the rum diaries
Blue skies, 20 knots, warm water and 67 beautiful Star boats on the starting line for the Bacardi Cup, in Miami!
This is the big regatta where the top amateur sailors go head to head the top Olympic guys and today was a perfect example of why! A big split in the breeze during the first beat meant that the group on the east side of Bay Biscayne rounded the top mark with a considerable advantage over the rest of the fleet. Amongst that lead group were a good mix of the top teams Spitzauer AUT, Campbell USA and Anosov UKR and a large number of weekend warriors.
A number of gold and silver stars were chasing from a long way back and it was going to be hard work “to hold on” for some, and “to come back” for others. After a couple of exhilarating reaches the likes of O’Leary IRL, Rohart FRA and Kusnierewicz POL were keeping the amateurs honest, but still chasing. Those part timers really know how to sail!
After another lap, this time with a downwind run, the professionals had closed the gap to almost nothing, but they were still behind the best of the regular guys. The last beat was sailed in a bit less pressure and an oscillating breeze. Hope remained for a few!
Another right shift at the bottom of the beat and big lefty at the top made the difference. Italians Irrera and La Porta and Argentinian’s MacGowan and Simonet read it perfectly and managed to hold off the cavalry to finish 6th and 7th. O’Leary IRL got up to 8th and Pepper NZL and Kusnierewicz POL to 12th and 13th, but the top 5 were days ahead. Spitzauer AUT, Campbell USA, Anosov UKR, Smith USA and Vessella USA will all sleep well tonight, especially after the evening cocktail party at Bacardi headquarters, where the Star family gathered to toast the passing of Tito Bacardi.
Just another day at this great regatta! – Phil Toth