Bacardi Cup- Day 6

Coconut Grove

No racing again today. Too little wind. We started race 5 at 10:30 and raced the first lap in a very light, fickle wind and then the committee abandoned the race at the leeward gate. Torben Greal had a big lead.

There were 3 attempts at the restart once the sea breeze filled in. Unfortunately the line was very biased in all three and they had to be abandoned at the starting signal each time.

As frustrating as it was not to race again, it is fair to say that the race may have been difficult as there was just 5 knots.

So it has been a long week for Rodney and I racing in just three races. Still, I have really enjoyed returning to the Star and will do more soon. A big thanks to Rodney for doing a great job up front! And congratulations to Lars Greal for winning this very prestigious event.

Paul

Bacardi Cup-Day 5

Coconut Grove

No race, too much wind today. We actually got all the way out to the start and were in the starting sequence when the race was abandoned. Good call as there would have been a lot of broken masts in the fleet.

Two races are scheduled for tomorrow with the first one starting at 1000 EST.

Paul

Bacardi Cup Day 4

Coconut Grove

A front was expected across the south Florida area sometime this afternoon with large thunder storms containing lightening and hail. The forecast called for 14-17 knots of breeze from the south prior to the front. After a brief postponement to evaluate the situation, the Coral Reef Race Committee got the Stars out on the water for what was the best race of the series so far.

The fleet got off to a clean start in 15 knots from 185. Shortly after the start the wind moved right to 195 and stayed there for the rest of the race.

Rodney and I had a good start, but went a bit too far left and missed the first important shift. Half way up the first 1.9 mile leg, we were in 20th. We had good speed and rounded the first mark about 15th and worked our way up to 7th at the finish. There was a significant amount of technique involved in sailing downwind today and I have to say that I am a bit rusty.

Xavier Rohart, with Serge Pulfer as crew were in a league of their own. They hit the right hand side of the course pretty hard and had a handy lead at the first windward mark. They are fast in breeze and therefore were able to stretch out on the fleet from there. My good friends Larry Whipple and Austin Sperry were 2nd all the way around the course. Brian Ledbetter and Josh Revkin sailed very well to get 3rd.

The hard luck went to Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl. They broke their connection at the top of the rudder to the tiller and saw a very good 4th place slip to 12th. That would have changed the score board a bit at the top. Torbrn Grael sailed very well to get 5th today as he was back with us on the first leg.

Lars Grael did not have a very good race today finishing 14th. But after 4 races all competitors get to discard their worst score. We now are able to average races 2-4 and get a placing for our redress in race #1. We are currently tied for 10th over all, five points off 5th.

Once a shore, the front hit at about 3:30 bringing a massive downpour and lightening all around. Fortunately all the boats and crews were safe. The Race Committee of all the fleets did a great job of getting the races in and the boats back to the dock before the equal line hit!

Tomorrow’s forecast is for 15-18 knots from the west. These conditions normally produce very shifty racing here as the wind is coming off the land.

For complete results go to: www.yachtscoring.com

Paul

Bacardi Cup Day 3

Coconut Grove

Tough day on the race course for Rodney and I, definitely our worst race of the season. We were too conservative on the starting line and we did not seem to have enough speed to dig our way out of the traffic.

The wind was 7 knots from 145 for the entire race. It was a pretty steady breeze as compared to Tuesday’s northerly. The course was set for 160 making the first run a fetch on starboard so there were no passing lanes there.

Lars Grael continued on top and won today’s race. He now has 2, 2, 1 for 5 points. Mark Reynolds and Magnus finished 3rd and are in good shape in second with 10 points. Torben Grael sailed well today to move from 10th to about 5th. Xavier Rohart (FRA) a two time world champion had his best race today finishing somewhere near 6th I am guessing.

As I am writing this the scores are not posted on yachtscoring, however I am guessing we finished about 20th.

The good news is that we can put this one behind us and look forward to tomorrow.

For complete scores go to www.yachtscoring.com

Paul

Bacardi Cup- Day 2

Coconut Grove

Light northerly winds were on the menu today on Biscayne Bay. The Race Committee held the fleet at the dock for an hour to allow the wind to fill. The race got underway on the first start. The northerly wind is fickle and streaky here. It is kind of like Shoots and Ladders. One moment you are looking good, then next not so good. This is especially true right after the start when the fleet is all still very close. Many of these shifts are too short to tack on.

Prior to the start, Rodney and I felt that the current was going to be a factor and we’d be better out to the right side of the course. We started right at the committee boat and tacked immediately onto port to head right. Initially, we looked very strong, but then the wind shifted 15 degrees left. We were lucky to scramble out of the right side and round the first mark in the top 10. Mark Reynolds was leading at the first mark with Jack Jennings close behind. On the first downwind leg, Reynolds was penalized by the jury for kinetics, rule 42. He had to make two complete 360’s right there and then. That dropped he and Magnus back to 5th.

As the race progressed, we managed to pass couple of boats and finish 7th. We were battling away with the Grael brothers, Mark and Magnus, Brad Funk and Brian Ledbetter from USA, and Diego Negri from Italy. Lars Grael sailed very well near the top of the second windward leg to move from fourth into second place.

Jack Jennings and Brian Sharpe won the race easily followed by Lars Grael who know leads the series with a 2, 2.

It was a tough race in light conditions.

Tomorrow is forecast to be light again and maybe a bit stronger breeze for Thursday. Friday will be post frontal so we may have 15-18 from the West.

For complete results, go to www.yachtscoring .com

Paul

Bacardi Cup- Day 1

Coconut Grove

Well, it wasn’t the day we were envisioning but it came out better than it could have.

At noon, with just 4 knots of wind from the southeast, the race committee began the starting sequence for race 1. The fleet was very concentrated at the right hand end of the line. The first two attempts to get race #1 going were postponed seconds before their start due to too many boats over early all at the right hand end. Start three was run on the same line, but with the Black Flag up. On the third and final start, 7 boats were disqualified under the black flag rule. We were one of the 7.

Even though I strongly disagreed with the call, we promptly withdrew and sailed back to the dock.

Once ashore, I filed a request for redress which is the only action I could take. There was no option to complete the race.

The international Jury conducted a hearing in which I was allowed to present my case including photos and a witness. I was allowed to question the Race Committee representative who called out. The race committee official was very honest and unbiased in his testimony.

The facts found were that person calling the line from the left side had lost sight of the starting line for at least the last three seconds prior to the start. Some boats were over the line at the right hand end, obscuring the line from the left hand end. (see the photo) According to the tape recording of the communications onboard the race committee boat, our boat was identified less than a second before the start. We were near the middle of the line.

Without being able to see the starting line, there was reasonable doubt as to weather or not we were over the line and the jury decided than the benefit of doubt should go to the competitor and redress should be given.

We will have average of our next three races as our score for todays race. Nothing changes for any other competitor.

Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl won the race today and are on good form from the Masters Regatta two weeks ago.

Tomorrow’s forecast is south east winds, 5-8 knots again.

For complete scores go to www.bacardiraceweek.com

Paul

Bacardi Cup Preview

Coconut Grove

The grand finale of Star Winter sailing, the 87th Bacardi Cup, starts tomorrow in Miami. 60 teams from 11 countries will be competing for the coveted trophy, which was first raced for in Havana. The competition will be tough with 7 World Champions and numerous Olympians amongst the fleet.

The forecast for Monday is 6-8 knots from the southeast.

For complete results and information go to: www.miamisailingweek.com

You can also go to www.yachtscoring.com and click on Miami sailing week and you can find the forecast and other information.

Paul