Gulari and Berezin triumphant at Bacardi Winter Series Event 2

Miami, FL, U.S.A. - January 28, 2024 - Three days of exceptional sailing conditions on Biscayne Bay, January 26-28, made the Bacardi Winter Series 2 a dream event.

Maintaining their overnight position, Bora Gulari’s Kingspoke topped the Melges 24 open leaderboard. In the all-amateur division, 2023 National Ranking Champion Dan Berezin, racing Surprise, won the Corinthian division.

On a stunner of a sunny day in Miami, two races shaped the final podium in a variable and shifty 8-16 knot breeze. Racing was postponed ahead of the second race to wait for a wind shift to settle, which, given the time limit, was the final of the series. Bacardi Winter Series 2 wrapped up with the usual epic Bacardi sailing soirée and prize-giving celebrations at Shake-A-Leg Miami. 

Teams now turn their focus to the BCIR, March 6-9, 2024. Registration is underway and entries have already tipped over one hundred for the J/70, Melges 24, Snipe, Viper 640 and VX One. The iconic Bacardi Cup celebrates its 97th anniversary from March 3-9, with more than sixty Star teams so far confirmed.

“My heartfelt congratulations to the winners,” said Eddie Cutillas, Bacardi USA. “On behalf of Bacardi, thank you all for being here. You, the sailors, are the essence of the event, and we really value your support.

“I look forward to seeing you back in Miami in a few weeks for our annual celebration of world-class racing and friendship at the grand finale of the series, the Bacardi Invitational Regatta.”

MONSOON of Bruce Ayres with Tomas Dietrich / Edward Hackney / Pearl Lattanzi / Jeremy Wilmot - Bacardi Winter Series Event 2 January 2024
MONSOON of Bruce Ayres with Tomas Dietrich / Edward Hackney / Pearl Lattanzi / Jeremy Wilmot - Bacardi Winter Series Event 2 January 2024

With just an 11-point spread between the leading five Melges 24 teams at the start of the day, the racing offered plenty of possibilities.

Bruce Ayres and his Monsoon team opened strong, securing the first race win and narrowing the gap to just 4 points between the top three as they headed into the final race. Gulari remained in pole but had a job ahead to control Alec Anderson (in for owner Geoff Fargo) driving Sentinel and Monsoon, made harder in the shifty and unpredictable breeze.

SENTINEL of Geoff Fargo with Alec Anderson helming and Haiden Stapleton / Willy McBride / Jackson Benvenuti / Grant Janov in crew - Bacardi Winter Series Event 2 January 2024
SENTINEL of Geoff Fargo with Alec Anderson helming and Haiden Stapleton / Willy McBride / Jackson Benvenuti / Grant Janov in crew - Bacardi Winter Series Event 2 January 2024

In the second race, Ayres once again led the fleet, before Gulari surged ahead at the first gate. Going into the final upwind, the pressure intensified as the top five boats were neck and neck. By the finish, their race order mirrored their final leaderboard positions. Gulari never let up, sealing the deal to win race 8 with a substantial lead and claim BWS2 victory.

Team KINGSPOKE of Bora Gulari with Norman Berge / Nick Ford / Carlos Robles / Charlie Smythe - Bacardi Winter Series Event 2 January 2024
Team KINGSPOKE of Bora Gulari with Norman Berge / Nick Ford / Carlos Robles / Charlie Smythe - Bacardi Winter Series Event 2 January 2024

Carlos Robles, tactician on Kingspoke, reflected on their day, “Today was hard because we had to control a couple of boats and it was really shifty, and strange I would call it, so it was a hard day. It was really variable and kept us on our toes.

Speaking on the challenge of sailing their own race versus controlling others, he added, “It is a hard balance, because the moment you start focusing on other boats too much you forget about the big picture, and you end up going the wrong way or you end up getting out of phase.

“The team did a great job, they’re all great guys. We went the right way most of the time and we had good wheels, the boat was going fast, the guys were doing a great job.”

Regarding racing alongside Bora, Robles smiled saying, “Bora is awesome. He is laser focused. He is a really hard worker, pushing every day to get faster and he is very knowledgeable, so it is good to be next to him and learning from him too.”

SURPRISE of Dane Berezin (CAN) with Michael Berezin / Denys Kalchenko / Alex Kapustin / Misha Mayevsky - Bacardi Winter Series Event 2 January 2024
SURPRISE of Dane Berezin (CAN) with Michael Berezin / Denys Kalchenko / Alex Kapustin / Misha Mayevsky - Bacardi Winter Series Event 2 January 2024

Repeating their form from BWS1, Canada’s Dan Berezin and crew on Surprise finished 15th as the top-placed Corinthian team.

