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Bacardi Invitational Winter Series in Miami Weekend 1 - Overall

by Kathleen Tocke 15 Dec 2019 23:22 PST 14-15 December 2019
Bacardi Invitational Winter Series in Miami day 2 © Kathleen Tocke

The wind machine from Saturday shut off and sailors went out to the race course under motor. Carol Ewing and her Race Committee were not optimistic for breeze above five knots, so the first race went off slowly with a slight pressure build toward the end.

Michael Goldfarb's Warcanoe, won the first race of the day in the the Melges 24 fleet. Trey Sheehan, who lacked speed in the breezy upwinds yesterday, found his groove today in the light air. His team, Hooligan, kept to their strategy of playing the right side to take the J70 win by a wide margin.

The breeze built for the second race, but remained light. Again it was Sheehan who crossed the line first in the J70 Class. Young Harry Melges and his team of lads on Zenda Expresswere happy to get out of the cold in Wisconsin to win race five. Although Harry advises that the key to going fast in light air is to buy a new boat, his crew also attributes their victory to the local knowledge of Miami's Ripley Shelly, who banked on going right on the upwinds.

Race six, the final race of the day, was the most interesting with new breeze coming down the course and teams being able to stretch their legs a bit on the high side. Top Corinthian team, Three and a Half Men, skippered by Steve Suddath won race six and proved that they have what it takes to be in the top in big breeze and light air. Just behind Suddath was a battle for second to fifth position, with four teams getting into a jibing duel coming into a photo finish.

In the J70 feet, things mixed up a bit, especially among the top teams, with Sheehan, Brim, and Heaton each scoring in the double digits. Joel Ronning's Catapultwon the final race, while Jeff Janov's Minor Threatand Ryan McKillen's team Surgewere second and third respectively. McKillen and Janov's consistency earned them first and second overall, with Trey Sheehan rounding out the J70 podium. McKillen's winning crew included John Wallace, Sam Loughborough, and Mark Mendelblatt.

Bruce Ayres' Monsoon, who led after day one in the Melges 24 fleet, had a tough day that included a BFD in the last race, taking them out of the running. Despite hiccups in the first race of the day, Kevin Welch and Travis Weisleder finished second and third overall. Michael Goldfarb with crew of Cole Brauer, David Brink, and Johnny Goldsberry took the win, the only boat in the fleet with no finish with double digits.

Teams return to Miami on January 24th for the second Bacardi Winter Series event.

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