Bacardi Cup Final

Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi of Italy

Coconut Grove

The final race of the 91st Bacardi Cup was held today in 14-18 knots of wind from the south east.

Mark and I got off the starting line well and were amongst the top teams approaching the first mark.  We rounded second behind Robert Scheidt, with series leader Diego Negri in 6th.  All the top teams were in the top 8 so no big shuffling of positions, overall, was going to happen.

Negri who got forced to gybe right at the top mark, layed the bottom mark due to the windshift and moved into third place and safety for the overall.  Ian Percy also gybe early and moved into second.  I misjudged the layline to the first bottom mark and we slipped back to 6th.

We were fighting with Xavier Rohart of France and Luke Lawrence up the second windward leg. At the final mark before the run to the finish, Sheidt still led followed by Doyle, Percy, Negri, Lawrence, ourselves and then Rohart.

We played the right side of the run with Percy/Ekstrom while the others gybed away to the left. We had more wind and ended up 3rd and Percy caught Scheidt to win the race.

In the end, Mark and I tied for fourth with Lars Grael but lost the tiebreaker to finish the regatta in 5th.  That’s not a bad result in this fleet. 7 out of the top 10 are Star world champions.  I made a few too many mistakes this week and that costs points. I felt our speed was good and we got better together as the week went on. There definitely is something to sailing with the same team mate.

Negri and Lambertenghi won their first Bacardi Cup, Scheidt/Fatih second, current World Champions Melleby/Revkin we’re third.

A big part of this week for me was honoring my good friend Sir Durward Knowles. I sailed with 4789, the number of his Gold Medal boat Gem IX, from the 1964 Olympics and with bow number 64 in honor of 1964. I want to thank Bacardi and all the competitors who helped honor Sir Durward on Monday.

For complete results go to www.yachtscoring.com

I am flying to St. Barth’s tomorrow to join Rosehearty for the Bucket.  I will write reports from there next weekend.

Paul

 

 

 

 

Bacardi Cup-Day 5

Grael/Goncalves leading the fleet

Coconut Grove

Today’s 5th race of the 91st Bacardi Cup was held under perfect “Bacardi” conditions…..10 knots of wind from North North East.  This is still a shifty direction with the wind coming off downtown.

World Champions Lars Grael and Samuel Goncalves led wire to wire after playing the right side up the first windward leg. Diego Negri with Sergio Lambertenghi were right behind them followed by Eric Doyle.  Mark and I worked the left side, against the 10 degree right shift, but still mananged to round the first Mark 12th.  We were fast today, up and down wind.

It was a 5 legged course today with the final leg to windward. This gave Mark and I time, which we used well, to get up to 4th place by the finish.  We passed 2 boats in the final 50 meters. Grael, Negri and Scheidt were the front three and behind us were Doyle, Diaz , Lawrence, Percy, Melleby and Rohart.  8 world champions in the first 10.  It’s great racing out there!  So happy to be part of it!

So Negri has a 4 point cushion going into the final race over three boats that are tied on 14 points; Grael, Scheidt, Melleby. Mark and I are 7 points behind those three and can pass them with a very good race tomorrow. Unfortunately, we can’t win the regatta as Negri’s score counting all his races (including his discard) is  21 and the least we can finish with is 22.

The forecast for tomorrow is for good wind, maybe even strong from the East-Southeast.

For complete scores go to: www.yachtscoring.com

Paul

Bacardi Cup

Coconut Grove

After yesterdays race was postponed due to thunderstorm activity in the area, today featured a double header. The wind was 12-18 knots from the northwest, which is always shifty here and makes for challenging racing.

In race one of the day, there was a big left shift off the line and Mark and I were not out in front enough to tack on it.  That lasted three minutes and then the wind shifted back to the right.  The boats that were able to play that first shift were the race leaders.  Robert Scheidt and Brian Fatih held the lead at mark one and stretched on every leg. Jim Buckingham and Craig Moss had a great race as did Elvind Melleby and Josh Revkin.  Mark and I had a great first downwind leg to get back in touch with the top group and even had a shot at 2nd in the last quarter mile of the race.  Unfortunately for us, the pack to our left surged ahead in the final meters and we came away with a 7th.

In race 2, I really couldn’t do anything right.  We went the wrong way on every leg and just got further behind. We finished 24th.  Hopefully that will be our discard.  I had a bad day today and sometimes that happens.  We just have to shake it off and come out firing on all cylinders tomorrow.