View Full Results

Text Credit: Luissa Smith
Photo Credits: Hannah Lee Noll

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Photo gallery by Hannah Lee Noll

 

Melges 24 (One Design - 21 Boats)
1. Kingspoke, Bora Gulari / Norman Berge / Nick Ford / Carlos Robles / Charlie Smythe , USA - 5 -3 -3 -4 -1 -2 -[7] -1 ; 19
2. Sentinel, Alec Anderson / Haiden Stapleton / Willy McBride / Jackson Benvenuti / Grant Janov , USA - [12] -2 -7 -1 -3 -3 -5 -2 ; 23
3. Monsoon, Bruce Ayres / Tomas Dietrich / Edward Hackney / Pearl Lattanzi / Jeremy Wilmot , USA - 1 -4 -[11] -5 -10 -1 -1 -3 ; 25
4. Dark Energy, Laura Grondin / Taylor Canfield / Federico Michetti / Ian Liberty / Mark Ivey , USA - 7 -7 -1 -3 -5 -[11] -9 -4 ; 36
5. Nefeli, Peter-David Karrié / Alessandro Franci / Niccolò Bianchi / Saverio Cigliano / Carlo Hmeliak , GER - 4 -5 -[10] -2 -4 -9 -8 -8 ; 40
6. Melgina, Paolo Brescia / Giulio Desiderato / Stefano Orlandi / Jas Farneti / Andrea Chiappe , ITA - 2 -1 -6 -8 -13 -[14] -6 -11 ; 47
7. Zingara, Richard Reid / Serena Vilage / Ian Sloan / Bill Gooderham / Brian Kamilar , CAN - 9 -10 -2 -9 -9 -4 -[12] -5 ; 48
8. Zenda Express, Eddie Cox / RJ Porter / Coye Harrett / Ripley Shelly / Molly Cox , USA - 10 -9 -[16] -6 -6 -5 -4 -9 ; 49
9. bombarda, Andrea Pozzi / Filippo Amonti / Matteo ivaldI / Stefano ciampalini / Carlo zermini , ita - 8 -[12] -12 -7 -2 -7 -11 -6 ; 53
10. Dark Horse, Cuyler Morris / Keiran Searle / John Bowden / Charlie Hibben / Mikaela Wulff , USA - 6 -[16] -5 -12 -11 -6 -2 -12 ; 54
11. Black Seal by Altea, Andrea Racchelli / Enzo Bonini / Michele Gregoratto / Nic Asher / Matteo Ramian , ITA - 11 -13 -4 -11 -7 -[22/DNS] -3 -10 ; 59
12. Gamecock, Peter McClennen / Mike Marshall / Wilson Stout / Joaquin Bur / Zach Champney , USA - 3 -8 -13 -13 -[15] -12 -10 -14 ; 73
13. Shotgunn, Michael Wilson / Helen Wilson / Stuart Bithell / Luke Patience / Simon Potts , IOM - 13 -11 -8 -14 -12 -13 -[15] -7 ; 78
14. Flying Jenny, Sandra Askew / Key Becker / Sean O'Rourke / Peter Greenhalgh / Robert Greenhalgh / Nicolas Muller , USA - 16 -14 -14 -10 -[19] -8 -13 -13 ; 88
15. Surprise, Dan Berezin / Michael Berezin / Denys Kalchenko / Alex Kapustin / Misha Mayevsky , CAN - 15 -6 -17 -15 -14 -10 -[22/UFD] -15 ; 92
16. Smile and Wave, Jaime Torres / Martin Kullman / Rob Britts / Jordan Byrd / Meg Hislop , USA - 14 -[17] -9 -16 -16 -16 -16 -16 ; 103
17. Team Barbarians, Stuart Simpson / Marty O’Leary / Freddie Kemp / Bernard Fitzpatrick / Kenneth Rumball , GBR - [18] -18 -15 -17 -8 -15 -14 -17 ; 104
18. Clean Break, Roger Lyon / Charlie Vogel / Will Huerth / Chris Kennedy / Fede Diaz de Leon , USA - 17 -15 -19 -18 -17 -17 -[22/DNF] -18 ; 121
19. Huzzah, Greg Chamberlain / Matt Mercier / Lisa Mercier / Matt Lane / Ken Colborne , CAN - [21] -19 -18 -20 -20 -20 -17 -20 ; 134
20. Rebel, John Spierling / Jason Vanhoorn / Scott Sorbie / Brad Cross / Sydney Van Hoorn , USA - 19 -[21] -21 -19 -18 -18 -18 -21 ; 134
21. Crazy Train, Patrick Croke / Brigette Croke / Ted Helme / Fernando Padro / Oliver Repenning , USA - 20 -20 -20 -21 -[22/DNF] -19 -19 -19 ; 138

KINGSPOKE of Bora Gulari with Norman Berge / Nick Ford / Carlos Robles / Charlie Smythe - the winners of Bacardi Winter Series Event 2 January 2024

SURPRISE of Dane Berezin (CAN) with Michael Berezin / Denys Kalchenko / Alex Kapustin / Misha Mayevsky - Bacardi Winter Series Event 2 January 2024

Team KINGSPOKE of Bora Gulari with Norman Berge / Nick Ford / Carlos Robles / Charlie Smythe - Bacardi Winter Series Event 2 January 2024

SENTINEL of Geoff Fargo with Alec Anderson helming and Haiden Stapleton / Willy McBride / Jackson Benvenuti / Grant Janov in crew - Bacardi Winter Series Event 2 January 2024

MONSOON of Bruce Ayres with Tomas Dietrich / Edward Hackney / Pearl Lattanzi / Jeremy Wilmot - Bacardi Winter Series Event 2 January 2024

KINGSPOKE of Bora Gulari with Norman Berge / Nick Ford / Carlos Robles / Charlie Smythe - Bacardi Winter Series event 2 January 2024

Melges 24 fleet in Bacardi Winter Series event 2 - January 2024

Stuart Simpson - Team BARBARIANS (GBR) with Freddie Kemp - Bacardi Winter Series Event 2 January 2024