An epic opening day at the 94th Bacardi Cup on Biscayne Bay featured tropical temperatures, an overcast sky and a steady north-easterly breeze averaging 15 knots, with gusts up to 20 knots.
Despite not sailing together since last year’s Bacardi Cup, taking centre stage were defending Bacardi title holders and reigning World Champions, Mateusz Kusnierewicz/Bruno Prada who knocked out a masterclass of showmanship and skill, as they covered the fleet from start to finish.
The pair owned the lead from the outset, opening up a great divide of over a minute to rack up their first leader board incision.
Recognizing they could not close the gap to the leaders, Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise focused on maintaining their speed and position, steadily increasing their advantage over third placed George Szabo/Guy Avellon.
Doyle won the 1999 Star Worlds, and the pair won the 92nd Bacardi Cup in 2019. Szabo, who won the 2019 Star Worlds, and Avellon had their work cut out to hold onto third place, in a close call as the fleet pursued them in a frisky battle.
With a smaller fleet of twenty-five boats this year, the Organizing Committee has made an exception for the 94th Bacardi Cup only and adjusted the traditional one race per day format to allow up to ten races over the six days of racing.
2021 Bacardi Cup Invitational – Provisional Leaders after Race 1 (25 entries)
1st POL 8548 Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada – – 1 pts
2nd USA 8423 eric doyle / Payson Infelise – – 2 pts
3rd USA 8528 George Szabo / Guy Avellon – – 3 pts
4th USA 8509 Augie Diaz / Marcus Koy – – 4 pts
5th USA 8440 Jim Buckingham / Phil Toth – – 5 pts
6th GER 8446 Hubert Merkelbach / Kilian Weise – – 6 pts
7th USA 8522 Joshua Powell / Mark Strube – – 7 pts
8th USA 8555 John Ferguson Dane III / Greg Smith – – 8 pts
9th USA 8459 Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter – – 9 pts
10th USA 8546 Shane Zwingelberg / Keith Gardner – – 10 pts