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Two bullets on the very last day of the 2022 Star European Championship delivered the continental title unquestionably to Tonci Stipanovic and Tudor Bilic. It was a hard-fought battle for the Croatian team who right after they christened their new Star boat in Copenhagen, had a very bad day to start the Championship. A little disheartened, they began the climb to the top on day 2, when they finished first and third, to finalize the work today with two wins to undoubtedly earn the right to engrave their name on the 40-year-old Star European Championship Trophy.

That was the only good option for us so we really pushed hard today and the plan was to do 2 bullets and really have a good first downwind, which we managed to do that in the first race. In the second race I said to Tudor, OK let's do a good start and go left and then strike as hard as we can... and again we had a really good downwind. After that we were covering the group and trying to finish first so we we managed that and we're really happy. After the first day we were thinking that we don't have any any chance for the podium and then in the end with a good day we managed to win the gold.

A day to remember for them indeed, but a great day for the whole 51 boat fleet who had the chance to sail two amazing races with winds going from 10 knots in the first start to above 20 in the last downwind of the second race. A big shift to the right had the Committee work hard to reset the course, with the wind coming from the North substituted the tedious chop with big waves to be happily surfed by the almost 700kg keel boats. A smooth start in the fifth race, was followed by three general recalls in the last one, but the sun was shining, and the soaked sailors all had smiles on their salty, weary faces.

After race five the overall ranking had already drastically changed due to the discard coming in place, Hubert Merkelbach and Kilian Weise (GER) were leading – a great achievement for them after loosing a race for a broken mast on day two – followed by Jack Jennings with Pedro Trouche (BRA) and only two points behind Stipanovic/Bilic. The sixth and last race confirmed the same three teams on the podium, but the Germans slipped in third after a ninth place.
“We were a bit unlucky in the second day, we broke the mast in the third race and that cost us a DNF but we managed to go back ashore, change it very quickly in between the races rushed out and for the fourth race and finished second, so that was great!! Today another second place in the fifth race after which we were actually the overall leaders, but we didn't do well in the last race so in the end we finished third. We are very happy with this bronze medal”.

Only happiness for the silver medalists, Jack Jennings and Pedro Trouche who seem to be liking to step on the Continental Championship podium after winning the North Americans just a month ago, their eyes are already set to the Western Hemisphere on Lake Sunapee and eventually to the 100th Anniversary Star World Championship in Marblehead in September.

2nd Place skipper Jack Jennings commented, “It’s going well for us, we wanted to just come into this regatta and have a shot to win on the last day and that's what we did and we fought hard, we had to fight during every leg. But Tonci sailed amazing today, he had two firsts so it's hard to keep up with that and I think he got us by a point and it's well deserved for him, he's definitely a champion sailor obviously, so we're very happy with second place. It was great, and it was great competing with Pedro again, we had some great downwinds and some hard hiking upwind and a fantastic last day, fast is fun!”.

A very well managed 2022 European Championship by the Royal Danish Yacht Club whose management got also involved in helping two Ukrainian teams to have a license to join the fleet and be able to forget about the bombings for a week of just sport among friends.

The Star class fleet will meet again in a little more than a month on Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire, for the 2022 Star Western Hemisphere, before the long-awaited 100th Anniversary 2022 Star World Championship in Marblehead, Massachusetts in mid September.

2022 Star European Championship top five

1 Tonci Stipanovic Tudor Bilic
2 Jack Jennings Pedro Trouche
3 Hubert Merkelbach Kilian Weise
4 Marin Misura Tonco Barac
5 Piet Eckert Frederico Melo

Full results here

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The weather front that was expected to sweep through Biscayne Bay after racing on Saturday, March 12, arrived early, with the strong wind forcing racing to be cancelled for all classes at 0900 hours this morning.

It meant Cork's Peter and Robert O'Leary finished fourth overall in the Star class. Their father, Anthony, racing in the Viper 640 with Clive O'Shea and Neil Fulcher finished sixth.

Each day the weather has unfolded as per the forecast, so with 30+ knots of breeze expected the different course PROs took their decision based on each class and were unanimous to keep safe racing conditions and cancel all racing.

Superb winds for the preceding days delivered five neck and neck races for the Star Class, with an equally intense six-race series for the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640, VX One, and twelve races for the 69F. The overnight scoreboards are final and class podiums decided.

The Bacardi Cup and Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta wrapped up in fine style with the awards presentation at Shake-A-Leg Miami, accompanied by Bacardi rum and hospitality.

“Thank you to the sailors, thank you to the host clubs, thank you to our volunteers on the water and ashore, and thank you to everyone who has been following this fantastic event from around the world,” expressed Eddie Cutillas of Bacardi USA. “The Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta supports our vision of the world’s best sailors racing together and leaves the best possible imprint; a turnout of inspirational sailors, exceptional racing and after parties that make sure the fun continues long after the finish line.

“Our regatta is an ‘invitational’ in respect of the ‘invited’ one-design classes participating, but sailors from around the world need no invitation to join us here on Biscayne Bay in our annual celebration of sailing - you are all welcome. Save the date for 2023.”

The tradition of camaraderie and high-level competition are embedded in the Bacardi Cup and Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta, guaranteeing the world’s sailors want to compete. 2022 featured more than 600 sailors, with the crew line-up from over 22 nations

Save the date for next year at the 96th Bacardi Cup and Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta taking place March 5-11, 2023. 

Star Class

For nearly one century, the Bacardi Cup has continued to attract the world’s top sailors and fans with its popularity and intrigue. In 2022, the Bacardi Cup celebrated its 95th anniversary on Biscayne Bay, its home for the past 61 years. In the fifty-eight-boat line-up were eleven previous Bacardi Cup winners and twelve World Champions – competition doesn’t get tougher than that.

The stars of the show were unequivocally Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Bruno Prada (BRA), who showed themselves as most prepared for the physicality, intensity and tactics of racing in waves and a breeze which never dropped below 12 knots. Many sailors have won multiple Bacardi Cup titles - the legendary Ding Schoonmaker scooped eight victories, seven to Mark Reynolds, and some renowned partnerships have two wins - but Bacardi Cup history is written for Kusznierewicz/Prada who go down as the first same team partnership to win three back-to-back titles.

Second overall to Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise (USA) who were the 2019 Bacardi Cup winners, and third to Italy’s Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi who won in 2018, with a tiebreak for 4th and 5th.

Although victory was secure, Kusznierewicz/Prada had every intention of competing in the final race, before the excessive winds scuppered plans.

“Firstly, we love this sport,” said Kusznierewicz this morning. “Secondly, what could I do today? Golf, shopping, staying on shore, going to the restaurant – no, not my style. I love sailing and I think today maybe upwinds are not going to be such great fun, because of the strong winds and physical work, but reaching is going to be awesome. We also have a lot of respect, and we want to show this respect to the regatta organizers and the other sailors.”

With racing cancelled Kusznierewicz/Prada embraced their victory, celebrated their remarkable achievement and prepared to sip Bacardi rum from the iconic Bacardi Cup and Tito Bacardi Cup trophies

“I am not sure if we are the fastest, but we are the most consistent team,” said Prada. “I think the advantage is we have been sailing for a couple of years together and we have a good chemistry sailing together.”

Kusznierewicz added, “We did it again, we are very happy, very satisfied. This week was great from many perspectives. It wasn’t easy, it was hard actually, physically and we had to focus a lot on racing, but we liked it. After two years of pandemic, not everyone could show up in previous years, but this year it’s impressive,” he said, in reference to the twelve Star World Champions competing.

“So, it is an even bigger pleasure for us to win this regatta and for the third time in a row, it is kind of history in the books. For me, it is a great honour to be here. To win it, wow I am in the skies!”

Prada continued, “I feel super happy. Every Championship we win in the Star Class, especially Bacardi Cup, Europeans and the Worlds, are special events, so we need to be very proud of ourselves and enjoy the victory. We are in the top 5 fastest boats and, in the end, we proved that our sailing was better than the others.”

On what’s next, Prada continued, “We are planning to sail the Worlds in Marblehead and it will be our next regatta together. Meanwhile I am going to sail a couple of regattas with Augie Diaz, to keep in shape and arrive at the Worlds on a high level.”

“The week was great,” reflected 2nd placed Eric Doyle. “It was epic Miami conditions, so much fun, great fleet, great sailing, great battles with everyone. It is the best sailing you can do anywhere I think. We changed boats this year and it took a little bit getting adjusted to that, especially downwind. We really wanted to win, and we made a few mistakes that cost us some points, but clearly Mateusz and Bruno are the gold standard right now.”

Prizes were presented to the top five boats, and also to winners in the age divisions:

Master (skippers aged 50 through 59) - Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise

Grand Master (skippers aged 60+) - Paul Cayard/Frithjof Kleen

Exalted Grand Master (skippers aged 70+) - Stefan Lehnert/Marc Pickel

In 6th overall, Jack Jennings (USA) and Pedro Trouche (BRA) were awarded The Tammy Rubin Rice Trophy, a well-deserved accolade for the pair’s standout performance, including two race wins.

The Star Class sailors will renew their on-water rivalry at the 100th anniversary of the Star Class World Championships in Marblehead, USA from September 8-17, 2022, which is undoubtedly going to draw a global line-up for this remarkable celebration.

Final Top 5 Results

1. Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada (POL 8548) - 6 pts

2. Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise (USA 8423) - 12 pts

3. Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA 8567) - 14 pts

4. Peter O'Leary/Robert O'Leary (IRL 8465) - 21 pts

5. Eivind Melleby/Joshua Revkin (NOR 8543) - 21 pts 

J/70 Class

Six races over two days demands huge focus and determined teamwork, so no surprise to see five different winners across the thirty-nine boat J/70 fleet. Only the ultimate winner, Paul Ward (GBR) on ‘Eat Sleep J Repeat’, managed to win twice, and after discarding their 17th place in race 4 counted an all top-three scorecard.

