Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT / friedbits.com
Tough call for the Race Committee on day 3 at the Bacardi Cup as an incoming thunderstorm was looming on the periphery of the race track; weather conditions that can turn tranquillity to ferocity in moments here in Miami.
Carl Schellbach, the Principal Race Officer, explained the situation he faced in making the call to cancel racing, “The incoming weather was borderline dangerous especially coming from the direction it was coming in. Forecast is for thunderstorms arriving sometime between 1300-1400 hours with very gusty and very shifty winds thereafter. This time of the regatta we have two good races in and the fear is we will witness bad weather out there and we will have destruction of property and potential for injured sailors which obviously we don’t want”.
With three days remaining on the race schedule, the Race Committee know they can catch up on today’s race in much better conditions and give more fair racing to the sailors, which what the Bacardi Cup is all about.
“We want to give the best sailors in the world the best racing possible. Biscayne Bay can do that, just not today. I would rather be safe up here on the beach than sorry on the water”, surmised Schellbach.
Racing was cancelled early in the day, to give the sailors the opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of the event and kick into the day’s Bacardi party early. So, with no racing, more time to relax ahead of what is guaranteed to be a classic Bacardi Regatta Welcome Cocktail and Mid-Week Party and Dinner, with the J/70 fleet also joining the mix.
Reflecting the every growing youth contingent in the Star Class, one of the relative newcomers to the Bacardi Cup is the USA’s Luke Lawrence racing with Pedro Trouche. The pair sits in 11th overall from a scorecard of 10,19, and tied on points with tenth placed Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter. Lawrence is a former Finn Junior World Champion, J/24 World Champion, who was taken out in a Star for the first time by Augie Diaz back in 2014, and is now a committed fan of the Bacardi Cup experience.
“Everything that goes on her at the Bacardi Cup has been a lot of fun over the years, and I have been doing it now for most probably the 3rd or 4th year. The event has been around forever and historically it has always been a great party and Bacardi does a really nice job of living up to that expectation".
“The food is always good, the parties are good at the headquarters. They always have drinks ready to roll when we get off the water and it is always a fun atmosphere to have everyone hanging around and not just taking off at the end of the day. There is something cool about the Star Class in general as well and the Bacardi Cup in particular. It’s Miami, it’s beautiful out here, who wouldn’t want to be here!”.
A long time ago, the Star Class cast aside any image of being an older man’s boat, and an ever growing number of younger teams continue to be drawn to the fleet. No surprise, as the Star holds the unique position of being the only two-person keelboat with such a high level of worldwide competition and inevitably many young sailors see the Star in their future campaigns. The Star Class also uniquely offers the opportunity to compete against the sport’s legends, such as Paul Cayard, Robert Scheidt, Diego Negri, Lars Grael, Iain Percy, as well as fellow Olympians from other classes who know each other, but have never competed against each other, as Lawrence enthused.
“Having all these people here, like for me and a lot of kids, these are the people we grew up watching on TV and on the internet and in magazines and throughout our entire lives. To be able to be walking around here and shaking hands with these people, there’s not really any other place in the world or fleet like it. You can’t normally just go and be around the best people in the world who have such talent as in the America’s Cup or a Volvo Ocean Race or any of that. The combined collection of all of their trophies; the list is massive here”.
The J/70 Class started their registration at 15:00 hours today, ahead of racing getting underway on Thursday March 8th with 8 races scheduled across 3 days.
The preliminary entry list of almost fifty teams from eight nations presents a tough prediction as to who will deliver the consistency to claim J/70 victory. Assured is the battle set to unfold between two sailors who last year claimed the J/70 World Championship title, Peter Duncan (USA) and Jud Smith (USA), as they now test each other across the starting line on different boats.
Bacardi Cup – Results after Race 2:
1. Eivind Melleby / Joshua Revkin (NOR) - 3 pts
2. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) - 5 pts
3. Robert Scheidt / Brian Fatih (BRA) - 10 pts
4. Paul Cayard / Mark Strube (USA) - 10 pts
5. Augie Diaz / Bruno Prada (USA) - 11 pts
6. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise (USA) - 16 pts
7. Arthur Anosov / David Caesar (USA) - 21 pts
8. Peter O'Leary / Robert O'Leary (IRL) - 26 pts
9. Xavier Rohart / Sebastien Guidoux (FRA) - 29 pts
10. Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter (USA) - 29 pts
Over one hundred and twenty teams from 20 nations are competing in the Star and J/70 fleets: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Ukraine and United States.