Day Four: Cheeseburger in a Wet Paradise
By Lynn Fitzpatrick
An ominous front enshrouded the Miami skyline while the 100+ boat Star fleet tuned up in an 8-10 knot southeasterly for the fourth race of the 81st Annual Bacardi Cup. The white Star boats and sails were a sharp contrast to the dark gray clouds. The Star sailor who grew up on Biscayne Bay, 9th place skipper, Augie Diaz, was the first to take down his sails as the lightning bolts flashed and the downpour approached.
As the Race Committee hauled their anchor and headed east toward brighter skies, some boats were under bare poles while others hopped up on a plane and hauled the mail. The cold front from the NNW brought with it a downpour that flattened the seas. Winds gusted to over 30 knots. The fleet spread out during the gray out and lost sight of all but the closest boats around them. Some sailors pulled out their bow protectors and use them as helmets to protect their heads from the pelting rains.
The Race Committee abandoned racing for the day and cast a wide net to account for its flock. Results following the completion of Tuesday’s racing stand and Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) lead the regatta with 20 points. Three races have been sailed. Five races must be sailed before competitors are allowed to discard their worst race. Competitors should study the official notice board at tonight’s mid-week prize ceremony to determine what time races will start on Thursday, March 6th as the Race Committee attempts to make up the race that was abandoned on Wednesday.
Day Three: The Youngest Team on the Water Wins the Day at Bacardi Cup - by Lynn Fitzpatrick
The second day of a moderate sea breeze left Biscayne Bay awash with handfuls of seaweed and partly sunny skies. After the third attempt at a start, most of the fleet headed toward Key Biscayne and a cloud bank to the northeast on their first tack to a mark that was set at 165 degrees, 2.4 nautical miles away.
Szabo/Peters jumped into the lead by staying right on the run. O’Leary/Milne "gained a boat on the downwind leg by staying in the middle, not going to extremes and trying to find pressure,” said Milne who spent a lot of time looking aft at a huge fleet behind him. The youngest team on the water had their work cut out for them during the remainder of the race. They played the middle left up the next beat and took a short hitch to sneak inside the weather mark just ahead of Dane/Sperry. Their mentors, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR), were hot on their tails.
With their third place finish in the race, Percy/Simpson pulled into the lead for the regatta. “I’ve won a lot of races in the Bacardi over the years, but I haven’t won the Bacardi Cup yet,” said Percy earlier this week.
Day Two: Grael and Jordao Win the Day and Lead the Bacardi Cup - By Lynn Fitzpatrick
It was another beautiful day on Biscayne Bay. The sea breeze that greeted sailors in the morning while they were launching their boats held while the 81st Annual Bacardi Cup race committee attempted to get a start off at noon. Once, twice, three times you’re out and unlike yesterday, everyone heeded the black flag and got off cleanly on the third attempt to start the race.
Reynolds/Gael held the lead down the run, but as the wind shifted so did positions. As Prof O’Connell (IRL), who rounded the weather mark well behind the leaders said, “We frantically tried to calculate the reciprocal of 135 and realized that the leaders were sailing high. We sailed a straight line down the middle,” and rounded the left gate in third behind Modena/Lambertenghi (ITA) and Diego Negri and Luigi Viale (ITA). In the meantime, Reynolds/Gael and Marin Lovrovic, Jr. and Sinsa Mikulicic (CRO) rounded the right gate. With most of the fleet rounding the left gate, there was lots of noise – mostly shouting, but some crunching.
Negri/Viale jumped out to a five boat length lead over Mateusz Kusnierewicz and Dominik Zycki (POL) on the next shifty beat and Reynolds/Gael held onto third. Afonso Domingos and Bernardo Santos (POR) pulled into fourth with a string of Italians fighting for the spot on the Olympic team right on their tail. O’Connell/Cooke were in pursuit also.
Positions continued to shift throughout the next two legs as the breeze hovered between 6 and ten knots and Modena/Lambertenghi were able to hold the lead around the final leeward gate. The team that had a slow and steady climb through the fleet, Lars Grael and Marcelo Jordao (BRA) moved from sixth place at the bottom of the final beat to first place by keeping an eye on local legend, Augie Diaz and Phil Trinter (USA) who favored the mid-left during the final beat. The Brazilians won the race with Modena/Lambertenghi finishing second and the best Latin dancer (Diaz) in the fleet and Trinter right behind. Italians Barovier/Colaninno, and Bruni/Nobili finished fourth and fifth, respectively. O’Connell/Cooke held on to sixth.
Grael/Jordao, who just finished second in the Brazilian Olympic Trials are sitting in the lead with eight points. Diaz/Trinter are in second and O’Connell/Cooke are in third for the regatta.
Norwegian Sailors Eivind Melleby & Petter Pederson Win Day One at 2008 Bacardi Cup Regatta - by Janet Maizner
Miami, FL – March 2, 2007 – The Norwegian sailing team of Eivind Melleby and crew Petter Pederson finished first in day one of sailing Sunday at the 81st Annual
Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta on the waters of Biscayne Bay, near Miami.
Winds in excess of 15 knots forced two general recalls before the race’s eventual start; and three teams, including 2008 Rolex Miami OCR Champion Xavier Rohart
and crew Pascal Rambeau, were black-flagged and disqualified for crossing the line early. An early tack along the right side of the course helped Adler/Ermel to the lead at each of the four marks, followed closely by Melleby/Pederson. Both teams continued to favor the right side throughout the race and rode favorable winds to extend their lead over the rest of the fleet, before Melleby took the win.
“Our strategy was to play it safe by going right on the first beat, and the further right we went, it got better and better,” said Melleby, who sails this year in only his second Bacardi Cup. “We were in a big fight on the final beat and were able to keep clear of Adler so that he could not cover us. We’re very happy with today’s result and we’re in good form, but it’s a long regatta. All the best sailors in the world are here this week.”
The 110 teams representing 26 countries are competing in the six-day regatta, which is widely regarded as one of the best and most competitive Star Class events in the world.
The Norwegian duo bested a fleet that included Peter Bromby, one of most acclaimed Bermudian sailors of all-time and a two-time Bacardi Cup champion; George Szabo, former North American champion in both the Star and Laser classes; 2006 Bacardi Cup Champions and U.S. Olympic hopefuls John Dane and crew Austin Sperry. Defending Bacardi Cup Champion Hamish Pepper and crew Ed Peel of New Zealand finished nineteenth Sunday with five races to go in the regatta.
The Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta is co-hosted by the Coral Reef Yacht Club and the U.S. Sailing Center, both based in Coconut Grove, and is sponsored by
BACARDI U.S.A., Inc.
All participants compete aboard 22-foot Olympic-class Star sloops, and race teams comprise two members: a skipper and crew. Bacardi Cup participants sail one
race per day from Sunday through Friday on a 10.5-mile course in Biscayne Bay. Sailors are allowed to drop their worst performance of the six races in the
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