|District 20 Regatta Report|| |
Mon Mar 2nd, 2015 through Sat Mar 7th, 2015
Photo by Cory Silken.
| Final results for six
Bacardi Week Overview
Race One: I am back in south Florida for more Star sailing. This time the legendary Bacardi Cup. This year is the 88th running of this event which started in 1927 in Havana.
57 boats are racing from more than 10 countries. The competition will be tough with the Grael brothers tom Brazil, local favorite Augie Diaz, double gold medalist Mark Reynolds, and a host of other great teams that all have a chance to win.
Today's first race finally got underway after two general recalls and the committee resorting to the black flag to keep the anxious competitors behind the line. The wind was 12 knots from the east and very shifty and puffy as it was coming right over Key Biscayne.
Brian and I had a good start but managed to work our way backwards in the fleet to round the first mark about 25th. The leader at that point, had had a horrible start, tacked behind everyone and went hard right. The second place boat at the first mark had gone hard left. Go figure.
It was a day of ups and downs as the wind was very fickle. One moment you thought you were real fast but it was just that you had a puff that others didn't. Same with the shifts.
As the race went on, Larry Whipple and Austin Sperry worked their way from third to first. Brian and I work our way from the 25th to 7th.
Ahead of us were some very good teams. Behind us there were some too. So we were pretty fortunate to get back to 7th.
This is a long regatta, 6 races, and each race is longer than what we have been racing down here this winter. So the tactics can be a bit different. You can really get a lot of separation, (we call it leverage) from the fleet which can pay off if you hit it right.
Tomorrow's forecast is for 15 knots from the east again. 80 degree temperatures are the norm here so don't feel sorry for us if you are somewhere in the upper east coast or midwest.
Race Two: Report by Sailing
Miami, FL (March 3, 2015)- A beautiful tropical day was on tap for the Star sailors competing in the 88th Bacardi Cup, with the 57 teams facing 14 knots out of the ESE on Biscayne Bay. The course for day two was set a bit farther away, 3 miles South of Dinner Key Channel, and the windward leg was stretched to 2.4 miles.
The Race Committee continued needing the black flag in today's race, which led to a successful start with only one boat called over, bow 37, Hubert Merkelbach and Gerrit Bartel (Ueberlingen, GER).
The first boats to make it to the weather mark were Torkel Borgstrom and Juan Pablo Engelhard (ARG), followed by Peter Vessella and Phil Trinter (USA), and Alexander Jorissen and Erik Veldhuizen (NED), respectively. Once the fleet reached the downwind gates it seemed that Vessella/ Trinter had fallen out of the top three, while Jorge Joao Zarif and Bruno Prada (BRA) moved up to third, eventually taking second and ultimately first place, passing Torkel Borgstrom and Juan Pablo Engelhard who led the entire day.
"We lost in the downwind leg," says Borgstrom. "Jorge and Bruno definitely had a better downwind by being more aggressive and sailing "Laser" style. When we found out, it was too late. In any case we rounded all marks in first and we had a great day." Jorge Joao Zarif, now the overall leader with a second yesterday and a first today, commented: "At the first weather mark we were 4th, we then passed 3 boats and we positioned ourselves in a good place for the win and we did it despite a problem we had with a block on the boom. We had a very good strategy today and our choice to go to the left was right on target. We now are first in the cumulative results and we will fight for every position without risking too much.
Brazilians named Grael top day at Bacardi Cup
Day Three - March 4
After a 2.4 mile upwind leg, it is Paul Cayard and Brian Terhaar (USA) in first, Alberto Zanetti and Brian Fatih (ARG) in second, and Torben S. Grael and Guilherme de Almeida (BRA) in third. But at the bottom gate it was Grael/ de Almeida in the lead, with brother Lars Grael and Samuel Gonšlaves (BRA) in second, and Cayard/ Terhaar in third. The only change at the second weather mark is Lars Grael swapping places with Paul Cayard, while Torben S. Grael still leads.
Grael/ de Almeida held onto their lead to finish 1st, followed by brother Grael/ Gonšlaves in 2nd and Augie Diaz and Arnis Baltins (USA) finishing 3rd.
