Bacardi tradition continues in Miami
Published on February 26th, 2020
Nearly 200 entrants are set to descend on South Florida for the 93rd Bacardi Cup and Bacardi Invitational Regatta on March 2-7 in Miami, FL.
First staged as a three-day regatta in Cuba in 1927, with less than ten Star boats, the 2020 Bacardi Cup continues its long tradition with the Star Class, while the Bacardi Invitational expands the one design event to J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640, VXOne, and Windfoil competition.
Four courses will serve the fleets with sailors from around the USA alongside 19 countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and Thailand.
Racing for the Star Class gets underway March 2 on Biscayne Bay with the other classes taking to the track on March 5. The Star fleet will contest their traditional one race per day in a true test of endurance relished by the sailors, whilst all other fleets will sail up to eight races across three days.
The largest fleet with 67 teams goes to the Star Class where World Champions, Olympians, and America’s Cup legends will vie for the elusive Bacardi Cup title. The Star Class competed at eighteen Olympic Games over eighty years and holds a pedigree for producing legends of the sport and plenty of them will be in Miami.
Numerous mainsails will feature the golden Star logo, awarded only to Star Class World Champions, including the renowned Paul Cayard (USA), who has been sailing the Star for over 40 years alongside his successful career in the America’s Cup and big yacht racing. Gold stars on the track will also be carried by two-time World Champion Xavier Rohart (FRA) and 2004 Olympic Bronze medalist and reigning World Champion Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL), who will be racing with his record five-time Star World Champion crew Bruno Prada (BRA).
Kusznierewicz is also a Gold and Bronze Olympic medalist in the Finn class, and Prada is an Olympic Silver and Bronze medalist in the Star. The 2016 Star World Champion and runner up at the 2019 Worlds, Augie Diaz (USA), will be racing as will Diego Negri (ITA) who won the 2018 Bacardi Cup and this year is crewed by the renowned Frithjof Kleen (GER).
However, looking to trump them all and keep a tight hold of their title will be the 2019 Bacardi Cup winners, Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise (USA), who will once again hope to enjoy the sweet taste of victory and retain the honor of drinking Bacardi rum from the winner’s trophy on March 7.
The J/70 fleet has a compelling line-up of 43 teams with potential to seize the crown, as demonstrated at the two winter warm-up events where different faces claimed the top three standings. Those likely to feature up front include world Champions Joel Ronning (2016) and Paul Ward (2019).
As the Melges 24 fleet prepares for its World Championship in May, both the reigning silver and bronze World Championship medalists, Bruce Ayres (USA) and Andrea Pozzi (ITA), will be on the starting line. Amongst those also up for the challenge in the twenty-eight boat fleet will be the best two overall finishers from the two warm-up events here in Miami over the winter, Bora Gulari (USA) and Travis Weisleder (USA).
Last year’s champion in the Viper 640, Geoff and Mary Ewenson, returns to defend her title but will have to go through some tough opposition to be on top of the twenty-two other teams on the track. Plenty of talent will join the action across the VXOne, AV8, and Windfoil classes.
Race activities are managed by Coral Reef Yacht Club, in collaboration with Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, US Sailing Center, and Shake-a-Leg Miami.
Source: Twelve USA, INC.