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Displaying items by tag: Bacardi Cup

The 2021 Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta is all set to welcome over seventy-five teams to compete at one of sailing’s most prestigious events from 7-13 March 2021 in Miami, USA.

Every year the Bacardi Cup and Bacardi Invitational Regatta attract a dazzling mix of professional rock star racers and super-talented Corinthian teams from around the globe. They are drawn to the stunning location, world class racing and fantastic hospitality, which guarantee an atmosphere perfectly epitomizing the spirit of sailing. For 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced a scaled-down regatta, with local restrictions on entry levels and fleet quotas limiting racing to the Star Class, J/70 and Melges 24. The Viper 640 and VX One fleets have kindly stepped back and will re-join the racing in 2022.

First held in 1927 in Cuba, the iconic Bacardi Cup is steeped in history and has grown year on year in partnership with BACARDÍ® rum, who has been the proud patron and organizer since the regatta’s inception. Ranking as one of the world’s oldest and most esteemed sailing regattas, the Bacardi Cup has been a constant over the past nine decades, serving up sailing in the revered Star Class that has put teams and spectators on the edge of their seats with awe-inspiring race track action. Despite the event’s relaxed atmosphere and nostalgia, staking your place on the Bacardi Cup leader board remains as competitive as ever and the challenge for victory is as tough as the first edition back in 1927.

Eddie Cutillas of Bacardi USA, commented, “Although it hasn’t been easy to pull off this year’s event, Bacardi is immensely proud to host the 94th Bacardi Cup and 2021 Bacardi Invitational Regatta and I applaud everyone for working so closely together to follow the Covid-19 protocols and deliver a safe event for all. We expect to return to our usual hospitality and entertainment next year, so save the date as 2022 is going to be one heck of a party!”

Current travel restrictions and limits on fleet size have kept many at home, so we have a new look entry line up featuring only a few international faces who have been able to travel to join the mainly USA based teams. The commitment of sailors in making the journey to Miami demonstrates the huge popularity of the regatta and the Organizing Committee is very grateful for everyone’s participation.

“After a difficult past 12 months we are thrilled to welcome teams back to the 2021 Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta,” commented Sara Zanobini, Event Director. “The Organizing Committee thanks all the teams who have been able to enter this year and we appreciate your commitment to sail despite the challenges. The event has a new format for 2021 as we have adapted to Covid-19, introducing multiple protocols and safety measures in our aim to keep everyone safe, which means there will be none of the usual shore-side social events, although sailors still get to enjoy BACARDÍ® rum with daily cocktail kits to take home. We are very proud to be amongst the few major sailing events to take place this year and we are proof events can be held safely. We expect teams’ energy and focus will all be on the racing and we are super excited to see how the leader board shapes up.”

As always plenty have their eyes on the main prizes and returning to defend their 2020 titles are Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Bruno Prada (BRA) in the Star Class and Bora Gulari (USA) and his team in the Melges 24 Class.

Kusznierewicz/Prada made winning the 93rd Bacardi Cup look easy, seizing victory with a race to spare, after which Kusznierewicz declared it ‘his perfect regatta’. They were chased hard by Augie Diaz, who for this year’s mission to displace the defenders has partnered up with Pedro Truche, who finished 5th last year with Paul Cayard. Local hero Diaz is massively experienced in sniffing out the breeze and Biscayne Bay current, but has yet to see his name etched in history on the iconic Bacardi Cup.

Strong contenders Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise won the warm-up at the Star Mid-winters last month ahead of Diaz, and won the 92nd Bacardi Cup in 2019 over Kusznierewicz. But touché, as Kusznierewicz/ Prada won the 2019 Star Worlds, with Diaz in 2nd, whilst Diaz won gold at the 2016 Worlds. And so it goes on in the highly talented Star fleet. Honoring its history, the Bacardi Cup remains firmly loyal to the initial concept of an event for all, with the sport’s luminaries, Olympic medalists, World Champions and America’s Cup legends on the same starting line as talented enthusiasts and weekend warriors. There is everything to play for with numerous well-known faces amongst the thirty teams taking on one traditional long race per day in the high octane battle for supremacy at the 94th Bacardi Cup and earn the honor of drinking BACARDÍ® rum from the winners’ trophy.

In the J/70 fleet, multiple teams hold impressive pedigrees in this well-honed pack who know each other well. Reigning J/70 World Champion Joel Ronning on ‘Catapult’ has to be a front runner with back to back wins in 2019 and 2018, although he dropped to 4th last year. In 2020 and 2019, Ryan McKillen and his team on ‘Surge’ had to settle for second place and will want the top step! Their target is firmly in sight, with a win at the recent Bacardi Winter Series 2, with new crew on board in the form of Olympian Lucas Calabrese, who may be the component to secure an upgrade. Always sitting high up the leader board is Brian Keane, although he posted an errant 22nd last year, but previously placed 7th and 3rd and well as securing top five finishes at the J/70 Worlds. Pamela Rose and her team on Rosebud have been steadily advancing up the leader board, rounding out Bacardi Winter Series 2 in 3rd place, and clearly have the skill to stake their claim on the podium.