Second overall to the USA’s Daniel Goldberg’s ‘Bazinga’ and 3rd to Great Britain’s Charles Thompson’s ‘Brutus III’, with a tiebreak for 3rd and 4th.

“We love this event, it is always great fun,” said Ward, who also won in 2020. “It is fantastic to win it again.

“We have a new team and it is really good to be out here and going well. We have some really good sailors on the boat and we just managed to get going really fast. Charlie was getting us going in the right direction and Matt and Elliot were keeping the boat going fast.”

On their strategy to success, Ward commented, “We all know what the things are you have to do well, it is just about executing. We got off the starts quite well, and then you have a bunch of options about what you need to do. We only made one mistake in terms of which way we went. Our upwind set-up felt really good, downwind speed felt good

“It is perfect, this is a really well-run event. Everyone looks after us really well and just makes sure we have a good time. We will definitely be back next year.”

Marcos Soares of Brazil and his crew on ‘Capincanela’’ won the Corinthian category, finishing 14th overall.

Final Top 5 Results

1. Paul Ward/Charlie Cumbley/Elliot Willis/Matt Howard (GBR 1127) - 10 pts

2. Daniel Goldberg/Lucas Calabrese/Tomas Hornos/Kristen Berry (USA 84) - 17 pts

3. Charles Thompson/Craig Burlton/Ben Saxton/Chris Grube (GBR 1123) - 21 pts

4. Ignacio Perez/Santiago Perez/Juan Ignacio Perez/Moritz Spitzauer (MEX 1323) - 32 pts

5. Robert Hughes/River Paquin/Stefano Ciampalini/Paul Goodison (USA 353) - 32 pts

Melges 24 Class

Three in a row for Bora Gulari (USA) and his crew on ‘Mavi’, who adds the 2022 title to his 2021 and 2020 victories, after winning on tiebreak over the Brian Porter’s (USA) ‘Full Throttle’. Another tiebreak for 3rd place gave the final podium spot to Drew Freides (USA) on ‘Pacific Yankee’.

“Our week was great, we had a little hiccup on the first day with the U flag, but the rest was very solid,” commented Gulari, in a nod to their penalty score in race 3. “There was great Miami weather, best regatta of the year. The winds are perfect, the atmosphere was great and it is a wonderful place to sail.

Acknowledging the talent around him, Gulari said, “The competition is stacked. I am trying to think how many people had Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in the fleet! There’s World Champions left and right, and Olympic medallists. I want to also thank my crew. I have literally the best crew out there and the whole reason we succeed is their hard work.”

On the renowned event hospitality, Gulari didn’t hold back, adding, “It’s wonderful to come in and have a nice Bacardi drink at the end of the day, while putting away the boat. Basically, this is what you live for when you get to go sail regattas. Best conditions, best time of the year to sail in Miami and Bacardi does such a great job organizing the event.”

The Corinthian prize went to Jan Frederik Dyvi and his team from Norway on ‘Team RRH’ who finished in 11th.

Final Top 5 Results

1. Bora Gulari/Kyle Navin/Norman Berge/Ian Liberty/Michael Menninger (USA 820) - 11 pts

2. Brian Porter/RJ Porter/Bri Porter/Matt Woodworth (USA 849) - 11 pts

3. Drew Freides/Charlie Smythe/Morgan Reeser/Federico Michetti/Lara Poljsak (USA 865) - 20 pts

4. Harry Melges IV/Finn Rowe/Ripley Shelley/Carlos Robles/Nick Muller (USA 866) - 20 pts

5. Travis Weisleder/John Bowden/Hayden Goodrick/Mark Mendleblatt (USA 858) - 27 pts

Viper 640 Class

After two attempts at glory, finishing 7th in 2020 and 10th in 2019, Peter Ill’s (USA) team on ‘Caterpillar’ secured victory in the Viper 640. Just 9 points separated first to fifth, with 2nd going to ‘Rolling Thunder’ helmed by Vir Menon (USA), and third to Canada’s ‘Wadjet’ team with Van Sheppard driving, who took the advantage in a three-way tiebreak.

Notable Viper 640 sailor Mary Ewenson was briefly leading the fleet after race 2 with two top 5 finishes, before slipping down to end the series on tiebreak and having to settle for 4th. A regular on the Viper circuit, past appearances in Miami would see Mary switching from helm to eating waves at the front of the boat, as she willingly handed the tiller to her husband Geoff. Professional sailor and Miami afficionado Geoff relished sailing in Biscayne Bay, but after he tragically passed away in October 2020, Mary has brought herself back to the fleet and is back driving.

“It is awesome to be back here in Miami. This is the first time I have ever driven in Miami,” Ewenson said. “The Viper fleet is so terrific and it was really great to be back with everybody. I think the best thing about the fleet this year was that one person broke their boat, so one person went to Sarasota and picked up another boat to lend them. Another person broke their rudder, so the guy with the extra boat loaned a rudder. The Viper fleet really comes together that way.”

Final Top 5 Results

1. Peter Ill/Stephen Sparkman/Maxwell Plarr (USA 277) - 11 pts

2. Vir Menon/Aditya Menon/Chris Pfrang (USA 188) - 18 pts

3. Van Sheppard/Quinton Gallon/Brad Sheppard (CAN 211) - 20 pts

4. Mary Ewenson/Mark Zagol/Jane Moore/Max Vinocur (USA 297) - 20 pts

5. Cam Farrah/Cliff Farrah/Eric Heilshorn (USA 246) - 20 pts

VX One Class

In the twenty-five boat VX One fleet, the winning boat claimed 50% of the race wins, leaving nobody in doubt as to their race track superiority. The USA’s Michelle Austin’ on ‘Tudo Bem’ won by 2 points over Kevin Northrop (USA), with Kaitlyn Liebel (USA) on ‘Another Bad Idea’, picking up third.

‘Tudo Bem’ adjusted their approach race by race, as Michelle explained, “We kept improving, trying different spots for how to hike and get our butts off the rail! And with all the other boats, picking up tips from everybody as we were going through. We were so excited to be back here in the warm, warm weather with fabulous breezes.”

Final Top 5 Results

1. Michelle Austin/Monica Morgan/Austin Powers (USA 296) - 11 pts

2. Kevin Northrop/Max Albert/Andrew Brennan (USA 306) - 13 pts

3. Kaitlyn Liebel/Mark Liebel/Jordan Wiggins (USA 313) - 16 pts

4. Jerry Callahan/Kelly Cole/Curtis Adam (USA 205) - 22 pts

5. Tim Pitts/Tim Desmond (ISV 286) - 22 pts

69F

Twelve fast and furious races in the foiling 69F saw plenty of boat-on-boat action. An insurmountable eight wins to the Clean Sailors Youth Racing Team saw them claim the first ever 69F title at the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta.

“Our goal is to win the Youth Foiling Gold Cup,” said Lukas Hesse. “Winning the 69 F at the Bacardi Cup is a huge milestone for us! We keep pushing on getting better and therefore we are looking for partners.”

Final Results

1. Clean Sailors Youth Racing Team - CJ Perez/Lukas Hesse/Jann Schüpbach - 20 pts

2. Miami Yacht Club Team - Brian Higgins/Nicolas Peirano Prat/Nicolas Aragones - 27 pts

3. Sail America - Pearl Lattanzi/JP Lattanzi/Gavin Ball - 27 pts

Special Awards

The Bacardi Cup and Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta recognize outstanding achievement beyond podium glory, with two special awards.

The EFG Rising Star Award, which celebrates up and coming young sailing talent, was presented to eighteen-year-old Kaitlyn Liebel in recognition of her 3rd place finish in the hugely competitive VX One fleet.

The Quantum Sails Mover and Shaker Award honours those who embody the true spirit of the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta and go beyond to support participation. Aaron Smith received the award for arranging to have his Star delivered to Miami, enabling two young sailors to compete at their first Bacardi Cup, after their respective helms had to withdraw at the last minute.

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On the penultimate day of racing at the Bacardi Cup and Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta, Miami turned on another day of exhilarating sailing, with a consistent southerly breeze of 12-17 knots across the race courses.

Cork's Peter and Robert O'Leary were seventh in the Star race, a result that moves them up to fourth overall. Their father, Anthony, racing in the Viper 640 with Clive O'Shea and Neil Fulcher is lying sixth.

The Biscayne Bay stage is now set for the Star, J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640, VX One and 69F finale tomorrow.

Teams will be looking at changes to race strategy, as an approaching weather front is forecast to up the wind pressure on Saturday, March 12. Racing gets underway at 1100 hours and the Race Committee is expecting to complete the full race programme completed before the weather system comes through.

Star Class

The Star Class fleet enjoyed another spectacular day in picture-perfect conditions, with the fleet spread along the length of the line for their nine nautical mile race in 12-15 knots of due south breeze

Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Bruno Prada (BRA) again pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat, as they were spilled off the leading boats at the first windward mark but again dug deep to put on another masterclass and claw back to finish in 2nd. An invincible performance from Kusznierewicz/Prada rewards them with mathematical victory at the 95th Bacardi Cup with a race to spare. This punishingly accurate partnership makes it three in a row as they convincingly defend their 2021 and 2020 Bacardi Cup titles.

Behind the leaders, the USA’s Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise and Italy’s Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi have secured enough of a points margin to make it a two-way battle for 2nd and 3rd overall. Both teams are former Bacardi Cup champions, with the Americans winning in 2019 and the Italians in 2018. Negri is also the reigning Star Class World Champion.

Disappointment for Jack Jennings/Pedro Trouche who switched from their race winning show to a 14th place score, which takes them out of podium contention.

In this fifty-eight boat fleet, packed with twelve Star World Champions and eleven Bacardi Cup Champions it is tough. There are so many good sailors it is incredibly hard to break into the top 10 in the fleet, with numerous teams who can win on any one day.

Making the break to the front today, were Jørgen Schönherr (DEN) and Markus Koy (GER) who earned their lead at the first mark, holding on to the win. Schönherr was forced off the race track on Tuesday due to a foot injury, and despite limping ashore is hiking and fighting as hard as ever on the water.

