heavies start rolling
Phil Toth reports from the Star fleet in Miami…
20 knots and Biscayne Bay chop sorted the men from the boys today in Miami. The breeze was steady and the legs long, so speed was king and there is no substitute for weeks/ years of straight line speed testing and physical fitness.
The top teams had an extra gear upwind and down and a couple of extra gears reaching, with their crew straight leg hiking the 2 mile legs. In the first race this morning the quickest of the quick were O’Leary and Burrows IRL. They came off the line well and held that initial advantage left and then got right to round in good shape and pretty much lead from start to finish. And the gap they had by the finish was significant!
As usual the strongest guys got the most rest before the second race and the Irish got a bit over 10 minutes more rest than Steve Gunther USA who brought up the tail, finishing a respectable 50th after a tough day. Many others didn’t make it out or around at all.
It was Kusznierewicz and Zycki POL who dominated the day though.
They pulled through to finish second in the morning race and then backed it up for a win in the afternoon. With two solid starts, they used the long oscillating shifts well, but it was downwind where they really exploited their advantage coming through the fleet. After rounding the top mark in 3rd, they had a cat and mouse exchange with the French Rohart and Ponsot, where both teams faked the hoist (flying the jib off the whisker pole). The Polish fake was more convincing and when the French hoisted and sailed low, the Polish simply sailed over the top and away. The Polish later managed to close the gap on Pepper and Turner NZL to take the win.
The big performers today were:
Kusznierewicz / Zycki POL, O’Leary/ Burrows IRL, Pepper/ Turner NZL and Rohart/ Ponsot FRA all finished inside the top 6 in both races today. The other team in contention for the 85th Bacardi Cup is Spitzauer/ Habermueller AUT who added a 9, 5 to their win in race 1.
Racing continues tomorrow, with 2 races scheduled,