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This Article Last Updated: Oct 14th, 2010 - 15:13:49 

Bacardi Cup Final Report
By Janet Maizner
Mar 2, 2009, 12:00

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Photos by Alex Gort / Bacardi Cup


Final Day: Bermuda’s Peter Bromby and Crew Magnus Liljedahl Win 2009 Bacardi Cup

Miami – March 13 – Bermuda’s Peter Bromby and veteran Star Class crew Magnus Liljedahl of Miami won the 2009 Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta Friday on Biscayne Bay in Miami.

Bromby and Liljedahl sailed to victory on the final race in the six race regatta to finish with a commanding six-point lead over Floridian Mark Mendelblatt, the 2005 Bacardi Cup champion, and crew Bruno Prada (BRA) who finished second overall.

Bromby took an early lead on the left side of the fleet following a very strong start and held the lead at each of the first three marks. He rounded the fourth mark in second place behind seven-time Bacardi Cup Champion Mark Reynolds of San Diego, sailing this week with crew Hal Haenel, but regained the lead on the final leg to capture both the Day Six victory and his third Bacardi Cup championship.

“Every time we needed some extra horsepower, we seemed to find it today,” said Bromby. “We were keeping an eye on Mendelblatt. If he would have taken control of us, things would have been very different. Our strategy was to cover him throughout the race.”

Added Liljedahl, “We attacked [Mendelblatt] at the start, tripped him a few more times, and sucker-punched him a couple times at the end. We just needed to stay ahead of him today.”

Rounding out the overall top five were New Yorker Rick Merriman and crew Phil Trinter; Switzerland’s Olympic Star sailor Flavio Marazzi and crew Petter Pedersen (NOR); and veteran Star sailor Paul Cayard, who has finished second in the Bacardi Cup four times, with crew Austin Sperry, the 2008 Olympian representing the United States in the Star Class.

“Our start was a disaster,” said 2003 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Augie Diaz. ¨Half way up the first weather leg, we had an opportunity to come across, but we got greedy. Had we gone toward the fleet, we might have been in the top 20. For us, it was combination of sailing badly and a bad start. Bromby, however, was on fire this week; he is very deserving of this victory.”

“I came in not knowing what to expect,” added Clay Bischoff, a Star Class up-and-comer and winner of the 2009 ISAF Team Racing World Championship with Team USA in Australia. “I came to learn as much as I could, regardless of the scores and standings. Growing up in Miami, seeing this bay, and being around a group of great guys willing to pass down their knowledge created just a perfect atmosphere for me as a young sailor. I can’t wait to come back to the Bacardi Cup.”

More than 60 teams representing 15 countries competed in the 82nd Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta, one of the most competitive Star Class events in the world. The legendary Bacardi Cup, ranked as one of the best international sailing regattas in the world, is sponsored in full by Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. and co-hosted by the Coral Reef Yacht Club and the U.S. Sailing Center in Miami, FL. What started out as a three-day event with less than 10 boats in Havana, Cuba in 1927, remains one of the few sporting events in which weekend enthusiasts have the opportunity to compete head on with Olympians and Star World Champions.


Day Five: Andrew Campbell and Crew Mike Nichol Win Day 5 at Bacardi Cup

Miami, March 12, 2009 – It was a perfect sailing day on Biscayne Bay with 10 - 12 knots of wind from the northeast, sunny skies and temperatures in the high 70s.

Andy Campbell and Brad NIchol
It was also the perfect day for Star newcomer Andrew Campbell of San Diego and crew Mike Nichol of Miami who edged out Olympians Marc Pickel of Germany and crew Steve Mitchell of Great Britain on the approach to the finish line to win the fifth race in the 82nd Annual Bacardi Cup being sailed on Biscayne Bay, Miami.

Campbell was in the top dozen off the start line, moved up to second at the third mark, and never let go. "We made nice gains downwind and hung tough,“ said Campbell, a 2008 Olympian in the Laser Class and 2006 College Sailor of the Year. “Truth is my legs fell asleep as we never let up."