“We started in the middle of the line and had a few good shifts on the first beat, and downwind we had more or less the same pace as the strong guys behind us,” explained Schönherr, a two-time World Champion in the Dragon and FD. “I think the training we have been doing here in Miami has helped our performance downwind. After coming from the cold north it is so nice to be here and so nice to spend some weeks here in the winter.”

Provisional Top 5 Results – after 5 races

1. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL 8548) - 6 pts

2. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise (USA 8423) - 12 pts

3. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA 8567) - 14 pts

4. Peter O'Leary / Robert O'Leary (IRL 8465) - 21 pts

5. Eivind Melleby / Joshua Revkin (NOR 8543) - 21 pts

J/70 Class

2021 BCIR J/70 champion Travis Odenbach on ‘Very Odd’, headlined the day’s opening race after his team established a tidy lead by the first mark and settled into the finish. They couldn’t repeat their form though, and it was a British controlled race track for the rest of the day.

After a disappointing 17th place finish, series leader Paul Ward on ‘Eat Sleep J Repeat’ overhauled the fleet to own the second race of the day, followed up with a 3rd and lead by 7 points over second placed Daniel Goldberg’s ‘Bazinga!’.

Up next for a win was Charles Thompson’s British line-up on ‘Brutus III’, who seized the final race and advance to 3rd overall.

“It is a real privilege to be back here in Miami sailing against the best teams in the world, with a great team from the UK,” said Thompson, as he gave credit to his star-studded crew of the 2017 Nara 17 World Champion Ben Saxton, two-time World Champion in the SB20 and SB3 Craig Burlton and Twiggy, aka two-time 470 Olympian Chris Grube.

“We had a great day today, I felt we improved throughout the day,” continued Thompson. “We got the measure of the wind which is a tough wind for us because we are a light boat. We are 20-30kg lighter than most, so it is tough upwind, we have to hang in there. However, if we get that right and get to the top mark, downwind we are pretty fast. We had a great result in the last race and came in first, which is incredibly pleasing for me on my boat, but the whole team enjoyed it immensely, it was a great day.”

Three races are scheduled on Saturday with the top three boats likely in their own battle, having established a points safety net over the chasing pack.

Provisional Top 5 Results – after 6 races

1. Paul Ward / Charlie Cumbley / Elliot Willis / Matt Howard (GBR 1127) - 10 pts

2. Daniel Goldberg / Lucas Calabrese / Tomas Hornos / Kristen Berry (USA 84) - 17 pts

3. Charles Thompson / Craig Burlton / Ben Saxton / Chris Grube (GBR 1123) - 21 pts

4. Ignacio Perez / Santiago Perez / Juan Ignacio Perez / Moritz Spitzauer (MEX 1323) - 32 pts

5. Robert Hughes / River Paquin / Stefano Ciampalini / Paul Goodison (USA 353) - 32 pts

Melges 24 Class

The second day of racing kicked off at 1100 hours for the Melges 24 fleet with three races completed in a stunning 13-17 knot breeze.

Going bold was 2021 and 2020 BCIR champion Bora Gulari on ‘Mavi’, who is back where he belongs after two race wins and a discard of yesterday’s UFD penalty pitch him into the lead, from 10th at the start of the day.

“It went well,” said ‘Mavi’ crew Michael Menninger. “We had decent starts, just kept it really tight and had really good speed downwind. I think most legs we passed boats and we just tried to sail really well. We had good crew work and team work, and had a good day, so it feels good.”

Gulari is on an 11-point tiebreak with 2nd placed Brian Porter on ‘Full Throttle’, who led going into the day, with both owning a 10-point advantage over the two teams on tiebreak in 3rd and 4th, Drew Freides on ‘Pacific Yankee’ and Harry Melges IV’s ‘Zenda Express’.

Leading the Corinthian teams in 11th overall is ‘Team RRH’ from Norway, who have Herman Horn-Johannessen, the 2000 Olympic bronze medallist in the Soling Class, onboard.

Three races are schedule on Saturday’s final day of racing, getting underway at 1100 hrs for the Melges 24.

Provisional Top 5 Results – after 6 races

1. Bora Gulari / Kyle Navin / Norman Berge / Ian Liberty / Michael Menninger (USA 820) - 11 pts

2. Brian Porter / RJ Porter / Bri Porter / Matt Woodworth (USA 849) - 11 pts

3. Drew Freides / Charlie Smythe / Morgan Reeser / Federico Michetti / Lara Poljsak (USA 865) - 20 pts

4. Harry Melges IV / Finn Rowe / Ripley Shelley / Carlos Robles / Nick Muller (USA 866) - 20 pts

5. Travis Weisleder / John Bowden / Hayden Goodrick / Mark Mendleblatt (USA 858) - 27 pts

Viper 640 Class

Fast paced racing with lots of position changes in the downwind legs kept the Viper 640 fleet on a non-stop race chase. Three races, three different winners and a new team on top of the leader board, as Peter Ill’s ‘Caterpillar’ takes control.

“We really enjoyed the sailing, great breeze, great races,” commented Peter Ill, whose team now lead the Viper 640 Class from 1,3,2 scores. “We had a fun day. It is such a great venue to sail that we love coming down here to race. We had some good competition and back and forth racing on all of the races. Challenging, but a whole lot of fun.

“We’ve got a lot of improving to do and one of the things we are enjoying so much is learning how much we have to improve,” said Ill on the team’s progress. “Finishes were OK, but we still see all the areas where we need to go faster, where we need to be smarter, where we need to start better, so we are excited both ways.”

Provisional Top 5 Results – after 6 races

1. Peter Ill / Stephen Sparkman / Maxwell Plarr (USA 277) - 11 pts

2. Vir Menon / Aditya Menon / Chris Pfrang (USA 188) - 18 pts

3. Van Sheppard / Quinton Gallon / Brad Sheppard (CAN 211) - 20 pts

4. Mary Ewenson / Mark Zagol / Jane Moore / Max Vinocur (USA 297) - 20 pts

5. Cam Farrah / Cliff Farrah / Eric Heilshorn (USA 246) - 20 pts

VX One Class

An exciting day of tight mark roundings, trading places, capsizes and action throughout the day’s three races showcased the mix of talent in the VX One fleet.

Jerry Callahan’s ‘Magic Bus’ left the fleet for dust in the opening race, with Kevin Northrop sealing the second win and series leader Austin Powers on ‘Tudo Bern’ consolidated their lead with the final win of the day.

The best scorecard of the day – 2,1,3 - went to Kevin Northrop, who edges up the leader board to 2nd overall, just 2 points off the leader.

“It was beautiful sailing conditions, we had a really nice day with three top 3 finishes,” said Northrop. “Miami delivered what we all came here for, which was 15-18, blue water, consistent conditions, great race committee, fun sailing – really glad to be here.

“We stick to our game plan, which is to get good, conservative, consistent starts, get to the weather mark in the top 3 and try to move forward from there.”

Points are all open to decide who will be on the podium tomorrow.

Provisional Top 5 Results – after 6 races

1. Michelle Austin / Monica Austin / Monica Morgan / Austin Powers (USA 296) - 11 pts

2. Kevin Northrop / Max Albert / Andrew Brennan (USA 306) - 13 pts

3. Kaitlyn Liebel / Mark Liebel / Jordan Wiggins (USA 313) - 16 pts

4. Jerry Callahan / Kelly Cole / Curtis Adam (USA 205) - 22 pts

5. Tim Pitts / Tim Desmond (ISV 286) - 22 pts

69F Class

‘Clean Sailors Youth Racing’ delivered a walk over, dominating with six wins from six races to move into first overall on a 7-point advantage. ‘Miami Yacht Club’ is knocked off the series lead to sit on tiebreak with ‘Sail America’.

Despite not being out front, ‘Sail America’ did claim the jersey for pace, racking up the top speed of 29.3 knots.

“Today was an awesome day out on the water,” said Gavin Ball. ”Today we hit 29.3 knots, which is the fastest I have done sailing, which is pretty dang sick!”

Provisional Results – after 12 races

1. Clean Sailors Youth Racing Team - CJ Perez / Lukas Hesse / Jann Schüpbach - 20 pts

2. Miami Yacht Club Team - Brian Higgins / Nicolas Peirano Prat / Nicolas Aragones - 27 pts

3. Sail America - Pearl Lattanzi / JP Lattanzi / Gavin Ball - 27 pts

Full results here

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Miami, USA turned on another beautiful sailing day – brilliant breeze, sparkling turquoise waters and warm weather – as the Star Class was joined by the full line-up of one-design classes at the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta on Thursday, March 10.

Biscayne Bay was a spectacular vista, packed with boats that have converged on Miami from around the world. The Star contested the traditional one race, with three races wrapped up for each of the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640 and VX One. The 69F, which made its BCIR debut, completed six races.

Cork's Peter and Robert O'Leary were tenth in the Star race, a result that puts them fifth overall. Their father, Anthony, racing in the Viper 640 with Clive O'Shea and Neil Fulcher is also lying fifth.

Across the race courses, the breeze tracked from 10-18 knots, with the overcast morning giving way to sunshine. The forecast has so far delivered perfect race conditions and looks set to remain game on for Friday, March 11.

Post-race another keenly anticipated Bacardi happy hour got underway at Shake-A-Leg Miami, giving the perfect atmosphere to unwind and enjoy a glass of rum.

Star Class

Racing got underway in a 10 knot breeze and very similar conditions to Wednesday. A couple of rain showers either side of the course for the second windward leg yanked the breeze, forcing a change of course.

Jack Jennings (USA) and Pedro Trouche (BRA) got to work straight away on ‘Pied Piper’, conjuring up more of yesterday’s magic to call the race track tune, lead from start to finish and claim another win. They shift up to leader board 4th and sit just one point adrift of Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi, who finished the race immediately behind and retain 3rd overall.

