Whitbread Round the World Race winner and participant in five America's Cups is bowing out of the race after a 12 place finish today to go home and visit his family before the U.S. Olympic trials.


Maccausland, Nichol Take First in Day Six Race
Miami, FL - Mar.12, 2004 - It's official. Without sailing the final race in the six race series, the Portuguese Star Class team of Afonso Domingos and crew Bernardo Santos have won the 2004 Bacardi Cup. They are the first Europeans to win this prestigious sailing regatta since the race first sailed with 10 boats in Havana, Cuba in 1927.

Canadians Ross Macdonald and Mike Wolfs took second overall and Colin Beashel and David Giles of Australia took third. Americans Howie Shiebler and Will Stout followed in fourth with defending Bacardi Cup champion Peter Bromby and crew Lee White fifth in the final standings.

"Winds were shifty all week and we enjoy those conditions," said Domingos. "This is the best Star Class regatta in the world and we're honored to have done so well against a fleet of this caliber," he said.

Friday's race was won by Americans John Maccausland and Brad Nichol with the British team of Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell in second. There was a tie for third between Beashel and Giles and the French 2003 World champions Xavier Rohart and Pascal Rambeau.

"Our next goal is to win the U.S. Olympic Trials and we've been working hard to finish really strong, " said Maccausland. "The Bacardi Cup, which I've sailed every year since 1981, is a great event. When you ask sailors which is their favorite event, it's the Bacardi Cup for sure," he said.

Xavier Rohart admitted that "we finally woke up." The French team did poorly in the first four races and placed third on the fifth day.

The sixth race was delayed more than an hour with unsteady 12-knot winds coming from the north to northeast. After two general recalls, 20 boats jumped the start and were disqualified including many of the Star Class elite - Mark Reynolds (USA), Vince Brun (USA), Marc Pickel(GER), Flavio Marazzi (SUI), Jali Makila.(DEN).

"Today wasn't very good, we went over the line early," said Reynolds. "You always want to win," said the former Olympian and Star Class World champion, "but we're also out here gauging the strength of the competition going into the U.S. Olympic Trials."

The German team of Michael Koch and Markus Koy found the races tough. "We're not used to such difficult wind conditions. It's very professional and high level amateur and I'm quite proud to sail against yellow stars," he said.

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