Record turnout for 2024 Bacardi

Published on February 29th, 2024

The 97th Bacardi Cup and the Bacardi Invitational Regatta will break all past entry records with an unprecedented 213 teams gearing up in 2024 to compete in Miami, FL.

The regatta begins with the six-day schedule for the Star Class on March 4-9, followed by the J/70, Melges 24, Snipe, Viper 640, and VX One classes on March 7-9.

“We are thrilled by the level of entries, the largest gathered in Miami so far,” said Eddie Cutillas, Bacardi USA. “For our returning sailors, it is fantastic to have you back. If you are new to our event, we hope you come to consider Miami your sailing home away from home after this week.”

Teams from 25 nations will compete against the stunning backdrop of Biscayne Bay, with a star-studded entry list boasting a mix of sailing legends, World Champions, Olympians, and Pros lining up against weekend warriors.

The Bacardi Cup and BCIR are hosted in collaboration with Coral Reef Yacht Club, Shake a Leg Miami, Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, and the US Sailing Center.

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97th Bacardi Cup
Dating back to 1927, the Bacardi Cup is one of the world’s most venerable sailing events. The 97th edition promises a great battle ahead for the seventy-two teams representing seventeen nations. Racing gets underway at 12:00 hours on March 4th, featuring a daily long-distance race throughout the six-day series.

Since 1927, forty-five different teams having claimed Bacardi Cup glory. Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Bruno Prada have most recently dominated Biscayne Bay, making history with four back-to-back wins since 2020. The partnership is targeting another title defense.

There are plenty of other title contenders poised to make 2024 their year and former winners aiming to reclaim the coveted title. Mark Strube, who finished 2nd in 2023 joins forces with helm Josh Powell. Eric Doyle /Payson Infelise, who secured third last year, return with aspirations to clinch the trophy they last won in 2019, before the Kusznierewicz/ Prada dominance got underway.

Also racing up front will be Ireland’s Peter O’Leary/ Stephen Milne, who are consistently formidable and led the fleet mid-regatta last year before finishing 4th overall. Switzerland’s Piet Eckert/ Frederico Melo team bring their well-seasoned prowess to the fleet, with impressive recent finishes including 2nd at the 2023 Star Worlds and 5th in Miami last year.

Former Bacardi Cup Champions Diego Negri/ Sergio Lambertenghi from Italy, along with reigning Star European Champions Jack Jennings/ Pedro Trouche from the USA are regularly super consistent. Denmark’s Jørgen Schönherr/ Markus Koy, and Croatia’s Marin Misura/ Tonko Barac have plenty of pedigree and can also expect to be amongst the contenders for podium honors. These and plenty of other big names will all be in the mix.

In 2023, Bacardi expanded its commitment to nurture the future of Star Class sailing with The Bacardi Cup U30 Program. For this year’s event, ten teams have received complimentary event entry, financial assistance, and expert mentors to help offset event expenses.

The highest-performing U30 team will also receive support from Bacardi to compete at the 2024 Star Worlds in San Diego, CA. This initiative operates in partnership with the Star Class and their Star Education and Access (SEA) program, which facilitates access to boats for sailors to familiarize themselves with and gain opportunities to race the Star.

Bacardi Invitational Regatta
Taking place from March 7-9, the BCIR will consist of nine races spread across three days for the J/70, Melges 24, Snipe, Viper 640, and VX One classes. Beyond the quest for BCIR victory, the J/70 and Melges 24 are gearing up for the third and final event 2023-24 Bacardi Winter Series.

Notable J/70 teams include Joel Ronning’s Catapult who pulled no punches at BWS2, closely trailed by Charles Thompson’s World Champions on Brutus III. In the Melges 24, the focus will be on Bora Gulari’s Kingspoke after their dominance at BWS2, along with runners up Alec Anderson on Sentinel and Bruce Ayres’ on Monsoon.

The Snipe makes its debut at this year’s BCIR, with 22 teams in the line-up. “I’m looking forward to the regatta as I think it embodies our ‘Serious Sailing, Serious Fun’ class motto!” noted competitor Evan Hoffmann.

The Viper 640 features 23 teams from the USA, Canada, and Jamaica. In the VX One, defending champions Christopher Alexander, Grace Howie, and Ricky Welch return for another attempt at the Bacardi crown. They will be joined in the 32 boat fleet by most of last year’s top ten, Bacardi regulars, along with plenty of new faces.

Source: Bacardi

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