Amongst the favorites aiming to displace Gulari in the Melges 24 Class are both the 2nd and 3rd placed teams from 2020, with ‘Raza Mixta’ driven by Peter Duncan and ‘Shaka’ helmed by KC Shannon. Gulari launches his defence fresh from a win at the Bacardi Winter Series 2, where another strong contender Laura Grondin and her team on Dark Energy were one point back in second place, with Duncan in third. Grondin is one of four women skippers in the fleet, from a provisional entry list of twenty-four boats, each of whom will pounce on every opportunity to be out front. Bruce Ayres and his team on ‘Monsoon’ have featured on the podium at the past three Melges 24 Worlds, and will be right up in the hunt too.

“Whilst the event this year will be a bit different, the stunning Biscayne Bay is sure to deliver its usual brilliance and close racing,” added Regatta Chairman Mark Pincus. “I know everyone is ready for some exciting sailing and are hotly anticipating their return to the race track. We are really pleased to welcome teams to our annual celebration of sailing and friendship.

During the Bacardi Cup there will be a special tribute to honor the life and legacy of James ‘Ding’ Schoonmaker who passed away on 19 January 2021. We owe it to the special friendship between Ding, Tito Argamasilla Bacardi and Frank Zagarino who in 1962 brought the Bacardi Cup to Miami from Cuba, thus saving our unique and special regatta.

The Star Class challenge for the 94th Bacardi Cup kicks off on Monday 8 March, with a 6-race series of one traditional endurance race per day through until Saturday 13 March. Racing for the J/70 and Melges 24 gets underway from 11-13 March with 3 races scheduled per day for a total of 9 races. Race activities are managed by Coral Reef Yacht Club, in collaboration with Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, US Sailing Center and Shake-a-Leg Miami.

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In spite of a scoresheet that features two race wins and four results from six in the top ten, such is the competition at the Star Class Bacardi Cup that sole Irish entry Peter and Robert O'Leary missed the podium and finished sixth overall.

In further top results for visiting Royal Cork crews, the brother's father Anthony sailing with third brother Nicholas O'Leary, who were competing in the Viper 640 class, took third overall sailing with Ben Field (see below). North Sails Ireland's Nigel Young was one place outside the Melges 24 top ten in 11th overall.

Rob O LearyNicholas O'Leary (centre) collecting the Winter Cup in Miami for Antix (IRL 296), the Viper 640 warm-up to the Bacardi Invitational Regatta Photo: Martina Orsini

Tough, rough and exhilarating conditions showed up in Biscayne Bay on the last day at the invitational regatta for the thrill of the 524 sailors gathered in Miami for this world-renowned event. An average 15 knots breeze, with gusts of over 20 knots, tested teams and served up a spectacular final day of racing for sailors and the spectator flotilla following the racing.

The 2020 Bacardi Cup Champions secured their title with a race to spare yesterday, but Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Bruno Prada (BRA) still delivered an impressive final race. The pair led the fleet for the first half of the race, before they confused the upwind mark of another racecourse with the Stars’ bottom gate, giving the opportunity for Diego Negri (ITA)/Frithjof Kleen (GER) to overhaul them and extend to win the race by 150 metres. With it Negri/Kleen managed to climb to fourth overall.

“We were forcing on them on the last downwind,” commented Diego Negri, who was happy to conclude the Bacardi Cup with a race win. “We both had a bit of a misunderstanding about the marks, we have had a couple of changes of course during the race, but we luckily realised we were going in the wrong direction before they did and managed to gain over them and round the mark in front. They were fast on the last upwind for another very tight finish. I am happy we won the race, it always feels great, but it’s even better at the Bacardi Cup!”

With Negri/Kleen taking out the final race win, the fight for second and third on the podium unfolded between Paul Cayard (USA)/Pedro Trouche (BRA) who tamed the strong wind and the waves and finished race 6 in 3rd, Augie Diaz (USA)/Henry Boening (BRA) in 4th and Eivind Melleby (NOR)/Joshua Revkin (USA) who started the day in second place dropping to third overall after a 9th place finish. Claiming the glory of second place, by tiebreak advantage over Melleby/Revkin, were Diaz/Boening.

The Race Committees had predicted a full programme on the final day, and with the wind increasing as the afternoon progressed they delivered another day of outstanding racing for all eight classes.

