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Scuttlebutt News:
2007 Star Bacardi Cup

Lynn Fitzpatrick of Miami Regattas is following the 80th rendition of this storied event, with her daily updates from Miami, FL posted below.

Feb. 28 - March 1 - March 4 - March 5 - March 6 - March 7 - March 8 - March 9

Day Six: Hamish & Giles win the 80th Annual Bacardi Cup
(March 9, 2007) With a sly grin, Hamish Pepper said, “Got to love it!” referring to his season here in Miami, which started with a victory at the North Americans and ended with another at the 80th Annual Bacardi Cup. It sounds trite, but we had another day in Paradise. We sailed out an hour earlier today than usual with whispy cirrus clouds overhead and an 8-10 knot breeze from the ENE.

Everyone has had a wonderful time on the water and on shore. Harry Walker, who is 87 years young and who started sailing Stars 71 years ago, is competing in his 33rd Bacardi Cup. He “loves them all. They all have been tremendous.” He could not be more pleased with his average score of a 54 going into the final race and with his crew, Daren Jensen’s performance.

The highlight of the regatta and the season was watching the nail-biting drama unfold as Freddie Loof and Anders Ekstrom hunted down Jock Kohlaus and Larry Scott during the second race of the Bacardi Cup. The applause for the two Corinthians, sporting their khakis, blue blazers and white shirts and Jock’s classic bow tie, during the mid-week prize giving at Coral Reef Yacht Club was heartfelt and well deserved.

Going into the final day, the top three American teams were virtually tied for tenth, so in addition to watching for changes in the regattas standings among the leaders, many of the spectators were keeping an eye out for Americans George Szabo and Magnus Lijikahl, John MacCausland and Bob Schofield and John Dane and Austin Sperry.

Observing boats checking the wind before the start, it seemed as if the right was favored. Pepper/Giles, Bromby/McNiven and Loof/Ekstrom were at the committee boat end of the line. A few minutes after the start, Loof/Ekstrom took Pepper/Giles’ stern. In the meantime, Kusznierewicz/ Zycki looked to have the lead from the middle right. The Swiss, Germans and Italians were in the same vicinity as the Poles as the horsetails knitted together over the right and sunshine remained over the center of the course. Two sunburned Dutchmen, Sander Jorrisen and Erik Veldhuizen came out of the middle left to round the weather mark first. Pepper/Giles followed with Americans Andy Macdonald and Brian Fatih and Australians Iain Murray and Andrew Palfrey ahead of a long line of boats at the offset mark.

During the first run, the Dutch remained to the left to retain the lead and round the left leeward gate along with Macdonald/Fatih. Pepper/Giles and Loof/Ekstrom took the right gate. Kusznierewicz/Zycki rounded the right gate just behind Dane/Sperry in fifth and sixth, respectively.

Loof/Ekstrom jumped out in the lead by staying a little to the left up the second beat in clean air and pressure and rounded the second weather mark thirty seconds ahead of Pepper/Giles. As the wind dropped, shifty conditions jumbled up the fleet. Germans Marc Pickel and Ingo Borkowski, Americans Vince Brun and Doug Brophy, Italians Luca Modena and Michele Marchesini played the middle left to pass Macdonald/Fatih as they fleet approached the second weather mark.

While the Stars spread out going downwind, the Etchells, sailing the Coral Reef Cup, were further to the north on Biscayne Bay heading upwind. Positions changed on the run and on the final beat of the regatta. The winner of the final race was Germany’s Matthias Miller and Manuel Voigt. Another German boat, sailed by Marc Pickel and Ingo Borkowski was second across the line and Freddie Loof and Anders Ekstrom were third. They were only able to put four points on Hamish Pepper and David Giles, who finished seventh. Iain Murray and Andrew Palfrey were fourth across the line and finished the regatta in fourth place. Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki sailed their throwout and fell behind Freddie Loof and Anders Ekstrom in the regatta standings.