The two teams went bow to bow on the last upwind leg and Campbell and Nichol kept their speed up through the finish line beating Pickel and Mitchell by seconds.

“There was some pressure to keep up the lead, but as the race goes on, the pace gets to you,” said Pickel who had an almost 30 boat lead at the first mark. “We are still pretty happy with the results,” he said.

“If there is a competition to do a year, it has to be the Bacardi Cup,” added Pickel. “The camaraderie among the competitors creates a special atmosphere and I believe that this Bay is the best place to sail Stars.”

2005 Bacardi Cup champion Mark Mendelblatt of St. Pete, FL and crew Bruno Prada of Brazil, took third place today after running in the top six for most of the race.

“We got off to a good start, even though we choose the wrong side,” said Mendelblatt. “To be third today means we still have a shot at the regatta, an opportunity we were close to loosing if it wasn’t for today’s efforts.”

Rounding out the top five were Irish Olympian Peter O’Leary and crew Tim Goodbody (IRL), and Swiss Olympian Falvio Marazzi and crew Petter Pedersen (NOR).

Overall leaders Peter Bromby and crew Magnus Liljedhal, both Olympians and Bacardi Cup champions, finished 24th in the 64-boat fleet and keep the number one slot with 12.3 points after discarding today’s race. All competitors toss out their worst race after completing five races in the six race Bacardi Cup.

Mendelblatt/ Prada move from fourth into second overall with 17 points after discarding their Day 2 finish, and Gull Lake, MI “weekend warrior” Jon VanderMolen and crew Geoff Ewenson drop down from second to third overall after discarding today’s 20th place finish.

The final race and sixth race in the 2009 Bacardi Cup will be sailed on Friday, March 13th.


Day Four: Bromby/Liljedhal In First Place Overall with Win Today at the Bacardi Cup

Miami – March 11, 2009 – Bermuda’s Peter Bromby and crew Magnus Liljedhal of Miami held off a late charge by Jon VanderMolen of Gull Lake, Michigan, and crew Geoff Ewenson of Annapolis, Maryland, to win day four at the 82nd Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta on the waters of Biscayne Bay, Miami.

With the victory, Bromby and Liljedahl increase their overall lead to seven points with two races to go in the regatta.

Winds were 8-10 knots out of the northeast today as Day 4 of the 2009 Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta got underway, picking up to 12 knots and more as the four-leg race progressed. Olympian Peter O’Leary and crew Tim Goodbody (IRE) were among the first boats off the starting line with a pack that took a left tack upwind.

However, Bromby and Liljedahl established themselves as the team to beat with the lead at the first mark, and they never looked back. By the third mark, Bromby’s lead was more than eight boat lengths, but it whittled to about one boat at the finish following several strong attacks by the Americans on the final downwind leg.

“We bided our time before we attacked,” said VanderMolen. “If you start attacking too early, you potentially give up ground to the boats behind you, so it’s a delicate balance.” Ewenson added, “Chances weren’t good that we would pass [Bromby], but we had to attack him. We got close enough that we could hear them talking. I like to think we made them a little nervous today.”

When asked about that, Liljedahl assured, “They didn’t make us nervous at all. When they jibed out on the final leg, it allowed us to get a little more pressure on the run. VanderMolen did a good job, but I knew Peter would pull it out.”

With Wednesday’s second place finish, VanderMolen and Ewenson remain in second place in the overall standings.

Rounding out the top five Wednesday were Switzerland’s Flavio Marazzi and crew Petter Pedersen; Ireland’s O’Leary and crew Goodbody; and Americas Cup veteran and former Star Class World Champion Paul Cayard with Olympian Austin Sperry of the United States.

“We were a little bit faster, shorter and higher today,” said Pedersen (NOR), who rounded the third mark in sixth place, but gained three boats on stronger gusts during the final run. “There’s more action when there’s wind.”

Bacardi Cup participants sail one race daily through Friday, March 13, keeping their five best finishes to determine the overall champion.


