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Bacardi Winter Series 2023/2024 Event 1 in Miami, USA - Overall

by Luissa Smith 17 Dec 2023 16:16 PST December 16-17, 2023
J/70: ‘Very Odd' asserts control of the Biscayne Bay race track - 2023 Bacardi Winter Series Event 1 © Hannah Lee Noll

A riveting single race on Sunday, December 17, determined the leaderboard for Bacardi Winter Series Event 1.

The overcast sky that lingered from Saturday gave way to clearing skies on Sunday, with a westerly breeze exceeding 20 knots and gusts up to 30 knots on Biscayne Bay. Once again, the vagaries of the weather played havoc with the schedule, disrupting the Race Committee's initial hope for three back-to-back races. A one-hour postponement ashore and no let-up in the weather conditions led the committee to opt for a single race.

The challenging conditions would reward superior teamwork and with both J/70 and Melges 24 running deep with talent, it was a question of where the luck would lie. Despite just one race, teams were happy to get out on the water and enjoy plenty of on the edge action.


'Very Odd' with David Jannetti at the helm won the race by around one minute over the twenty-one boat fleet, with Daniel Goldberg's 'Bazinga' in second and Bryce Kalow's 'Superior 2' finishing third.

"We were very happy to get out on the water, even if it was only one race. I have a terrific team," commented Jannetti. "We had a great race with three amazing teammates. Travis Odenbach on the bow, Andy Horton who is tactician and got us up the course quickly, and Willem Van Waay trimming who did a superb job. So, a total team effort."

Reflecting on the key to their success, he continued, "I think we figured out a way that, even though it didn't feel so great going up through the chop, Willem was able to get us into a groove and Andy was able to look up the course and pick the right side. So, one race and you have to have a lot of luck and it just happened to be on our side today!"

The team's lead over the rest of the fleet saw Jannetti saying post-race, "We were pretty happy! I guess we won by a few boat lengths but then we have the next event and the next event after that, so we're not getting too crazy on a one race win! Even if it is one race, it means a lot to me. It is nice to race against everybody here."

The team finished 6th at this event last year and wrapped up the 2023 Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta with a 6th, so have their sights set higher in 2024. Initially planning to race only Event 1 and BCIR, Jannetti added, "We are getting a bit itchy now, so we will be here for the second Winter Series as well!"

The top J/70 Corinthian team was Scott Weakley's Canadian team on 'REX' in 14th overall.

J/70 Results: (top ten)

1. David Jannetti / Travis Odenbach / Willem Van Waay / Andy Horton (USA 1513)
2. Daniel Goldberg / Tomas Hornos / Kristen Berry / Goncalo Ribeiro (USA 84)
3. Bryce Kalow / Ian Coleman / Alec Kalow / Chris Stocke (USA 216)
4. Trey Sheehan / Reed Balridge / Brad Boston / Curtis Florence (USA 389)
5. Aaron Drury / Brian Johansen / Ian Hunter / Telmo Basterra / Orrin Star (CAN 771)
6. Robert Hughes / Jud Smith / Manu Weiller / Marc Gauthier (USA 353)
7. Dick Kalow / Sam Loughborough / Morgan Reeser / Patrick Wilson (USA 1525)
8. Peter Cunningham / Pedro Andrade / John Wallace / Tony Rey (CAY 1310)
9. John Evans / Zeke Horowitz / Zach Mason / Abie McLaughlin / Matt Koch (USA 600)
10. Simon Patterson / Luke Cross / Ben Saxton / Sam Patterson (GBR 1496)

Melges 24

Andrea Pozzi's team on 'Bombarda' took control of the seventeen-boat Melges 24 fleet to secure the top spot, with Cuyler Morris on 'Dark Horse' coming in second and Laura Grondin's 'Dark Energy' finishing third.

Reflecting on their performance, Pozzi remarked, "Although we didn't sail a lot, it was great. Today was very good. I like these Miami conditions, it was fantastic.

"Today was a lot of wind and I like the wind. Bombarda is very fast with the wind and this is a good program for San Francisco," he added in optimistic reference to the upcoming Melges 24 Worlds, August 17-24, 2024.

'Bombarda' will race Bacardi Winter Series 2 and the BCIR before heading to San Francisco.

Pozzi commended the event, stating, "Bacardi consistently excels in organization; everything is superb. It's why we return year after year!"

Dan Berezin's Canadian team on 'Surprise' claimed the top Corinthian spot, in 11th place overall, with Berezin's twelve-year-old son contributing to the success. 'Surprise' recently finished second at the 2023 Melges 24 North Americans.

Reflecting on the challenging conditions, Berezin commented, "Probably not the best conditions for us, but I guess we managed, and it was enough for the Corinthian title. It wasn't the best race, but sometimes it is enough to finish! I am looking forward to being here next month."

Melges 24 Results: (top ten)

1. Andrea Pozzi / Filippo Amonti / Matteo IvaldI / Stefano Ciampalini / Carlo Zermini (ITA 865)
2. Cuyler Morris / Keiran Searle / Charlie Hibben / Elizabeth Whitner / John Bowden (USA 863)
3. Laura Grondin / Taylor Canfield / Federico Michetti / Ian Liberty / Mark Ivey (USA 864)
4. Geoff Fargo / Jackson Benvenutti / Grant Janov / William McBride / Haydon Stapleton (USA 856)
5. Richard Reid / Serena Vilage / Ian Sloan / Bill Gooderham / Brian Kamilar (CAN 853)
6. Bora Gulari / Norman Berge / Nicholas Ford / Carlos Robles / Dave Hughes (USA 820)
7. Sandra Askew / Drew Barnes / Key Becker / Robert Greelhalg / Nicolas Muller / Nick Turney (USA 869)
8. Jaime Torres / Rob Britts / Meaghan Hislop / Dawn Menegazzi / Marty Kullman (USA 545)
9. Michael Wilson / Helen Wilson / Stuart Bithell / Luke Patience / Simon Potts (USA 801)
10. Steven Boho / Ted Keller / Tom Babel / Andrew Girrell (USA 839)

The post-race Bacardi party and prize-giving were celebrated at Shake-A-Leg Miami.

The next event on the program is Bacardi Winter Series Event 2 from January 26-28, 2024, followed by the concluding event of the series, the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta from March 6-9, 2024. Miami, renowned for its unique blend of world-class racing and vibrant social atmosphere, combined with Bacardi hosting its renowned daily happy hours, entertainment and music makes the perfect backdrop.

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