As far as the race among the three American teams who were virtually tied for tenth going into the final race. John Dane and Austin Sperry won that race and finished the regatta in eleventh. - Lynn Fitzpatrick

Final results after six races (top ten of 77 boats)
1. NZL, Hamish Pepper/ David Giles, 2-3-1-(16)-2-7, 15 points
2. SWE, Fredrik Loof/ Anders Ekstrom, 8-2-2-(18)-3-3, 18
3. POL, Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Dominik Zycki, 4-9-7-2-1-(11), 23
4. AUS, Ian Murray / Andrew Palfrey, 6-5-6-8-(76/OCS)-4, 29
5. GER, Marc Pickel/ Ingo Borkowski, 10-(48)-8-10-6-2, 36
6. GER, Matthias Miller/ Manuel Voigt, 7-7-(17)-11-11-1, 37
7. BER, Peter Bromby / Bill McNiven, 5-11-10-5-(76/OCS)-10, 41
8. NOR, Eivind Melleby/ Petter Morland Pedersen, 12-14-20-4-10-(76/OCS), 60
9. ITA, Luca Modena/ Michele Marchesini, 11-18-(31)-6-19-6, 60
10. SUI, Henrik Dannesboe/ Eki Heinonen, 20-(46)-5-14-5-18, 62

Click here for full results

Click here for Race Six photos by Fried Elliott

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Day Five: The Cost of being in Good Company
(March 8, 2007) November’s Schoonmaker Cup kicked off the Star sailing season in Miami. The Bacardi Cup marks the close of the Miami season for the Stars. Everyone is making arrangements to transport their boats. Many of them are heading to the Western Hemisphere Championships in Tampa, FL or the Princess Sophia Trophy in Spain. Trailers and containers will roll out of Miami early next week.

Logistics play a big part in every campaign and it is not unusual to overhear competitors making arrangements to pick people up at the airport, purchase equipment, borrow coach boats, or ship boats from one sailing venue to another. All of this begs the question: What does it take to do an Olympic campaign in a Star?

The first person that I asked was He Wang, the Chinese Star crew who has been in Miami since before the Rolex Miami OCR in January. Wang speaks English and is studying in Canada. Wang and his skipper, Hongquan Li, have been learning how to sail their first Star boat. Wang, who used to sail a Finn, says, “it’s weird. Very few people in China sail. I am the right size, so I was selected as the Star crew.” The Chinese coach arrived in advance of Li and Wang to set up their boat earlier this season, and they have been on their own ever since. They have been basking questions of and learning from their competitors. Wang did not seem to know how much their campaign would cost, but indicated that they would be getting another boat soon. If there is any pressure on them, it is to learn how to sail Star. As representatives of host country, Li and Wang will be at the Olympic Games in Qingdao.

For the other Star sailors, this coming July’s Worlds in Cascais, Portugal is the focus of their attention. The first twelve countries to qualify to compete in the Star Class at the Olympics will be determined at the event. Prior to today’s race, I asked some of the Americans for their thoughts on doing an Olympic campaign. At the moment, George Szabo has one boat and plans on chartering a boat in Europe. He estimates that he spends 100 days a year sailing a Star and can’t bear to count the number of days he devotes to logistics and traveling as part of the campaign. Seasoned veteran, Mark Reynolds, currently has one boat and will have a new one delivered for the Worlds. He plans on sailing the Worlds and the Olympic Trials and agrees that it’s a good idea to have two boats. “The good thing about the Star is there is a good market for used boats and equipment. The Stars hold their value, unlike a 49er or an Yngling.” Unfortunately, Mark had to reach into his quiver of masts this afternoon after he and Hal broke their mast at the top of the second beat.

Bermudian Peter Bromby has been campaigning a Star for eighteen years. He estimates that his last Olympic campaign cost about $350,000. Peter had a sponsor and attended all of the regattas that he could. With costs escalating, this time around he is still searching for a primary sponsor. While he receives some funding from his country’s Olympic Association and some from the Solidarity Fund for small nations, a good portion of his funding comes from his team’s share of the Christmas tree sales in Bermuda. As the owner of a trucking company, he intentionally built some flexibility into his life so that he could sail. He is appreciative of the flexibility that his crew Bill Mc Niven’s employer has afforded him. Like George Szabo, he too commented on the rumors of what the Europeans are spending on Olympic Star campaigns.

After racing today, I spoke with Mateusz Kusznierewicz, the winning skipper in today’s race. Mateusz had two sailing and gear related businesses in Poland which he sold in order to devote his time to the campaign. His funding comes from Polish Yachting Association and his primary sponsor, era, a telecommunications company. Mercedes; Omega; Diner’s Club and Henri Lloyd are his other sponsors. Since winning his Olympic medal in 1996, Mateusz has used his celebrity status in Poland to work with large companies such as era to develop creative marketing campaigns targeted specifically toward his fellow countrymen.

