The 2020 Bacardi Cup and Bacardi Invitational Regatta saw a record-breaking 175 entries and well over 500 sailors representing 19 nations, proving its status as one of the premiere one design regattas on the international calendar. Held on Biscayne Bay in Miami with four course areas, the Star Class was on a dedicated track while course sharing for the Melges 24, J70, Viper 640, VX One, AV8 with the Windfoil.
Finn Olympic Champion Mateusz Kusneirewicz and five-time Star World champion Bruno Prada of Brazil won the prestigious 93rd Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta on March 7 by taking first place in the Star Class. Dominating the series with three bullets and no score under second place over six races to finish with 7 points. Second place finisher Augie Diaz and Henry Boening finished second with 22 points followed by Eivind Melleby and Joshua Revkin with 22 points who placed third overall. Our final top five Doyle customer was Paul Cayard, who placed fifth overall, finishing his 25th Bacardi Cup.
The prestigious one design regatta showcased top performances by many Doyle One Design customers and professional sailors.
“I’ve attended the Bacardi Cup for so many years in my Olympic career but have never managed to win it,” said Kusznierewicz, “It is an unbelievable feeling to finally win this after finishing runner-up last year. I think the key to our success was great starts. We started very well all week and we played the shifts very well. We had an amazing week, three bullets and two seconds, I can’t remember having had a regatta so perfect in my life."
“It was very close racing and we wanted to feel good about ourselves and good about where we were to the very last race," Bruno Prada said. "Three or four were trying to get into the top 5. Contenders were tight on points but we really sailed well. It was a great feeling to win this championship. We are supper happy to win this event.”
“This might be my 25th Bacardi Cup, surely the first one was in 1980,” commented Olympian, multiple World Champion, Louis Vuitton Cup and Whitbread Round the World winner Paul Cayard. “We had a very bad day yesterday when I could not put us in a good position at the start, but I am happy about today, our best result so far. It’s just that Mateusz and Bruno are so fast, and with three wins, we can all just fight to be second best.”
The J70 fleet also had a very strong showing with Doyle One Design customers ending up second, third*, fourth*, sixth, seventh and ninth place out of 40 boats.
In a 40 boat fleet, the J70 Surge (Ryan McKillen/John Wallace/Sam Loughborough/Mark Mendelblatt) ended their regatta in second place overall with 28 points and Midlife Crisis in third with 28 points (Bruce Golison/Steve Hunt/Jeff Reynolds/Erik Shampain) after delivering the best race performance of the day, back to back 2nd place finishes. The other race win went to the team on Catapult (Joel Ronning/Patrick Wilson/Christopher Stoke/Paul Brotherton) who claimed fourth overall. Other Doyle customers finishing in the top ten were Airplane!, Hooligan and Columbia in sixth, seventh and ninth place.
The door was still very much open going into final day where the last race became a challenge for control of the fleet. Just two points off the podium before the final day was the team on Midlife Crisis, with Bruce Golison on the helm.
"Today was a very tricky day on the racecourse," said Golison. "The wind was coming from all over the place with lots of gains and losses for everyone. We had an ok day, not too good and not too bad. We are looking forward to the big breeze tomorrow, it should be a lot of fun and a great way to end the Bacardi Invitational Regatta"
Photos: Martina Orsini Photography and Jud Smith
Rachele Vitello contributed to this report.
*indicates using Doyle Main and Jib