Strong Winds Disrupt Bacardi Events
Published on March 10th, 2016
Miami, FL (March 10, 2016) – Strong winds disrupted the schedule for the fourth day of the 89th Bacardi Cup Regatta and the start of the 7th Annual BACARDI Miami Sailing Week. With an onshore postponement for the Viper 640, VX One, A-Cat, and Star Classes, racing for them was eventually cancelled for the day, making the J/70 Class the only fleet to sail this afternoon.
Thirty five J/70 teams hit the water this morning and battled the steady 20 knot southeasterly breeze and choppy water to complete the first three races of the series. Three teams mastered the conditions today and lead the fleet by a comfortable 12 point margin.
Currently, the 2015 World Champion team Flojito Y Cooperando skippered by Julian Fernandez Neckelmann (MEX 384) is sitting in first place overall with 5 points, followed by Carlo Albertini and his team Calvi Network (ITA 456) with 6 points, and Robert Hughes’s team Heartbreaker (USA 353) with 8 points overall.
Hughes (USA 353) contributed their overall success and their Race 3 win to boat handling and communication. “Maintaining boat speed was the main focus today. Upwind we played with the jib leads a lot to help us power through all the chop. Downwind we constantly communicated about puffs moving down the course and about moving efficiently through puffs and lulls when the pressure differentials were high. Also moving the body weight around around the boat depending on the velocity was important to make sure the boat was always balanced from bow to stern.”
“One of our primary strategies for today was to make sure we set ourselves up on the starting line in a position that allowed us to sail fast forward for the first 5 minutes after the start without having to tack,” added Heartbreaker trimmer George Peet.
As for the Star Class, after a brief onshore postponement, racing was cancelled for the day giving the fleet an opportunity to rest after 3 days of sailing in tricky heavy air conditions. However, the sailors will definitely have their work cut out for them tomorrow.
ISCYRA President Lars Grael commented, “I think it is a safe decision because we have already completed 3 races and the weather forecast for next 2 days is good. I think the majority of the fleet agrees with the decision because it will help preserve the teams and equipment.
“Our strategy for racing will not change much tomorrow, the only difference is that we will be more tired! We will sail 2 races tomorrow to get back on schedule for the event and the Race Committee will most likely set a Course 4 for the first race of the day and a Course 3 for the second race. If you think about it, we will be sailing over 18 miles which will take about 6 hours on the water in heavy winds. That makes for a long day!”
Unfortunately for the Viper 640, VX One, and A-Cat fleets, the breeze exceeded the class maximum and the Race Committees were forced to cancel the racing for today, postponing the beginning of their series to tomorrow. Although the competitors were eager to get out on the water, the Race Officers were hesitant to put the fleets in potentially dangerous situations.
Report by event media.