Mateusz and Dominik have attended nearly all of the Star regattas here in Miami this season and they arrive well in advance of the big regattas to train. They have two Stars and will probably purchase one this year and another next year before the Olympics. Their next regattas are the Princess Sofia and the Eastern Europeans in Majorca. Mateusz will be sailing the Palma regatta with another crew while Zycki and his wife welcome their first child. He estimates that his four-year campaign will cost $1 million.

New Zealander Hamish Pepper travels quite a bit to attend regattas and admits that in order for him to do a Star campaign he needs to be based in Miami or in Europe. North American and World Champion, Pepper is working hard to find sponsorship.

Of course, everyone is envious of the well-funded British campaign. Ian Percy isn’t here to reveal the truth, but some surmise that his campaign was between $1.2 and $1.4 million last time around. While the time and expense involved in campaigning a Star may come as a surprise to some, don’t be discouraged. Talented young sailors who are creative on the race course are proving to be equally adept at attracting media attention and sponsorship packages.

Many of the young sailors who have been campaigning one Class of boat or another for years did well today. Kusznierewicz/Zycki established a lead on the first run and kept Pepper/Giles and Loof/Ekstrom at bay for the rest of the race. The Germans, Stanjek/Kleen, and the Swiss team of Henrik Dannesboe and Eki Heinonen finished fourth and fifth, respectively. The Swiss had their second fifth place finish for the regatta. Two of the regattas top five contenders, Murray/Palfrey and Bromby/McNiven were scored OCS for today’s race. The weather forecast is for ENE winds at 10 mph, a bit lighter than today’s breeze.

Preliminary results after five races (top ten of 77 boats)
1. NZL, Hamish Pepper/ David Giles, 2-3-1-(16)-2, 8 points
2. POL, Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Dominik Zycki, 4-(9)-7-2-1, 14
3. SWE, Fredrik Loof/ Anders Ekstrom, 8-2-2-(18)-3, 15
4. AUS, Ian Murray / Andrew Palfrey, 6-5-6-8-(76/OCS), 25
5. BER, Peter Bromby / Bill McNiven, 5-11-10-5-(76/OCS), 31
6. GER, Marc Pickel/ Ingo Borkowski, 10-(48)-8-10-6, 34
7. GER, Matthias Miller/ Manuel Voigt, 7-7-(17)-11-11, 36
8. NOR, Eivind Melleby/ Petter Morland Pedersen, 12-14-(20)-4-10, 40
9. SUI, Henrik Dannesboe/ Eki Heinonen, 20-(46)-5-14-5, 44
10. USA, John Dane/ Austin Sperry, 9-(41)-30-1-9, 49

Click here for full results

Click here for Race Five photos by Fried Elliott

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Day Four: Experience beats Seasoned Veteran and Rising Star
(March 7, 2007) Rather than paying attention to shifts, pressure and clouds Wednesday afternoon, I thought about the broad range of competitors participating in the Bacardi Cup. Yes, over twenties countries are represented. Yes, nearly thirty teams from throughout the US are here. Financial advisors, manufacturers, retirees, boat builders, sail makers, and full time sailors are here as well as a number of healthy and wealthy retirees. Most of them tell me that they are single. Maybe sometime this week I’ll take a legitimate poll to find out the truth.

At the final leeward mark, Experience lead, Seasoned Veteran was second, and Rising Star was third. Translation – John Dane and Austin Sperry were in first. The pair is currently ranked first on the US Olympic Team. Unlike some of the other teams vying to represent the US in the Star Class, this team should remain cemented together through the trials. Trinity Yachts, the Gulf Coast’s post-Katrina recovery poster child, is taking orders for delivery in 2010 (he has a bit of time on his hands given Trinity’s order back log), They won the Bacardi Cup in 2004.

Mark Reynolds and Hal Haenel were in second place. Mark has won the worlds, has represented the US four times in the Star Class at the Olympics, and has won two Olympic gold medals and one silver medal. Tito Bacardi has presented the Trofeo Bacardi Perpetual to Mark seven times; the record for the event. Hal Haenel has won an Olympic gold medal, an Olympic silver medal and one gold star. Tito has also shaken Hal’s hand as a crew, more times than any other crew’s (three times). Thanks to Mark’s Quantum loft in San Diego, with the help of George Szabo, there are more Quantum sails in the fleet than any other.

