Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT / friedbits.com
Race Day 4 at the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta featured both the Star and J/70 fleets on the race track, in a breeze gusting up to 20 knots across Biscayne Bay, Miami.
The puffy conditions saw plenty of thrills and spills, although the heavier breeze eased to lighter shiftier conditions as the day progressed.
A packed day on the water was followed by downtime at the Bacardi Cup Happy Hour after-party at the Coral Reef Yacht Club. As the Bacardi Cup celebrates its 91st year, 2018 also marks the 56th year the event has been hosted at the Coral Reef Yacht Club.
Two races completed for the Star Class saw no change in the leader board top three, just an opening up of the points margins between series leaders Eivind Melleby / Joshua Revkin (NOR) over Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) and Robert Scheidt / Brian Fatih (BRA). Scheidt / Fatih won race 3 and closed the points gap, but followed up with a 15th to put them back where they were before.
“It was a bit of an up and down day for us,” reflected Brazilian sailing legend Scheidt. “The first race was really nice and we managed to lead the race from mark 1 until the finishing line with a nice gap. We were feeling very confident going into the second race, because we knew we had good speed, but we didn’t have a good start and got a bit out of pace with the shifts. And you know with this level of fleet, if you don’t get a good start it makes your life very hard".
“We managed to catch up a little bit, but it wasn’t a good race for us.”Looking ahead to the final two races of the series, Scheidt continued, “You know we need to keep working on what we are doing, and keep doing the same things and hopefully we will get a little bit better starts and a top ten at least at the top mark. If we managed to be top ten, then we can use our downwind speed and catch up”.
A regular figure at the Bacardi Cup, Scheidt is a huge fan, commenting, “I think it is one of the most traditional regattas in the world. I mean, a regatta that has 91 years that is very special. I am very happy that I was able to come, as I enjoy it a lot and hopefully will have many more years of this great regatta ahead”.
Scheidt announced his retirement from Olympic sailing last year, after notching up one of the most successful Olympic careers in history, winning a total of five medals in the Laser and Star Classes - two gold, two silver and one bronze, as well as multiple World Championship titles.
Race 4 victory went to Jack Jennings / Frithjof Kleen fresh off a black flag penalty from race 3 to sit in 22nd overall.
Predicting the leader board gains likely tomorrow when the discard comes into play after race 5, the finger points to Lars Grael / Samuel Gonclaves (BRA). Aside from their opening race score of 37, the pair has remained consistent, taking out 4,4,5 to sit in 9th overall. More of the same, and the race discard will see them accelerate up the leader board. Grael / Gonclaves won the Bacardi Cup in both 2014 and 2015, so will be chasing for name back on the trophy. There is of course the small matter of the reigning Star Class World Champions Melleby / Revkin to overcome.
Star Class - Results after Race 4:
1. Eivind Melleby / Joshua Revkin (NOR) - 14 pts
2. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) - 19 pts
3. Robert Scheidt / Brian Fatih (BRA) - 26 pts
4. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise (USA) - 30 pts
5. Xavier Rohart / Sebastien Guidoux (FRA) - 35 pts
6. Peter O'Leary / Robert O'Leary (IRL) - 41 pts
7. Paul Cayard / Mark Strube (USA) - 42 pts
8. Arthur Anosov / David Caesar (USA) - 46 pts
9. Lars Grael / Samuel Gonclaves (BRA) - 50 pts
10. Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter (USA) - 51 pts
Racing on Friday March 9th features one race for the Star Class and three for the J/70.
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.