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Hamish and Giles beat 87 year old to win Bacardi Cup

by Lynn Fitzpatrick on 10 Mar 2007
David Giles (left) and Hamish Pepper (right) withe winner’s trophy at the 2007 Bacardi Cup Fried Elliott © http://www.friedbits.com

With a sly grin, Hamish Pepper said, 'Got to love it!' referring to his season here in Miami, which started with a victory at the North Americans and ended with another at the 80th Annual Bacardi Cup. It sounds trite, but we had another day in Paradise. We sailed out an hour earlier today than usual with whispy cirrus clouds overhead and an 8-10 knot breeze from the ENE.

Everyone has had a wonderful time on the water and on shore. Harry Walker, who is 87 years young and who started sailing Stars 71 years ago, is competing in his 33rd Bacardi Cup. He 'loves them all. They all have been tremendous.' He could not be more pleased with his average score of a 54 going into the final race and with his crew, Daren Jensen’s performance.

The highlight of the regatta and the season was watching the nail-biting drama unfold as Freddie Loof and Anders Ekstrom hunted down Jock Kohlaus and Larry Scott during the second race of the Bacardi Cup. The applause for the two Corinthians, sporting their khakis, blue blazers and white shirts and Jock’s classic bow tie, during the mid-week prize giving at Coral Reef Yacht Club was heartfelt and well deserved.

Going into the final day, the top three American teams were virtually tied for tenth, so in addition to watching for changes in the regattas standings among the leaders, many of the spectators were keeping an eye out for Americans George Szabo and Magnus Lijikahl, John MacCausland and Bob Schofield and John Dane and Austin Sperry.

Observing boats checking the wind before the start, it seemed as if the right was favored. Pepper/Giles, Bromby/McNiven and Loof/Ekstrom were at the committee boat end of the line. A few minutes after the start, Loof/Ekstrom took Pepper/Giles’ stern. In the meantime, Kusznierewicz/ Zycki looked to have the lead from the middle right. The Swiss, Germans and Italians were in the same vicinity as the Poles as the horsetails knitted together over the right and sunshine remained over the center of the course.


Two sunburned Dutchmen, Sander Jorrisen and Erik Veldhuizen came out of the middle left to round the weather mark first. Pepper/Giles followed with Americans Andy Macdonald and Brian Fatih and Australians Iain Murray and Andrew Palfrey ahead of a long line of boats at the offset mark.

During the first run, the Dutch remained to the left to retain the lead and round the left leeward gate along with Macdonald/Fatih. Pepper/Giles and Loof/Ekstrom took the right gate. Kusznierewicz/Zycki rounded the right gate just behind Dane/Sperry in fifth and sixth, respectively.

Loof/Ekstrom jumped out in the lead by staying a little to the left up the second beat in clean air and pressure and rounded the second weather mark thirty seconds ahead of Pepper/Giles. As the wind dropped, shifty conditions jumbled up the fleet. Germans Marc Pickel and Ingo Borkowski, Americans Vince Brun and Doug Brophy, Italians Luca Modena and Michele Marchesini played the middle left to pass Macdonald/Fatih as they fleet approached the second weather mark.

While the Stars spread out going downwind, the Etchells, sailing the Coral Reef Cup, were further to the north on Biscayne Bay heading upwind. Positions changed on the run and on the final beat of the regatta.


The winner of the final race was Germany’s Matthias Miller and Manuel Voigt. Another German boat, sailed by Marc Pickel and Ingo Borkowski was second across the line and Freddie Loof and Anders Ekstrom were third. They were only able to put four points on Hamish Pepper and David Giles, who finished seventh. Iain Murray and Andrew Palfrey were fourth across the line and finished the regatta in fourth place.

Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki sailed their throwout and fell behind Freddie Loof and Anders Ekstrom in the regatta standings.

As far as the race among the three American teams who were virtually tied for tenth going into the final race. John Dane and Austin Sperry won that race and finished the regatta in eleventh.

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