by Jan Harley
Bacardi Cup day 3 and in comparison to the relative calm of Biscayne Bay on day one, today’s sharp increase in wind speed was a welcome change for the 89 teams racing in the headline event of the 2011 Bacardi Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank. '
Sweden’s Freddy Lööf and Max Salmiren - Miami Sailing Week - Bacardi Cup
High clouds, chop, and an east-southeasterly breeze in the mid-teens propelled the Stars around the 9.5 nautical mile course after an aggressive start saw seven teams pay a penalty with their scores for starting early.
The day's race was won by Guillame Florent and Pascal Rambeau (France), making for three different winners in as many races thus far in the series. Sweden’s Fredrik Lööf and Max Salmiren continued their consistent form, adding a second-place finish to yesterday’s win. Third place went to three-time Bacardi Cup champion Peter Bromby sailing with Lee White (Bermuda).
'We actually didn't have such a good start,' said Florent about race three. 'But we found a good lane to the right hand side of the course. We expected a small shift there, but nothing that could give us the lead. But the wind was quite stable, and the speed we had there was the key. We rounded first at the top mark, and after that we managed to stay in the lead. It was a very good win.'
'There are so many sailors to look out for here,' remarked Florent on the competition. 'There are only a few top sailors from the world that aren't here. It's a very high level [of sailing] so you have to keep your eyes on many competitors. This is my first Bacardi Cup, and my first year in the Star with Pascal, who did a very good job today.' Rambeau is a two-time Star World Champion (2003, 2005) and won a bronze medal in the Star at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, while Florent also has an Olympic bronze medal – won at the 2008 Olympics in the Finn. 'The Olympics is definitely the goal,' Florent concluded. 'Both Pascal and I have been to the Olympics already, so we'd like to do better than we did before. We're working hard to achieve that and hope we'll be good enough.'
With the midpoint of the regatta reached, the overall standings continue to reflect a close contest at the top of the fleet. Sweden’s Fredrik Lööf and Max Salmiren have moved into the overall lead with three points, Guillaume Florent and Pascal Rambeau (France) are now second with four points.
Early series leaders Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen (Norway) dropped two places and stand third overall with five points and Peter O’Leary and David Burones (Ireland) are fourth with seven points. Only one point separates the teams standing fifth through 11th: Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (Poland) have 12 points; New Zealand’s Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk remain sixth with 13 points; Maciej Grabowski and Lukasz Lesinski (Poland) dropped two places to seventh but retain 14 points; and despite an OCS penalty, Peter Vessella (Burlingame, Calif.) and Rodney Hagebols (San Francisco, Calif.) have 15 points for eighth place. Andy Horton (South Burlington, Vermont) and crew James Lyne (Granville, Vermont) are ninth with 16 points, followed by Mark Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.) and Rick Peters (Venice, Calif.) with 17 points and Augie Diaz (Miami, Fla.) with Bruno Prada (Brazil) is 11th on 18 points. Peter Bromby and Lee White (Bermuda) are just four points behind this tight pack, standing 12th overall with 22 points.
Racing for the Bacardi Cup resumes Wednesday, March 9, and continues through Saturday, March 12.
Results on the 84th Bacardi Cup and second annual Bacardi Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank, visit www.BacardiCup.com and www.MiamiSailingWeek.com