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Barton Marine 2019 728x90

97th Bacardi Cup Day 5

by Luissa Smith 8 Mar 19:17 PST March 4-9, 2024
Star - Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise in race 5 - 97th Bacardi Cup © Martina Orsini

Another intense day of racing in fantastic conditions on Biscayne Bay at the 97th Bacardi Cup and Bacardi Invitational Regatta. The usual shifty breeze was around 8-10 knots with plenty of race track nuances.

The all-important discard came into play in race 5 for the sixty-six boat Star fleet, but nobody could displace the top three teams who are on a remarkable 13-points apiece tiebreak. It is going to be a battle of titans between Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada, Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise and Augie Diaz/Henry Boening in Saturday's concluding race.

In the other fleets, all change as 'Dark Energy' now leads the J/70 and 'Nefeli' tops the Melges 24. John Porter/David Himmel hold firm in the VX One, and the new faces of Yoan Carrillo/Rene Torrecilla Abreu lead the Snipe and Jimmy Praley/Austin Powers/Max Vinocur control the Viper 640.

A game changing day for some and still a mountain to climb for others as tomorrow, Saturday, March 9, marks the final fight for the podium.

Tonight, over 600 sailors descended on Shake-A-Leg Miami for another memorable night of Bacardi hospitality.

97th Bacardi Cup

Race 5 got under way in 6-8 knots of breeze from the south-east, with glory in the hands of Sweden's Tom Lofstedt/Johan Tillander. For the second time, they kicked off proceedings at the front, but this time managed to maintain their advantage and score a well-deserved win.

But it was behind where the battle for Bacardi Cup supremacy was unfolding, as the three leadings teams of Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada, Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise and Augie Diaz/Henry Boening jostled for position.

Diaz/Boening took a fantastic start off the pin end, but lost out by the windward mark as the wind went right. Choosing the favored side on the next two legs they made gains to deliver a 2nd place finish and put themselves firmly back in Trophy contention.

Whilst Diaz/Boening sailed their own race, Doyle/Infelise and Kusznierewicz/ Prada engaged in a duel downwind, with Doyle/Felise ahead and Kusznierewicz/Prada chasing. Heading back upwind, they were entwined in their own battle and dropped back through the fleet as they hunted each other down, to finish 7th and 8th respectively.

In what must be an unprecedented passage of play, the top three are all on a 13-point tiebreak, setting the stage for a riveting showdown. It is simply a case of whoever finishes ahead will have their hands and names on the iconic Bacardi Cup Trophy and Tito Bacardi Cup.

"It was a lot of fun," commented Doyle on the day's racing. "We were going really fast. We didn't have such a great start and then had a great beat. We were getting the job done, we needed to beat Matesuz and Bruno."

Looking forward to the podium decider, Doyle grinned, "So trying to keep it exciting and close for tomorrow, trying to keep the crowds happy! I am looking forward to it, that's what we sail for."

"I love this kind of situation," remarked Kusznierewicz. "We have to put everything to win tomorrow."

Diaz, anticipating windier conditions, acknowledged the potential advantage for Kusznierewicz and Doyle, before adding, "But it's going to be a three-boat race and that's going to make it very interesting, because you can't cover one guy. But hey, all you got to do is line up and let it rip."

The podium deciding race 6 is scheduled to get under way at 1100 hrs and we can't wait to see what the day holds.

Provisional Results - Top 3 after Race 5

1. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL 8559) - 13 pts
2. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise (USA 8580) - 13 pts
3. Augie Diaz / Henry Boening (USA 8509) - 13 pts

J/70

Three back-to-back races for the forty-nine boat J/70 fleet saw Laura Grondin's 'Dark Energy' team storm to the top of the leaderboard, from 13th at the start of the day, with scores of 2,1,5.

Briane Keane's 'Savasana' also advance through to second overall, up from 7th, just one point adrift of Grondin. Margaret McKillen's 'Magatron' remains in third overall.