“I feel really glad with the way we are sailing,” said Trouche. “We are feeling good with our routine. Every day in the morning we have breakfast together, briefing for the day and then we go out as early as we can, doing some practice. So it is working out, yeh.”

Defending Bacardi Cup Champions Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada hold firm as series leaders, but again struggled further back in the pack. Unlike yesterday, they couldn’t chip through and had to settle for a 6th place finish. Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise crossed the line in 4th place and hold firm in 2nd overall.

The race discard kicked in which, though not impacting the order of the top three, has shuffled places behind and compressed the points a little closer, making tomorrow’s race a challenge for control of the podium places ahead of Saturday’s concluding race.

Provisional Top 5 Results – after 4 races

1. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL 8548) - 4 pts

2. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise (USA 8423) - 8 pts

3. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA 8567) - 10 pts

4. Jack Jennings / Pedro Trouche (USA 8464) - 11 pts

5. Peter O'Leary / Robert O'Leary (IRL 8465) - 14 pts

J/70 Class

Three races of around fifty-five minutes were completed in 13-18 knots of breeze and superb planning conditions. With so much depth in performance, racing was close around the track, but the clear frontrunners scoring 1,3,2 to lead the J/70 fleet are Paul Ward (GBR) and his team of Charlie Cumbley/Elliot Willis/Matt Howard on ‘Eat Sleep J Repeat’

Explaining their consistency, Ward said, “We’ve had a couple of really good days training. It is really, really nice conditions out here and we have felt really, really quick. We were going quick upwind, Elliott was doing a great job with the trim and then downwind Matt was getting a really good workout on the kite. We were just fast pretty much every direction, so it was a good day today.”

“Our plan was clean starts, get to the right-hand side and it seemed to pay off quite nicely,” continued Cumbley. “It always looked better the further you nudged that way for the most part.”

Race wins also went to Mexico’s Ignacio Perez and team on ‘Zaguero’, and the USA’s Bobby Julien with his crew on ‘Dingbat’. Mixed fortunes for Ed Lebens (USA) on ‘Reggae Shark’, who scored a masterful 2,2, before being knocked back to a 27th place finish in race 3.

Winning in Miami is always tricky as teams face the challenging and notoriously unpredictable race track, and in a thirty-nine boat fleet packed with talent, there is everything to play for.

Provisional Top 5 Results – after 3 races

1. Paul Ward / Charlie Cumbley / Elliot Willis / Matt Howard (GBR 1127) - 6 pts

2. Ignacio Perez / Santiago Perez / Juan Ignacio Perez / Moritz Spitzauer (MEX 1323) – 14 pts

3. Bobby Julien / Alec Anderson / Will Felder / Chris Waters / Sam Loughborough (USA 639) - 19 pts

4. Charles Thompson / Craig Burlton / Ben Saxton / Chris Grube (GBR 1123) - 20 pts

5. Peter Cunningham / Tony Rey / Bernardo Freitas / Marc Gothier (CAY 1310) - 21 pts

Melges 24 Class

Getting into groove straight away for the 9-race series was 2021 and 2020 BCIR champion Bora Gulari (USA) with his team on ‘Powered by Moms’. He followed up with a 4th in race 2, but then Gulari and two other boats were over the line for the start of race 3, so will need the discard to kick in after race 6 to get back in the frame.

Back-to-back 2nd places finishes pitches Brian Porter’s ‘Full Throttle’ in front.

“It’s always great to come down to Miami and it is super exciting to be back at the Bacardi regatta this year”, said RJ Porter, son of Brian.

“We just came from Wisconsin where it was snowing yesterday, so great to be in the warmer weather. Competition was very tough out there, so being that consistent was very good for us. We’ve definitely got to take it race by race, get off the starting line that’s the most important thing, and just try not to get ourselves caught up in a corner.”

Drew Freides on ‘Pacific Yankee’ took the race 2 win, with race 3 in the hands of Travis Weisleder on ‘Lucky Dog’.

Racing on ‘Pacific Yankee’, Morgan Reeser, the 1992 Olympic silver medallist in the 470, was brimming after the day, saying, “I am probably the luckiest person in the world today! An amazing day, nice and warm, no foul weather gear needed and the rest of my team is so good.”

Explaining their race strategy, Reeser said, “When it is from the south, there is no land in the way, the shifts aren’t that big, so it is mostly boat speed. So the key is just clear lanes. Early in the day some storm clouds probably right better than left, then later in the day it turned into a sea breeze and it was left better than right. Just go fast, which was awesome.”

Provisional Top 5 Results – after 3 races

1. Brian Porter / RJ Porter / Bri Porter / Matt Woodworth (USA 849) - 6 pts

2. Drew Freides / Charlie Smythe / Morgan Reeser / Federico Michetti / Lara Poljsak (USA 865) - 12 pts

3. Harry Melges IV / Finn Rowe / Ripley Shelley / Carlos Robles / Nick Muller (USA 866) - 13 pts

4. Travis Weisleder / John Bowden / Hayden Goodrick / Mark Mendleblatt (USA 858) - 18 pts

5. Bruce Ayres / Kate O’Donnell / Ted Hackney / Thomas Dietrich / Jeremy Wilmot (USA 851) - 20 pts

Viper 640 Class

Front of fleet results were spread around, with a fairly even performance amongst the top boats on day one.

Three races down and their 1,3,4 scorecard gives ‘Vellamo’ helmed by Colin Santangelo the advantage, with Caterpillar’ helmed by Peter Ill 3 points back. ‘Evil Hiss’ who finished 2nd in 2020, under the expert helm of Mary Ewenson raced a solid series, picking up a win in race 2 to end the day in 3rd.

Escaping from the snow in Ottawa is Canada’s ‘Jackpot’ skippered by Brad Boston, who have only recently started sailing together and compete for the first time in Miami. Crew member Quentin Gallon grinned, “We are loving the sunshine and loving the people!”

“We had a phenomenal breeze all day,” continued Gallon on their fifth overall. “Awesome races. As we sailed throughout the day we just got better. We found our starts were our key thing, just bow down and power on. We are a little heavy crew, so we figured we could hike out the boat and really keep it powered up upwind. That worked great for us.”

The team finished 2nd in the last race 3 of the day, as Gallon explained, “On our last race we were doing great upwind and downwind it was all about the communication in the boat and finding the breeze. It was really key for us building as a team and we are excited for the next couple of days.”

Provisional Top 5 Results – after 3 races

1. 277 USA 277 Caterpillar Viper 640 Peter Ill / Stephen Sparkman / Maxwell Plarr 1 4 5 10.0
2. 297 USA 297 Evil Hiss Viper 640 Mary Ewenson / Mark Zagol / Jane Moore / Max Vinocur 3 1 8 12.0
3. 246 USA 246 Strategery XI Viper 640 Cam Farrah / Cliff Farrah / Eric Heilshorn 2 8 3 13.0
4. 294 Doyle Sailmakers CAN 294 Wadjet Viper 640 Van Sheppard / Quinton Gallon / Brad Sheppard 5 7 2 14.0
5. 296 USA 296 Antix Viper 640 Anthony O Leary / Clive O Shea / Neal Fulcher 6 2 7 15.0

VX One Class

2022 year marks the largest VX One fleet yet in Miami, with twenty-five new and returning teams.

Establishing themselves in the game early on and getting on the scoresheet with a 6th place and two race wins are Austin Powers/Monica Morgan on ‘Tudo Bem’, who lead by a one-point advantage. Kaitlyn Liebel/Mark Liebel racing ‘Another Bad Idea’ won the opener, following up with a 6,2 to place 2nd overall.

“This is the biggest fleet of VXs,” commented Hayden Bennett, who finished 2nd at the recently held VX One Mid-Winters and sits in 7th overall. “Flat water, big breeze, warm weather, you can’t really complain about too much.

“Miami always puts on a good show, so we always have nice competitive racing. It’s obviously great to mingle in with the other fleets, the social events are always perfect, the few days we are here is always a blast.”

Provisional Top 5 Results – after 3 races

1. Austin Powers / Monica Morgan (USA 296) - 8 pts

2. Kaitlyn Liebel / Mark Liebel / Jordan Wiggins (USA 313) - 9 pts

3. Kevin Northrop / Max Albert / Andrew Brennan (USA 306) - 11 pts

4. Tim Pitts / Tim Desmond (ISV 286) - 13 pts

5. Jim Ward / Jeff Eiber / Monica Wilson (USA 275) - 14 pts

69F Class

The fully-foiling 69F three-person monohull made a spectacular debut at BCIR, flying at speeds of up 28 knots in the 14 knots of breeze.

Six races down and four wins to the ‘Miami Yacht Club’ Team puts them in pole, with Brian Higgins driving, crewed by Pietro de Luca and Nicolas Aragones. A race win to ‘Sail America’, helmed by nineteen-year-old Gavin Ball with siblings Pearl and JP Lattanzi places them in second. Third to ‘Clean Sailors Youth Racing’ skippered by Lukas Hesse who claimed the race 5 win.

“Every time we sail the 69F we are learning by the second,” said Hesse. “Reaching starts, single laps of a square course, and anything up to nine races in a day. It’s full-on, very intense and very good fun.”

The 69F contests an open format, so there is no limit on the number of races and all to count, putting the pressure on a consistent performance race after race

Racing continues Friday, March 11, with one race for the Star, three races for each of the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640 and VX One, and an open race schedule for the 69F.

Full results here

Published in Star

Baltimore Sailing Club Star keelboat duo Peter and Robert O'Leary are lying fourth after three races sailed at the 95th Bacardi Cup.

Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada hold onto the series lead but did not take the race win on day 3.

Spectacular conditions guaranteed a day of hiking and downwind fun for the fifty-eight boat Star Class fleet. After two days of domination by defending Bacardi Cup Champions Kusznierewicz/Prada, today saw new faces accelerate to front of fleet racing.

