Photo © JOY / International Audi Melges 20 Class Association
Andrew Weiss won today's race for the Viper 640 fleet at Bacardi Miami Sailing Week
Photo © Cory Silken / BMSW
Tony Tabb of Winnetka, Ill. finished second in today's single race for the Audi Melges 20 fleet at Bacardi Miami Sailing Week
Photo © Cory Silken / BMSW
Light breeze challenges the four fleets
The fourth annual BACARDI Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank has been underway for three days with 56 Star teams competing for the 86th Bacardi Cup. Today 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. For the Star sailors, who had a planned lay day, it was a day to enjoy the renowned Bacardi hospitality.
Of the 45 Audi Melges 20s racing, 15 picked up DNF (Did Not Finish) points, 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 (Rye, N.Y.). "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 (Winnetka, Ill.), with Marcus Eagan (Madisonville, La.), Marc Hollerbach (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.) and Paul Reilly (Chicago, Ill.) 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 (Annapolis, Md.) 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 (Los Angeles, Calif.), followed by Don Wilson (Chicago, Ill.), Bent Dietrich (Hamburg, GER) and Bruce Ayres (Costa Mesa, Calif.).
"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 (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) 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 (Point Edward, CAN), Kay Van Valkenburgh (Boston, Mass.), Phil Lotz (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and Peter Bauer (Mamaroneck, N.Y.).
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 (Minneapolis, Minn.). "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 (Weston, Mass.), followed by Joe Woods (Torquay, GBR), Bodo von der Wense (Wayne, Penn.) and Juergen Waldheim (Berlin, GER).
Racing for all classes resumes tomorrow, Friday, March 9, and will conclude on Saturday, March 9.
During the event sailors will enjoy the hospitality lounge, BACARDI Rum tastings, as well as the daily prize giving for the top-three finishers and the final awards dinner. A special exhibit of America's Cup history and memorabilia will feature the work of Rhode Island-based photographer Cory Silken in the North Hall of the Coconut Grove Convention Center. The exhibits will be open to the public from noon to 7:00PM daily and are free of charge. The prestigious Coral Reef Yacht Club will coordinate on-water activities in collaboration with Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and Coconut Grove Sailing Club. The U.S. Sailing Center and Shake-A-Leg Miami will also support the event. Racing will be held on three separate courses approximately two miles out on Biscayne Bay.
More information on the BACARDI Miami Sailing Week and the 86th BACARDI Cup is available at www.MiamiSailingWeek.com and www.BacardiCup.com.