The hot favorites on 'Brutus III' have failed to connect the dots this series, although Charles Thompson's team did manage a win in the final race, giving some salvation to their otherwise challenging scorecard.

Provisional Results - Top 3 after Race 6

1. Laura Grondin / Taylor Canfield / Luke Muller / Malcolm Lamphere (USA 819) - 34 pts
2. Brian Keane / Thomas Barrows / Ron Weed / Conner Harding (USA 49) - 35 pts
3. Margaret McKillen / Orrin Star / Brian Kamilar / Dave Schreiner (USA 1523) - 45 pts

Melges 24

Peter Karrié's 'Nefeli' holds pole position from their assertive 2,3,1 performance, working their way through tough opposition to displace overnight leaders 'Kingspoke' helmed by Bora Gulari.

Sandra Askew's 'Flying Jenny' team delivered an escalation in form and claimed the limelight with two wins to climb up the leaderboard to fourth.

Provisional Results - Top 3 after Race 6

1. Peter-David Karrié / Alessandro Franci / Niccolò Bianchi / Saverio Cigliano / Alessandro Saettone (GER 859) - 12 pts
2. Bora Gulari / Norman Berge / Nick Ford / RJ Porter / Charlie Smythe (USA 820) - 18 pts
3. Bruce Ayres / Thomas Dietrich / Edward Hackney / Pearl Lattanzi / Jeremy Wilmot (USA 851) - 21 pts

Snipe

Flat water and 6-7 knots of breeze greeted the Snipe fleet for the first of their three races, which featured three different race winners.

Enrique Quintero/Nico Ocariz opened with a flourish, leading the fleet from the first downwind to the finish, with Yoan Carrillo/Rene Torrecilla Abreu just behind. The dynamics shifted in the next race as Carrillo/Abreu dominated, with Evan Hoffmann/Drew Follett claiming victory in the day's final race. With just 2 points separation, there is nothing to split the top three going into the final day of racing.

Provisional Results - Top 3 after Race 6

1. Yoan Carrillo / Rene Torrecilla Abreu (USA 29511) - 10 pts
2. Ernesto Rodriguez / Issa Uribe (USA 31337) - 11 pts
3. Enrique Quintero / Nico Ocariz (USA 31640) - 12 pts

Viper 640

Helped by the discard kicking to discount their 14th place in race 5, the Viper 640 North American Champion Jimmy Praley, racing with Austin Powers/Max Vinocur continued his steady series and advances to first overall. So far nine different teams have scored top three finishes, and racing is super tight with just 5 points separating the top four boats.

Provisional Results - Top 3 after Race 6

1. Jimmy Praley / Austin Powers / Max Vinocur (USA 298) - 17 pts
2. Moise Solomon / Dave Nickersom / Scott Leming (USA 208) - 18 pts
3. Marek Zaleski / Chris Zaleski / Jake Bradt (USA 237) - 20 pts

VX One

John Porter/David Himmel continue to race a solid series and maintain their overnight lead in the VX One. No race wins for them today, with that glory going to three other teams.

The leaderboard remains unchanged, with the top three teams solidifying their positions. Defending champions Christopher Alexander/Grace Howie/Ricky Welch hover tantalizingly close to a successful title defense.

Provisional Results - Top 3 after Race 6

1. John Porter / David Himmel (USA 343) - 13 pts
2. Doug Clark / Matt Haddon (USA 362) - 15 pts
3. Christopher Alexander / Grace Howie / Ricky Welch (USA 276) - 18 pts

More information, including full results, can be found at bacardiinvitational.com

A special thank you to this year's event sponsors and supporters: Bacardi USA, EFG International, Quantum Sails, Nautical Ventures, Shake-A-Leg Miami, Sail 22, HATUEY®Beer, Tuuci, Termodinamica USA, Harken Derm, Team 1 Newport, SLAM, Gubinelli Wines, Jaguar Therapeutics, Drop Jolly, Hobie Eyewear, Coconut Grove Business District, Zhik, Coral Reef Yacht Club, Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, US Sailing Center and the City of Miami.

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