District 20  Regatta Report

Sun Mar 2nd, 2014 through Sat Mar 8th, 2014

Lars Grael and Samuel Goncalves. Photo by Cory Silken

Lars Grael and Samuel Goncalves. Photo by Cory Silken

87th Bacardi Cup


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Final results for four races on March 3 - 6 as there was no racing on March 7 (too much wind) and March 8 (too little wind.

Race One Report by Jan Harley, Media Pro Int'l:
Reynolds and Liljedahl Return to Form

The opening race of the 87th Bacardi Cup was sailed today on Biscayne Bay after several postponements due to light air, and in this highly competitive and aggressive fleet of 54 boats it was no surprise when seven teams were disqualified under the black flag rule.

The wake-up call may be for anyone who did not anticipate San Diego's Mark Reynolds and local sailor Magnus Liljedahl to return to their old ways. The duo, who shared both Olympic Gold and a Star World Championship win in 2000, had not sailed together in 10 years. Already the skipper and crew with the most Bacardi Cup wins to their credit (seven for Reynolds and five for Liljedahl; which include three they won together in 2002, 1998 and 1997), the win of the day's lone race would seem to indicate they are on their way to setting another Bacardi Cup record. "Overall a pretty good race," said Reynolds.

"Magnus was of great help. We didn't sail together in 10 years, but we were not rusty -- just getting old! It felt like the good old days. In the past I would come to Bacardi expecting to win; now I don't have that expectation, but it feels good to be on top."

Following Reynolds and Liljedahl across the finish line in second and third, respectively, were brothers Torben Grael and Lars Grael of Brazil whose sibling rivalry will be an interesting facet of this regatta.

"We had a wrong start and I rounded the first mark 40th," said Lars Grael, the two-time ('88, '96) Tornado Olympic Medalist and younger of the brothers. "Considering the bad start I feel we had a good comeback. The first downwind leg was the turning point and we rounded the second mark second and kept it to the end. Today was a good day for the Brazilian teams!"

Torben Grael, the 1990 Star World Champion, commented on finishing the race in third: "We had a reasonable start, even if we missed the bigger pressure on the right by the committee boat. Today was tricky; wind holes and currents were to be managed. Bacardi Cup is always difficult as there are many good competitors. Consistency is key and I am happy of our good run."

Video Day one:

Race Two Report by Jan Harley, Media Pro Int'l:
Setting the race course just off Matheson Hammock Park for day two of the 87th Bacardi Cup, the Race Committee's search for breeze paid off as the second race of the series got underway in six knots from the east. With abundant sunshine and temperatures in the low 80s, the 55 teams put the first-day jitters behind them and got down to business.

First around the weather mark was San Diego’s Mark Reynolds and Miami's Magnus Liljedahl, who had won the opening race of the series. They were followed closely by Jack Jennings and Brian Sharp, who took the lead at the leeward mark and held it to win the race by 44 seconds ahead of Lars Grael and Samuel Gonzalves from Brazil. "It was a pretty close first part of the race," said Jennings who hails from Niles, Illinois. "I believe we had a bit of advantage at the start, made a good shift and tacked shortly after. We then worked the boat and managed the competition until the end. It was a tactical race today, but we brought it home."

With four races remaining on the schedule, consistency will be the name of the game in the long run. "The start was very tactical," said Grael, explaining that there was better wind today. "We decided to go right and we were fifth at the first mark. On the first downwind we went the wrong way and lost two positions. We made up time on the second upwind leg and we rounded in second and managed to keep position till the end. We're in first place [overall] but too far away to make plans; we'll try to be as consistent as possible."

Video Day Two:

Race Two report by Paul Cayard:
Light northerly winds were on the menu today on Biscayne Bay. The Race Committee held the fleet at the dock for an hour to allow the wind to fill. The race got underway on the first start. The northerly wind is fickle and streaky here. It is kind of like Shoots and Ladders. One moment you are looking good, then next not so good. This is especially true right after the start when the fleet is all still very close. Many of these shifts are too short to tack on.

