Organizers of Bacardi Miami Sailing Week made the most of conditions on the penultimate day of competition as the Star class completed two races on Biscayne Bay where a northeast breeze of 8-11 knots was accompanied by a light chop.
Star racing during the 86th Bacardi Cup
Two races were sailed by the 56 Star teams who are competing for the 86th Bacardi Cup. The first win of the day went to defending champions Xavier Rohart and Serge Pulfer (FRA), while the second race was won by 2012 Olympians Mark Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Brian Fatih (Miami, Fla.).
Etchells Australasian Winter Championship 2014. Team Australia's Iain Murray back on an Etchells. - Etchells Australasian Winter Championship 2014
'We're happy of the win and we're surprised to be in it for the Cup,' said Mendelblatt who won the Bacardi Cup in
2005. 'We're very happy! We had light conditions at the start with eight to nine knots; we had a decent start and got swallowed out there by other boats. We were fortunate to get moving again and with some luck we ended up going the right way. At one point we were pinned by other boats and forced to go straight which ended up being the best way. There are five or six boats within a few points and tomorrow we will try to put some of them in between and try again to win the race. Having a shot at the Cup is such an honor!'
Etchells Australasian Winter Championship. Smoking Gun team from Geelong, Simon, Nick and Sam Gunner. - Etchells Australasian Winter Championship 2014
Lars Grael and Mario Lagoa (BRA), who have led the overall Star standings throughout the series, retain the top position despite finishes of 6-32 today for a net 23 points. Mendelblatt and Fatih are second overall with 25 points, followed by Rohart and Pulfer with 26. Diego Negri and Frithjof Kleen (ITA) are fourth with 28 points, followed by 2003 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Augie Diaz (Miami, Fla.) and Arnis Baltins with 29 points. The tight point spread among the top- five teams will surely set the stage for an intense final day of racing.
Miami Sailing Week website