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O'Leary and Goodbody fourth

9th March 2009

Miami, FL (March 8, 2009) – Royal Cork's Peter O'Leary and crew Tim Goodbody were fourth in the opening round of the Bacardi Cup yesterday writes Lynn Fitzpatrick. Past Bacardi Cup skippers who are back for a try to drink from the Cup again are seven-time winner, Mark Reynolds; two-time winner, Peter Bromby and Mark Mendelblatt, who has won the trophy once.  Winning crews who are returning and looking for another win include Magnus Liljedahl (4), Hal Haenel (3), Mark Strube (1) and Austin Sperry (1).

The 62-boat strong Star fleet sailed its first race of the 82nd Annual Bacardi Cup Regatta on Sunday in a light easterly breeze that picked up to 9-10 knots as the early afternoon clouds cleared. 

 It looked as if Quantum Sails’ Mark Reynolds and Hal Haenel were going to add a daily first to their stock of Bacardi Cup trophies, but Irishmen Peter O’Leary and Tim Goodbody worked the lower right during the second beat and passed Reynolds/Haenel at the top mark.  They were closely followed by a string of top-flight competitors including Quantum Sails’ George Szabo and Rick Peters (above). 

Szabo/Peters watched part of the fleet overstand the leeward mark, gybed first and scooped the lead.  Peters, who won the Bacardi Cup drink contest last year, commented, “I’m happy with a win, I don’t care what kind of win.  We’re going out for surf and turf tonight and we’re taking Team V-3 with us.”

The other team that passed a number of boats on the final run was Team V-3’s Jon VanderMolen and Geoff Ewenson in the P Star designed by German Olympian, Marc Pickel.

The beat to the finish was quite a scramble.  VanderMolen, who hasn’t seen the top end of a Bacardi Cup fleet very often, joked, “I was just a little offended when Szabo left us to go and cover Mendelblatt,” referring to the 2005 Bacardi Cup winner and America’s Cup tactician, Mark Mendelblatt, who is teamed up with World Champion Star crew Bruno Prada.

82nd Annual Bacardi Cup - Preliminary Scores following the First Race

1.    George Szabo, Rick Peters

2.    Jon VanderMolen, Geoff Ewenson

3.    Marc Mendelblatt, Bruno Prada

4.    Peter O’Leary, Tim Goodbody

5.    Marc Pickel, Steve Mitchell Team

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