Biscayne Bay is always a race track that rewards confidence and switching on their afterburners to manage the fleet skilfully and break away to race glory were Jack Jennings (USA) and Pedro Trouche (BRA). They made their assault from the outset, sailing a perfect race to catch the leaders in a decisive move at the end of the first downwind, set the pace back upwind and surge ahead to victory.

Registration is completed for the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640, VX One and 69F Classes who join the melting point of kindred spirits for the next three days of racing and renowned Bacardi hospitality. 

New Faces out Front

The fleet were evenly spread along the race 3 starting line and up the first windward leg with no favoured side.

Sailing together for the first time, Great Britain’s Ed Wright and Italy’s Alberto Ambrosini gave the fleet the early run for their money. The team had a good start, although a bit behind the boats around which worked to their advantage, as they were in a position to tack off to port. They sailed the lift until they got knocked and headed into the windward mark covering the fleet from the right.

Wright/Ambrosini continued their form downwind, opting left to drive fast through the fantastic waves and surfing conditions. But when they switched to the right, their lead unravelled.

After an exciting gate rounding, Jack Jennings/Pedro Trouche sailed strong upwind, dictating the leader board shuffle as they approached the windward mark for the second time. The pair managed to pick their spots to tack into a clear lane and manoeuvred to the right of Wright/Ambrosini to take the lead, with 2019 Bacardi Cup champions Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise chasing.

Ed Wright (GBR) and Alberto Ambrosini (ITA) take initial lead in race 3, 95th Bacardi CupEd Wright (GBR) and Alberto Ambrosini (ITA) take an initial lead in race 3, 95th Bacardi Cup 

Rounding the windward mark, Wright/Ambrosini were in a tussle with 2018 Bacardi Cup winners Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi who came in on port tack, with Kusznierewicz/Prada in 5th. Paul Cayard/Frithjof Kleen followed, with the O’Leary brothers and Jørgen Schönherr/Markus Koy neck and neck, and Eivind Melleby/Joshua Revkin close behind.

A strong bounce back from Schönherr/Koy, who were off the track yesterday due to Jørgen’s broken foot, as they target an upgrade on their partnership’s 8th place finish from 2020. Koy finished 3rd at the 2021 Bacardi Cup with Augie Diaz (USA).

Heading back downwind, the pressure remained consistent across the course, with plenty of wave action to accelerate the gains to Jennings/Trouche. An impressive passage of play from Kusznierewicz/Prada, who clawed back from around 5th at the final leeward gate to finish in 2nd, with Doyle/Infelise finishing 3rd. A 4th place finish to reigning Star World Champion Negri with crew Lambertenghi advances them to leader board 3rd, knocking the O’Learys down to 4th.

Jennings/Trouche are racing only their fifth event together, and their win advances them two places up the leader board to 7th overall.

“For sure we had a lot of fun surfing, sailing by the lee sometimes, playing with different modes,” explained Trouche, who won the 2018 Star Sailors League Finals. “Our talking was way better today on the downwind, so we had some gains on the first downwind. I am super happy. A champagne day in Biscayne Bay!”

“I think the key was to just keep doing the little things the right way,” smiled Jennings, “like getting a good start, which we have had the last two days, and then working on our downwind mode a little bit and also working on our communication. So more important than the result is, I think, we made an improvement in all those areas and we sailed the boat well from the beginning to the end.

“There are so many great champions here that it is always nice to have a good result. A lot of it is due to Pedro’s good hiking, our teamwork off the line and to have the boat in the right mode and keep our lane.”

 Jack Jennings (USA)/Pedro Trouche (BRA) win race 3, 95th Bacardi CupJack Jennings (USA)/Pedro Trouche (BRA) win race 3 of the 95th Bacardi Cup

From pole position, Wright/Ambrosini lost their pace to finish the race in 7th. The pair only partnered up after their respective skippers were unable to compete. Progress has been steady, with an improving scorecard of 18, 11 and 7. For Wright, their front of fleet territory matches his pedigree, having previously stepped onto the Finn Gold Cup podium six times, including gold in 2018.

On pressing the accelerator, Wright said, “From the first day to now, we are sailing the boat much differently. We are driving the boat a lot faster and really trying to power it up instead of pinching, and that made a huge difference with our boat speed.”

Eivind Melleby/Joshua Revkin finished 5th to hold their leader board 5th, with Cayard/Kleen finishing 6th in the race and on the leader board. Cayard first competed at the Bacardi Cup forty-two years ago crewing for Tom Blackaller. He has raced many times since, but is yet to taste victory.

"I've never won the Bacardi Cup", declared Cayard. "I've been second many times, so it would be nice to win! We have a lot of great competition here, I think there must be 10 world championships racing, so when you're in the top 10 in the races it's tough".

On their new partnership, Cayard said, "We are working on the speed and the set-up of the boat, so just trying to keep improving and if we do I think the result will be good. Frithjof is the current World Champion crew and I have a lot of experience, he is young and I'm a little older so I think we have a good mix of experience and youth and physical capability".

Reflecting on the event history, Cayard added, "The Bacardi Cup is like the Star Class. The two brands have been together for 95 years, in Cuba first and then here in Miami. They are both brands that represent excellence in a sector and respect tradition and so the fusion of these two brands is what makes the Bacardi Cup special. So, it is quite an honor just to be participating."

As always, the challenge for Bacardi Cup victory is as tough today as the first event hosted in Cuba back in 1927.

Blaise Gallahue/Tom Hurwitch (USA7469) head downwind, 95th Bacardi Cup

Provisional Top 10 Results – after Race 3

1. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL 8548) - 4 pts
2. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise (USA 8423) - 8 pts
3. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA 8567) - 12 pts
4. Peter O'Leary / Robert O'Leary (IRL 8465) - 14 pts
5. Eivind Melleby / Joshua Revkin (NOR 8543) - 18 pts
6. Paul Cayard / Frithjof Kleen (USA 1988) - 22 pts
7. Jack Jennings / Pedro Trouche (USA 8464) - 23 pts
8. Augie Diaz / Christian Nehammer (USA 8509) - 27 pts
9. Erik Lidecis / Greg Smith (USA 8459) - 35 pts
10. Ed Wright / Alberto Ambrosini (AUS 8320) - 36 pts

This evening, the mid-week cocktail party and social is hosted at Shake-a-Leg Miami

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Baltimore Sailing Club's Peter and Robert O'Leary are tied on points for second place but lie in third overall on the scoresheet at the Star Class Bacardi Cup in Miami.

The Star Class leader board ended the same as Monday’s opener, with defending Bacardi Cup Champions Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada again dominating the fifty-eight boat fleet for their second win in two races.

Race 2 of the 95th Bacardi Cup got underway on attempt number two, after a bunch of ambitious teams in the middle of the line forced the Race Committee to a general recall. A perfect day delivered as good as Star Class racing gets, with a consistent south-easterly breeze of around 12-15 knots, waves serving up full hiking upwind legs and super surfing conditions downwind for the 110 minutes, 9 nautical mile race.

Behind Kusznierewicz/Prada, it is a tiebreak between Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise (USA), who won here in 2019, and brothers Peter O'Leary/Robert O'Leary (IRL) who sit on 5 points apiece, having matched each other’s scores across the two races. 2018 Bacardi Cup victors Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) are in fourth.

Star Class racing on day 2 of 95th Bacardi Cup day 2, Biscayne Bay, MiamiStar Class racing on day 2 of 95th Bacardi Cup day 2, Biscayne Bay, Miami

The Race Track Story

Kusznierewicz/Prada know the nuances of Biscayne Bay well, opting for the left side upwind, before making a faultless tactical decision to move to the right side and find the increasing pressure for the final part of the first upwind. The leaders were chased hard by Augie Diaz/Christian Nehammer (USA), Peter O'Leary/Robert O'Leary (IRL), Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise (USA) and Jack Jennings/Pedro Trouche (USA), who had all made a break ahead of the fleet.

Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL)/Bruno Prada (BRA) win race 2, 95th Bacardi CupMateusz Kusznierewicz (POL)/Bruno Prada (BRA) win race 2, 95th Bacardi Cup

The teams who played the left side of the track got crushed and a significant number overstood the port tack layline, leading to a crazy and close mark rounding.

Downwind the easing breeze consolidated the fleet, picking up as teams rounded the gate to again favour the strong and experienced who flew back upwind. As before, a significant gap unfolded between the top seven boats and the rest of the fleet. Heading upwind, Kusznierewicz/Prada extended their lead, with Diaz/Nehammer, the O'Leary brothers and Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi battling (ITA) it out for second place.

On the final downwind the O’Learys made a key move, pressing Kusznierewicz/Prada every step of the way, as Peter explained, “Robert decided we would go round the other gate, at the bottom left looking down, and he was spot on. We gained a nice bit of space and were able to get close to the leader.”

Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise (USA) move into 2nd place on day 2, 95th Bacardi CupEric Doyle/Payson Infelise (USA) move into 2nd place on day 2, 95th Bacardi Cup

Onto the final upwind, the brothers got forced a bit past the layline, giving Doyle/Infelise the advantage to move into second by a couple of meters, the Irish in third and Italians fourth.

“It was proper racing,” continued Peter. “It is as close to an Olympic standard as you are going to get. There was very little between the boats.”

Doyle/Infelise were pleased with their score, having chipped their way through the fleet to get back on form and pop the result after an uninspiring start.

“It was beautiful tough sailing, it’s a super competitive fleet,” said Infelise. “The key was to sail by yourself, get going fast, hit the shifts when you can and just keep the boat moving as quickly as you could.”

“Everywhere you look you are turning around and looking at a World Champion or a silver Star, so super competitive. I think it is the most competitive we have had in a few years here. It is really nice to have all the Europeans and everyone back here.”

Another 4th place finish from Italy’s Negri/Lambertenghi positions them 3 points behind the Americans and Irish.

“More or less the performance was even worse than yesterday,” commented Lambertenghi as we caught up with him relaxing post-race in the pool.

