The first thing to say is that the weather down here is perfect: 8-12 knots of wind from the Southeast and 80 degrees. It doesn’t get better than this anywhere.
Sailing here at the 82nd edition of the Bacardi Cup marks my return to the Star Class after a four year absence. I am fortunate to have Austin Sperry crewing for me who was the US Olympic crew in the Star Class in Beijing last summer. We are a bit light in terms of weight, so the forecasted light to moderate winds is fine with us.
The 65 Star boats headed out to the race track this morning for a 1200 start. Everyone was scrambling a bit as the time changed last night and robbed everyone of an hour of sleep.
Once out on the track on Biscayne Bay, it was perfect Star weather. The fleet raced a 10 mile, 5 leg, windward/leeward course. There was confusion at the start as the main race committee vessel at the starboard end of the line signaled an individual recall while a committee boat at the port end of the line raced across the bows of the fleet in what appeared to be a general recall. This boat actually raced back across the bows of the fleet a second time. Some competitors went back to the starting area, most stopped sailing, but the main race committee never signaled a general recall and they thought it was a race.
Needless to say, it was more than a bit confusing and the jury is going to decide if we even had a race today.
As for the race, once we realized we were racing, we had a decent day. Without going through all the details, we rounded the first mark about 22nd had a great first run and second windward leg, going fast and the right way to round the second windward mark about 10th.
We went too far into one corner on the second run and lost a few boats and a lot of distance to the leaders. We went ok up the last beat and finished 11th.
All in all, Austin and I thought we were going pretty well which was good news as yesterday, in training, we were not. I read my notes from the 2004 Olympic trials that were sailed on this very course and we made some rather major changes to our mast setup for today. So that is all good.
George Szabo and Rick Peters of San Diego won the race. The Bacardi Cup is an institution in the Star Class. Originally sailing in Havana, it has been raced out of the Coral Reef Yacht Club, in Coconut Grove, since 1958. It is a six race championship. Once five races have been completed, each competitor can discard their worst score.
Tomorrow’s forecast is 8-12 again from the southeast. More sun!