by Jan Harley
While the forecasted breeze of 10-12 knots may not have materialized, the conditions for race three of the 87th Bacardi Cup definitely played to the strengths of three teams who are no strangers to racing on Biscayne Bay.
87th Bacardi Cup fleet races upwind on Biscayne Bay
'Yesterday I said I was going to be happy with a top 10 (finish) for consistency,' commented Lars Grael, Brazil’s two-time (’88, ’96) Tornado Olympic Medalist, after he and crew Samuel Gonzalves won today’s race. 'I am obviously happier with today's top spot! Today was a very tactical race among the top racers; it was a jibe war. Tomorrow the wind will pick up and it's going to be a difficult race for me. We are only half way through and I must say that consistency is key. If I'm able to stay in the top 10 I believe I will be in a good shape for the overall win.'
Grael and Gonzalves moved to the top of the overall standings in the 55-boat fleet yesterday, and remain there after today’s win. Their two – two - one scoreline, for five points, gives them a five-point cushion over San Diego’s Mark Reynolds and Miami’s Magnus Liljedahl.
'Fighting with Augie (Diaz) today I felt it was like the old days!' said Reynolds after finishing third today. 'I didn't have a particularly good start; I think that's where I lost today's race. But I had good shifts and was able to keep my boat in clear air. I decided to split, it was a risky move, but worth a chance and it paid off.'
Miami’s Diaz crossed the finish line second today, and stands 11th overall on 42.5 points. 'Lars is fast, starts well and does not make many mistakes, that is why he’s on top,' said Diaz who is sailing with Arnis Baltins of Baltimore, Maryland. 'He needs to watch his brother (Torben), Mark (Reynolds) and Xavier (Rohart), but he is in a great spot. Unfortunately being 11th I think I'm too far behind (to win the Bacardi Cup) and will target the top-three overall and daily wins.'
Torben Grael, older brother of Lars and the 1990 Star World Champion, is also displaying a consistency that has kept him in the top-three thus far in the series. Sailing with Guilheme Almeida, the Brazilian teammates have a three – five - four scoreline for 12 points.
Florida’s Brad Funk, with crew Mark Strube of Wisconsin, dropped a spot in the overall standings after finishing 13th today. They have 20 points and are five points ahead of another Florida team, Arthur Anosov and Brian Fatih, who are fifth in the overall standings with three races left in the series.
The fifth annual running of Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG runs through March 8, 2014. Regatta headquarters are at Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove. The six-day racing schedule is headlined by the Star class which is contesting the 87th Bacardi Cup. Starting tomorrow, Thursday, March 6, the Stars will share Biscayne Bay with competitors in the Audi Melges 20, J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640 and VX One classes.
During Bacardi Miami Sailing Week sailors will enjoy the hospitality lounge, Bacardi Rum tastings, as well as a special showing of the film 07.07.07 Amorita’s Unlucky Day. A special exhibit, Wynwood Sails Color the Grove, will feature the work of 10 artists of the graffiti and street art genre taking inspiration from the sea and sailing to create a work on canvas shaped like the jib of a sailboat. The art will be displayed at Coco Walk, the iconic open-air shopping, dining, and entertainment destination in Coconut Grove, from March 2-8, daily between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
Additionally, a live performance will take place Saturday, March 8, from 4:00-8:00 p.m., allowing the public to witness the artist’s creativity first-hand. In addition, select images from the 2010 to 2013 regattas, from the lenses of respected marine photographers Franco Pace of Italy, and Onne van der Wal and Cory Silken of the USA , will be displayed alongside the canvasses created specifically for Wynwood Sails Color the Grove to juxtapose 'the City meets the Sea' for this unique art event.
More information on the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week and the 87th Bacardi Cup is available at Miami Sailing Week website and Bacardi Cup website.