Two races for the J70 fleet, where Eat Sleep J Repeat (Paul Ward/Ruairidh Scott/Ben Saxton/Mario Trindade) maintained their leading position with one win and a 7th, Surge (Ryan McKillen/John Wallace/Sam Loughborough/Mark Mendelblatt) ended their regatta in second overall and Midlife Crisis in third (Bruce Golison/Steve Hunt/Jeff Reynolds/Erik Shampain) after delivering the best race performance of the day, back to back 2nd place finishes. The other race win went to the team on Catapult (Joel Ronning/Patrick Wilson/Christopher Stoke/Paul Brotherton) who claimed fourth overall.

“It is great fun for us to come race up here,” commented Paul Ward, helm of Eat Sleep J Repeat who are the reigning J70 World Champions. “And winning is the icing on the cake or it’s the 10 year old Bacardi Rum on top of everything else! The hardest thing for us was to keep the boat going faster upwind with this kind of chop and the big gusts coming from the north. We don’t sail them much back home and we are not good with them. It was also tough to play catch up with our American friends.”

Two races for the Melges 24 and two stunning wins for USA 820 (Bora Gulari/Taylor Canfield/Kyle Navin/Norman Berg/Ian Liberty) to win overall by a 13 point margin. Second to Raza Mixta (Peter Duncan/Victor Diaz de Leon/Mattero Ramian/Carlos Robles/Willem Van Waay) and Shaka (KC Shannon/Jackson Benvenutti/Ben Lynchi/Tom Sawchuk/Elizabeth Whitener) remained in third overall despite being black flagged in the last race.

“It was a glamor day out there today,” said Taylor Canfield helm of the winning crew. “Biscayne Bay is great in this condition and we had two wins to close the event. I am sailing with a great team, they are really sharp and make my work a lot easier. This was a great tune up for the 2020 Worlds that will take place in Charleston in May. We have learned a lot. It’s my first event in the class after some time and I loved it.”

In the Viper 640, no change to first and second overall with the overnight leaders on USA293 (Will Graves/ Ryan Cox/Greg Dair) claiming a 1,4 to win by 11 points over last year’s champions on Evil Hiss (Geoff Ewenson/Mary Ewenson/Tyler Bjorn), while Antix (Anthony O’Leary/Ben Field/Nicholas O’Leary) climbed up the leader board to finish in third overall.

The team on Caterpillar (Peter Ill/Alec Chicoine/Austin Powers) took out the final race of the day to wrap up in 7th overall.

No change in the top three in the VX One, as Sendit (Bill Wiggins/Jeff Eiber/Darby Cappellin) maintained their form, to win by 2 points over Flying Jenny (Sandra Askew/Kyle Kandt/Jason Curvie) and just 1 point behind in third was VX1 (Ched Proctor/David Guggenheim/Monica Morgan). Today’s only race was won by LM Realty (Tim Pitts/Rachel Daye/Ethan Hanley), who lost out on a podium place on tiebreak and had to settle for fourth overall.

In the new Olympic windsurf class, it was a challenging day out on the track as the foilers tackled the gusty wind and chop. Gabriel Browne (BRA) again demonstrated his speed in the Open Windfoil to take out another win, ending his debut here in Miami with 7 race wins and two 2nd places to easily secure victory. Justin Ahearn (USA) finished in second overall and Alexander Temko (USA) in third.

An eight-race series for the Cabrinha AV8, the flying kiteboards, saw Damien LeRoy win both of today’s concluding races and the overall series. It was an all-American podium, with Brendan Healy in second and third to Kent Marcovich.

Published in Star

Cork Harbour sailors will be part of a record-breaking Bacardi Cup Regatta in Miami next week when more than 500 sailors from around the world will race in Biscayne Bay Florida at the 93rd edition of the Cup and Bacardi Invitational Regatta from March 1-7, 2020. 

Ireland's Commodore's Cup-winning captain Anthony O'Leary will race a Viper 640 (named Antix) while sons Peter and Robert are back in their Star boat Archie for the week of competition.

From Myrtleville, North Sails Ireland boss Nigel Young is also Miami bound. Racing under the burgee of Guernsey Yacht Club, Young is racing the Melges 24 Black Seal with Richard Thompson, Mike Claxton, Catherine Alton and William Goldsmith.

See the entry list here.

The O'Leary family are, of course, Bacardi Cup regulars with the brothers coming very close to lifting the prestigious Cup on a race track where they have enjoyed notable previous success.

Offering a unique blend of world-class racing, atmosphere and social events, the Bacardi Cup and Bacardi Invitational Regatta is undoubtedly one of the world’s most prestigious regattas that, in 2020, will welcome a record-breaking 196 entries, attracting an international entry list of professional rock star racers and super-talented Corinthian teams.

