Tight racing opens Bacardi Winter Series Event 1

December 19, 2021 - Miami, FL, USA - by Luissa Smith -  Racing got under way to schedule on day one at the Bacardi Winter series 1 in Miami on Saturday 18 December 2021.

Almost forty boats took to the race track across the J/70 and Melges 24 fleets, in what turned out to be an unpredictable day of racing. The winter solstice and full moon challenged some teams' aspirations as the current in Biscayne Bay played an unpredictable rhythm and shifted the race track positions.

Racing continues on Sunday 19 December, with 3 races scheduled to crown the winners of the opening event of the season for the J/70 and Melges 24 Classes. As well as event glory for Bacardi Winter Series Event 1, points will also accumulate towards Bacardi Winter Series Event 2, 28-30 January 2022 and on to the series finale, the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta from 6-12 March 2022.

Melges 24

A clean start to race 1 for the twenty-boat Melges 24 fleet, saw the Italian dominated team on 'Nefeli' skippered by Peter Karrié (GER) headline the race. They were pushed hard by tight racing from Laura Grondin's team on 'Dark Energy' and Travis Weisleder on 'Lucky Dog', seeing the trio cross the finish in the same order.

After a general recall, a black flag start for race 2 saw a well behaved fleet take off in an easing breeze with a bonus of the sun coming out. The unpredictable current caused some lay line upsets and leader board changes, playing into the hands of 'Nefeli' who went from 4th to 1st in the final stages of the downwind to claim their second race win.

A clean start in race 3 and Laura Grondin was again up front, controlling the fleet to take the race win and with it seize spot on the leader board from her 2,4,1 scorecard, with a 2 point advantage over 'Nefeli'.

"It is nice to be here in Miami after one year missing last year," reflected Peter Karrié (GER) skipper of 'Nefeli'. "We are really, really happy to be back in this warmth. You can imagine in Germany it is really cold weather right now, it is dark and foggy and so we really enjoy to be here.

"The racing today was really tricky with different wind conditions," Karrié continued. "The wind changed in strength a lot and there was a lot to do for me as helmsman and for the crew to trim. We are really happy with our results and really happy with this first day."

Melges 24 provisional Top 10 results: (after 3 races)

1. Laura Grondin/Taylor Canfield/Scott Ewing/Rich Peale/Cole Brauer (USA 864) - 7 pts
2. Peter Karrié/Niccolo Bianchi/Alessandro Saettone/Alessandro Franci/Saverio Cigliano (GER 859) - 9 pts
3. Bruce Ayres/Tomas Dietrich/Chelsea Simms/Edward Hackney/Jeremy Wilmot (USA 851) - 13 pts
4. Drew Freides/Charlie Smythe/Morgan Reeser/Federico Michetti/Lara Poljsak (USA 865) - 17 pts
5. Travis Weisleder/John Bowden/Hayden Goodrick/Mark Mendleblatt (USA 858) - 18 pts
6. Geoff Fargo/Graham Bell/Jon Bell/Jeff Grange (USA 856) - 20 pts
7. Peter Duncan/Victor Diaz de Leon/Erik Shampain/Morgan Truvobich/Matt Pistay/Mac Agnese (USA 829) - 23 pts
8. Alessandro Rombelli/Francesco Bruni/Giorgio Tortarolo/Manuel Modena/Francesca Salva' (ITA 860) - 24 pts
9. Richard Reid/Rebecca Anderson/Richard Clarke/Bill Gooderham/Brian Kamilar/Gonzalo Ribeiro (CAN 853) - 29 pts
10. Steve Suddath/Shawn Burke/Steve Burke/Jack Smith (USA 862) - 30 pts

Full results

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2021 Bacardi Invitational Winter Series - Event 1 - Miami

2021 Bacardi Invitational Winter Series - Event 1 - Miami

2021 Bacardi Invitational Winter Series - Event 1 - Miami

3 1/2 Men of Steve Suddath - 2021 Bacardi Invitational Winter Series - Event 1 - Miami