Collection of classes combine for Bacardi bonanza

Published on March 7th, 2015

Miami, FL (March 7, 2015) – The last day of racing for the 88th Bacardi Cup and the 6th BACARDI Miami Sailing Week Presented by EFG Bank brought us a little change in the weather with overcast skies and scattered showers. The wind also switched directions and was coming out of the NE between 10 and 15 knots. All courses had 10:55 a.m. warning signals today with no races starting after, 1 p.m. for the Stars and 2p.m. for all other classes, in an effort to finish racing a bit earlier today.

Wrapping up a six-day schedule today, the 164 teams racing in five one-design classes – Star, Viper 640, J/70, VX One and M32 – completed enough races in four different circles for the winners to collect the prizes.

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.”

In the 46-boat J/70 fleet Mauricio Santa Cruz on Bruschetta won the series with 27 points ahead of Julian Fernandez (29 points) and Carlo Alberini (30) points.

“Race was very good with all kinds of winds,” said Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil. “Four boats could have won today, but my crew did an excellent job in difficult conditions with prevailing winds coming from the west. We are very happy to have won in Miami and I guess Brazilians do love this City!”

Julian Fernandez from Mexico added: “We will be back, we feel good about the result and about the week spent here. It was good all around; good race committee, competition and organization.”

In the 32-boat Viper fleet Canadian Brad Boston on Jackpot took home the win with 22 points followed by Peter Beardsley (24 points) and Geoffrey Ewenson (26 points) both from the United States.

“Perfect Miami conditions,” said Brad Boston. “Started light, built up after race one and finished good. We sailed all week in just tee shirts; that alone is unbelievable! It came down to the last race in order to decide the series and it was nerve wrecking because at some point we lost track of the situation and we really didn’t know where we were in terms of points. I’d like to thank our sponsor EFG Bank and Bacardi for the great hospitality; it’s great to sail in Miami at this fabulous event. Great time all around.”

In the 22-boat VX One fleet John Potter won with 35 points followed by fellow Americans Phillip Norris (35 points but one less win) and Philip Hallowell (37 points).

“The entire week was great and today we got breeze that wasn’t expected,” said John Potter. “We got lucky on the first wind shift and finished second in the first race. It’s a great place and a great venue. Race Committee did a great job, parties were worthy and we especially loved the weather.”

In the 7-catamaran M32 fleet Taylor Canfield won with 43 points followed by fellow Americans Michael Dominguez (48 points) and Ron O’Hanley (54 points).

“Participating to such a big event was a thrill, I’m very happy today. The wind was perfect for our catamarans especially for our last three races. It’s an honor to be able to win the M32’s Inaugural BACARDI Miami Sailing Week event while having fun and mingling with sailors from different classes and Countries,” concludes Taylor Canfield.

The Awards Party and Dinner took place this evening from 6 – 9 p.m. in the BACARDI Hospitality Village, located in Kennedy Park; Trophies have been awarded, food was served, and BACARDI Rum has been served to a record 600 people crowd. This concludes activities for the 2015 event, and everyone is already looking forward to the 2016 regatta that will take place in Coconut Grove and Biscayne Bay from March 5th to the 12th.

Report by event media. Photo by Cory Silken.

Complete resultsPhotosEvent directoryBACARDI Miami Sailing WeekBACARDI Cup

Background: The 88th Bacardi Cup for the Star Class is March 2-7, while racing for the 6th BACARDI Miami Sailing Week is March 5-7 for the J/70, Viper 640, VX One and M32 classes. On the water activities are coordinated by Coral Reef Yacht Club in collaboration with the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and with the help of the U.S. Sailing Center and Shake-A-Leg Miami.

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