The goal is to build on the long tradition of the Star Class and maintain and champion performance in other popular classes, whilst retaining the mix of outstanding racing on Biscayne Bay and superb shore side atmosphere and socials for which the event is renowned.

Across the fleets, sailors from around the USA will be joined by teams representing nineteen countries, including Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Thailand. Four courses will operate simultaneously and this year, the iconic Star Class will be joined by the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640, and brand new for the race track this year are the VXOne sports boat and AV8 and Windfoil classes.

Racing for the Star Class gets underway in Biscayne Bay on Monday 2 March, with the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640, VXOne and windfoils taking to the track on Thursday 5 March. The Star fleet will contest their traditional one race per day in a true test of endurance relished by the sailors, whilst all other fleets will sail eight races across three days. 

“We have an outstanding race management team who join us for the event and ensure scrupulous attention to detail,” commented Mark Pincus, Regatta Chairman. “We are super pleased to continue our path of innovation by embracing the latest technology and new for this year will be the MarkSetBot robotic mark laying system. These self-propelled marks are controlled by a smartphone and will help us deliver fast mark laying whatever the weather throws at us. The race tracks are complex and unpredictable, ensuring lots of opportunities for teams to really test themselves and guarantee some intense action.”

The largest entry goes to the Star Class where World Champions, Olympians and America’s Cup legends will crowd out the fleet in the pressure battle for the elusive Bacardi Cup title. The Star Class competed at eighteen Olympic Games over eighty years and holds a pedigree for producing legends of the sport and plenty of them will be in Miami. Numerous mainsails will feature the golden Star logo, awarded only to Star Class World Champions, including the renowned Paul Cayard (USA), who has been sailing the Star for over 40 years alongside his successful career in the America’s Cup and big yacht racing. Gold stars on the track will also be carried by two-time World Champion Xavier Rohart (FRA), and 2004 Olympic Bronze medalist and reigning World Champion Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL), who will be racing with his record five-time Star World Champion crew Bruno Prada (BRA). Kusznierewicz is also a Gold and Bronze Olympic medalist in the Finn class, and Prada is an Olympic Silver and Bronze medalist in the Star. The 2016 Star World Champion and runner up at the 2019 Worlds Augie Diaz (USA) will be racing, as will Diego Negri (ITA) who won the 2018 Bacardi Cup and this year is crewed by the renowned Frithjof Kleen (GER). Looking to trump them all however and keep a tight hold of their title will be the 2019 Bacardi Cup winners, Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise (USA), who will once again hope to enjoy the sweet taste of victory and retain the honour of drinking Bacardi rum from the winner’s trophy come Sunday 7 March.

The J/70 fleet has a compelling line-up of forty teams with the potential to seize the crown, as demonstrated at the two winter warm-up events where different faces claimed the top three standings. Those likely to feature up front include the USA teams headed up by Joel Ronning, Ryan McKillen, John Heaton, Trey Sheehan and Pamela Rose. But equally, some of the newer teams such as Great Britain’s JOLT, which includes plenty of Olympic talent, could pack a punch and change the leaderboard guard. Of course, the reigning J/70 World Champion, Paul Ward (GBR), will no doubt also set the race track rivalry stakes.

Plenty of twists and turns will unfold in the fully-primed Melges 24 fleet, where both the reigning silver and bronze World Championship medalists, Bruce Ayres (USA) and Andrea Pozzi (ITA), will be on the starting line. Amongst those also up for the challenge in the twenty-eight boat fleet will be the best two overall finishers from the two warm-up events here in Miami over the winter, Bora Gulari (USA) and Travis Weisleder (USA), who will resume their neck and neck performance.

Last year’s champion in the Viper 640, Mary Ewenson, returns to defend her title but will have to go through some tough opposition to be on top of the twenty-two other teams on the track. Plenty of talent will join the action across the VXOne, AV8 and Windfoil classes and new heroes will be born.

Published in Star

In what might be the first competitive meeting since the controversial 2008 Olympic Star selection trials – that ended up in front of an Olympic Council of Ireland Appeal hearing – two of Ireland's 2008 keelboat campaigners Peter O'Leary of Baltimore and Royal Cork and Max Treacy of the Royal St. George Yacht Club are back on–the–water and contesting this week's 2018 Bacardi Cup in Miami.

The Cup is one of the oldest and most traditional sailing events in the world. What started out as a three-day event with less than 10 boats in 1927, now attracts more than 200 sailors each year from some 23 countries and the attention of international media. It is is legendary as one of the few sporting events in which weekend enthusiasts have the opportunity to compete head on with Olympian and World Champion athletes.

