Full spectrum at Bacardi Winter Series, Michael Goldfarb's Warcanoe is the winner of the Melges 24 fleet

War Canoe USA 825 - ZGN

December 15, 2019 - Miami, FL, USA – After strong winds got the Bacardi Invitational Winter Series started yesterday, the J/70 and Melges 24 fleets went out to the race course today under motor. Carol Ewing and her Race Committee were not optimistic for breeze above five knots, so the first race went off slowly with a slight pressure build toward the end.

Michael Goldfarb’s Warcanoe, won the first race of the day in the the Melges 24 fleet while Trey Sheehan in the J/70 fleet, who lacked speed in the breezy upwinds yesterday, found his groove today in the light air. His team, Hooligan, kept to their strategy of playing the right side to take the J/70 win by a wide margin.

Warcanoe USA825 ZGN

Warcanoe USA825 at the Melges 24 Pre-Worlds 2019 in Villasimius, Italy. Photo Zerogradinord.

The breeze built for the second race, but remained light. Again it was Sheehan who crossed the line first in the J/70 Class. Young Harry Melges and his team of lads on Zenda Express were happy to get out of the cold in Wisconsin to win race five.

Although Harry advises that the key to going fast in light air is to buy a new boat, his crew also attributes their victory to the local knowledge of Miami’s Ripley Shelly, who banked on going right on the upwinds.

Race six, the final race of the day, was the most interesting with new breeze coming down the course and teams being able to stretch their legs a bit on the high side. Top Corinthian team, Three and a Half Men, skippered by Steve Suddath won race six and proved that they have what it takes to be in the top in big breeze and light air. Just behind Suddath was a battle for second to fifth position, with four teams getting into a jibing duel coming into a photo finish.

In the J/70 feet, things mixed up a bit, especially among the top teams, with Sheehan, Brim, and Heaton each scoring in the double digits. Joel Ronning’s Catapult won the final race, while Jeff Janov’s Minor Threat and Ryan McKillen’s team Surge were second and third respectively.

McKillen and Janov’s consistency earned them first and second overall, with Trey Sheehan rounding out the J/70 podium. McKillen’s winning crew included John Wallace, Sam Loughborough, and Mark Mendelblatt.

Bruce Ayres’ Monsoon, who led after day one in the Melges 24 fleet, had a tough day that included a BFD in the last race, taking them out of the running. Despite hiccups in the first race of the day, Kevin Welch and Travis Weisleder finished second and third overall. Michael Goldfarb with crew of Cole Brauer, David Brink, and Johnny Goldsberry took the win, the only boat in the fleet with no finish with double digits.

War Canoe USA 825

Teams return to Miami in January for the second event to complete the Bacardi Invitational Winter Series.

Melges 24 (19 Boats)
1. Michael Goldfarb/Cole Brauer/David Brink/Johnny Goldsberry -5-[7]-3-1-3-2; 14
2. Kevin Welch/Jeff Madrigali/Serena Village/Mark Ivey/Ian Sloan -4-1-2-[12]-4-3; 14
3. Travis Weisleder/John Bowden/Collin Leon/Caroline Main/Jeremy Wilmot -2-2-5-[15]-6-5; 20
4. Bora Gulari/Norman Berge/Kyle Navin/Ian Liberty/Dave Hughes -6-3-4-2-5-[9]; 20
5. Bruce Ayres/Mike Buckley/Jeff Reynolds/Chelsea Simms/George Peet -1-11-1-7-9-[20]; 29

Full results

Source: Kathleen Tocke

The second edition of the Bacardi Invitational Winter Series 2019-20 features two events for the Melges 24 and J/70 fleets on December 14-15 and January 25-26 in Miami, FL. Following on from the Bacardi Winter Series, the Melges 24 and J/70 teams will be invited to return to Miami and join the Viper 640 and Star class sailors for the Bacardi Invitational Regatta and iconic 93rd Bacardi Cup from March 1-7, 2020.