New race winner at Bacardi Cup
Published on March 9th, 2022
Miami, FL (March 9, 2022) – The third day of the 95th Bacardi Cup remained on schedule today, completing the third race for the 57-boat Star fleet. With minor movement in the overall results, the big news was Jack Jennings/ Pedro Trouche (USA/BRA) taking today’s bullet (above), breaking the undefeated streak of Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL/BRA).
Spectacular conditions saw the fleet evenly spread along the race 3 starting line and up the first windward leg with no favored side.
Sailing together for the first time, Great Britain’s Ed Wright and Bulgaria’s Alberto Ambrosini gave the fleet the early run for their money. The team had a good start, although a bit behind the boats around which worked to their advantage, as they were in a position to tack off to port. They sailed the lift until they got knocked and headed into the windward mark covering the fleet from the right.
Wright/ Ambrosini continued their form downwind, opting left to drive fast through the fantastic waves and surfing conditions. But when they switched to the right, their lead unraveled.
After an exciting gate rounding, Jennings/ Trouche sailed strong upwind, dictating the leader board shuffle as they approached the windward mark for the second time. The pair managed to pick their spots to tack into a clear lane and maneuvered to the right of Wright/ Ambrosini to take the lead, with 2019 Bacardi Cup champions Eric Doyle/ Payson Infelise chasing.
Rounding the windward mark, Wright/ Ambrosini were in a tussle with 2018 Bacardi Cup winners Diego Negri/ Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) who came in on port tack, with Kusznierewicz/ Prada in 5th. Paul Cayard/ Frithjof Kleen (USA/GER) followed, with the O’Leary brothers (IRL) and Jørgen Schönherr/ Markus Koy (DEN) neck and neck, and Eivind Melleby/ Joshua Revkin (NOR/USA) close behind.
A strong bounce back from Schönherr/ Koy, who were off the track yesterday due to Jørgen’s broken foot, as they target an upgrade on their partnership’s 8th place finish from 2020. Koy finished 3rd at the 2021 Bacardi Cup with Augie Diaz (USA).
Heading back downwind, the pressure remained consistent across the course, with plenty of wave action to accelerate the gains to Jennings/ Trouche. An impressive passage of play from Kusznierewicz/ Prada, who clawed back from around 5th at the final leeward gate to finish in 2nd, with Doyle/ Infelise finishing 3rd. A 4th place finish to reigning Star World Champion Negri with crew Lambertenghi advances them to leader board 3rd, knocking the O’Learys down to 4th.
Jennings/Trouche are racing only their fifth event together, and their win advances them two places up the leader board to 7th overall.
“For sure we had a lot of fun surfing, sailing by the lee sometimes, playing with different modes,” explained Trouche, who won the 2018 Star Sailors League Finals. “Our talking was way better today on the downwind, so we had some gains on the first downwind. I am super happy. A champagne day in Biscayne Bay!”
“I think the key was to just keep doing the little things the right way,” added Jennings. “Like getting a good start, which we have had the last two days, and then working on our downwind mode a little bit and also working on our communication. So more important than the result is, I think, we made an improvement in all those areas and we sailed the boat well from the beginning to the end.
“There are so many great champions here that it is always nice to have a good result. A lot of it is due to Pedro’s good hiking, our teamwork off the line and to have the boat in the right mode and keep our lane.”
From pole position, Wright/ Ambrosini lost their pace to finish the race in 7th. The pair only partnered up after their respective skippers were unable to compete. Progress has been steady, with an improving scorecard of 18, 11 and 7. For Wright, their front of fleet territory matches his pedigree, having previously stepped onto the Finn Gold Cup podium six times, including gold in 2018.
On pressing the accelerator, Wright said, “From the first day to now, we are sailing the boat much differently. We are driving the boat a lot faster and really trying to power it up instead of pinching, and that made a huge difference with our boat speed.”
Melleby/ Revkin finished 5th to hold their leader board 5th, with Cayard/ Kleen finishing 6th in the race and on the leader board. Cayard first competed at the Bacardi Cup forty-two years ago crewing for Tom Blackaller. He has raced many times since, but is yet to taste victory.
“I’ve never won the Bacardi Cup,” admitted Cayard. “I’ve been second many times, so it would be nice to win! We have a lot of great competition here, I think there must be 10 world championships racing, so when you’re in the top 10 in the races it’s tough.”
On their new partnership, Cayard said, “We are working on the speed and the set-up of the boat, so just trying to keep improving and if we do I think the result will be good. Frithjof is the current World Champion crew and I have a lot of experience, he is young and I’m a little older so I think we have a good mix of experience and youth and physical capability.”
Reflecting on the event history, Cayard added, “The Bacardi Cup is like the Star Class. The two brands have been together for 95 years, in Cuba first and then here in Miami. They are both brands that represent excellence in a sector and respect tradition and so the fusion of these two brands is what makes the Bacardi Cup special. So, it is quite an honor just to be participating.”
The Stars race on March 7-12 and will be joined March 10-12 with the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640, VX One, and 69F classes.
Day Three Results (Top 10 of 57)
1. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada, POL – 1 -1 -2 ; 4
2. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise, USA – 3 -2 -3 ; 8
3. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi, ITA- 4 -4 -4 ; 12
4. Peter O’Leary / Robert O’Leary, IRL – 2 -3 -9 ; 14
5. Eivind Melleby / Joshua Revkin, NOR – 6 -7 -5 ; 18
6. Paul Cayard / Frithjof Kleen, USA – 10 -6 -6 ; 22
7. Jack Jennings / Pedro Trouche, USA – 13 -9 -1 ; 23
8. Augie Diaz / Christian Nehammer, USA – 12 -5 -10 ; 27
9. Erik Lidecis / Greg Smith, USA – 7 -15 -13 ; 35
10. Ed Wright / Alberto Ambrosini, GBR- 18 -11 -7 ; 36
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 10-12. 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 7-12, 2022. – Details