As long time Afloat.ie readers will be aware, it was O'Leary who went on to represent Ireland in Beijing in 2008. A decade on, and now sailing with new crew, brother Robert, the Cork Harbour ace has taken first advantage yesterday and is placed sixth in the 76–boat fleet while Dublin Bay's Treacy, sailing with 2008 partner Anthony Shanks, is six places behind in 12th overall after one race sailed. 

In his new Star boat, named Dafni, O'Leary – who also sailed at London 2012 – is already very much up to speed winning last month's Star Walker Cup at the same venue. It was a result that earned them a February 2018 Afloat.ie Sailor of the Month award in to the bargain.

Yesterday, American's Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada, of the USA took the first winners gun on Biscayne Bay, Monday.

They finished ahead of Eivind Melleby and Joshua Revkin of Norway with Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi of Italy in third place.

Paul Cayard and Mark Strube USA finished fourth and fifth were Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise USA, with Ireland's O'Leary brother's sixth.

Top ten after the first race:

1. Augie Diaz / Bruno Prada, USA
2. Eivind Melleby / Joshua Revkin, NOR
3. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi, ITA
4. Paul Cayard / Mark Strube, USA
5. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise , USA
6. Peter O'Leary / Robert O'Leary, IRL
7. Robert Scheidt / Brian Fatih, BRA
8. Thomas Allart / Arthur Lopez, NED
9. Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter, USA
10. Luke Lawrence / Pedro Trouche, NED

Full results are here 

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Cork Harbour's Anthony and Robert O'Leary and Tom Durcan have finished in the top eight of the competitive Viper 640 Bacardi Sailing Week fleet. The overall result brings a successful conclusion to a week of racing in Miami, Florida where the Royal Cork YC trio also finished second in the EFG Winter Cup regatta the previous weekend. O'Leary was pipped for the overall EFG win by Lawrence and Luka Crispin and Hector Cisneros, a British entry that swept the Viper Miami week of sailing.

O'Leary counted six top ten results in the eight race Bacardi Cup, missing seventh place in the 29-boat fleet by just two points.

After turning in a dominating performance for the EFG Winter Cup, Crispin and crew controlled Bacardi Miami Sailing Week Regatta which was also the EFG Viper Pan-American Championship.

By placing well in two Pan-Am qualifiers (the NAs and the Winter Cup) Lawrence, Luka and Hector will also be taking home the Pan-Am Champs as they return to the UK and Stone Sailing Club. 

The Viper 640 class is coming to Volvo Cork Week in July.

Meanwhile, for the week that's in it, we very much like the spinnaker on Trey Sheehans' J70 Bacardi Sailing entry from Put-in-Bay Yacht Club, Ohio. 

J/70 at BACARDI Miami Sailing Week

Posted by IPHOTOJOURNALIST on Saturday, 12 March 2016
Published in Racing

Anthony O'Leary, Robert O'Leary and Tom Durcan were narrowly pipped for an overall win in the Viper 640 EFG Winter Cup Regatta in Miami at the weekend. The Royal Cork trio sailing 'Antix' finished second overall where there were two days of big winds in a 16–boat fleet. O'Leary was beaten by the UK's Lawrence Crispin, third was John Dane, the USA Star 2008 Rep from Beijing. 

The Crosshaven helmsman is back on Biscayne Bay tomorrow for the 2016 Bacardi Cup regatta where he finished seventh last year. (Gremlins caused an earlier misreport of the 2015 results). Strong winds are forecast for this week's event.

The Viper 640 sportsboat fleet is coming to Volvo Cork Week this July.

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#bacardicup – Now fifth overall in the standings at the 2013 Bacardi Cup in Miami is Irish Olympian Peter O'Leary and Rodney Hagebols who have 13.5 points after finishes of 2.5-36-11.

Breeze just into the double digits made the second day of racing for the 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.

Lars Grael and Mario Lagoa (hull 74) are the standings leaders after two days of racing for the 86th BACARDI Cup

"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.

The Italian team of Diego Negri and Frithjof Kleen are fourth overall with three races scored.

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

Published in Olympic

#BACARDI CUP – Peter O'Leary and David Burrows have been pipped for a second year running by a French team for overall honours in the prestigious Bacardi Cup.

The Irish Olympic pair lost out by three points yesterday but will take consolation in a well earned second overall against some key opponents. They sailled a consistent six race series in their new boat launched just in time for the Miami event. O'Leary steered to five top five placings (including two race wins) only dropping out of the top five once to record an eighth in the opening race.

Reflecting on the result a message on the Irish team's facebook page this morning says: 'Put it in the bitterness bank and move on'.