Prior to the start, Rodney and I felt that the current was going to be a factor and we'd be better out to the right side of the course. We started right at the committee boat and tacked immediately onto port to head right. Initially, we looked very strong, but then the wind shifted 15 degrees left. We were lucky to scramble out of the right side and round the first mark in the top 10. Mark Reynolds was leading at the first mark with Jack Jennings close behind. On the first downwind leg, Reynolds was penalized by the jury for kinetics, rule 42. He had to make two complete 360's right there and then. That dropped him and Magnus back to 5th.

As the race progressed, we managed to pass a couple of boats and finish 7th. We were battling away with the Grael brothers, Mark and Magnus, Brad Funk and Brian Ledbetter from USA, and Diego Negri from Italy. Lars Grael sailed very well near the top of the second windward leg to move from fourth into second place.

Jack Jennings and Brian Sharpe won the race easily, followed by Lars Grael who now leads the series with a 2, 2. It was a tough race in light conditions.

Tomorrow is forecast to be light again and maybe a bit stronger breeze for Thursday. Friday will be post frontal so we may have 15-18 from the West.

Race Three report by Jan Harley: Grael and Goncalves Hold Lead
While the forecasted breeze of 10-12 knots may not have materialized, the conditions for race three definitely played to the strengths of three teams who are no strangers to racing on Biscayne Bay.

"Yesterday I said I was going to be happy with a top 10 [finish] for consistency," commented Lars Grael, Brazil's two-time ('88, '96) Tornado Olympic Medalist, after he and crew Samuel Goncalves won today's race. "I am obviously happier with today's top spot! Today was a very tactical race among the top racers; it was a jibe war. Tomorrow the wind will pick up and it's going to be a difficult race for me. We are only half way through and I must say that consistency is key. If I'm able to stay in the top 10 I believe I will be in a good shape for the overall win."

Grael and Goncalves moved to the top of the overall standings in the 55-boat fleet yesterday, and remain there after today’s win. Their 2-2-1 scoreline, for five points, gives them a five-point cushion over San Diego’s Mark Reynolds and Miami's Magnus Liljedahl.

"Fighting with Augie [Diaz] today I felt it was like the old days!" said Reynolds after finishing third today. "I didn't have a particularly good start; I think that's where I lost today's race. But I had good shifts and was able to keep my boat in clear air. I decided to split, it was a risky move, but worth a chance and it paid off."

Miami's Diaz crossed the finish line second today, and stands 11th overall on 42.5 points. "Lars is fast, starts well and does not make many mistakes, that is why he's on top," said Diaz who is sailing with Arnis Baltins of Baltimore, Maryland. "He needs to watch his brother [Torben], Mark [Reynolds] and Xavier [Rohart], but he is in a great spot. Unfortunately being 11th I think I'm too far behind [to win the Bacardi Cup] and will target the top-three overall and daily wins."

Torben Grael, older brother of Lars and the 1990 Star World Champion, is also displaying a consistency that has kept him in the top-three thus far in the series. Sailing with Guilherme Almeida, the Brazilian teammates have a 3-5-4 scoreline for 12 points.

Florida's Brad Funk, with crew Mark Strube of Wisconsin, dropped a spot in the overall standings after finishing 13th today. They have 20 points and are five points ahead of another Florida team, Arthur Anosov and Brian Fatih, who are fifth in the overall standings with three races left in the series.

Race three report by Paul Cayard:
Tough day on the race course for Rodney and me, definitely our worst race of the season. We were too conservative on the starting line and we did not seem to have enough speed to dig our way out of the traffic.

The wind was 7 knots from 145 for the entire race. It was a pretty steady breeze as compared to Tuesday's northerly. The course was set for 160 making the first run a fetch on starboard so there were no passing lanes there.

Lars Grael continued on top and won today's race. He now has 2, 2, 1 for 5 points. Mark Reynolds and Magnus finished 3rd and are in good shape in second with 10 points. Torben Grael sailed well today to move from 10th to about 5th. Xavier Rohart (FRA) a two time world champion had his best race today finishing somewhere near 6th and I am guessing we we finished about 20th.

Video Day Three

Paul Cayard Day Four report:
A front was expected across the south Florida area sometime this afternoon with large thunder storms containing lightening and hail. The forecast called for 14-17 knots of breeze from the south prior to the front. After a brief postponement to evaluate the situation, the Coral Reef Race Committee got the Stars out on the water for what was the best race of the series so far.