"It's nice to see both brothers on top," admitted Lars Grael. "Torben had a very good race from the beginning excellent first downwind. So he took the lead with a good gap."
Grael/ de Almeida now puts them in 4th overall. "We had a good start and played the middle right; that worked okay," said Torben. "Once around the windward mark, a lot of people jibed, but we went straight and gained a good distance. On the second beat we played the shifts a little bit, it was a little unstable, then it went light at the end of the race, so the last run was a little shaky. I guess we had a little bit of a margin and were able to hold on. It's always difficult and fun to sail here. It's a very good place for sailing, the temperature couldn't be any better in the winter."
Grael/ Gonšlaves are now in 3rd overall. "We were fighting at the top of the fleet since the beginning, rounding the first mark in 4th, finishing downwind in 3rd," said Lars. "Then, we went left believing that it could be better, but it didn't pay that much. However, we were happy to round the mark still in 3rd. The last downwind there was big competition between ourselves, Augie Diaz, Paul Cayard and at the end we caught some good waves to finish second. So it's good for the overall standings. Now the gap is closer between the front boats and it is going to be a very good competition until the end."
Diaz/ Baltins are now in 5th overall. "We had great luck," admitted Augie. "Really on the first weather leg we were pretty fortunate because we didn't have such a great start and then we caught a couple of nice shifts and went left. Despite the fact that we over stood, again on the left side, it was so favored that on the approach we did really well on the Starboard boats. I had to duck a bunch of boats because there was a wall. That was actually a good thing because when those boats rounded the offset they stayed high and we were able to dive down with no one behind us and get left, which was key; We had a great first downwind leg. We had a pretty good second upwind and we were close to the 2nd and 3rd place boats. At one point we got into second, but we lost Lars coming into the finish."
Day Four - March 5
Lars Grael and Samuel Gonšlaves win race 4 in the 56-boat Star fleet, followed in 2nd by Alessandro Pascolato and Henry Boening and in 3rd Jorge Joao Zarifand Bruno Prada. Overall we have Jorge Joao Zarif leading by one point over Lars Grael and by 9 points over Mark Reynolds.
In attempt to hold on to his lead for the next two races, Jorge Joao Zarif plans to "try to stay consistent and start well. I think our speed on the upwind is fine so if we have a good start and then see where the guys we are fighting against are, Lars, Mark, Torben, Augie, and try to stay close to them."
Day 5 March 6
Even with a tough race finishing 33rd, Jorge Joao Zarif and Bruno Prada (BRA) were able to hold onto their lead by 3 points. In 2nd overall, we have last year's Bacardi Cup winners, Lars Grael and Samuel Gonšlaves (BRA), followed by Mark Reynolds and Magnus Lilhedahl (USA), who are 7 points out of 1st.
Arthur Anosov comments on today's win saying, "We are very happy, this is the first time we have won a race in the Bacardi Cup after 15 years competing. It feels great, especially for my crew, who is sailing Stars for the first time. Today's conditions were light and shifty, and we tried not to tack too much, while sailing from pressure to pressure. Our objective for the event is to finish in the top 5 and to go to the BACARDI bar and celebrate the win."
Day Six March 7
In the 57-boat Star fleet competing for the prestigious Bacardi Cup, Lars Grael and Samuel Goncalves defended the title won in 2014. "Very good day," said a smiling Lars Grael. "Winning the Bacardi Cup twice in a row is a great achievement that only a few were able to accomplish". The last back-to-back repeat was in fact in 1994/1995 and 1999/2000 by Ross Macdonald. .
"It was tough till the end with four boats in contention," further explains Lars. "We had a good start by going right, rounded 2nd at the first mark, had a good downwind leg and protected position thereafter. We were calculating points all the time!". .
Second place for Jorge Zarif and Bruno Prada from Brazil (20 points, two behind the winners): "I could have won my first International championship, but after leading for four days we had to give up the lead," says Jorge Zarif. "Second is actually a great result if you think that in the top three spots we have 7 Olympic champions."
Third place for Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl (27 points): "Very happy to be in the top three," says Mark Reynolds. "I don't sail that much and haven't been sailing with Magnus either, but I guess it's like going back on a bicycle. The top two guys were hard to beat and I think they deserved a better result."
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