British boys finish second
The Star Bacardi Cup concluded on Friday on Biscayne Bay with a victory for Peter Bromby and Martin Siese of Bermuda who wound up the regatta with a second place finish on the final day to win overall for a second time. World champions and RYA Team GBR sailors Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell scored a 26th place to take the runner up spot with Americans John Kostecki/Austin Sperry finishing in third.
The final race day got underway under black flag rule and after an hour’s postponement due to shifty wind conditions, it wasn’t without drama. Four boats were awarded a black flag and sent to shore early along with British sailors Jez Fanstone and Luke Chapman after their mast split at the first mark.
Kostecki/Sperry took the bullet on the final day just in front of Bromby/Siese with Rick Merriman/Bill Bennett of America crossing the line in third place. In the 112-boat fleet the key to success was consistency and with top ten finishes in every race Bromby/Siese managed to take home the trophy for a second time. Team Percy/Mitchell, who had the led for the majority of the regatta, crossed the finish line in 26th position, which saw them hand over the lead but still finish a very credible second.
Percy commented, “sometime routes open up and some times they don’t, and today they didn’t.” A European team has never won the Bacardi Cup in its 76-year history, a feat that Percy is more than aware of commenting: “We will be looking to drag it away from the Americans sooner or later.”
The talent was quite incredible this year and read like a who’s who of yachting. Two-time Olympic Gold medal winner and seven-time Bacardi Cup champion Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl of America finished in seventh place overall. 2000 Olympic Silver medallist Ian Walker of Australia and crew Nick Williams finished eighth overall, and 2002 Star European champion Fredrik Loof of Sweden and crew Andes Ekstrom finished 10th overall.
American Paul Cayard, the 1988 World champion and also a world and Olympic champion as crew, finished 11th overall sailing with crew Phil Trinter, Star Worlds bronze medallist Xavier Rohart and crew Yannick Adde of France finished 17th and five-time Bacardi Cup champion Vince Brun and Brian Terhaar finished in 48th place overall.
RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park commented, “This is a great performance from Iain and Steve. Although having lead for the majority of the regatta I am sure they will be disappointed not to have won the Bacardi Cup and be the first Europeans to win it in its 76 year history. Unfortunately they will have to wait until next year to get the chance.”
1, Peter Bromby/Martin Siese, BER (6,(9),4,9,3,2) 24 pts
2, Iain Percy/Steve Mitchell, GBR (1,4,23,3,1,(26)) 32 pts
3, John Kostecki/Austin Sperry, USA (8,12,(28),15,7,1) 43 pts
22, Jez Fanstone/Luke Chapman, GBR (23,1,31,41,28,(DNF)) 124 pts