The fleet got off to a clean start in 15 knots from 185. Shortly after the start the wind moved right to 195 and stayed there for the rest of the race.

Rodney and I had a good start, but went a bit too far left and missed the first important shift. Half way up the first 1.9 mile leg, we were in 20th. We had good speed and rounded the first mark about 15th and worked our way up to 7th at the finish. There was a significant amount of technique involved in sailing downwind today and I have to say that I am a bit rusty.

Xavier Rohart, with Serge Pulfer as crew were in a league of their own. They hit the right hand side of the course pretty hard and had a handy lead at the first windward mark. They are fast in breeze and therefore were able to stretch out on the fleet from there. My good friends Larry Whipple and Austin Sperry were 2nd all the way around the course. Brian Ledbetter and Josh Revkin sailed very well to get 3rd.

The hard luck went to Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl. They broke their connection at the top of the rudder to the tiller and saw a very good 4th place slip to 12th. That would have changed the score board a bit at the top. Torben Grael sailed very well to get 5th today as he was back with us on the first leg.

Lars Grael did not have a very good race today finishing 14th. But after 4 races all competitors get to discard their worst score. We now are able to average races 2-4 and get a placing for our redress in race #1. We are currently tied for 10th over all, five points off 5th.

Once ashore, the front hit at about 3:30 bringing a massive downpour and lightening all around. Fortunately all the boats and crews were safe. The Race Committee of all the fleets did a great job of getting the races in and the boats back to the dock before the equal line hit!

Tomorrow's forecast is for 15-18 knots from the west. These conditions normally produce very shifty racing here as the wind is coming off the land.

Day Four Report by Jan Harley: Rohart and Pulfer Win Fourth Race
The Star fleet today completed the fourth race in their series which now allows the worst score to be discarded from their cumulative points. 2012 Bacardi Cup champion Xavier Rohart (FRA), with crew Serge Pulfer, was first around the weather mark followed closely by two members of Seattle Yacht Club: Larry Whipple and Brian Ledbetter. Those positions remained intact as the three boats crossed the finish line. The early standings leaders Brazil's Lars Grael, who finished 14th today, and San Diego's Mark Reynolds, who finished 12th benefitted from the drop score as both retained their overall positions, respectively first and second, with no change in their point totals. Torben Grael, who finished fifth in today's race, also saw no change in either his overall position (third) or points (12). The big gain went to Rohart who was able to drop a 10th from the first day of racing to move up from sixth overall to fourth with 16 points.

"We knew bad weather was called for later in the day and were hoping to get in a full day before losing the battle with Mother Nature," said Mark Pincus, BMSW Regatta Chair. "Unfortunately, the storms blew in a little after 1500. The Stars finished their race and are still on schedule. The weather tomorrow calls for breezy conditions and not stormy so we should be able to get some good racing in."

Video Day Four:

Day Five Report: Racing abandoned for the day with wind at 25 knots.

Day Six Report by Jan Harley:
The mantra a bad day on the water is better than a good day at the office will resonate with many of the sailors who have been racing at the fifth Bacardi Miami Sailing Week. While yesterday the breeze was higher than allowed for competition by some class rules, for todays finale there was so little wind it appeared as though a raft-up was taking place on Biscayne Bay instead of a regatta.

Since 2000, there has been a jinx for the day one winning Star team as none in that position has gone on to claim the prized Bacardi Cup. That was the case again this year for Mark Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.) and Miami sailor Magnus Liljedahl, who won the first race of the series to jump to the top of the 55-boat Star fleet. The duo, who shared both Olympic Gold and a Star World Championship win in 2000, had not sailed together for 10 years.

"I'm from Miami, live here, have a lot of friends and this result [second overall] feels like a win," said Liljedahl who has more wins of the Bacardi Cup (five) than any other crew in the event's history, while Reynolds holds the record (seven) for skippers. "It was a good event for Mark and me. I have a lot of respect for him, he is an outstanding skipper, he is very balanced and I like racing with him."

Lars Grael of Brazil, the two-time ('88, '96) Tornado Olympic Medalist, with crew Samuel Gonzalves, moved to the top of the Star standings on the second day of racing and held that position to the end. They took the win with five points, holding a five-point lead over Reynolds and Liljedahl.

