Breeze on to start Bacardi Winter Series
Published on December 14th, 2019
Miami, FL (December 14, 2019) – Sailors from the northern latitudes were welcomed with sunshine and breeze for day one of the Bacardi Invitational Winter Series. Atypical southwest winds coming from the land, made for shifty upwinds while downwinds were even trickier with big blasts of breeze accompanied by significant shifts that caught even the best of teams off-guard.
After three races, John Brim and his team Rimette lead J70 fleet with two bullets and a fifth. In the Melges 24 class, Monsoon, helmed by Bruce Ayres, also picked up two bullets for a narrow lead over Travis Weisleder.
The Melges 24 fleet was well-behaved on the starting line, but the J70s pushed the starts resulting in U flags, black flags, and a numbers of the top teams being called over early, mixing up the standings a bit.
“The big telltale sign of the day was watching the cold front move across Florida and looking at the clouds out over the city of Miami,” said J70 winning crew of the day, Ian Coleman. Peter Karrié, skipper of the German-Italian team Nefeli, nailed the downwinds and commented that one of “the most crucial things downwind was calling the puffs, especially after the breeze built in the second and third races with puffs coming with a drastic changes in angle.”
Both fleets saw numerous wipe-outs on the downwinds, but all enjoyed blasting with spinnakers around Biscayne Bay. Megan Ratliff, of the Melges 24 Decorum, saw 16 knots on their Velocitek and remarked that one of the most important things on the downwinds was making sure boats were sailing at the right angles and calling laylines correctly.
Many a team overstood on the downwind layline, often coming into the leeward mark or finish line too hot to carry a chute or teetering on the brink of a wipe out.
Cooler weather and lighter winds are forecasted for tomorrow.
Source: Kathleen Tocke
The second edition of the Bacardi Invitational Winter Series 2019-20 features two events for the Melges 24 and J/70 fleets on December 14-15 and January 25-26 in Miami, FL. Following on from the Bacardi Winter Series, the Melges 24 and J/70 teams will be invited to return to Miami and join the Viper 640 and Star class sailors for the Bacardi Invitational Regatta and iconic 93rd Bacardi Cup from March 1-7, 2020.