Bacardi Miami Sailing Week - The air temperature cooled slightly, but not the action, for the penultimate day of Bacardi Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank.
A north-northwesterly breeze and calmer weather on Biscayne Bay allowed the Star class, competing for the 84th Bacardi Cup, to add two races to their scoreline, while three additional races were completed by the Melges 24 and Melges 20 fleets, and four additional races by the Viper 640 and J/24 classes.
With gusts, at times, to 20 knots, Sweden’s Fredrik Lööf and Max Salmiren took the win in the first race for the Stars. 'We positioned ourselves off the starting line more or less in the middle of the fleet and it was a bit of a drag race because the mark was quite a long way to the right,' said Lööf. 'At that point, most boats were right port tack and the sailors that positioned themselves too far to the left suffered a lot. We sailed quite aggressively toward the end and we positioned ourselves on the favored side with the wind coming in from the right. Still it was close, we lost a little bit, and then we came up and were across the finish line by no more than half a boat length. It was a good battle and an interesting, really close race.'
Unfortunately, Lööf and Salmiren did not fare as well in the second race, placing 20th, which they attributed to a rough start. 'If you're not in the front right away, you're struggling all the way through,' said Lööf. 'A lot of those guys were pushing hard at the start.' That second race was won by Alexander Schlonski and Matthias Bohn (Germany) who finished ahead of their fellow countrymen Johannes Babendererde and Timo Jacobs.
Only one Star team has recorded single-digit finishes over the course of the five races thus far. 2008 Olympian Peter O’Leary and David Burrows (Ireland) finished 8-4 today to move from fourth overall into the lead of the 89-boat fleet with 18 points. Guillaume Florent and Pascal Rambeau (France) are one point behind in second overall. Lööf and Salmiren and early series leaders Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen (Norway) are third and fourth, respectively, with 24 points each. Andy Horton (South Burlington, Vermont) and crew James Lyne (Granville, Vermont) finished 3-6 today to move from ninth up to fifth overall with 25 points.
In the 35-boat Melges 24 class, Lorenzo Bressani (Milan, Italy) had a near-perfect day, winning two races and placing second in the final race of the day. He remains first overall with five points, followed by Riccardo Simoneschi (Milan, Italy) with 14 points, and Brian Porter (Winnetka, Ill.) with 20 points.
In the Melges 20 class Paul Reilly (Chicago, Ill.), with tactician Andy Burdick (Zenda, Wisc.) and Mike Kuschner, continues to lead the 27-strong fleet, placing 4-2-3 today for 10 points. Mary Anne Ward (Cocoa Beach, Fla.), with tactician Sam Rogers and bowman Peter Keck, are second with 15 points. After winning the first race of the day, Dario Levi (Milan, Italy), sailing with tactician Andrea Casale and Stefano Lagi, placed 7-6 for 16 points total and third overall. The stage, however, is set for a major shuffle in the standings once a sixth race is completed: 2010 Audi Melges 20 National Champions Michael Kiss (Holland, Mich.), Mitchell Kiss (Holland, Mich.) and Chris Rast (San Diego, Calif.), won the last two races of the day after finishing seventh in the first race. Currently fifth overall with 27 points, [behind Chuck Holzman (Farmington Hills, Mich.) sailing with Michael Hoey and 470 Olympic Silver Medalist Morgan Reeser], Kiss has an 18 to drop, putting him in contention for a podium finish tomorrow.
In the Viper 640 fleet, two British teams remain at the top of the leaderboard. Glyn Locke (Isle of Wight), with crew David Chapman and Ian Nicholson, won all four races today and stand first overall with four points. Justin Scott, Peter Beardsley and Ched Proctor are second in the 17-boat fleet with 10 points, followed five points back by Cliff Clark (Winter Park, Fla.) sailing with Kelly Allen, Richard Shellow and David Woolsey.
Two teams did all the winning in the J/24 fleet: Kris Werner (Rochester, N.Y.), sailing with John Enwright, Michael Mansfield, Fred Meyer and Kiki Werner won the first two races on the day, and Robert Pincus (Miami) with Patricia Amaducci, Eammon Delisser and JB Slater won the last two races. Pincus moved into first overall with seven points. Werner is second, tied on points, with Brian Kamilar (Miami), sailing with Fran Bellocchio, Fabio Galarce, Mauricio Galarce and Enrique Quintero. www.MiamiSailingWeek.com