Weak winds at Bacardi Winter Series #2
Published on January 26th, 2020
After a big blow in the Bacardi Winter Series Event One in December, light air skills were tested at Event Number Two on January 25-26 in Miami, FL. With 25 teams in both the J70 and Melges 24 fleets, six races were completed in very light northerly and northeasterly breezes.
Oivind Lorentzen and his team NINE, dominated the J70 Class on day one with a second and two bullets. They managed all top ten finishes on day two to win their fleet.
But it was Bora Gulari and his Melges 24 team who put on a light air show winning three of the six races, only dropping a sixth to take top honors in the Melges 24 class.
Steve Suddath with 3 ½ men were the top placing Corinthian boat in the Melges 24 fleet in seventh place overall and Zach Segal was the top Corinthian J70 team.
On day one, after a brief postponement on land, Melges 24 and J70 sailors headed out for three races. Teams made use of nice wind for speed testing and tuning prior to the first race, but the wind decreased by the start of race one with the first fleet starting in six to seven knots. Nine Melges 24 teams were called over early in start one including top contenders, Zingara, Warcanoe, and Full Throttle.
Pressure tended to favor the left side of the course throughout the day, with the wind playing a game of hide and seek during each leg, seemingly disappearing to a point where sailors thought they would be done for the day, only to fill again later in the same leg. Teams that kept their eyes out of the boat and managed to connect the dots, found themselves in the front of the fleet.
After winning the Melges 24 fleet on day one, Scott Nixon sailing with Bora Gulari, talked about their priority of getting off the line and staying in clean air. “We’re sailing with the J70 Fleet on our course as well, so staying away from those guys, staying clear downwind was a priority for us. Bora had really three awesome starts, two leeward end starts and one good mid-line start, so a really good day for us.”
With light and dying wind predicted for day two, the racing started one hour earlier to take advantage of the morning breeze. With only around 4 to 6 knots of wind for the first race, the course length was shortened to .7 miles. The Race Committee was serious about not wasting time getting races off, and employed the black flag after any general recall.
The breeze was slightly more right than day one, but teams still tended to play up the left side of the course. Gains were made the most by playing the shifts. As the breeze died throughout the day, the wind tended to be on the edges. Racers saw as little as two to three knots while racing, but the wind managed to pipe up at just the right time to get races completed.
Teams return to Miami again for the Bacardi Invitational Regatta, a multi-class event being held in conjunction with the Star Class Bacardi Cup, March 2 – 7.
Final Results – Top Five:
J/70 (25 Boats)
1. NINE, Oivind Lorentzen/ Ian Coleman/ David Shreiner/ Lucas Calabrese, 2-1-1-6--8; 18
2. Catapult, Joel Ronning/ Victor Diaz de Leon/ Patrick Wilson/ Chris Storke, 1-5--12-3-2; 23
3. Empeiria, John Heaton/ Will Felder/ Zeke Horowitz/ Zach Mason, -4-11-3-1-6; 25
4. Rosebud, Pamela Rose/ Goncalo Ribeiro/ Willem Van Waay/ Bernardo Freitas, 3-8-2-5--7; 25
5. Stampede, Bruno Pasquinelli/ Jonathan McKee/ Charlie McKee/ Orrin Star, -10-5-2-8-3; 28
Melges 24 (25 Boats)
1. 820, Bora Gulari/ Scott Nixon/ Mallory Gulari/ Ian Liberty/ Nick Marcolini, 3-5-1--1-1; 11
2. Lucky Dog, Travis Weisleder/ John Bowden/ Collin Leon/ Chandler Self/ Jeremy Wilmot, 1-3--8-3-4; 19
3. Zingara, Richard Reid/ Richard Clark/ Ben Lamb/ Matthew Chew/ Billy Gooderham, [26/BFD]-7-3-1-10-5; 26
4. Black Seal, Rob Gullan/ Nigel Young/ Mike Claxton/ Catherine Alton/ William Goldsmith, IRL- 6-4-8-2--7; 27
5. Warcanoe, Michael Goldfarb/ Johnny Goldsberry/ David Brink/ Emory Williams/ Michael Menninger, [26/BFD]-8-6-4-13-3; 34
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.