|District 20 Regatta Report|| |
Mon Mar 7th, 2016 through Sat Mar 12th, 2016
Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise and Paul Cayard/Brian Fatih in 18 knots
| Report by Paul Cayard:|
Today was the first day of the 88th Bacardi Cup. The Bacardi Cup started in Havana Cuba and was moved to Miami in the late 50's. 70 Star teams from 14 countries are entered for the event.
The wind was in from the east at 15-17 knots and all the teams were ready for the noon start. 2.5 hours later, we finally started our 2 hours race. We got back to the dock at 5:00. It was a very long day. Unfortunately for some, it was a short day as a few broke masts and other gear.
Without going into all the details, we had many-several (can't remember) recalled starts, postponements and even half a race that was abandoned after the first lap. I was worn out before the race started. The starting line for a fleet this big is two lines put together with a large signal boat right in the middle. So adjusting the angle of the line is a three boat operation and takes time to get anchors up etc. No doubt the race committee are worn out too.
When it finally started, Brian and I had a good start at the left end and initially looked very good. Problem was that the wind went right 15 degrees from there, and with that much leverage to the wrong side, it was a long haul back to 8th were we finished. While not overly ecstatic about that finish, it is a long week and a very tough fleet.
The German Team, and past World Champions, Robert Stank and Fritjof Kleen sailed well to take the win. Peter Vessella and Phil Trinter moved from 5th to second as the race progressed and Arthur Anosov with Edward Morey up front got the bronze. Lars Grael and Samuel Conclaves, the current World Champions, were 4th with local Miami hero Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada in 5th.
The forecast is windy all week. Maybe a bit more tomorrow - 20 gusting 25. The race committee will send the fleet on reaches on the first lap if it is real windy. They do this to eliminate one dead downwind run which is where most of the masts break. We don't reach much anymore in the Star class so that will be interesting. Could become a habit this week.
Day Two: All the forecasts were predicting big breeze-20 knots. It didn't materialize. That's why they call it a forecast and not a factcast.
We had a much shorter day on the water which was appreciated by all. I was in bed at 8:15 last night! After a 20 minute delay to get the line set, we had just one general recall today and then got race 2 underway in 16 knots from the East and choppy seas.
Brian and I had a decent start about 2/3rds of the way to the left end of the line and held starboard for about 10 minutes. Our speed was good and we were immediately up amongst the leaders. We rounded the first mark 4th and headed downwind. When we gybed to port it seemed like everyone behind us did as well. We were immediately set up underneath (in the wind shadow) of a 15 boat pack. This is not good when you need wind to push your boat.
Needless to say we had a stressful run and ended up losing quite a bit of ground. We rounded the gate at the bottom of leg 2 about 13th.
With good speed up wind and a much better second downwind run and we finished the race in 5th.
Today was Italia Day with Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi taking the win. They had very good speed upwind and down wind. They were second at the first mark but passed yesterdays winners, the German team of Stank/Kleen, on the first downwind leg. The Italians stretched out to a big lead, an obvious indication of speed.
For a while Torben Grael and Guilherme Almeida moved into second place but the Germans recaptured second up the last windward leg. Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada are going very fast in their new Folli which just arrived Friday. They passed by Torben as well to finish third, Grael 4th and Brian and I in 5th. Missing from the top group today was Lars Grael (Torben's younger brother and current World Champion) who finished, an uncharacteristic, 25th.
It's a little early for us to be looking at the scores, lots of racing to go.
What other class of boat has a trophy that has been continuously competed for, for 89 years? A trophy that started in Cuba? Is there any other sporting event competed for in the USA that was started in Cuba? People say the Star is an old boat, traditional, slow etc. Well it is, but it has also endured for 105 years. The class has gone from a gaff rig to a Marconi rig, from wood to fiberglass and from cotton to Dacron. The Star has evolved with the times, carefully accepting innovation while protecting its roots. Today the Star is a modern boat and still challenging to sail well. And the class is still conducting championships with some of the top sailors in the world.
