The 81st Bacardi cup ends with Portugal top and Britain a close second 10/3/08

Afonso Domingos and Bernardo Santos (POR) have won the 2008 Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta, edging 2002 Star Class World Champion Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) in a tiebreaker. Winners in 2004, and now 2008, Domingos and Santos remain the only European sailors ever to win the Bacardi Cup in the regatta’s 81-year history.

Holding the lead going into the final day, British pair Percy and Simpson finished the closing races fifth and ninth respectively. Domingos and Santos, however, made substantial gains and finished second in both. Although tied for first with the Brits, the Portuguese duo’s strong finishes in the final two races determined them overall winners.

“There was much more wind today than on other days, and we had some great gains on the reach legs,” said Domingos, who benefited from the triangle course. “We knew where [Percy] was, but we tried not to focus on him in the last legs. Our goal was to finish in front – to go fast – and not to cover anyone specifically.”

Americans John Dane and Austin Sperry, the 2006 Bacardi Cup champions and the US Star Class representatives in the next Olympics, finished third and fifth on Friday and climbed to third place overall, following disappointing 20th and 39th place finishes in the opening races.

Final Results:

1. Afonso Domingos / Bernardo Santos, POR, 20
2. Iain Percy / Andrew Simpson, GBR, 20.0001
3. John Dane / Austin Sperry, USA, 30
4. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Dominik Zycki, POL, 32
5. Hans Spitzauer / Christian Nehammer, AUT, 33
6. Robert Scheidt / Bruno Prada, BRA, 38
7. Alberto Barovier / Nando Colaninno, ITA, 41
8. Diego Negri / Luigi Viale, ITA, 41.0001
9. Peter O’Leary / Stephen Milne, IRL, 42
10. Augie Diaz / Phil Trinter, USA, 42.0001