An overwhelming display of dominance from defending champions Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada (POL) made Bacardi Cup history, as according to event knowledge, never before has a team recorded an all-win scorecard. Today Kusznierewicz/Prada wrapped up their assault to defend their title by claiming two more race wins to walk away with the 94th Bacardi Cup on a 15 point advantage.
In the J/70 Travis Odenbach and his team on ‘Honey Badger’ ended the day where they started in 1st overall, whilst in the Melges 24 defending Champion Bora Gulari on ‘New England Ropes’ stepped up his pace to triumph on the podium. The wind steadily dropped throughout the week and racing unfolded today in a lighter 6-10 knot breeze and fairly flat water across the Biscayne Bay race course.
Kusznierewicz/Prada made achieving their second consecutive Bacardi Cup title look easy, but despite their record breaking scorecard the race track didn’t always go their way, as twice they had to play catch up to secure their wins! Not today though, as they again led from start to finish in what can only be described as an unsurpassable event for the pair. To win with a win as a discard is simply once in a lifetime stuff!
“Since we left Miami last year after a beautiful Bacardi Cup so many things happened and we were looking forward to come here again and we managed to do this,” said Kusznierewicz. “It was not easy to get to the United States for Bruno from Brazil and me from Poland, but we made it and we experienced such nice sailing conditions, such nice hospitality. Of course we are so happy to win the 94th edition of the Bacardi Cup, it is a great privilege. I just want to say that once you try Bacardi, you want it more and this is why I think we performed so well.”
Prada added, “Much bigger than our victory was the courage of the Bacardi team to run the Bacardi Cup. It was a super tough year last year and to 2021 and we would like to congratulate all the Bacardi team to make it happen.”
The battle going into race 7 was all about podium second and third and the two teams having the overnight hold on those places didn’t ease up. Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise went into race 7 on 13 points, with Augie Diaz/Marcus Koy (USA) 5 points behind. Doyle/Infelise took the upper hand, scoring 4th to Diaz/Koy’s 9th, assuring them of second overall.
Onto the podium deciding race 8 there were now three teams, and four former Star Class World Champion sailors, vying for third place with just 2 points separating Diaz/Koy, John MacCausland/Phil Trinter and George Szabo/Guy Avellon.
Diaz/Koy knew they had to keep the pressure on to hold onto third place, as Diaz explained their road to the final spot on the podium.
“We had a really good race between three of us for third place. Our first race this morning was not very good, we ended up 9th and that was our throw out. So basically there were three of us to get third place and we had a really good start, so we were very fortunate that we were able to control the race. We were third at the weather mark and we were pretty much in second the rest of the way and we just felt really fortunate. It is just so nice to be able to sail in a Bacardi Cup under the conditions that are currently existing.”
A top performance from Star Class President Hubert Merkelbach and crew Kilian Weise, who unleashed their best day of racing, with a 2,5 bumping them up the leader board to finish in 6th overall and earn the Tammy Rubin-Rice Trophy.
As Kusznierewicz/Prada yet again shared the honor of sipping Bacardi Rum from the perpetual Bacardi Cup Trophy and the Tito Bacardi Cup, division prizes were also presented. Doyle/Infelise won the Masters (skippers age 50 through 59), Diaz/Koy the Grand Masters (skippers age 60 and above) and John Ferguson Dane III/Art Anisov the Exalted Grand Masters (skippers age 70 and above).
1. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL 8548) - 7 pts
2. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise (USA 8423) - 22 pts
3. Augie Diaz / Marcus Koy (USA 8509) - 25 pts
4. George Szabo / Guy Avellon (USA 8528) - 28 pts
5. John MacCausland / Phil Trinter (USA 8448) - 32 pts