Eric Doyle with Payson Infelise crewing led at the first mark followed closely by Jack Jennings and Frithjof Kleen and then Diego Negri.  In the end, Jennings Kleen took the win followed by Doyle and then Negri who is putting together a very consistent regatta.  Lars Grael is also coming on strong after a 37 in race one, he has 3 fourth place finishes.  Yesterday’s second place team of Diaz/Prada had a tough day and dropped to 13th overall.  Melleby Revkin still lead with a 3, 8 today.

Mark and I now lie in 7th place.  After tomorrow’s race, the discard will come into effect.  This will tighten up the scores and may shuffle some of the positions.

Two more races are on the schedule so still room to move up and down the board.

For complete scores go to www.yachtscoring.com

Paul

Bacardi Cup-Day 2

Biscayne Bay

After a one hour postponement, the wind filled in from the south east at 10 knots and built to 14 knots as the 10 mile race continued.  The right side of the course paid up the first windward leg and the Italian team of Negri/Lambertenghi led at the first mark.  Mark and I were fairly deep having gone to the left off the line.  We had a very good 1st downwind leg and moved from 20th to 10th.  The Italians led around every mark but got passed on the final leg by just one meter at the finish.

With the wind up to 14 knots on the final run, there was a bit of wave riding going on and big gains could be had.  2017 World Champions, Elvind Melleby and Josh Revkin, took the win while 5 time Olympic medalist Robert Scheidt with Brian Fatih crewing finished third, and Lars Grael with Samuel Goncalves finished 4th.  Down the final run to the finish, Mark and I battled Arthur Anosov with Dave Julius Caesar, and the French team of Xavier Rohart/Sebastian Guidoux.

Mark and I finished 6th and are tied with Robert Scheidt for third place, 7 points off the lead.  Lots of racing left!

For complete scores, go to: www.yachtscoring.com

Paul

 

 

 

Bacardi Cup-Day 1

Coconut Grove

76 teams from 16 countries have come to the warm waters of Biscayne Bay to compete in the 91st Annual Bacardi Cup.  I am racing the week with Mark Strube.

Before the first race of the regatta, the Star Class family payed its respects in a tribute to Sir Durward Knowles who recent passed away.  Durward was a Gold medalist, World Champion and 31 year Commodore of the Star Class. More importantly his was a friend to all and mentor to the lucky.  He was 100 years old and died as the oldest living Olympic Champion.

Yesterdays race was a tricky one.  The race committee patiently waited for 2 hours for the wind to settle enough to race.  It remained shifty and puffy as the easterly wind came over Key Biscayne onto the race course.

It was “Shoots-n-Ladders” on the first leg as the fleet spread out on the 2 mile leg, and the 15 degree shifts made a big difference!  The leaders at the first mark were last months winners from Ireland, the O’Leary brothers, followed by a pack that included, Diaz, Melleby, Cayard, Doyle, Vassella and Negri.

In the end Diaz edged out Melleby for the win, followed by Negri in third, Mark  and I in fourth and Eric Doyle in 5th.

Today’s race is already postponed by one hour, at least.

Paul

Photo by Kathleen Tocke

Coconut Grove

Races 7 & 8 of the Star Midwinter regatta were held today in perfect Star Sailing conditions of 12-14 knots from the southeast. Warm air, warmer water, nice waves for surfing downwind and plenty of sunshine.

Irishman Peter O’Leary and his brother Robert sailed steadily, never finishing better than third in any one race, and won the regatta with 46 point. Josh and I finished strong and moved up to second place with 60 points in this regatta. By virtue of moving up today, we won the Star Winter Series. The Star Winter Series is the cumulative score of 5 events starting in November and concluding in February. I had two crews sailing with me over four of the five events; Magnus Liljedahl and Josh Revkin. Both are great Sailors and even better friends.

Eric Doyle won both races today and moved up to third place with 62 points passing Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada. Josh and I were fast and had a 5, 2 today while Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada had a 3, 17 to finish 4th.

The racing was very tight and the lead changed hands several times in all races. Eric Doyle rounded the last mark of the final race in 5th and managed to grab the win.

For complete scores go to www.yachtscoring.com

The next even is Bacardi Cup, March 5-10.

Paul

Photo by Kathleen Tocke

Coconut Grove

More perfect sailing conditions were on deck for the Star Sailors here in Miami….. 12 knots from the southeast all day, with some shifts, some not so subtle.

In the first race, Josh and I had good start up near the Committee boat (right side). We took a short tack to the right, got headed, tacked back to starboard, crosses the entire fleet and never looked back. Jack Jennings, the series leader was over the start line early and disqualified so that helped the rest of us catch up in the series. Eric Doyle, world champ from 1998 sailed well to finish second.