Day Three: Mark Mendelblatt and Crew Bruno Prada Win Day Three at Bacardi Cup

Mark Mendelblatt and Bruno Prada win race three
Miami – March 10 – Mark Mendelblatt, the 2005 Bacardi Cup champion and America’s Cup tactician, and crew Bruno Prada of Brazil won the third race in the six race series at the 82nd Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta on Biscayne Bay, near Miami. Today’s first place finish moves them up six slots to third overall.

Mendelblatt credits his win today to Bruno who he is sailing with for the first time. “He called the right off the start, fixed our rig for speed adjustment on the first run, and pulled the seaweed off our bow.” The duo took a sharp left tack off the downwind mark after noticing more wind on the left. “I like the left in Miami,” said Mendelblatt. “It seems the way to go more times than not.”

Light wind this morning pushed the race start back an hour, but the six knot breeze had little effect on Bermuda’s Peter Bromby and crew Magnus Liljedahl who had great speed on the course today and finished in second for the second day in a row.

“We concentrated on staying in pressure and it made the difference today, as well as having Magnus on board,” said Bromby who is a two-time winner of the Bacardi Cup.
“We had a good first half and now we need a good second, but there are a lot of good sailors in this competition.”

Bromby/Liljedahl, who were in the top five in a fleet of 62 boats for the entire race today, maintain their first place overall after three of six races.

Californian Andy MacDonald and crew Brian Fatih of Miami finished third and are in 25th overall.

John MacCausland and crew Kevin Murphy, both from New Jersey, finished in fourth and had a strong race today rounding the first upwind mark second just behind Mark Reynolds and crew Hal Haenel, and coming through the downwind gate first. They are in 10th overall.

Floridian Arthur Anosov and crew Mark Dolan of Michigan finished in fifth place and move up to eighth overall.

Italians Lucio Boggi and crew Manuele LaPorta, the day two leaders, finished ninth and keep their sixth place overall. San Diego’s George Szabo and crew Rick Peters, the day one leaders, finished 25th and drop to 11th overall. Jon VanderMolen of Michigan and crew Goeff Ewenson from Maryland finished sixth and move up two slots to fourth overall.


Day Two: Italians Boggi/LaPorte Win Day Two at 2009 Bacardi Cup, Bromby/Liljedahl in First Place Overall

Lucio Boggi and Manuele LaPorta
Miami – March 9, 2009 - The second race of the 2009 Bacardi Cup got off to a late start today after puffy 8 to 10 knot winds caused a 20-minute postponement followed by a general recall. The Italian team of Lucio Boggi and crew Manuele La Porta led at the start and played cat and mouse with three-time Bacardi Cup champion Peter Wright and crew Nathan Quist, both of Chicago, IL, through most of the 10.5 mile race on Biscayne Bay. The Italian duo are now in 8th place overall and the Chicagoans are in third.

Peter Wright and Nathan Quist
Wright who took 10 years off since his last Bacardi Cup win in 1993, said he had good speed from the start and was in a jibing duel with the Italians from the second mark on. “We weren’t watching Bromby at all. He got between us at the end,” said Wright.

The powerhouse team of Peter Bromby and Magnus Liljedhal, both Olympians and Bacardi Cup champions, slid into second place on the run to the finish and move up to first place overall.

“We found some pressure at the right time and picked off a couple of boats by tacking to the left of the boats ahead of us just after the start,” said Bromby who was out of the top 10 at the first mark but had consistent gains throughout the race.

Miamian Augie Diaz and crew Mark Strube took fifth place today and moves into 5th place overall. “We had a really poor start but we were fortunate that the wind came in strong when we cleared. We made it to the weather mark 9th." Day one leader Szabo/Peters finished 20th today putting them at 6th overall and still in striking distance.

The 62-boat fleet, peppered with Star World champions and Olympians also has a first-time Star sailor from Slovakia.