“We were a little bit slower I think, because it was lighter than yesterday, and we were not so brilliant as we felt yesterday. But anyway, we had a good race, a couple of mistakes on manoeuvre on my side and a couple of small mistakes on the tactics. We had fun and we had the same result as yesterday and we are quite satisfied – not 100%, but good!”

Provisional Top 10 Results – after Race 2

1. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL 8548) - 2 pts
2. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise (USA 8423) - 5 pts
3. Peter O'Leary / Robert O'Leary (IRL 8465) - 5 pts
4. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA 8567) - 8 pts
5. Eivind Melleby / Joshua Revkin (NOR 8543) - 13 pts
6. Paul Cayard / Frithjof Kleen (USA 1988) - 16 pts
7. Augie Diaz / Christian Nehammer (USA 8509) - 17 pts
8. Erik Lidecis / Greg Smith (USA 8459) - 22 pts
9. Jack Jennings / Pedro Trouche (USA 8464) - 22 pts
10. Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter (USA 8573) - 26 pts

The camaraderie continued into the evening, as teams headed to Coral Reef Yacht Club for the Bacardi Happy Hour.

With four races ahead to complete the six-race series, and one discard coming into play after race 5, there is plenty of race track brilliance to come and plenty of luminaries ready to make their move to lift the hefty silver Bacardi Cup and Tito Cup trophies come Saturday, March 12.

Race 3 is scheduled to start at 1200 hours on Wednesday, March 9, and registration gets underway tomorrow for the other classes – J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640, VX One and 69F – who join the racing from March 10-12 and includes Royal Cork's Anthony O'Leary in the Viper Class.

Published in Star

Irish brothers Peter and Robert O’Leary sailing their Star keelboat 'Nink Nonk' are in second overall after day one of the Bacardi Cup and happy to be out of lock-down and sailing the Star after two years. 

Two-time Bacardi Cup Champions, 2020 and 2021, Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Bruno Prada (USA) controlled the opening day of racing in Biscayne Bay, Miami.

An epic line-up of fifty-eight Star Class teams kicked off racing at the 95th Bacardi Cup under a picture-perfect blue sky dotted with clouds, breeze of around 14-16 knots and choppy seas. The week ahead is looking equally stunning, with a cracking mid-teens breeze forecast through until the end of racing on Saturday, March 12.

“We have a beautiful week set up for weather and parties,” smiled Mark Pincus, Regatta Chair. “It gives us great pleasure to be able to have everybody here again and to be able to do the regatta and the week the way we normally do. We are so happy to have over 500 sailors for the week and all of our Star sailors back again that we haven’t seen in a couple of years.

“The weather is going to be phenomenal this week. There should be some great times out on the water with a great week of races and competition that we have been missing over the last couple of years. Year in year out, everyone wants to come back and sail Bacardi because they have so much fun as well as great competition.” 

Fifty-eight Star Class teams compete in race 1 at the 95th Bacardi Cup, Miami, USAFifty-eight Star Class teams compete in race 1 at the 95th Bacardi Cup, Miami, USA

Thrilling Opening Day

As always, the Star fleet featured plenty of World Champions, identified by the distinction of a gold mainsail logo, along with Olympians and legends of the Star Class in this high stakes battle for Bacardi Cup supremacy.

A clean start got racing underway at midday, wrapping up one hour and 45 minutes later with the win in the hands of the defending Bacardi Cup partnership of Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL), 2-time Star Class World Champion (2019, 2008), and four-time Star World Champion (2019, 2012, 2011, 2007) Bruno Prada (BRA).

“I am honoured to be here on the 95th anniversary of the Bacardi Cup,” said Kusznierewicz. “We had a plan from the beginning to play upwind on the left side, because of the wind pattern but also the current. We knew that maybe on the beginning it would not look very good for us, but we had to be patient and then coming to the left side it will start to pay off and it did.” 

Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL)/Bruno Prada (BRA) win race 1, 95th Bacardi CupMateusz Kusznierewicz (POL)/Bruno Prada (BRA) win race 1, 95th Bacardi Cup

From 7th place at the first mark, the pair accelerated to close the gap, as Kusznierewicz joked, “We pushed a special button in our boat, we got superpowers, especially on the reaches we were performing very well and that gave us the lead.”

It didn’t start that way, as controlling the fleet for the first two legs were the California based partnership of Erik Lidecis/Greg Smith, with Lidecis saying, “We had a really nice lane and just chugged out to the left for a while, held it as long as we could, got a little leftie, tacked on it and went across the fleet, which was beautiful.”

Lidecis/Smith stayed in phase to round the windward mark first and hold their advantage to the reaching mark, before all change. The easing conditions saw the crews mostly back in the boat for the reaching legs as submarining was inevitable if too far forward, with plenty of action as crews were in and out of the boat to keep on the chine in the lulls and puffs.

“The wind was super challenging because it was a good wind, a strong wind,” reflected Bruno Prada, who is racing his sixteenth Bacardi Cup, “but especially on the downwind reaches it was a little bit less wind, so the crew movement in the boat - forward and backwards, leeward and windward – trying to balance the boat was super challenging, trying to keep the boat with a lot of power, especially releasing the back stays. There were a lot of little details that I think was our success.

“We never think about winning regattas, we think day by day, enjoying day by day and then if in the end if we do a good average, we have a good chance to win.”

 Erik Lidecis/Greg Smith (USA) led the first two legs of race 1, 95th Bacardi CupErik Lidecis/Greg Smith (USA) led the first two legs of race 1, 95th Bacardi Cup

Kusznierewicz/Prada set their pole and made some gains on the first reaching leg. They had the capacity to capitalize and went low on the next leg to advance underneath the fleet, before going high in the closing metres to the gybe mark, boosting their boat speed to exploit an opening and get around everybody to take the lead into the second upwind.

As the breeze dropped to around 12-13 knots, the Race Committee changed the second lap to a downwind course format. Behind the leaders, the fleet consolidated on the next downwind and played the right side of the course more on the third and final upwind.

Whilst Kusznierewicz /Prada oozed class to extend and take the race win, thrilling tacking duels unfolded for 2nd between Peter O'Leary/Robert O'Leary and Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise, with Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi and John MacCausland/Rodrigo Meireles battling for 4th and 5th place. 

Tonci Stipanovic/Tudor Bilic (CRO) compete at their first Bacardi CupTonci Stipanovic/Tudor Bilic (CRO) compete at their first Bacardi Cup

Two-time Star Class Olympian (2008 and 2012) Peter O’Leary, who is racing with his brother Robert, was stoked to come out on top of their duel and claim second. Last time racing at the Bacardi Cup in 2020, the pair finished 6th overall.

“I guess if you didn’t like today, you are never going to like Star sailing!” laughed Peter. “It was good to be back in the boat after two years. We ended up reaching on the first lap and that’s a fun thing to do in the Star.”

Robert chipped in, saying, “We’ve done a good bit of training reaching, but I’ve never actually raced a reaching course, so it was a bit of a shock to the system trying to decide whether jib on pole or not. We did it for the first leg and it definitely paid, and then the second leg we were just trying to defend, keep our lane, keep the air clear going down. We got inside three boats at the gybe mark.”

An impressive passage of play from Paul Cayard/Fritjof Kleen whose broken outhaul a couple of minutes before the start left them slumped mid-fleet at the first mark, before getting back on pace to finish in 10th.

Paul Cayard (USA)/Frithjof Kleen (GER) finish 10th in race 1, 95th Bacardi CupPaul Cayard (USA)/Frithjof Kleen (GER) finish 10th in race 1, 95th Bacardi Cup 

Post-race, Bacardi hosted Star sailors and the Race Committee at the Bacardi Building, Coral Gables, in a celebration of the partnership and legacy between the Bacardi Cup and the Star Class.

Race 2 is scheduled to start at 1200 hours on Tuesday, March 8.

Provisional Top 10 Results – after Race 1

1. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL 8548) - 1 pts
2. Peter O'Leary / Robert O'Leary (IRL 8465) - 2 pts
3. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise (USA 8423) - 3 pts
4. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA 8567) - 4 pts
5. John MacCausland / Rodrigo Meireles (USA 8448) - 5 pts
6. Eivind Melleby / Joshua Revkin (NOR 8543) - 6 pts
7. Erik Lidecis / Greg Smith (USA 8459) - 7 pts
8. Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter (USA 8573) - 8 pts
9. Tonci Stipanovic / Tudor Bilic (CRO 8540) - 9 pts
10. Paul Cayard / Frithjof Kleen (USA 1988) - 10 pts

The perpetual Bacardi Cup Trophy will be awarded to the first placed skipper and the Tito Bacardi Cup to the first placed crew, with prizes also presented to winners in the Master’s (skippers aged 50 through 59), Grand Masters (skippers aged 60 and above), Exalted Grand Masters (skippers aged 70 and above) and the Tammy Rubin-Rice Trophy will be presented to the highest placed team not otherwise receiving a prize.

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Brothers Peter and Robert O'Leary sailing under the Baltimore Sailing Club burgee will race their Star keelboat 'Ninky Nonk' in the 95th Bacardi Cup in Florida next week.

Joining them at the Coconut Grove event is their father, Royal Cork ace Anthony and brother Nicholas racing in a Viper 640 with Ben Field.

Over 500 sailors, featuring Olympic and World Champions, from more than 20 nations are expected for the Invitational Regatta that runs from March 6th to 12th.

Miami Viper – The O'Leary crew of Robert, Anthony and Tom Durcan counted six top ten results in the eight race 2016 Bacardi Sailing Week series on Biscayne BayMiami Viper – The O'Leary crew of Robert, Anthony and Tom Durcan counted six top ten results in the eight race 2016 Bacardi Sailing Week series on Biscayne Bay

The O'Leary's are no stranger to Biscayne Bay waters with the Peter and Robert finishing seventh in 2020 with Anthony and Robert previously eighth in the 2016 edition in the Viper class.