"This is great, it's my first Bacardi Cup and it's the first for a Brazilian boat," said Lars Grael. "I'm very proud. Last year we got close and this year we sealed the deal. We started off with two seconds and a first; we dropped our bad race from the other day. Yesterday we had too much wind, today too little, and with our conservative approach we took it home."

Lars Grael's older brother, Torben Grael, the 1990 Star World Champion, and crew Guilheme Almeida, finished third overall with 12 points; followed by the 2012 Bacardi Cup Champion Xavier Rohart of France and Serge Pulfer with 16 points. Brad Funk (Plantation, Fla.) and crew Mark Strube rounded out the top-five with 18 points.

Place Boat Skipper Crew Sail #: Fleet 1 2 3 4 Total
1 Renata   Lars Grael   Samuel F M Goncalves   BRA 8474   Par   2.0 2.0 1.0 14.0 5
2 Quantum   Mark Reynolds   Magnus Liljedahl   USA 8320   SDB   1.0 6.0 3.0 12.0 10
3 Vida Bandida   Torben S Grael   Guilherme Almeida   BRA 8494   Gua   3.0 5.0 4.0 5.0 12
4 La Pelle   Xavier Rohart   Pulfer Serge   FRA 8237   NI   10.0 13.0 5.0 1.0 16
5 Funky Star   Brad Funk   Mark Strube   USA 8404     4.0 3.0 13.0 11.0 18
6 Barkablue   Larry Whipple   Austin Sperry   USA 8484   BisB   12.0 56.0 [DNF] 8.0 2.0 22
7 8229   Brian Ledbetter   Josh Revkin   USA 8229   PS   17.0 8.0 12.0 3.0 23
8 Chimera   Diego Negri   Sergio Lambertenghi   ITA 8452   VE   13.0 4.0 19.0 6.0 23.0001
9 Clementine   Alan Adler   Ubiratan Matos   IRL 8418   RdJ   7.0 15.0 7.0 9.0 23.0002
10 8000   Arthur Anosov   Brian Fatih   USA 8000   SL   6.0 9.0 10.0 15.0 25
11 8460   Paul Cayard   Rodney Hagebols   USA 8460   WSFB   11.0 [11.0, RDG] 7.0 20.0 7.0 25.0001
12 Charlotte   Mats Johansson   Mars Johansson   SWE 8489   Kat   14.5 [14.5, MAN] 29.0 9.0 4.0 27.5
13 Stella   John Maccausland   Phil Trinter   USA 8490   CR   11.0 16.0 14.0 8.0 33
14 Pied Piper / National Marine   Jack Jennings   Brian Sharp   USA 8464   LS   33.0 1.0 21.0 18.0 40
15 8465   Augie Diaz   Arnis Baltins   USA 8465   BisB   14.5 [14.5, MAN] 26.0 2.0 56.0 [DNF] 42.5
16 8446   Tom Loefstedt   Jesper Sundman   SWE 8446   RS   56.0 [BFD] 12.0 6.0 25.0 43
17 Remarc   Brian Cramer   Rick Burgess   CAN 8143   WLOC   9.0 20.0 18.0 17.0 44
18 Robot Uprising   Thomas Londrigan Jr   Steve Cutting   USA 8361   LS   24.0 10.0 11.0 27.0 45
19 Maricota   Admar Gonzaga   Andr Serpa   BRA 8459   Par   19.0 18.0 28.0 16.0 53
20 Arctur   Vasyl Gureyev   Vitaliy Kushnir   UKR 8247   Ukr   30.0 14.0 17.0 23.0 54
21 Cosa Nostra   Marcelo Bellotti   Arthur Lopez   BRA 8172   San   16.0 17.0 33.0 21.0 54.0001
22 Lara   Hubert Merkelbach   Gerrit Bartel   GER 8450   UB   56.0 [BFD] 19.0 16.0 19.0 54.0002
23 8468   Fabio Bruggioni   Marcelo Sansone   BRA 8468   GuB   22.0 11.0 23.0 26.0 56
24 8072   Doug Smith   Chris Rogers   USA 8072   SBC   8.0 42.0 30.0 20.0 58