Six-time Olympian and two-time Star world champ Xavier Rohart of France added a new title to his sailing CV by becoming the winning skipper of the 85th Bacardi Cup on Biscayne Bay.

Rohart and crew Pierre Alexis Ponsot clawed their way through the 63-boat Star fleet to a fourth-place finish in Saturday’s final race — earning a score just low enough to overcome threats from not only the Irish but Polish and Austrian teams that had challenged all week. Full results are here.

Last year in spite of leading the regatta going in to the final race the Cork/Dublin sailors were pipped by a single point for overall honours. On that occasion France's Guillaume Florent and Pascal Rambeau accomplished a rare achievement winning the prestigious regatta at their first attempt.

O'Leary's brother and training partner Nin sailing with Rodny Hadenbols scored 11th overall at their first Star event.

Additional reporting from Miami organisers:

With five races already on the scoreboard, the Star fleet today completed the sixth race for the 85th BACARDI Cup, being held for the 50th year in Miami. Briefly postponed, the final race for the Stars got underway with just seven knots of breeze from the east southeast. The Swiss team of Flavio Marazzi and Enrico De Maria were across the finish line first, followed by Miami's own Augie Diaz with Bruno Prada, and 2008 Star World Champions Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (Poland). Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot (France) were across fourth, followed by 2008 Olympian Peter O'Leary and David Burrows (Ireland). By finishing ahead of the Irish team, Rohart and Ponsot, who had started the day with a three-point lead on O'Leary and Burrows, maintained the point spread to win the championship title with 13 points. O'Leary and Burrows, with 16 points, and Kusznierewicz and Zycki, with 18 points, filled out the remaining podium spots. Diaz and Prada, with finishes of 11-4-7-5-8-2; 26, moved up to fourth overall, with day one leaders, Austria's five-time Olympian Hans Spitzauer and Gerd Habermueller, finishing fifth overall with 29 points.

"It's wonderful," said Xavier Rohart on winning the 85th BACARDI Cup. "I'm extremely happy for this achievement. It's a dream come true! I've been dreaming about it for 10 years and finally it happened. Unfortunately, I'm on my way to the airport as I have to be back home and I will miss the celebration tonight, but my crew and coach will be there. This concludes my training in Miami and I will continue to focus on more training before the Olympics."

 

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#BACARDI CUP – With a large area of high pressure parked over the East Coast of America  generating strong easterly winds across the Florida peninsula, organisers of the 85th Bacardi Cup were forced to cancel racing for the second day in a row. Organisers have revised the schedule for the 67 registered Star teams to include a second race today and Friday.

Published in Olympics 2012
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#BACARDI CUP – With an east-northeast 29-knot breeze gusting to 35 knots and a prediction for more of the same over the course of the afternoon, organisers of the 85th Bacardi Cup in Miami cancelled the day's scheduled race for the 67 registered Star teams. Two Irish boats are in the fleet including Olympic duo Peter O'Leary and David Burrows. The Stars race alone through Thursday, March 8, after which they will be joined by the Viper 640, Audi Melges 20, Melges 24 and J/80 classes. Racing concludes for all classes on Saturday, March 10.

Published in Olympics 2012
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The Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's fourth 'Blue Light' service (along with An Garda Síochána, the Ambulance Service and the Fire Service). It provides a nationwide maritime emergency organisation as well as a variety of services to shipping and other government agencies.

The purpose of the Irish Coast Guard is to promote safety and security standards, and by doing so, prevent as far as possible, the loss of life at sea, and on inland waters, mountains and caves, and to provide effective emergency response services and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The Irish Coast Guard has responsibility for Ireland's system of marine communications, surveillance and emergency management in Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and certain inland waterways.

It is responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue and counter-pollution and ship casualty operations. It also has responsibility for vessel traffic monitoring.

Operations in respect of maritime security, illegal drug trafficking, illegal migration and fisheries enforcement are co-ordinated by other bodies within the Irish Government.

On average, each year, the Irish Coast Guard is expected to:

  • handle 3,000 marine emergencies
  • assist 4,500 people and save about 200 lives
  • task Coast Guard helicopters on missions

The Coast Guard has been around in some form in Ireland since 1908.

Coast Guard helicopters

The Irish Coast Guard has contracted five medium-lift Sikorsky Search and Rescue helicopters deployed at bases in Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo.

The helicopters are designated wheels up from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours and 45 minutes at night. One aircraft is fitted and its crew trained for under slung cargo operations up to 3000kgs and is available on short notice based at Waterford.

These aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains of Ireland (32 counties).

They can also be used for assistance in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and aerial surveillance during daylight hours, lifting and passenger operations and other operations as authorised by the Coast Guard within appropriate regulations.

