2022 Bacardi Winter Series #2
Published on January 30th, 2022
Miami, FL (January 30, 2022) – After high winds yesterday, the final day at 2022 Bacardi Invitational Winter Series – Event 2 had just enough wind for the J/70 and Melges 24 fleets to complete one race with three races for the 69F.
Winning the second event was Dingbat in the J/70, Raza Mixta in the Melges 24, and Team Tilt in the 69F. Racing was held on January 28-30.
The fleets now advance to the finale, 2022 Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta on March 9-12, where they will joined by the Viper 640 and VX One, with the iconic Star Class competing for the 95th Bacardi Cup from March 6-12, 2022.
Racing got underway on schedule for the J/70 with a clean start, but not a good mid-line placement for series leader going into the day, Richard Witzel on Rowdy. Closest rival Dingbat opted for the committee boat end of the line and it paid, as they took the lead on the second upwind, secured the race win and leapfrogged into first overall, with Rowdy dropping to leader board second after a 7th place finish.
The Race Committee attempted a second race, but called it off as the wind pretty much died completely.
“It was super shifty conditions all over the place, trending right throughout the day with big left shifts and it was pretty stressful racing,” said Thomas Barrows on Dingbat. “It was really fun to be with a new enthusiastic team and obviously we improved as the event went on.”
An incredible passage of play from Charles Thompson’s (GBR) all-star team on Brutus who came together as a crew for the first time for their debut appearance in Miami. Their 2nd place finish upgraded them from 9th overall going into the day to third overall by the end, boosted by discarding their 15th place from race 1.
“You can’t have a team that has done as well as we have, coming third for our first regatta without some great support,” grinned Thompson. “So thank you to Kenny Harvey for preparing the boat so well. I think we did ourselves proud. We were a bit worried after the first race coming 15th that we didn’t have what it took, but Sam Carter, Ben Saxton, and Twiggy helped us improve over the next two days.”
Sam Carter (GBR) continued, “It has been fantastic racing. Both Twiggy and Ben have done a fantastic job in calling tactics and we just focused on a lot of gear changing, trying to keep the boat quick all the time and the guys kept us good in what we needed to do tactically. So we just improved as the days went on and it has been a good start.”
Final Results – Top 5 of 25
1. Dingbat, Bobby Julien / Thomas Barrows / Alec Anderson / Chris Watters , USA –  -2 -4 -6 -6 -1 ; 19
2. Rowdy, Richard Witzel / Tomas Dietrich / Carlos Robles / Jud Smith , USA –  -3 -1 -9 -2 -7 ; 22
3. Brutus III, Charles Thompson / Sam Carter / Ben Saxton / Chris Grube , USA – 15 -4 - -2 -3 -2 ; 26
4. Pinta, Michael Illbruck / John Kostecki / Patrick Wilson / Will Felder , USA –  -6 -13 -4 -1 -3 ; 27
5. Very Odd, David Jannetti / Travis Odenbach / Andy Horton / Kris Warner , USA – 4 -10 -8 -5 - -6 ; 33
Race 6 featured a light 8 knot breeze, favoring the left side and with the pressure increasing to the windward mark, but it was those who chose middle left that came out on top.
By the second windward mark Laura Grondin’s control on the race was insurmountable. Her Dark Energy team extended to leave the pack in their shadow, with Peter Duncan’s Raza Mixta and Sandra Askew’s Flying Jenny toughing it out for 2nd and 3rd. John Bailey’s Talisman found a window to slip through and finished in 3rd, 2nd for Duncan and 4th for Askew.
With the discard now in play and counting a top scorecard of all top 4 finishes, Duncan advanced to series leader from 4th going into the day.
A clean start for race 7 and by the second upwind the fleet was significantly spread out across the course, but it all ended with abandonment as the wind dropped to 3 knots. Disappointment for Talisman who at the point of abandonment held a significant lead on the fleet, but satisfaction with placing third overall.
Final Results – Top 5 of 20
1. Raza Mixta, Peter Duncan / Victor Diaz de Leon / Matt Pitsay / Erik Shampain / Morgan Trubovick , USA – 2 -1 -4 -4 - -2 ; 13
2. WarCanoe, Michael Goldfarb / Jonny Goldsberry / Morten Henriksen / Matteo Ramian / Emory Williams , USA – 4 -3 - -1 -4 -5 ; 17
3. Talisman, John Bailey / Mike Buckley / John Bowden / Beth Whitener / Bear , USA –  -4 -3 -5 -5 -3 ; 20
4. Zenda Express, Harry Melges IV / Finn Rowe / Ripley Shelley / Jeremy Wilmot / Kate O’Donnell , USA – 1 -13 -5 -2 - -6 ; 27
5. New England Ropes, Bora Gulari / Kyle Navin / Norman Berge / Ian Liberty / Dave Hughes , USA – 5 -2 -6 - -7 -8 ; 28
Team Tilt helm Sébastien Schneiter (SUI), two-time Olympian in the 49er, was delighted with their win, saying, “This was the first regatta for us in the 69F and super happy to come away with the win. It was quite a fight with our Danish mates. It was really interesting, learning every day how to sail these boats better and better, but a perfect venue for that here in Miami.
“The 69F is quite an interesting boat, as it is very simple but you still need good teamwork to make it work and yeh it definitely needs some power on the front of the boat, but it is quite easy to helm and quite intuitive with the foiling.
“We didn’t really know what to expect when we came here in Miami and our main goal was to start sailing together as a team. It was our first event together with Stuart and Jason and we are going to do a lot more in the future on different projects, so it was good to get to know each other, sail a bit together, work on our racing skills and communication skills and for that this was perfect.”
Jason Saunders (NZL), team mate on Team Tilt and two-time Olympian, added, “It was awesome! Yesterday was so nice to be able to get out and we thought that maybe it was going to be a bit too windy, so in the end it was perfect racing. This class goes really well with a bit of breeze and we had plenty of action out there, a few capsizes and some tough maneuvers, so it was really fun, really enjoyable.”
Final results after 13 races
1. Team Tilt (SUI) – Sebastian Shneiter / Stuart Bithell / Jason Saunders – 240.5 pts
2. Racing Yachts (DEN) – Jonas Warrer / Christian Peter Lubeck / Juan Navarro – 228.5 pts
3. Fly Marga (ITA) – Matteo Pilati / Alessandra Angelini / Francesco Rubagotti – 216.5 pts
4. Convergence (USA) – Ravi Parent / Ava Wilson / Cali Salinas / Ben Rosenberg – 209.0 pts
5. The Yugs (ARG) – Eric Monez / Nicolás Aragones / Jeniffer Canestra – 202.0 pts
6. Main Squeeze (USA) – Eamonn Delisser / Edward Cabassa / Severin Cunningham Gramm – 183.0 pts
The 2021-22 Bacardi Invitational Winter Series is held for J/70 and the Melges 24 fleets on December 18-19 and January 28-30 (along with Persico 69F) with the finale on March 9-12. Also racing in March are the VX One, Viper 640, and Persico 69F classes. Additionally, the Star Class will headline the historic Bacardi Cup, one of the world’s oldest sailing events, which celebrates its 95th anniversary on March 6-12, 2022. – Details