Sportsboats squeeze a race in
The fourth annual Bacardi Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank has been underway for three days with 56 Star teams competing for the 86th Bacardi Cup. With the Stars on their layday, sailors in the Audi Melges 20, Melges 24, Viper 640 and J/70 classes were to have their first day of racing on Biscayne Bay, however, Mother Nature must have had other plans as she delivered only enough breeze to allow one race to be sailed in each of those classes.
Of the 45 Audi Melges 20s racing, 15 were scored DNF, when they failed to cross the finish line before the time limit for racing expired.
“The start was light and it just got lighter,” said race winner James Wilson. “I think our strength was to do well in the strongest wind we found. We faced many challenges and needed to be careful off the starting line. Our goal was to keep the boat moving and we had to do many adjustments. The Race Committee did the best they could all around and also by shortening the course.”
Finishing second was Tony Tabb, with Marcus Eagan, Marc Hollerbach and Paul Reilly completing the Melges 20 top-five.
In the Melges 24 class, all 18 teams completed the circuit around the marks with Chesapeake Bay sailor Catherine Evans taking the win on the opening day of the series.
“I’m kind of used to these conditions,” said Evans. “I have an amazing crew and despite the shifting conditions we were able to manage to get the top result. This is a fantastic event and I definitely have the right boat name [Mojito] for it! The Race Committee made a good move to call it a day after race one, we would have had a bad second race.”
Finishing second in the Melges 24s was Alan Field, followed by Don Wilson, Germany's Bent Dietrich and Bruce Ayres.
"We put it together today, we started off on the right side and we got a good pressure right away and were able to hold on to Brad Boston and take it home,” said Andrew Weiss of his win in the 18-boat Viper 640 fleet. “The Viper is a great boat on light air and we were just fine. Let me tell you weather conditions are much better than in New York!”
Finishing second through fifth were Brad Boston, Kay Van Valkenburgh, Phil Lotz and Peter Bauer.
Although 20 J/70s made it across the starting line in their class debut at Bacardi Miami Sailing Week, eight did not make the time limit to cross the finish line and were scored accordingly.
"This boat works very well in light air,” said race winner Joel Ronning. “We're very excited about the J/70, it controls just perfect. I also like the fleet, it's very active and competition is great fun. We had tuned it up for light air and today it paid off. But I must say that yesterday we practiced in heavier air and I was very satisfied as well; it's enjoyable in both conditions. I'm looking forward to more racing."
Finishing second was Brian Keane, followed by Joe Woods, Bodo von der Wense and Germany's Juergen Waldheim.
Racing for all classes resumes tomorrow.