Irish Coastguard FAQs

The Irish Coast Guard provides nationwide maritime emergency response, while also promoting safety and security standards. It aims to prevent the loss of life at sea, on inland waters, on mountains and in caves; and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The main role of the Irish Coast Guard is to rescue people from danger at sea or on land, to organise immediate medical transport and to assist boats and ships within the country's jurisdiction. It has three marine rescue centres in Dublin, Malin Head, Co Donegal, and Valentia Island, Co Kerry. The Dublin National Maritime Operations centre provides marine search and rescue responses and coordinates the response to marine casualty incidents with the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Yes, effectively, it is the fourth "blue light" service. The Marine Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for the coastal area between Ballycotton, Co Cork and Clifden, Co Galway. At the same time, the MRSC Malin Head covers the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle. Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) Dublin covers Carlingford Lough, Co Louth to Ballycotton, Co Cork. Each MRCC/MRSC also broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and MF radio, including navigational and gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings.

The Irish Coast Guard handles about 3,000 marine emergencies annually, and assists 4,500 people - saving an estimated 200 lives, according to the Department of Transport. In 2016, Irish Coast Guard helicopters completed 1,000 missions in a single year for the first time.

Yes, Irish Coast Guard helicopters evacuate medical patients from offshore islands to hospital on average about 100 times a year. In September 2017, the Department of Health announced that search and rescue pilots who work 24-hour duties would not be expected to perform any inter-hospital patient transfers. The Air Corps flies the Emergency Aeromedical Service, established in 2012 and using an AW139 twin-engine helicopter. Known by its call sign "Air Corps 112", it airlifted its 3,000th patient in autumn 2020.

The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which is responsible for the Northern Irish coast.

The Irish Coast Guard is a State-funded service, with both paid management personnel and volunteers, and is under the auspices of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. It is allocated approximately 74 million euro annually in funding, some 85 per cent of which pays for a helicopter contract that costs 60 million euro annually. The overall funding figure is "variable", an Oireachtas committee was told in 2019. Other significant expenditure items include volunteer training exercises, equipment, maintenance, renewal, and information technology.

The Irish Coast Guard has four search and rescue helicopter bases at Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo, run on a contract worth 50 million euro annually with an additional 10 million euro in costs by CHC Ireland. It provides five medium-lift Sikorsky S-92 helicopters and trained crew. The 44 Irish Coast Guard coastal units with 1,000 volunteers are classed as onshore search units, with 23 of the 44 units having rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) and 17 units having cliff rescue capability. The Irish Coast Guard has 60 buildings in total around the coast, and units have search vehicles fitted with blue lights, all-terrain vehicles or quads, first aid equipment, generators and area lighting, search equipment, marine radios, pyrotechnics and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Community Rescue Boats Ireland also provide lifeboats and crews to assist in search and rescue. The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the Garda Siochána, National Ambulance Service, Naval Service and Air Corps, Civil Defence, while fishing vessels, ships and other craft at sea offer assistance in search operations.

The helicopters are designated as airborne from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours, and 45 minutes at night. The aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, on inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains and cover the 32 counties. They can also assist in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and can transport offshore firefighters and ambulance teams. The Irish Coast Guard volunteers units are expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time of departing from the station house in ten minutes from notification during daylight and 20 minutes at night. They are also expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time to the scene of the incident in less than 60 minutes from notification by day and 75 minutes at night, subject to geographical limitations.

Units are managed by an officer-in-charge (three stripes on the uniform) and a deputy officer in charge (two stripes). Each team is trained in search skills, first aid, setting up helicopter landing sites and a range of maritime skills, while certain units are also trained in cliff rescue.

Volunteers receive an allowance for time spent on exercises and call-outs. What is the difference between the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI? The RNLI is a registered charity which has been saving lives at sea since 1824, and runs a 24/7 volunteer lifeboat service around the British and Irish coasts. It is a declared asset of the British Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and the Irish Coast Guard. Community Rescue Boats Ireland is a community rescue network of volunteers under the auspices of Water Safety Ireland.

No, it does not charge for rescue and nor do the RNLI or Community Rescue Boats Ireland.

The marine rescue centres maintain 19 VHF voice and DSC radio sites around the Irish coastline and a digital paging system. There are two VHF repeater test sites, four MF radio sites and two NAVTEX transmitter sites. Does Ireland have a national search and rescue plan? The first national search and rescue plan was published in July, 2019. It establishes the national framework for the overall development, deployment and improvement of search and rescue services within the Irish Search and Rescue Region and to meet domestic and international commitments. The purpose of the national search and rescue plan is to promote a planned and nationally coordinated search and rescue response to persons in distress at sea, in the air or on land.

