While not a perfect day of sailing on Biscayne Bay, competitors in the Bacardi Invitational Winter Series Event One finally spread their wings o Sunday, December 13. The Race Committee was committed to waiting for breeze on the water, to avoid sailors congregating at the venue. By 1:00, a light wind arrived from the south with just enough velocity to finish one race for the J/70 fleet. Winner of the J/70s, Michael Illbruck, was all smiles, especially after the effort it took to get his team from Europe to Miami for the event. It’s rare that Miami has two days with so little wind, but the cool weather (by Miami standards) lessened the temperature differential between the ocean and the bay, making it hard for a seabreeze to fill. Starting was tricky with so little wind and strong current pushing teams back from the line. Some teams got in trouble at the windward mark as the current pushed them down into it. As shifts were slow coming, teams who found themselves in front were those who not only started well, but those who were patient, had minimized and smooth maneuvers, and played the wind and current well downwind. Melges 20 World Champion and new Commodore of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Michael Illbruck, is looking forward to bringing his team Pinta back to the next event in January. “We are very happy that Bacardi did this regatta. It was very difficult for the Race Committee, because there was a projection for good breeze, but it didn’t work out. We did get one race in, and it was really good to see that. The regatta was very difficult. It’s also a lot of luck. We sailed well. We were happy with the light wind, but besides the sailing, we were just saying on the boat yesterday, without any racing, we are just happy to be here.” The well-loved post-race Bacardi cocktails and prize-giving were missed by all, but teams departed once again with their contactless cocktail packages. They are looking forward to the next event in January. Similar to Event One, all those involved, including coaches and regatta support, will be required to provide negative COVID tests, within 72 hours prior to the regatta. For complete event details, visit https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=13061.

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