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Miami rocks the sailing world—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 11 Mar 2013
Star racing during the 86th Bacardi Cup © Icarus Sailing Media http://www.icarussailingmedia.com/
The latest sailing news comes compliments of Miami, where two huge events transpired this past week/weekend, namely the Miami Sailing Week and the TP52 World Championships. In both cases, many of the sharpest minds in the respective sailing disciplines gravitated to these events-the former sailed in One Designs, the later sailed in box-rule big boats-and in both cases the events delivered some red-hot racecourse action.

In the five-class strong Miami Sailing week, Americans Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih took nabbed top honors in the Star class and also took home the overall Bacardi Cup, despite an over-early call on the first race of the series. 'It was a disappointing start and it was my fault for not having a good first race,' admitted Mendelblatt, who represented the USA at the London Olympics 2012. 'After that we've been very consistent with low scores. We won the last two races and everything went our way.'


'Winning the Cup again means a lot to me; it's really great because winning any big Star regatta is not easy at all!' continued Mendelblatt. 'I’m very happy to have had Brian with me. He is a great crew and wanted to have his name on the Tito Bacardi trophy.'

The racing was also tight in the other four OD classes that were competing in Miami Sailing Week. For sailors competing in the newly minted J/70 class, the thrill of competition was a serious high note. 'Learned a lot in Key West, tried new things here in Miami and things have worked out!,' said Briane Keane, who won the class. 'Our goal was to be in the top-five and we did it. The J/70 class is the most exciting class in 10 years with top sailors; it’s the best fleet in North America right now; winning Miami is a great accomplishment.'

Be sure to get the full Miami Sailing Week report, inside this issue.


Meanwhile, the big-boat sailors also had an amazing week of racing, despite some uncooperative winds. Niklas Zennstrom and his 'Ran Racing' team captured top honors after their rivals aboard 'Azzurra' suffered an ill-timed broach in the last race of the series.


'It is fantastic,' said Zennstrom. ' I am relieved after one of the most stressful days of my life I think. It came down to the last race and whoever would win between [us and 'Azzurra']. In the pre-start 'Azzurra' had their match-racing helmsman on the start and they took advantage of that and they did a bit of a match-racing trick on us. But we managed to stay close and in a position to attack. They tried to luff us and broached out and we could just sail past them. They tried to trick us and force a penalty situation but they broached.'


And in America’s Cup news, some really interesting 'Am Cam' videos have surfaced from New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf showing Emirates Team New Zealand lining up against Luna Rossa Challenge as the two teams evolve towards this summer’s Louis Vuitton Cup (July 4-August 30). While Luna Rossa is sailing their first-generation AC72, their Kiwi friends are working-up their Mark II boat, the video is still indicative of the kind of awe-inspiring racing that we can all look forward to this summer.


Also inside, be sure to check out the latest news from the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup/Cal Maritime Invitational Intercollegiate Regatta, the J/105 Midwinters and the upcoming Voiles de Saint Barth. And finally, be sure to check out Rick Tomlinson’s great image gallery from the TP52 Worlds. Enjoy!

May the four winds blow you safely home,

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