Yes, the Irish Coast Guard is responsible for responding to spills of oil and other hazardous substances with the Irish pollution responsibility zone, along with providing an effective response to marine casualties and monitoring or intervening in marine salvage operations. It provides and maintains a 24-hour marine pollution notification at the three marine rescue centres. It coordinates exercises and tests of national and local pollution response plans.

The first Irish Coast Guard volunteer to die on duty was Caitriona Lucas, a highly trained member of the Doolin Coast Guard unit, while assisting in a search for a missing man by the Kilkee unit in September 2016. Six months later, four Irish Coast Guard helicopter crew – Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith -died when their Sikorsky S-92 struck Blackrock island off the Mayo coast on March 14, 2017. The Dublin-based Rescue 116 crew were providing "top cover" or communications for a medical emergency off the west coast and had been approaching Blacksod to refuel. Up until the five fatalities, the Irish Coast Guard recorded that more than a million "man hours" had been spent on more than 30,000 rescue missions since 1991.

Several investigations were initiated into each incident. The Marine Casualty Investigation Board was critical of the Irish Coast Guard in its final report into the death of Caitriona Lucas, while a separate Health and Safety Authority investigation has been completed, but not published. The Air Accident Investigation Unit final report into the Rescue 116 helicopter crash has not yet been published.

The Irish Coast Guard in its present form dates back to 1991, when the Irish Marine Emergency Service was formed after a campaign initiated by Dr Joan McGinley to improve air/sea rescue services on the west Irish coast. Before Irish independence, the British Admiralty was responsible for a Coast Guard (formerly the Water Guard or Preventative Boat Service) dating back to 1809. The West Coast Search and Rescue Action Committee was initiated with a public meeting in Killybegs, Co Donegal, in 1988 and the group was so effective that a Government report was commissioned, which recommended setting up a new division of the Department of the Marine to run the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC), then based at Shannon, along with the existing coast radio service, and coast and cliff rescue. A medium-range helicopter base was established at Shannon within two years. Initially, the base was served by the Air Corps.

The first director of what was then IMES was Capt Liam Kirwan, who had spent 20 years at sea and latterly worked with the Marine Survey Office. Capt Kirwan transformed a poorly funded voluntary coast and cliff rescue service into a trained network of cliff and sea rescue units – largely voluntary, but with paid management. The MRCC was relocated from Shannon to an IMES headquarters at the then Department of the Marine (now Department of Transport) in Leeson Lane, Dublin. The coast radio stations at Valentia, Co Kerry, and Malin Head, Co Donegal, became marine rescue-sub-centres.

The current director is Chris Reynolds, who has been in place since August 2007 and was formerly with the Naval Service. He has been seconded to the head of mission with the EUCAP Somalia - which has a mandate to enhance Somalia's maritime civilian law enforcement capacity – since January 2019.

  • Achill, Co. Mayo
  • Ardmore, Co. Waterford
  • Arklow, Co. Wicklow
  • Ballybunion, Co. Kerry
  • Ballycotton, Co. Cork
  • Ballyglass, Co. Mayo
  • Bonmahon, Co. Waterford
  • Bunbeg, Co. Donegal
  • Carnsore, Co. Wexford
  • Castlefreake, Co. Cork
  • Castletownbere, Co. Cork
  • Cleggan, Co. Galway
  • Clogherhead, Co. Louth
  • Costelloe Bay, Co. Galway
  • Courtown, Co. Wexford
  • Crosshaven, Co. Cork
  • Curracloe, Co. Wexford
  • Dingle, Co. Kerry
  • Doolin, Co. Clare
  • Drogheda, Co. Louth
  • Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
  • Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
  • Fethard, Co. Wexford
  • Glandore, Co. Cork
  • Glenderry, Co. Kerry
  • Goleen, Co. Cork
  • Greencastle, Co. Donegal
  • Greenore, Co. Louth
  • Greystones, Co. Wicklow
  • Guileen, Co. Cork
  • Howth, Co. Dublin
  • Kilkee, Co. Clare
  • Killala, Co. Mayo
  • Killybegs, Co. Donegal
  • Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford
  • Knightstown, Co. Kerry
  • Mulroy, Co. Donegal
  • North Aran, Co. Galway
  • Old Head Of Kinsale, Co. Cork
  • Oysterhaven, Co. Cork
  • Rosslare, Co. Wexford
  • Seven Heads, Co. Cork
  • Skerries, Co. Dublin Summercove, Co. Cork
  • Toe Head, Co. Cork
  • Tory Island, Co. Donegal
  • Tramore, Co. Waterford
  • Waterville, Co. Kerry
  • Westport, Co. Mayo
  • Wicklow
  • Youghal, Co. Cork

Sources: Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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