by Jan Harley
Bacardi Cup Miami - Stronger breeze today allowed for the completion of another race at the Bacardi Cup, the headline event of the 2011 Bacardi Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank, bringing the 89 Star teams another step closer to the title which will ultimately be determined on Saturday, March 12.
Sweden’s Freddy Lööf and Max Salmiren - Miami Sailing Week - Bacardi Cup
The second day of racing saw the California team of skipper Peter Vessella (Burlingame) and Rodney Hagebols (San Francisco) take an early lead on the first leg of the race, only to be overtaken at the windward mark. Sweden’s Fredrik Lööf and Max Salmiren, who claimed the silver medal in January at the Rolex Miami OCR, were initially fighting for fifth place when they were able to break away from the group and pull into the lead at the leeward mark.
'We had quite a conservative start,' said Lööf. 'We worked our way up the left side of the course on the first upwind, and were looking really good, but then, the right came in with quite a decent wind. At that point, we went to the right side when a lot of the other boats went left and we were able to get a big gain. Peter [Vessella] was leading initially, but we were able to get out in front and pull away from him and the others in the second downwind.'
Lööf and Salmiren went on to win the race with Irish Olympian Peter O'Leary and crew David Burones finishing second. 2007 BACARDI Cup winner Hamish Pepper and crew Craig Monk (both New Zealand) placed third, followed by Vessella and Hagerbols in fourth.
'We have a new boat, so we're just trying to have a good time and see how things go,' said Lööf regarding his approach to the 2011 Bacardi Cup. 'This will be my third Bacardi Cup. Everyone competing out there is strong and there are a lot of boats this year. It is good to see so many people sharing their passion [for sailing] and it's always nice to be in Miami.'
Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen (Norway) followed yesterday’s bullet with an eighth-place finish today to maintain their position at the top of the overall standings. The Norwegians, however, are tied on points – nine apiece – with O’Leary and Burones. Through eighth place the standings are extremely tight, with one point or less separating six teams: third overall, with 12 points, is Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (Poland) after finishes of six-six; Guillaume Florent and Pascal Rambeau (France), stand fourth with finishes of three-ten for 13 points.
Maciej Grabowski and Lukasz Lesinski (Poland) are fifth with 14 points; and Vesella and Hagerbols have 15 points for sixth place. Tied at 17 points each are Pepper and Monk, in sixth place overall, with Mark Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.) and Rick Peters (Venice, Calif.) in seventh. Two teams recently named to the 2011 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics round out the top-10 overall: Andy Horton (South Burlington, Vermont) and crew James Lyne (Granville, Vermont) stand ninth with 25 points, followed by Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.) and crew Ian Coleman (Annapolis, Md.) with 28 points.
Racing for the BACARDI Cup resumes Wednesday, March 9th, and continues through Saturday, March 12.
Bacardi Cup and Miami Sailing Week