The annual Bacardi Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank begins today in Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida, and one-design sailors will compete in five classes on the Biscayne Bay.
The third annual event also celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Bacardi Company, as well as the 50th year that the Bacardi Cup will be held in Miami for the Star class. The Star class itself turns 100 this week. On a somber note, the Cup will remember Jose E. Argamasilla Bacardi, host of the Bacardi Cup and founder of the Bacardi Museum in Miami. He lost his battle with cancer in 2011.
Star class racing gets underway on March 5. On March 8, Viper 640, Melges 20, Melges 24 and J/80 classes will join the Stars on the Biscayne Bay. Racing for all classes will culminate on March 10.
Competition for the Cup will be fierce. Competing will be 2007 winner Hamish Pepper, 2008 Olympian Peter O’ Leary and David Burrows. The top trifecta of sailors in the Star World Championship in Australia are also competing, including Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki, as well as Elvind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen. Representing the United States will be 2009 Star World Champion George Szabo and Magnus Liljedahl, winner of an Olympic Gold medal in 2000.
Melges 24 favorites include Alan Field, Riccardo Simoneschi, and Kristen Lane. In the Melges 20 class, Mary Anne Ward will look to defend her title. In the Viper 640 fleet, defending champions Glyn Locke, David Chapman, and Ian Nicholson will face Justin Scott and Joseph Healy.
Sailors will be able to enjoy themselves in the hospitality lounge, taste Bacardi Rum, and attend the final awards dinner. Visitors are also free to check out the North Hall of the Coconut Grove Convention Center, which displays an exhibit from the Bacardi Museum, open to the public from 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM daily, free of charge.