In race two, Josh and I had a good but conservative start given the black flag was up. (If you start early with the black flag up, you are disqualified, no chance to restart)

We flipped onto Port about a minute after the start, and with good speed led the fleet to the right. All the leaders were trying to get right, but some had bad lanes and had to tack out to the left to clear their air. I really thought the wind was in and steady and since we had a nice clear lane, we kept it simple and sped to the right. As we approached the right corner, the wind turned 10 degrees left.  Too much leverage!  We ended up 20th at the first mark and the runs became parades as the course was not adjusted.  No chance to pass.  Up the second windward leg, I sailed stupidly and got us out to the left and stuck in traffic.  We battled Augie Diaz/Bruno Prada all the way around the track..they finished 12th and we finished 15th.  Arthur Anosov with Dave Julius Caesar crewing, sailed a great race to take the win!   Jennings and Kleen did a good race and finished second and my good firiend and fellow SF Bay Star sailor, Doug Smith with Brian O’Mahoney crewing, finish 3rd.

The Irish team of Peter O’leary and his brother Robert O’Leary have sailed steadily and are now comfortably in the lead with 30 points. Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada are second with 44 points and Josh and I have moved up to 3rd with 53points.

Two more races are in store for us tomorrow and the forecast is basically the same…beautiful sunshine, warm water and 22 knots of balmy southeasterly wind.

For complete scores go to www.yachtscoring.com.

Paul

Star Walker Series

Photos by Kathleen

Coconut Grove

Day two of the Walker Series and Mid winter Championship for 44 Star teams from 8 nations.  The breeze was up a bit, starting the first race of the day at 16 knots for race 1 and dropping through the day to finish race 2 at 11 knots.

Jack Jennings and Frithjof Kleen won the day with a 2, 1 and Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada did very well with a  1-3.  The Danish team who led after yesterday’s two races, had two 16th places and are tied with Josh and I at 6th over all.  Josh and I had better speed but I didn’t sail super sharp today and we got a 4, 2.

Jennings/Kleen won the Walker series and these 4 races will be added to the next 4 races to decide the Mid Winter  Series Championship.

The forecast for tomorrow is more of what we had today.  Moderate winds and sunshine.

For complete results go to www.yacht scoring.com

Thanks!

Paul

Walker Series

Coconut Grove

Today was the first day of both the Walker Series and the Star Midwinter Series.  44 Stars showed up for a one hour delayed start to race 1, on Biscayne Bay.  The delay was due to very light easterly winds which only ever got up to 7 knots today.  It was sunny and beautiful, just not very windy.

In race 1, Luca Modena and Sergio Lambertenghi of Italy led wire to wire, sailing smart and fast.  I am sailing with World Champion crew Josh Revkin this week.  Josh and I got off to a great start in race one but unfortunately went the wrong way on 3 out of the 4 legs.  We weren’t terribly fast either  and this coupled to put us into 20th at the finish line.  Augie Diaz, one of our main rivals was just behind us at the finish.

In race two, I got a horrible start and then fouled Andy Mac and had to do a circle.  This put us pretty much in last place, two minutes after the start.  And with the wind being so light, this was not going to be an easy race for us.  Nevertheless, Josh and I fought our way back to 11th at the finish line due to better speed after some rig changes and we went the correct way most of the time.  The team from Denmark, Jørgen Schönherr / Jan Eli Gravad, won race two with Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada close in second.  The Danes finished 4th in race 1 and are leading the regatta at this point.

So it wasn’t a great first day for Josh and I but there are three more days, and 6 more races, to go.  The forecast for rest of the weekend is in the 12 knot range which, I for one, will be looking forward to.

For complete scores go to www,yachtscoring,com

Paul

Zag Masters

Coconut Grove

The Star Masters fleet, 32 strong, was treated to beautiful Miami conditions today with southeasterly winds in the 7-9 knot range and sunshine.

In the first race, Magnus and I had a good battle with our old friends Mark Reynolds and Hal Haenel. We traded the lead twice but Mag and I prevailed. Augie Diaz had a tough start and was back in the fleet on the first leg. He and his crew Bruno Prada made a good comeback to finish 5th and stay in the hunt for the overall.

In race two, Augie and Bruno got off to a good start and never looked back.  Mag and I battled Reynolds again and Loftstedt of Sweden. In the end we finished 4th while Diaz won.

In the finally tally, Magnus and I managed to win over Diaz/Prada and Reynolds/Haenel rounded out the top three for the Zag Masters.

We have three days off before the Walker Cup starts on Thursday. I am going to Nassau tomorrow to visit Star legend Durward Knowles.

Paul