Sailors from three countries enjoyed a long weekend of racing at the 2011 Miami Superbowl regatta, sponsored by Seiko and Zhik, and hosted by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club February 4-6. After four days of training the fleet of nine boats sailed 8 races over the weekend. The event has shown the North American fleet is growing with three new boats as of this weekend added to the over 20 boats racing on the continent. For a new class this is a great start to the 2011 season.
While the weather was sunny and warm, the wind seemed stuck at a 5-7 knot southerly for the pre-event clinic and two of the three racing days. Teams took the opportunity to improve their skills in these conditions and the competition got tighter as the week progressed. The open and sharing nature of the class seen each evening during the lively fleet debrief has made it easy for new teams to get up to speed quickly. Everyone was sharing rig settings, technique, and their GoPro videos with the rest of the fleet.
The brother and sister duo of Paris and Hans Henken came out of the blocks strong winning all 3 races Friday afternoon, Day 1. While that duo held onto their number one rank from start to finish, there was a tight battle for second through 5th with positions changing every race. New fleet members Allie Blecher and Molly Robinson really enjoyed the 29erXX. In light winds they carried their waterproof iHome and music could be heard by all those nearby.
Saturday the fleet was able to stretch their legs in 14 knots and enjoy the speeds these boats are made for. Kristen Lane and Charlie McKee found great pace in the breeze.
Sunday the fleet members worked hard through the Miami motor boat chop. Paris and Hans finally showed a weakness as Finnish National Team member Silja Lehtinen and Mikaela Wulff were able to take a race win away from the Henkens, moving their team up to 3rd overall. Jen Glass and Mallory Fontenot sailed consistently in both the light and windier conditions to a second place finish overall and were the top Women's Team.
The breeze continued to weaken after the first race on Sunday, and with more and more recreational boaters the race committee made the smart decision to call it a regatta.