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The Star South American Championship was decided today, Monday 15th, a Brazilian national holiday, at the Yacht Club de Ilhabela, on the northern coast of São Paulo. After eight balanced races, the win came in the last race for the duo Robert Scheidt and Ubiratan Matos. They have been faster than their main opponents, Jorge Zarif and Arthur Lopes, since the beginning of the competition, and beat them by only two points. The bronze medal went to Juninho de Jesus and Guilherme de Almeida.

The two-time Olympic champion Robert Scheidt raced with Ubiratan Matos for the first time, and the championship marked his return to the class after more than two years away. The partnership showed regularity from the beginning to the end of the Star South American Championship. Of the eight races, the duo won three, came in second four times, and only in the last race took one sixth, which was discarded.

The two candidates for the title, were practically tied on the decisive day, but the discarding of the worst result and the average maintained by Robert and Ubiratan were fundamental for the result.

“Today was the final of the Star South American Championship, a very exciting day, with a lot happening. We even had some boat breakdowns and a yellow flag penalty in the first race. But in the end, we still managed to regroup and make our strategy in the decision. We were able to use the discard criteria of the worst result very well", said Robert Scheidt.

Jorge Zarif and Arthur Lopes won the first race of the day, taking a provisional lead. The champions, however, had to pay a penalty and made a recovery race, finishing the seventh race in second place.

It was in the last race that everything changed. With a fourth place for Jorge Zarif and Arthur Lopes, the title was in the hands of the helmsman owner of five Olympic medals, who finished in sixth place, a result discarded in the table. The final regatta was won by Juninho de Jesus and Guilherme de Almeida.

Ilhabela marked the third Star South American Championship for Robert Scheidt, the greatest name in Brazilian Olympic sport. Unfortunately, this time it is not a ‘Silver event’ as there wasn’t the minimum number of teams required to give away the silver star. The other titles were in 2006, with Bruno Prada, and 2018, with Arthur Lopes. Both were in Rio de Janeiro. And the first for Ubiratan Matos, one of the prominent prowlers of Brazilian sailing, not only in monotype but also in the ocean.

“Bira (Ubiratan Matos) did a great job this week and the result was worth it. He dedicated himself a lot to the boat, especially during the mast change," added Robert Scheidt.

The 51st edition of the event started on Friday, November the 12th, and gathered 10 teams formed by experienced athletes in Olympic Games, Pan-American Games and World Championships not only in the Star class, but also in other classes.

“The championship was very competitive, and the title was well deserved by Robert and Ubiratan. There were four days of strong wind and good sailing conditions in Ilhabela. After almost two years without the event due to the pandemic, we were able to organize the races. I cannot forget to thank Mitsubishi and the Yacht Club de Ilhabela, our main sponsors. Without their support, this championship would not have been possible,'' explained Tutu Lopes, competitor and organizer of the Star Class in Brazil.

The 2021 Star South American Championship was organized by the Yacht Club de Ilhabela in partnership with the Ilhabela City Hall.

Final results (8 races and 1 discard)

1 - Robert Scheidt | Ubiratan Matos (Banco do Brasil) - 11 pp
2 - Jorge Zarif | Arthur Lopes (Regatta) - 13 pp
3 - Mario de Jesus | Guilherme de Almeida (Vida Bandida) - 20 pp
4 - Pedro Lodovici | Samuel Gonçalves (Dom) - 26 pp
5 - Admar Gonzaga | Ronald Seifert (Maricota) - 31 pp
6 - Daniel De La Torre (ARG) | Maurício Bueno (Enrique) - 42 pp
7 - Robert Rittscher | Marcelo Valland (Born Free) - 47 pp
8 - Antonio Moreira | Arcelio Moreira (Culé) - 50 pp
9 - Marco Szili | Pedro Trouche (Viva la Vida) - 55 pp
10 - Fabiano Vivacqua | Caio Gerassi (Balada) - 68 pp

Full results below.

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In an incredible week for the Italian/German team of Diego Negri (ITA) and Frithjof Kleen (GER, the duo won the 99-year-old Star World Championship with a race to spare.

Kiel showed its true colors this morning in the first of two races, thanks to which the 2021 Star World Championship is officially valid. And if that wasn't big news – given the slow start of the event – after today’s two races and thanks to a brilliant scorecard (4, 1, 1, 1, 2) the winners can also be announced with a day to spare: Diego Negri (ITA) and Frithjof Kleen (GER) are the 2021 Star World Champions!

“It is unbelievable, a dream come true", commented a very emotional Diego Negri, who has been a three-time runner-up at the Star Worlds. "And today was a tough day with rain and clouds around. Towards the end the wind dropped a lot so I was really, really afraid that it would be cancelled and it would have been too much to take in, but luckily we made it to the finish line”.

“It’s been a long way to come to this finish line. All my sailing history is coming together here, today. I think it was a tough championship, with some waiting in the beginning, and then two long races per day, trying to keep the focus at all times. But it’s great, and it came in a good moment in my sailing career. I don't know what I could have done better this week, I knew that we had to do something special to beat the other guys, Mateusz and Bruno, Xavier and the others, and I think Frithjof and I really did something special. We’ve prepared hard for this, with Werner Fritz helping us, coming out so many times with us on Lake Garda, always trusting us, and then thanks to Folli who gave me this amazing beautiful girl, I love her!! I named her ‘21’ because she arrived after the pandemic in 2021, and she is a winner like in blackjack, where 21 is the winning number. So she will now be my baby forever. Special thanks go to my family, of course, especially my wife, without her, there would be no chance I could have done any of this. Thanks to everyone!”

“This is not my first Star World Championship, but it feels more special than the other one”, said a very touched Frithjof Kleen. “The biggest dream for me was to bring Diego here, to win this. This is what makes it so special. Only one downside, I won’t be able to make fun of him anymore, I used to tell Diego to look up on the mainsail, that he had ‘only’ a silver star, while I had a gold one, so he should be listening to me. Now we have two golds, and I'm happy for that. Tonight we’ll celebrate, and forget the diet for one year at least!!”

While the Italian /German duo enjoys their victory, for the rest of the 83-boat fleet, the game is still on and with the throw-out coming in place today things have changed for many teams.

Race four started rough, with wind up to 15 knots, chop and rain. It was the effect of a front going through in the not too distant, and it resulted in a few breakages and undesired trips back ashore for some of the teams. But the weather calmed down after the first leg and the fleet was back sailing with 8 knots of south/southwesterly breeze and flat sea. Diego Negri and Frithjof Kleen have been leading throughout the whole race, with Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Bruno Prada chasing from behind getting closer and closer. They were about one boat-length apart on the finish line. Fourth win for Negri/Kleen and a statement from the reigning World Champion, they are back. In third place crossed the Star Class President Hubert Merkelbach with Kilian Weise (GER), and in fourth Xavier Rohart (FRA) with Ante Sitic (CRO).

Race two started with a promising wind from the same direction of race one. 7/8 knots breeze made it for a nice clean start, and it lasted for the first two legs, with the duel between Kusznierewicz /Prada and Negri/Kleen starting back, with the former leading the battle this time. It was more and more about them, with the rest of the fleet far behind. On the second upwind, and while the Polish/Brazilian were extending their lead over the Italian/German, the wind was literally dying. It went down to 4 knots and there wasn’t much the Principal Race Officer Mandus Fleese could do, other than moving the gate and shortening the fifth and last leg. With the Star Worlds title hanging on the time limit, the tension was palpable, but within the three-hour limit Kusznierewicz/Prara crossed the line, assuring Diego Negri and Frithjof Kleen – who were right behind them – the so longed Star World Championship.

Now the focus shifts to the challenge for second. Kusznierewicz / Prada are second tonight with 12 points, and Hans Spitzauer and Christian Nehammer (AUT) in third, just seven points short, and only one point behind there is the Tokyo Laser Silver medalist Tonci Stipanovic with Tudor Bilic (CRO) in fourth. So it will be a battle tomorrow for who crosses first on that last race’s finishing line. The start is set as scheduled for 10:30.

 

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Irish Olympic Sailing Team

Ireland has a proud representation in sailing at the Olympics dating back to 1948. Today there is a modern governing structure surrounding the selection of sailors the Olympic Regatta

Irish Olympic Sailing FAQs

Ireland’s representation in sailing at the Olympics dates back to 1948, when a team consisting of Jimmy Mooney (Firefly), Alf Delany and Hugh Allen (Swallow) competed in that year’s Summer Games in London (sailing off Torquay). Except for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Ireland has sent at least one sailor to every Summer Games since then.

  • 1948 – London (Torquay) — Firefly: Jimmy Mooney; Swallow: Alf Delany, Hugh Allen
  • 1952 – Helsinki — Finn: Alf Delany * 1956 – Melbourne — Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1960 – Rome — Flying Dutchman: Johnny Hooper, Peter Gray; Dragon: Jimmy Mooney, David Ryder, Robin Benson; Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1964 – Tokyo — Dragon: Eddie Kelliher, Harry Maguire, Rob Dalton; Finn: Johnny Hooper 
  • 1972 – Munich (Kiel) — Tempest: David Wilkins, Sean Whitaker; Dragon: Robin Hennessy, Harry Byrne, Owen Delany; Finn: Kevin McLaverty; Flying Dutchman: Harold Cudmore, Richard O’Shea
  • 1976 – Montreal (Kingston) — 470: Robert Dix, Peter Dix; Flying Dutchman: Barry O’Neill, Jamie Wilkinson; Tempest: David Wilkins, Derek Jago
  • 1980 – Moscow (Tallinn) — Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson (Silver medalists) * 1984 – Los Angeles — Finn: Bill O’Hara
  • 1988 – Seoul (Pusan) — Finn: Bill O’Hara; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; 470 (Women): Cathy MacAleavy, Aisling Byrne
  • 1992 – Barcelona — Europe: Denise Lyttle; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; Star: Mark Mansfield, Tom McWilliam
  • 1996 – Atlanta (Savannah) — Laser: Mark Lyttle; Europe: Aisling Bowman (Byrne); Finn: John Driscoll; Star: Mark Mansfield, David Burrows; 470 (Women): Denise Lyttle, Louise Cole; Soling: Marshall King, Dan O’Grady, Garrett Connolly
  • 2000 – Sydney — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, David O'Brien
  • 2004 – Athens — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, Killian Collins; 49er: Tom Fitzpatrick, Fraser Brown; 470: Gerald Owens, Ross Killian; Laser: Rory Fitzpatrick
  • 2008 – Beijing (Qingdao) — Star: Peter O’Leary, Stephen Milne; Finn: Tim Goodbody; Laser Radial: Ciara Peelo; 470: Gerald Owens, Phil Lawton
  • 2012 – London (Weymouth) — Star: Peter O’Leary, David Burrows; 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; Laser Radial: Annalise Murphy; Laser: James Espey; 470: Gerald Owens, Scott Flanigan
  • 2016 – Rio — Laser Radial (Women): Annalise Murphy (Silver medalist); 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; 49erFX: Andrea Brewster, Saskia Tidey; Laser: Finn Lynch; Paralympic Sonar: John Twomey, Ian Costello & Austin O’Carroll

Ireland has won two Olympics medals in sailing events, both silver: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson in the Flying Dutchman at Moscow 1980, and Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial at Rio 2016.