Bacardi Cup race one - Jon VanderMolen and Augie Diaz

Day One: Szabo/Peters Win First Race at Bacardi Cup Regatta
Miami, FL – Mar. 8 - With shifty southeasterly winds up to 12 knots, the 62-boat Bacardi Cup fleet sailed a fast first day race on Biscayne Bay. For two-time North American Star Class Champion George Szabo of San Diego, and crew Rick Peters it was the first time the duo had won a race together since 1995.

It was a tight finish with Jon VanderMolen of Richland, MI, and crew Goeff Ewenson taking second, and Mark Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, FL) and crew Bruno Prada in third; the same lineup at the last mark.

Szabo/Peters were in the top 10 boats from 1st through the 3rd mark and took the lead at the 4th. “Rick and I won our first race together in 1995 and now we’ve done it again,” said Szabo. The team was rewarded with a bottle of Bacardi Gold Rum by Tito Argamasilla Bacardi who was in a nearby boat. Tito signed the label and then handed it to Szabo who said this is one bottle of rum he won’t be drinking.

After competing in almost a dozen Bacardi Cup’s, VanderMolen said this was his first time placing in a daily race. “We sailed for the pressure and kept climbing,” he said, "and the last run is what made the difference”.

Rounding out the top five were Olympians Peter O’Leary of Ireland and crew Tim Goodbody and Marc Pickel of Germany and crew Steve Mitchell.

O’Leary who is sailing in his second Bacardi Cup surprised everyone with an extreme move to the right after the 2nd windup that gave him the lead at the third mark. “I went in that direction because I thought there was better wind and to separate us from the fleet,” says O’Leary.

There are 15 countries competing in this 82nd annual Bacardi Cup, one of the most competitive Star Class events in the world. The regatta is co-hosted by the Coral Reef Yacht Club and the U.S. Sailing Center, both based in Coconut Grove, and is sponsored by BACARDI U.S.A., Inc.

Complete regatta results can be found online at www.starclass.org or www.bacardicup.com.


2009 Star-Class Bacardi Cup Countdown

Miami, FL – March 1 – With one week to go before the 2009 BACARDI Cup Star Class regatta, 59 teams from 27 countries have registered. The fleet is peppered with 11 Olympians, several Gold and Silver medalists, two Star World Champions, and three BACARDI Cup champions.

What started out in 1927 as a three-day event with less than 10 boats in Havana, Cuba, the Bacardi Cup now attracts the best sailors in the world each year and remains one of the few sporting events anywhere in which weekend enthusiasts have the opportunity to compete head to head with Olympian and World Champion athletes.

“There’s simply no race quite like the Bacardi Cup” said Eddie Cutillas, event chairman. “It’s this opportunity for seasoned amateurs to test their skills against the world’s most accomplished sailors that makes the Bacardi Cup so special,” he said.

This year’s teams have come from USA, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Argentina, Austria , Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, Bermuda, Netherlands, Bermuda, Ireland, Great Britain and Canada to battle the unpredictable waters of Miami’s Biscayne Bay for the prestigious Trofeo Bacardi.

This six-day race series sails Sunday, March 8 through Friday, March 13. It is co-hosted by the Coral Reef Yacht Club and the U.S. Sailing Center, both based in Coconut Grove, and sponsored in full in full by Bacardi BACARDI U.S.A., Inc.

All participants in the BACARDI Cup compete aboard 22-foot Star class sloops. Race teams comprise two members: a skipper and crew. Participants sail one race per day from Sunday through Friday on an approximately 10.5-mile course in Biscayne Bay. The six daily races of the Cup will each proclaim a winner, with the overall top winning team demonstrating the best performance in five of these six races.

Follow the action at www.BacardiCup.com where daily photos, video, articles and results will be posted.

Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. is the United States import, sales and marketing arm of one of the world’s leading spirits and wine producers. The company boasts a portfolio of some of the most recognized and top-selling spirits brands in the United States including BACARDI® Rum, the top-selling rum worldwide, GREY GOOSE® Vodka, MARTINI & ROSSI® Vermouth, Asti and Prosecco, DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch Whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin, CAZADORES® Tequila, and other new and emerging premium brands.

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