by Joy Dunigan
The opening day of racing at Bacardi Miami Sailing Week 2014 (BMSW) hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club and strongly supported by Melges USA, saw the completion of the first three races in an eight part series. John Kilroy on Samba Pa Ti faired best striking a 3-3-4 scoreline to take the overall lead. In second place, 11 points further back is Drew Friedes on Pacific Yankee, with James Wilson seated third on Oleander.
Rob Wilber, Cinghiale
From fourth onward through eighth place, a mere four points separate the competition. Wilson, along with Russ Lucas on Shimmer and Marc Hollerbach on Fu (the only other competitor to submit a single-digit scoreline other than Kilroy) are all tied in points. Representing Brazil, Corinthian competitor Cesar Gomez Neto on Portobello is right behind in sixth.
Three races meant three very different race winners under building breeze conditions and heavy chop due to a large storm system moving in from the west.
Japan's Naofumi Kamei on Mamma Auito! assumed an early lead in Race One, eventually going on to win right at the line just ahead of Wilson. Richard Davies on Section 16 got into the groove to take first place in Race Two just ahead of Gomez Neto in second.
The last and final race was by far the most intense of them all as the breeze built to well over 15 knots with Rob Wilber's Cinghiale blasting off the starting line, guarding the pin for position and best pressure. Wilber found the fast lane extending a little more with each leg, taking a big win over Friedes in second, while Lucas finished third. Kilroy and John Taylor's Ninkasi finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
The Corinthian division is heated with only four teams qualifying for all-amatuer honors. Gomez Neto holds a significant lead over John Brown's Blind Squirrel in second, and Tate Russack's Diesel in third.
At the very end of the day, owners gathered at Coconut Grove Sailing Club to further discuss a building 2014-2016 schedule. Amongst those in attendance was overnight leader John Kilroy. As an incentive to attract more attendance at the North American Championship being held in early October in San Francisco, he vowed that if 40 boats attend, he will donate $100,000 to the winner's charity of choice - now how is that for amazing!
Richard Davies, Section 16 - 2014 Bacardi Miami Sailing Week
John Kilroy, Samba Pa Ti - 2014 Bacardi Miami Sailing Week
Cesar Gomez Neto, Portobello - 2014 Bacardi Miami Sailing Week
Racing continues on Friday, and early forecast predictions indicate weather conditions will be around 18-20 knots, seriously premium for downwind planing.
Top Ten Results (After three races)
1.) John Kilroy/Paul Goodison, Samba Pa Ti; 3-3-4 = 10
2.) Drew Friedes/Charlie Smythe, Pacific Yankee; 15-4-2 = 21
3.) James Wilson/Sam Rogers, Oleander; 2-14-6 = 22
4.) Russ Lucas/Harry Melges, Shimmer; 4-15-3 = 22
5.) Marc Hollerbach/Jonathan McKee, Fu; 8-7-7 = 22
6.) Cesar Gomez Neto/Paulo Ribiero, Portobello; 11-2-10 = 23
7.) Richard Davies/Charlie McKee, Section 16; 10-1-15 = 26
8.) Robert Hughes/Morgan Reeser, Heartbreaker; 5-9-12 = 26
9.) John Taylor/Bill Hardesy, Ninkasi; 9-13-5 = 27
10.) Bruce Ayres/Mike Buckley, Monsoon; 6-8-16 = 30
Click here for full results