86th BACARDI Cup: Grael and Lagoa retain lead

Wednesday, 06 March 2013


Breeze just into the double digits made the second day of racing for the 86th BACARDI Cup a test of experience and persistence for the 56 Star teams racing on Biscayne Bay.  Two races were completed as the sunshine warmed temperatures into the low 70s, and, with three races scored a drop race now comes into play.  While Lars Grael and Mario Lagoa (BRA) remain first overall with two points net after adding today’s finishes of 12-1 to their win of yesterday’s lone race, less than 12 points separate the top-five teams.  

"Races were similar to yesterday although the second race overall was more gentle,” said Grael.  “On the first race today we did a wrong jibe and we rounded the mark fifth, closed the downwind leg 25th and finished 12th; it was a difficult race for us.  Second race of the day started well, we rounded the mark first and protected the position.  While fighting with Xavier Rohart we managed to keep a good gap with the rest of the field.  Overall we're happy because competition is tough and we're competing against Augie Diaz who is a local sailor and I believe has the home advantage.”

Diaz, with crew Arnis Baltins, is just three points out of first place and knows winning this championship will come down to more than local knowledge. 

"The first race was difficult, but we managed to do well,” said Diaz of the win of today’s first race. “We had better opportunities and with a little bit of luck we were able to round the weather mark third and then take the lead to the end. Second race of the day was more challenging because we decided to go on the right side of the course while the wind went left; I'm therefore happy with a 10th place. I have a lot of respect for Lars because he is very good in all conditions and in all venues.  I don’t think I have a big edge by being local; really not as big an edge as he might think I have.”

Third overall are the defending champions Xavier Rohart and Pierre Alexis Ponsot (FRA), who placed 6-2 today, a strong recovery from yesterday’s finish of 25.  They carry eight points and are followed in fourth by the Italian team of Diego Negri and Frithjof Kleen whose scoreline of 13-3-9 totals 12 points. Rounding out fifth in the standings is Irish Olympian Peter O’Leary and Rodney Hagebols who have 13.5 points after finishes of 2.5-36-11. 

Racing for the Star class resumes tomorrow, Wednesday, March 6.  Starting on Thursday, March 7, the Stars will be joined on Biscayne Bay by sailors in the Viper 640, Audi Melges 20, and Melges 24 classes, along with the J/70 class which makes its event debut.  Racing, for all classes, will conclude on Saturday, March 9.

During the event sailors will enjoy the hospitality lounge, BACARDI Rum tastings, as well as the daily prize giving for the top-three finishers and the final awards dinner.  A special exhibit of America’s Cup history and memorabilia will feature the work of Rhode Island-based photographer Cory Silken in the North Hall of the Coconut Grove Convention Center.  The exhibits will be open to the public from noon to 7:00PM daily and are free of charge. The prestigious Coral Reef Yacht Club will coordinate on-water activities in collaboration with Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and Coconut Grove Sailing Club. The U.S. Sailing Center and Shake-A-Leg Miami will also support the event. Racing will be held on three separate courses approximately two miles out on Biscayne Bay. 

More information on the BACARDI Miami Sailing Week and the 86th BACARDI Cup is available at www.MiamiSailingWeek.com and www.BacardiCup.com.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 March 2013 )