Photos: Cory Silken/Studiomilano

One design fleets take to the water

Sports boats join the Stars at Bacardi Miami Sailing Week

Thursday March 5th 2015, Author: James Boyd, Location: United States

Bacardi Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank grew substantially today with the addition of the J/70, M32, Viper 640 and VX One classes, while the Stars completed their fourth day at the Bacardi Cup.

Today once again offers fine weather with a few passing clouds and southeasterly winds of around 15 knots. Mark Pincus, Regatta Chairman, described today as “a chamber of commerce day; Absolutely beautiful. It was every racing sailor’s dream day. The weather was perfect, the wind was great and the race committees did a great job.”

Lars Grael and Samuel Gonçlaves won race four in the Stars, followed in second by Alessandro Pascolato and Henry Boening with third place going to Jorge Zarif and Bruno Prada. Overall Zarif/Prada lead Grael/Gonçlaves by ninepoints over Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl. In attempt to retain his lead Zarif says he plans to “try to stay consistent and start well. I think our speed on the upwind is fine, so if we have a good start and then see where the guys we are fighting against are - Lars, Mark, Torben, Augie - we'll try to stay close to them.”

The M32 catamarans completed five races. Leading by 1 point is former Match Racing World Champion Taylor Canfield and his US One team, followed by Rasmus Kostner on Trifork in second and then Ron O’Hanley on Escape Velocity.

Canfield commented on today’s sailing: “There was great breeze on the water today. Our team worked very well together and we were able to put together five good races.”

After three races on the J/70 course, Julian Fernandez Neckelmann on Flojito Y Cooperando is leading having posted a third and two firsts. In second is Carlo Alberini on Calvi Network with Brian Keane on Savasana third.

Neckelmann said: “We decided to have a conservative start without taking too many risks on this first day of racing. We focused on sailing fast and avoiding any trouble. The greatest challenge is the big fleet and we really wanted to stay away from a deep finish because in such a competitive regatta it is easy to drop back. I think our biggest competitors are Brian Keane on Savasana, Carlo Alberini on Calvi Network and Mauricio Santa Cruz Bruschetta. Moving forward we will keep the same strategy and hopefully it will pay off.”

Alberini added: “We are very happy with today’s result and it was our first day with new sails and a new mast. We will have small adjustments for tomorrow in order to be competitive in this stacked fleet.”

Completing four races, leader after day 1 in Viper 640 class is Lawrence Crispin on Bubbles, followed by Geoff Ewenson on Terminally Pretty and Brad Boston on Jackpot. Crispin said: “Today we had very tight competition with Brad Boston on Jackpot. Our strategy was simple: we kept it clean, we didn’t push the starts tired to have good boat handling and we all were very focused. We held back a little but we always had clean air, which we think was the real advantage for today. We will try to have the same strategy tomorrow and depending on where we end up, we may have to be a little more aggressive on Saturday.”

The VX One fleet also completed four races with Phillip Norris on Flash Rider finishing on top. In second and third are William Griffin on Kill Bill and Donovan Brennan on Team Smuggler, respectively. Norris recalled his most memorable moment from today: “I had my girlfriend out on the boat and during our first jib she fell overboard. We were able to go back and pick her up, still finishing well (7th).” He added: "Racing today was great, there was good wind and I have no complaints. It was very good sailing.”


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