A gorgeous morning greeted teams on Biscayne Bay, Miami for day two at the Bacardi Winter Series Event 1. However, it was an altogether different race track compared to Saturday, with a light breeze coming in from the south-southeast and most of the chop dissipated. The tight racing, which headlined on Saturday, eased as teams focused on negotiating the tricky light breeze and current. A central strategy for success, the impact of the current escalated through the lower half of the downwind legs, playing a major influence on laylines and gybing angles. Bazinga, helmed by Daniel Goldberg, delivered a change of form to day one, easily winning race four over the 17-boat J/70 fleet. As the day unfolded, the sun came out, the breeze increased and there was a change of guard on the track featuring the young team on Project Number 49, who put in a powerful performance to win races five and six and close the event in seventh overall. “It was a little bit different from (Saturday); the breeze came from the south which is a little interesting for Miami,” said Max Lopez, crew on Project Number 49. “We had a bad first race, and we won the last two. The trick was getting off the line and getting on the long tack. We had some pretty aggressive left shifts come in, and we were able to start really pointing the boat toward the mark up the course. That’s really what happened for us, that was the key. Then it was more just staying ahead, staying between the competition and the mark and keeping the boat going as fast as possible. Really nice to finish on Sunday with a 1,1 in Miami sailing,” concluded Lopez. None of the overall top three from Saturday managed to repeat their front of fleet finishes, but their overnight points advantage and consistent form Sunday saw them hold tight to the same top three podium places. Richard Witzel helming Rowdy took out a 5,2,12 scorecard to claim overall victory. “What can I say, Bacardi, Miami – the perfect way to spend the week before Christmas,” said a super happy Richard Witzel. “It’s my first time sailing the Bacardi Winter Series, and I must say it is one of my favorite events that I have ever done. The venue is spectacular, the hospitality is spectacular, the sailing conditions were amazing. We had a good variety. (Saturday) was really windy, and (Sunday) a lot of ups and downs with the velocity, a lot of shifts, very challenging sailing conditions. But that’s what makes it fun.”
Overall Top Five Results:
- Richard Witzel/Carlos Robles/Mark Gauthier/Jud Smith (USA 1562) – 13 pts
- Peter Cunningham/Chris Rast/Willem van Waay/Tony Rey (CAY 1310) – 17 pts
- Victor Cribb/Greiner Hobbs/John Wallace/Orin Star (USA 677) – 19 pts
- Ed Lebens/Ian Barrows/Conner Harding/Malcom Lamphere (USA 1150) – 20 pts
- Daniel Goldberg/Lucas Calabrese/Tomas Hornos/Kristen Berry (USA 84) – 23 pts
Winners and podium finishers were celebrated at the Bacardi prize-giving hosted at Shake-a-leg Miami, with plenty more camaraderie enjoyed at the Bacardi Happy Hour. Teams will renew their race track battles at Bacardi Winter Series Event 2 in Miami from 28-30 January 2022, ahead of the series finale at the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta, 9-12 March 2022. For event details, visit https://bacardiinvitational.com/.