by Jan Harley
At Miami Sailing Week, conditions for the day were near perfect as 51 teams of Star sailors headed out on Biscayne Bay for the first day of racing.
Star Fleet - Miami Sailing Week 2012
Headlining Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank, the Stars will race alone through Thursday, March 8, after which they will be joined by the Viper 640, Audi Melges 20, Melges 24 and J/80 classes. Racing will conclude for all classes on Saturday, March 10.
The Star class has only one race scheduled each day and today's series opener took place under cloudy skies with a northerly breeze in the mid teens. The Austrian team of five-time Olympian Hans Spitzauer, sailing with Gerd Habermueller, who had raced in Miami during the Rolex Miami OCR in late January, determined that they wanted to be on the right side of the course today. As the scoreboard attests, it proved to be a good move right from the start.
'Excellent day of sailing due to the winds, just perfect for the first day of this Bacardi Cup anniversary event,' said a very happy Spitzauer after racing today. 'We made a really good choice, and extended to take the lead. Today was a really good race for us, we had a great lead, we were pushed by others but today was our day.'
Finishing second were 2011 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) members Andrew Campbell and Ian Coleman, who finished 14th at the Star World Championship in Australia this past December. Third across the line was the Ukranian team of Arthur Anosov and Vitali Kushnir, followed by 2006 Etchells World Champion and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Jud Smith who is racing with Brian Fatih. Fatih, a member of the 2012 USSTAG, will represent the U.S.A. at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition as crew for Mark Mendelblatt.
Bacardi Cup website
Bacardi Miami Sailing Week website