Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise hold Star Class lead at 92nd Bacardi Cup after race 4, with plenty of action kicking off in the J/70, Melges24, Viper 640 and Flying Tiger 7.5 after 3 back to back races.
It was one amazing sailing day in Biscayne Bay, with typical Miami winter conditions of strong breeze, sunshine and small chop. Racing doesn’t get better than this for the 165 teams racing at the Bacardi Invitational Regatta. Race day 1 got underway in the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640 and Flying Tigers 7.5, with the Star Class enjoying race day 4.
Two races for the Star fleet, to make up for no racing on Tuesday. A grueling and challenging day as the Star Class racing here respects the original Bacardi format, used since its inception in 1927, of races legs that are at least 2 miles long, and last up to two hours. With so much depth in performance, there were plenty of lead changes today as the shifty breeze further out on the bay tested the best.
One bullet went to French Olympic bronze medalist and SSL President Xavier Rohart with his crew Pierre-Alexis Ponsot, whilst American sailing legend Paul Cayard and Olympic champion Magnus Liljedahl picked up the other win. After four races top billing holds firm with Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise (USA), after a consistent scorecard of 2,3 and counting a 4th as their worst result. Defending Bacardi Cup title holders Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) are chasing hard nine points behind, and then it’s Norwegian World Champion Eivind Melleby and Joshua Revkin. Expect the leaderboard to shuffle up tomorrow, as the discard comes into play after race 5. One team for sure set to escalate their standing will be Mateusz Kusnierewicz and Frithjof Kleen, as they shake off their UFD penalty from race 1 and aim to maintain what is otherwise a scorecard of top 5 finishes.
“The boat was really fast both upwind and downwind,” reflected Paul Cayard. “It was tricky and shifty today, and unfortunately on the first race we got a little out of phase on the second leeward leg and we lost some boats. While we were in phase in the second race everything went our way and we won.”
Back ashore, 500 very tired sailors were welcomed to the nightly Bacardi post-race party. After some relaxing and camaraderie, they will prepare for another intense Biscayne Bay sailing day tomorrow, with a scheduled 1100 hours start for all fleets.