Rising Star (with the long name) Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki moved from the Finn Class to the Star Class at the beginning of this Olympic quadrennium. They have been sailing the boat for a year and a half and are always formidable competition. Mateusz won an Olympic gold medal in the Finn.

Now as for age in the fleet – so as not to give away any secrets, I’ll use combined age. Sunday’s winners – 71, Monday’s winners – 117, Tuesday’s winners - 78, Wednesday’s winners – 99, Harry Walker (Exalted Grand Master) and Darren Jensen – 125. More on age later this week. I’m sure that we’ll sort out which team is the combined oldest and which is the youngest by the end of the regatta. Once they start sailing a Star, they’re hooked forever.

By the time I wandered up to the finish line, Rising Star had overtaken Seasoned Veteran and Experience retained the lead. I’m keeping an eye on Ian Murray. He hasn’t been in the limelight, but he’s been consistent and is always threatening the leaders, especially on the downwind legs. Prof O’Connell, the winning Irish skipper of the first race, had back problems and headed in before the second general recall. Only one boat was scored ZFP after three attempts to get off a start. - Lynn Fitzpatrick

Preliminary results after four races (top ten of 77 boats)
1. NZL, Hamish Pepper/ David Giles, 2-3-1-16, 22 points
2. POL, Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Dominik Zycki, 4-9-7-2, 22
3. AUS, Ian Murray / Andrew Palfrey, 6-5-6-8, 25
4. SWE, Fredrik Loof/ Anders Ekstrom, 8-2-2-18, 30
5. BER, Peter Bromby / Bill McNiven, 5-11-10-5, 31
6. GER, Matthias Miller/ Manuel Voigt, 7-7-17-11, 42
7. NOR, Eivind Melleby/ Petter Morland Pedersen, 12-14-20-4, 50
8. USA, George Szabo/ Magnus Liljedahl, 15-15-4-19, 53
9. AUT, Hans Spitzauer/ Christian Nehammer 14 [AVG]-17-11-15, 57.3
10. ITA, Luca Modena/ Michele Marchesini, 11-18-31-6, 66

Click here for full results

Click here for Race Four photos by Fried Elliott

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Day Three: Hamish & Co. On Top

(March 6, 2007) Hamish Pepper and David Giles (NZL) had a stellar start, about four boats down from the committee boat. To his right was the another Gold Star in the fleet, Freddie Loof and Anders Ekstrom (SWE). The two Gold Stars spent most of the 10.5-mile race trying to get around one another. That’s not to say that others didn’t find themselves out in the lead or in the mix.

Portugal’s Fabian MacGowan and Federico Engelhard (ARG) managed to hold onto the lead around the first weather mark, the first leeward mark and all the way up the second beat. That’s a long time to stay composed when you have Loof/ Eksrom, Szabo/ Liljedahl (USA), Pepper/ Giles, Miller/ Voigt (GER), and Kusznierewicz/ Zycki (POL) to hold off. Heading up the top of the second weather leg, it was clear that each of the top four boats wanted to protect the right. Pepper/ Giles bowed out of the tacking drill and stayed to leeward while Loof/ Ekstrom kept trying to get to the right of MacGowan/ Englehard. At the top of the beat, MacGowan/ Engelhard was ahead and Pepper/ Giles crossed Loof/ Ekstrom to tack onto the starboard layline.

Down the run, the devil in sheep’s skin wanted the right, but was forced left by the Swedes. Staying low, the Kiwis took the lead, with Szabo/ Liljedahl gaining inside position on MacGowan/ Englehard to slip by at the final leeward mark. Going up the final beat the Kiwis favored the right and the Swedes and Szabo/ Lilijedahl went middle right. When the threesome crossed well up the final beat in heavier air, Pepsi and Giles were ahead.