The current team, as of December 2020, consists of Laser sailors Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon, 49er pairs Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, and Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson, as well as Laser Radial sailors Annalise Murphy and Aoife Hopkins.

Irish Sailing is the National Governing Body for sailing in Ireland.

Irish Sailing’s Performance division is responsible for selecting and nurturing Olympic contenders as part of its Performance Pathway.

The Performance Pathway is Irish Sailing’s Olympic talent pipeline. The Performance Pathway counts over 70 sailors from 11 years up in its programme.The Performance Pathway is made up of Junior, Youth, Academy, Development and Olympic squads. It provides young, talented and ambitious Irish sailors with opportunities to move up through the ranks from an early age. With up to 100 young athletes training with the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway, every aspect of their performance is planned and closely monitored while strong relationships are simultaneously built with the sailors and their families

Rory Fitzpatrick is the head coach of Irish Sailing Performance. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and was an Athens 2004 Olympian in the Laser class.

The Performance Director of Irish Sailing is James O’Callaghan. Since 2006 James has been responsible for the development and delivery of athlete-focused, coach-led, performance-measured programmes across the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway. A Business & Economics graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he is a Level 3 Qualified Coach and Level 2 Coach Tutor. He has coached at five Olympic Games and numerous European and World Championship events across multiple Olympic classes. He is also a member of the Irish Sailing Foundation board.

Annalise Murphy is by far and away the biggest Irish sailing star. Her fourth in London 2012 when she came so agonisingly close to a bronze medal followed by her superb silver medal performance four years later at Rio won the hearts of Ireland. Murphy is aiming to go one better in Tokyo 2021. 

Under head coach Rory Fitzpatrick, the coaching staff consists of Laser Radial Academy coach Sean Evans, Olympic Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar and 49er team coach Matt McGovern.

The Irish Government provides funding to Irish Sailing. These funds are exclusively for the benefit of the Performance Pathway. However, this falls short of the amount required to fund the Performance Pathway in order to allow Ireland compete at the highest level. As a result the Performance Pathway programme currently receives around €850,000 per annum from Sport Ireland and €150,000 from sponsorship. A further €2 million per annum is needed to have a major impact at the highest level. The Irish Sailing Foundation was established to bridge the financial gap through securing philanthropic donations, corporate giving and sponsorship.

The vision of the Irish Sailing Foundation is to generate the required financial resources for Ireland to scale-up and execute its world-class sailing programme. Irish Sailing works tirelessly to promote sailing in Ireland and abroad and has been successful in securing funding of 1 million euro from Sport Ireland. However, to compete on a par with other nations, a further €2 million is required annually to realise the ambitions of our talented sailors. For this reason, the Irish Sailing Foundation was formed to seek philanthropic donations. Led by a Board of Directors and Head of Development Kathryn Grace, the foundation lads a campaign to bridge the financial gap to provide the Performance Pathway with the funds necessary to increase coaching hours, upgrade equipment and provide world class sport science support to a greater number of high-potential Irish sailors.

The Senior and Academy teams of the Performance Pathway are supported with the provision of a coach, vehicle, coach boat and boats. Even with this level of subsidy there is still a large financial burden on individual families due to travel costs, entry fees and accommodation. There are often compromises made on the amount of days a coach can be hired for and on many occasions it is necessary to opt out of major competitions outside Europe due to cost. Money raised by the Irish Sailing Foundation will go towards increased quality coaching time, world-class equipment, and subsiding entry fees and travel-related costs. It also goes towards broadening the base of talented sailors that can consider campaigning by removing financial hurdles, and the Performance HQ in Dublin to increase efficiency and reduce logistical issues.

The ethos of the Performance Pathway is progression. At each stage international performance benchmarks are utilised to ensure the sailors are meeting expectations set. The size of a sailor will generally dictate which boat they sail. The classes selected on the pathway have been identified as the best feeder classes for progression. Currently the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway consists of the following groups: * Pathway (U15) Optimist and Topper * Youth Academy (U19) Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and 420 * Development Academy (U23) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX * Team IRL (direct-funded athletes) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX

The Irish Sailing performance director produces a detailed annual budget for the programme which is presented to Sport Ireland, Irish Sailing and the Foundation for detailed discussion and analysis of the programme, where each item of expenditure is reviewed and approved. Each year, the performance director drafts a Performance Plan and Budget designed to meet the objectives of Irish Performance Sailing based on an annual review of the Pathway Programmes from Junior to Olympic level. The plan is then presented to the Olympic Steering Group (OSG) where it is independently assessed and the budget is agreed. The OSG closely monitors the delivery of the plan ensuring it meets the agreed strategy, is within budget and in line with operational plans. The performance director communicates on an ongoing basis with the OSG throughout the year, reporting formally on a quarterly basis.

Due to the specialised nature of Performance Sport, Irish Sailing established an expert sub-committee which is referred to as the Olympic Steering Group (OSG). The OSG is chaired by Patrick Coveney and its objective is centred around winning Olympic medals so it oversees the delivery of the Irish Sailing’s Performance plan.

At Junior level (U15) sailors learn not only to be a sailor but also an athlete. They develop the discipline required to keep a training log while undertaking fitness programmes, attending coaching sessions and travelling to competitions. During the winter Regional Squads take place and then in spring the National Squads are selected for Summer Competitions. As sailors move into Youth level (U19) there is an exhaustive selection matrix used when considering a sailor for entry into the Performance Academy. Completion of club training programmes, attendance at the performance seminars, physical suitability and also progress at Junior and Youth competitions are assessed and reviewed. Once invited in to the Performance Academy, sailors are given a six-month trial before a final decision is made on their selection. Sailors in the Academy are very closely monitored and engage in a very well planned out sailing, training and competition programme. There are also defined international benchmarks which these sailors are required to meet by a certain age. Biannual reviews are conducted transparently with the sailors so they know exactly where they are performing well and they are made aware of where they may need to improve before the next review.

©Afloat 2020

Tokyo 2021 Olympic Sailing

Olympic Sailing features a variety of craft, from dinghies and keelboats to windsurfing boards. The programme at Tokyo 2020 will include two events for both men and women, three for men only, two for women only and one for mixed crews:

Event Programme

RS:X - Windsurfer (Men/Women)
Laser - One Person Dinghy (Men)
Laser Radial - One Person Dinghy (Women)
Finn - One Person Dinghy (Heavyweight) (Men)
470 - Two Person Dinghy (Men/Women)
49er - Skiff (Men)
49er FX - Skiff (Women)
Nacra 17 Foiling - Mixed Multihull

The mixed Nacra 17 Foiling - Mixed Multihull and women-only 49er FX - Skiff, events were first staged at Rio 2016.

Each event consists of a series of races. Points in each race are awarded according to position: the winner gets one point, the second-placed finisher scores two, and so on. The final race is called the medal race, for which points are doubled. Following the medal race, the individual or crew with the fewest total points is declared the winner.

During races, boats navigate a course shaped like an enormous triangle, heading for the finish line after they contend with the wind from all three directions. They must pass marker buoys a certain number of times and in a predetermined order.

Sailing competitions at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled to take place from 27 July to 6 August at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour. 

Venues: Enoshima Yacht Harbor

No. of events: 10

Dates: 27 July – 6 August

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Dates

Following a one year postponement, sailing competitions at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled to take place from 23 July 2021 and run until the 8 August at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour. 

Venue: Enoshima Yacht Harbour

No. of events: 10

Dates: 23 July – 8 August 2021

Tokyo 2020 Irish Olympic Sailing Team

ANNALISE MURPHY, Laser Radial

Age 31. From Rathfarnham, Dublin.

Club: National Yacht Club

Full-time sailor

Silver medallist at the 2016 Olympic Games, Rio (Laser Radial class). Competed in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017/2018. Represented Ireland at the London 2012 Olympics. Laser Radial European Champion in 2013.

ROBERT DICKSON, 49er (sails with Seán Waddilove)

Winner, U23 49er World Championships, September 2018, and 2018 Volvo/Afloat Irish Sailor of the Year

DOB: 6 March 1998, from Sutton, Co. Dublin. Age 23

Club: Howth Yacht Club

Currently studying: Sports Science and Health in DCU with a Sports Scholarship.

SEÁN WADDILOVE, 49er (sails with Robert Dickson)

Winner, U23 49er World Championships, September 2018, and recently awarded 2018 Volvo Afloat/Irish Sailor of the Year

DOB: 19 June 1997. From Skerries, Dublin

Age 24

Club: Skerries Sailing Club and Howth Yacht Club

Currently studying International Business and Languages and awarded sports scholarship at TU (Technology University)

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