Bacardi Winter Series 2023-2024 Kicks Off in Miami, USA

December 15, 2023 – Miami, USA –  The Bacardi Winter Series 2023/2024 opening event kicks off this weekend, December 16-17, in Miami. The J/70 and Melges 24 fleets will be competing on Biscayne Bay. 

Hosted at Shake-A-Leg Miami, the event will have around 40 teams in action for the six-race series. Anticipation is high as the weekend spectacle promises intense competition, and the weather promises to make conditions extremely tough for these world-class teams. Let’s see what happens when you throw choppy water, chilly temperatures, showers and gusty winds.  30 knots are forecast for the opening day, with more of the same on Sunday. A thorough test of agility, teamwork and consistency is on the cards as we wait to see who takes center stage.

Eddie Cutillas of Bacardi USA said, “We are looking forward to incredible racing and as always are delighted to welcome back the J/70 and Melges 24 sailors to Miami. There is no doubt that the competition will be tough. The teams will face two rivals this weekend, the weather and their competitors! Wishing everyone fantastic racing and of course enjoyment, winding down with our usual Bacardi hospitality.”

Racing is scheduled to get underway for the Melges 24 at 11:00 am on Saturday, December 16, followed by the J/70, for the opening three races, and a further three races on Sunday. Post-race, the Bacardi hospitality will keep everyone entertained with cocktails and music. 

The highly competitive Melges 24 fleet boasts a mix of past Bacardi podium placers and plenty of other champions. Frontrunners include Andea Pozzi’s Bombarda team from Italy and Laura Grondin on Dark Energy, the bronze medallist at this year’s Melges 24 World Championships. The recently crowned Melges 24 North American Champion, Canada’s Richard Reid and his team on Zingara add to the mix.  Olympic medalists Stuart Bithell and Luke Patience have teamed up with Michael Wilson on Shotgunn. Bora Gulari on Mavi and Peter McClennen on Gamecock are also likely to be among the pacesetters.

The Bacardi Invitational Winter Series 1 is just the beginning. The series continues with Winter Series 2 on January 26-28, 2024, leading to the finale at the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta from March 9-11, 2024. For the Invitational Regatta, the J/70 and Melges 24 will be joined by the Snipe, VX One and Viper 640 classes. The historic Bacardi Cup will celebrate its 97th anniversary from March 3-9, 2024, and once again showcase the prestigious Star Class.

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Melges 24 at 2022 Bacardi Invitational Winter Series Event 1
Melges 24 at 2022 Bacardi Invitational Winter Series Event 1