Breeze just into the double digits made the second day of racing for the 86th BACARDI Cup a test of experience and persistence for the 56 Star teams racing on Biscayne Bay. Two races were completed as the sunshine warmed temperatures into the low 70s, and, with three races scored a discard now comes into play. While Lars Grael and Mario Lagoa (BRA) remain first overall with two points net after adding today’s finishes of 12-1 to their win of yesterday’s lone race, less than 12 points separate the top-five teams.
“Races were similar to yesterday although the second race overall was more gentle,” said Grael. “On the first race today we did a wrong jibe and rounded the mark fifth, closed the downwind leg 25th and finished 12th; it was a difficult race for us. Second race of the day started well, we rounded the mark first and protected the position. While fighting with Xavier Rohart we managed to keep a good gap with the rest of the field. Overall we’re happy because competition is tough and we’re competing against Augie Diaz who is a local sailor and I believe has the home advantage.” Diaz, with crew Arnis Baltins, is just three points out of first place and knows winning this championship will come down to more than local knowledge.
“The first race was difficult, but we managed to do well,” said Diaz of the win of today’s first race. “We had better opportunities and with a little bit of luck we were able to round the weather mark third and then take the lead to the end. Second race of the day was more challenging because we decided to go on the right side of the course while the wind went left; I’m therefore happy with a 10th place. I have a lot of respect for Lars because he is very good in all conditions and in all venues. I don’t think I have a big edge by being local; really not as big an edge as he might think I have.”Third overall are the defending champions Xavier Rohart and Pierre Alexis Ponsot (FRA), who placed 6-2 today, a strong recovery from yesterday’s finish of 25. They carry eight points and are followed in fourth by the Italian team of Diego Negri and Frithjof Kleen whose scoreline of 13-3-9 totals 12 points. Rounding out fifth in the standings is Irish Olympian Peter O’Leary and Rodney Hagebols who have 13.5 points after finishes of 2.5-36-11.
To-day’s forecast of 12-14knots of westerly breeze should prove interesting if it comes good.