Why? There is a lot of ingredients to the Star class that make it what it is. It would be too lengthy to get into it here but when I come back to the Coral Reef dock at the end of the day, and tie up alongside Torben Grael, a man I have competed against for over 30 years, on the Southern Ocean, at the Olympic Games, at the America's Cup, and we shake hands after a good battle in the Star, nothing needs to be said. He's here and I am here for the same reason - there is nothing better than racing a Star.
Today, the German's were the best team, following up on Monday's win. They were second at the first mark but got past Augie Diaz, (a giant in terms of the skill and camaraderie he brings) on the first downwind. The two teams battled all race but the Germans prevailed and are putting together a very strong bid to win the Bacardi Cup. Brian and I had a good day hovering around the 3-5 positions most of the race and finally finishing 3rd. Diego Negri and Sergio were pushing us hard and finished 4th. Torben and Guilherme were 5th.
There are a lot of excellent sailors I am not mentioning in these articles. Look at the scoring sheet below. For example our current World Champion is in 9th. It is not easy if you don't have a good start and first leg. Passing in this group is very difficult.
Tomorrow's forecast is for strong winds in the 20+ knot range. Each day the forecast has been overstated so we will see how tomorrow materializes.
At the half way mark, the Germans are leading comfortably, Augie and Bruno are second, Diego and Sergio 3rd, Brian and I moved up to 4th and Brad Funk with Mark Strube are sailing very well and moved up into 5th.
However, tomorrow we will have two races. These races are World Championship length races; 10.7 nm. Each race takes about 1:45. So it will be a long and physical day. The first start will be at 11:00 rather than the usual 12:00.
The forecast is for 17 knots from the southeast at 10:00 dropping to 11 knots by 16:00. It should be a beautiful day for racing Stars.
Someone will have to make a move tomorrow if the Germans are to be beaten. There is one discard in this series so two top 5 finishes for the Germans and they may not even have to go out for the 6th race on Saturday. But sailing is usually anything but straight forward. We still have half the series to go!
Brian and I thought we had a good day with a 4, 2 but we found out upon arriving back at the dock that we had be Black Flagged in the first race of the day and therefore disqualified. Fortunately there is one discard in this series so two are discarding the black flag.
In the second race, we were always battling around 4th or 5th but then down the final run to the finish we passed 3 boats to finish second.
Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada were also Black Flagged in the first race today and finished 4th in the second race. The have a four point lead on us going in to tomorrow's final race.
In 5th is Brad Funk and Mark Strube. Brad is a Laser and 49er sailor, new to the Star class. They are sailing very well in this Bacardi Cup and finished with a 2, 8 today.
Tomorrows forecast for Biscayne Bay is 13 knots form the southeast with the temperatures in the high 70's.
The final race was for all the marbles. Robert Stanjeck with Frithjof Kleen (GER) up front and Diego Negri with Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) were tied and no one else could beat either of them. Augie Diaz was in third and I woke up to find out I was in fifth place after going to bed in fourth place. Last night, the Jury had awarded Torben Grael redress after he was hit by a give way boat in race 5. He was in 10th place at the time and the jury awarded him 4th place for the race. It was a bit hard to comprehend. Anyway, we beat him today so that wasn't an issue for us.
After our customary one general recall, the race committee put up the Black Flag. The Germans shot off the line and were never headed. They led wire to wire. The Italian's were in the top four at the first mark and worked their way up to second by the end of the race.
Brian and I tried a loser rig today and it wasn't good. We had mediocre speed upwind and were in 20th after the first lap of the race. We hit a nice shift on the right side up the second beat to round the top mark the second time around 12th. By the end of the race we had moved up to 10h with Torben and Guilherme in 13th. Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada finished 6th in today's race so they remained comfortably in third for the series.
Tomorrow I am headed to St. Barths for the Bucket where I will rejoin the Rosehearty Team where I serve as tactician. We had a successful year last year on Rosehearty, being top Perini at St. Barts and winning the Perini Cup in Porto Cervo in September. My America's Cup team mate from 2003, Peter Holmberg will be joining us as helmsman. I always enjoy sailing with Pete.
IÂ’ll will start back up with the reports on Friday. Paul T
2812 Canon Street
San Diego, California 92106 USA
Phone: +1 619 222 0252
Fax: +1 619 222 0528
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