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Brazil's Grael and Gonzalves Take Over Lead on Biscayne Bay - Today’s winners – skipper Jack Jennings and crew Brian Sharp
MIAMI, FLA. (March 4, 2014) – Setting the race course just off Matheson Hammock Park for day two of the 87th BACARDI Cup, the Race Committee’s search for breeze paid off as the second race of the series got underway in six knots from the east. With abundant sunshine and temperatures in the low 80s, the 55 teams put the first-day jitters behind them and got down to business.

First around the weather mark was San Diego’s Mark Reynolds and Miami’s Magnus Liljedahl, who had won the opening race of the series. They were followed closely by Jack Jennings and Brian Sharp, who took the lead at the leeward mark and held it to win the race by 44 seconds ahead of Lars Grael and Samuel Gonzalves from Brazil. “It was a pretty close first part of the race,” said Jennings who hails from Niles, Illinois. “I believe we had a bit of advantage at the start, made a good shift and tacked shortly after. We then worked the boat and managed the competition until the end. It was a tactical race today, but we brought it home.”

With four races remaining on the schedule, consistency will be the name of the game in the long run. “The start was very tactical,” said Grael, explaining that there was better wind today. “We decided to go right and we were fifth at the first mark. On the first downwind we went the wrong way and lost two positions. We made up time on the second upwind leg and we rounded in second and managed to keep position till the end. We're in first place [overall] but too far away to make plans; we'll try to be as consistent as possible.”

Finishing third was Florida’s Brad Funk who is racing the Star for the first time with crew Mark Strube of Wisconsin.

“I'm here because of Mark,” said Funk who is well-known for racing in the Laser and Moth classes. “He suggested we enter the Bacardi Cup together as his skipper was unavailable. Five years ago we sailed a Star in a clinic event, but that was it. We never had an opportunity to race together until yesterday. Sailing a Star is a challenge for me, it’s more tactical and with less speed.” Funk explained that there was more pressure than yesterday and that the duo had a good start. “Many boats went right as suggested by the forecast, and we went left. It was a good choice and we rounded in the top 10. We made progress on group until third position which we held until the finish. More breeze is expected tomorrow and it will be a totally different race.”

For Strube, it was a good move to invite Funk to sail. “We clicked right away,” he said, noting that Funk has a great personality and a positive attitude. “We're a good match. When I decided to ask him sail with me I was pretty sure on the choice, I didn’t think it was a gamble and results are definitely positive.”

Grael and Gonzalves have moved into the lead of the overall standings, with four points. In second and third overall, respectively, and tied on seven points each are Reynolds and Liljedahl, who finished today’s race in sixth, and Funk and Strube. Torben Grael and crew Guilheme Almeida of Brazil stand fourth overall with eight points, followed by American sailors Arthur Anosov and Brian Fatih with 15 points.

The fifth annual running of BACARDI Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG will run through March 8, 2014. Regatta headquarters are at Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove. The six-day racing schedule is headlined by the Star class which is contesting the 87th Bacardi Cup. On the last four days of the regatta, the Stars will share Biscayne Bay with competitors in the Audi Melges 20, J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640 and VX One classes.

Photo : BMSW/Cory Silken
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