Bacardi Cup - Final Day

Iain Percy finally cracks the light winds to finish fourth overall in Miami, with Barker ninth

Saturday March 9th 2002, Author: Andy Rice, Location: United States
Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl won the Bacardi Cup quite comfortably despite turning in a 15th place in the final race. The Olympic champions were still the class act at this most competitive of Star regattas, but they will be looking over their shoulder at some of the young blood making rapid inroads to the top of the fleet.

The two Team GBR boats, skippered by Olympic medallists Iain Percy and Ian Barker, finished 4th and 9th overall respectively. And there is a lot more to come from these two yet. Percy and Barker finished in 3rd and 4th places in the final race held in the same fluky winds that had scuppered Percy's bid to topple Reynolds from the top of the rankings earlier in the week. Barker and crew Ed Peel started at the committee boat and claimed the right hand side of the course, rounding the windward mark with a minute's lead. Meanwhile, Percy and crew Steve Mitchell had a so-so first beat to round in 20th, but chipped away to climb to third by the finish.

The Finn Olympic Champion told madforsailing as he was going into last night's prizegiving: "That was our best race of the week." What pleased him most was to have got a top-three result in sub-hiking conditions, as he had been caught on the wrong side of some big shifts, and never felt he had the pace to climb back into the race in light wind conditions. "We've got a lot to learn in these boats in the light stuff, but at least we have proved to ourselves we can do it in that stuff now."

He got frustrating close to finishing second overall, closing the gap to just three points with series runner-up Paul Cayard and Phil Trinter, and just a point adrift of last year's Bacardi winners, Peter Bromby and Martin Seese from Bermuda, who won the final race.

As a mark of the standard in the fleet, former World Champion Vince Brun finished in 10th overall, a place behind Barker, although a broken mast did little to help his cause. Iain Murray, the skiff and America's Cup legend from Australia, came in 20th place. So the Brits have a lot to be pleased about, not that they're resting on their laurels quite yet.

"We've got three days at home and then off to Palma for three weeks of training. We're not stopping yet. We're pushing hard until we get to the top of this fleet."

Overall Results (Top 10)

Pl Sail Crew From Race
1 8067 Mark Reynolds & Magnus Liljedahl USA (23) 1 2 1 1 15 20
2 8088 Paul Cayard & Phil Trinter USA 10 (100\OCS) 4 6 2 14 36
3 7988 Peter Bromby & Martin Seese BER (19) 17 6 7 7 1 38
4 8025 Iain Percy & Steve Mitchell GBR 31 2 1 2 (35) 3 39
5 7995 Augie Diaz & Christian Finnsgard USA (16) 14 8 3 8 6 39
6 7487 Marc Pickel & David Giles GER 14 (100\OCS) 3 4 20 10 51
7 8007 Jose Van Der Ploeg & Diego Fructuoso ESP 9 3 7 5 (100\BFD) 29 53
8 8053 Alfonso Domingos & Bernardo Santos POR 3 9 24 19 4 (100\DNF) 59
9 7953 Ian Barker & Edmund Peel GBR 8 7 16 (100\DNF) 26 4 61
10 7955 Vince Brun & Mike Dorgan USA 37 (100\DNF) 10 8 6 2 63

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