25 Miisca   Alessandro Pascolato   Henry Boening   BRA 8390   GuB   56.0 [BFD] 22.0 15.0 24.0 61
26 8466   Vince Brun   Brian Terhaar   USA 8466   SDB   5.0 31.0 31.0 30.0 66
27 Pichon Pichoni   Erich Mones   Diego Peisajovich   ARG 8285   BisB   20.0 33.0 24.0 22.0 66.0001
28 Sol e Vento   Luiz Andre Reis   Alexandre Freitas   BRA 8287   Par   21.0 25.0 22.0 38.0 68
29 JRWoneDesign   Jerry Wendt   Michael Nichol   CAN 8389   WLOC   23.0 38.0 25.0 31.0 79
30 Fram   Gautschi Christoph   Dominik Schenk   SUI 8409   Bod   25.0 27.0 27.0 33.0 79.0001
31 Ronny Rocket   Marc De Haas   Erik Velhuisen   NED 8263   LO   37.0 40.0 34.0 10.0 81
32 Panzi   Renato Irrera   Manuele Laporta   ITA 8382   Pal   39.0 21.0 29.0 34.0 84
33 Playstation   Axel Hampe   Christian Knoll   GER 8311   ZuW   27.0 23.0 39.0 37.0 87
34 Big Jim   Mike Hecky   Shane Zwingelberg   USA 8395   CR   26.0 39.0 26.0 41.0 91
35 Squalo Bianco VII   Lorenz Zimmermann   Nils Holweg   SUI 8482   LUV   56.0 [BFD] 24.0 40.0 28.0 92
36 Vivi   Frederico Viegas   Renato Moura   BRA 8403   Par   18.0 37.0 43.0 42.0 97
37 Tamburicci   Antonio Tamburini   Renzo Ricci   ITA 8344   Sl   56.0 [BFD] 30.0 56.0 [DNF,OCS] 13.0 99
38 Leporello   Daniel Wyss   Gouda Alexander   SUI 8329   ZU   28.0 32.0 50.0 40.0 100
39 Yoyo   GUIDO FALCIOLA   Luca Paloschi   ITA 8158   FdAL   35.0 43.0 36.0 29.0 100
40 8084   Robert Teitge   Thaddeus Brej   USA 8084   BisB   29.0 36.0 42.0 36.0 101
41 Owl   Peter Costa   Joe Zambella   USA 7621   BH   36.0 28.0 41.0 45.0 105
42 Sempre Caos   Patrick Gudat   Kirk Olson   USA 8227   IR   44.0 35.0 32.0 39.0 106
43 Fat Moronic Bastards   Arild Holt   Petter Fiellstad   NOR 8317     31.0 44.0 56.0 [DNC] 35.0 110
44 Isabella   Bill Allen   Bruce Hatfield   USA 8379   BisB   43.0 50.0 35.0 32.0 110
45 8179   Klaus Meyer   , Juerg Mueller   GER 8179   Brm   38.0 34.0 38.0 56.0 [DNF] 110
46 8094   Manfred Kanter   Ann Marie Willan   CAN 8094   ISOL   34.0 41.0 37.0 44.0 112
47 7315   John Hokanson   Stuart MacIntosh   CAN 7315   BisB   32.0 48.0 44.0 47.0 123
48 Sonya   John Chiarella   William Gottling   USA 8215   Sun   40.0 47.0 46.0 43.0 129
49 Spax   Sandy McAllister   Spencer McAllister   AUS 7828   ES   45.0 45.0 45.0 48.0 135
50 7408   Mark DeShong   John Patrick Donahue   USA 827   BH   42.0 56.0 [DNF] 50.5 [50.5, MAN] 46.0 138.5
51 6730   George Macon   Neal Turluck   USA 6730   DR   41.0 51.0 49.0 50.0 140
52 7816   John H Helmsing   Marko Hasche   GER 7816   HF   46.0 53.0 47.0 49.0 142
53 7611   Ralph Grossmann III   Kip Gardner   USA 7611   Isol   47.0 49.0 50.5 [50.5, MAN] 56.0 [DNC] 146.5
54 French Rabbit   Joseph Pro   Nicolaus Pro   USA 8153   NCB   56.0 [BFD] 52.0 48.0 56.0 [DNF] 156
55 High Octane   Lothar Geilen   Carlos Miquel   GER 8396   BisB   56.0 [DNC] 46.0 56.0 [DNC] 56.0 [DNC] 158

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