Pepsi and Giles
The regatta leaders arrived at the dock smiling. Pepper said that Giles made him look good as the breeze came up. “They’re the ones with the medals,” he said referring to his coach and crew, “I’m still trying to get my first.” Coach Aaron McIntosh and crew David Giles each have an Olympic bronze medal, with McIntosh earning a bronze in boardsailing at the Sydney games and Giles winning his in the Star Class at the Atlanta Games. Annabel, the other member of Hamish & Co., is in Valencia providing updates to all of the Star sailors who had to remain to train with their America’s Cup teams, and are missing out on the 80th Annual Bacardi Cup and Magnus Liljedhal’s birthday. Ian Percy, Andrew Simpson, Carl Anderson, Mark Mendleblatt, Mark Strube, Andy Horton, Phillippe Presti, Francesco Bruni, Phil Trinter, Torben Grael and Paul Cayard - we miss you and hope you’ll be in Miami for next year’s Star Worlds. - Lynn Fitzpatrick

Preliminary results after three races (top ten of 77 boats)
1. NZL, Hamish Pepper/ David Giles, 2-3-1, 6 points
2. SWE, Fredrik Loof/ Anders Ekstrom, 8-2-2, 12
3. AUS, Ian Murray / Andrew Palfrey, 6-5-6, 17
4. POL, Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Dominik Zycki, 4-9-7, 20
5. BER, Peter Bromby / Bill McNiven, 5-11-10, 26
6. GER, Matthias Miller/ Manuel Voigt, 7-7-17, 31
7. USA, George Szabo/ Magnus Liljedahl, 15-15-4, 34
8. AUT, Hans Spitzauer/ Christian Nehammer 14 [AVG]-17-11, 42
9. CRO, Marin Lovrovic/ Sinisa Mikulicic, 19-12-13, 44
10. SUI, Flavio Marazzi/ Donat Hofer, 14-4-27, 45

Click here for full results

Click here for Race Three photos by Fried Elliott

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Day Two: Where did 8043 come from?
(March 5, 2007) With a square line and about a third of the fleet determined not to push the start in fear of having more letters added to their score, the 78-boat Star Bacardi Cup fleet got off to a clean first start at noon on Monday. Pity the teams who were black flagged in the first race on Sunday, then for Monday’s race went to the right side on the first beat (ugly move) and to the left on the second beat (ugly move again). However, if you happened to do just the opposite, you may have been in for the thrill of your sailing career.

Despite not being on anyone’s pre-event favorites list, sail number 8043 belonging to Jock Kohlaus and Larry Scott, rounded the first weather mark in fifth in the company of skippers Ian Murray, Freddie Loof, Mark Reynolds, and Flavio Marazzi. Kohlaus/ Scott passed a boat or two on the run. The first three teams chose the favored right leeward gate, and continued upwind to the right to avoid the approaching downwind traffic and benefit from the increasing pressure on that side of the course. Having dug into the right side the hardest, Kohlaus/ Scott found themselves with a 100-yard jump on second place Ian Murray as the two boats crossed two-thirds of the way up the second beat.

Positions throughout the fleet shifted quite a bit in the fickle winds. As they approached the second weather mark Kohlaus/ Scott were still well ahead of Loof/ Ekstrom, Museler/ Lidecis, Marazzi/ Hofert, and Murray/ Palfrey. They extended the lead on the run with everybody cheering for them as they rounded the final leeward mark. It was up to them to loosely cover the past Star World Championship team of Loof/ Ekstrom on the last upwind leg to the finish. Loof/ Ekstrom tried to draw them into a tacking duel, but the leaders tried to minimize their tacks against the strong Swedes. Spectators held their collective breath as Kohlaus/ Scott barely crossed Loof/ Ekstrom on port within a hundred yards of the finish line. The Swedes tried to grind them down by hiking with their hands over their heads, but in the end they were nosed out at the finish.

With a parched mouth, a racing heart, and sweat beading off him, Kohlaus smiled and said, “just another day on Biscayne Bay, but Augie’s not here.” I’m not even sure that Augie would have figured out the Bay today. Congratulations Jock and Larry, you have made your local Miami fleet proud! - Lynn Fitzpatrick

Preliminary results after two races (top ten of 77 boats)
1. NZL, Hamish Pepper/ David Giles, 2-3, 5 points
2. SWE, Fredrik Loof/ Anders Ekstrom, 8-2, 10
3. AUS, Ian Murray / Andrew Palfrey, 6-5, 11
4. POL, Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Dominik Zycki, 4-9, 13
5. GER, Matthias Miller/ Manuel Voigt, 7-7, 14
6. BER, Peter Bromby / Bill McNiven, 5-11, 16
7. SUI, Flavio Marazzi/ Donat Hofer, 14-4, 18
8. USA Jock Kohlhas/ Larry Scott, 23-1, 24
9. NOR, Eivind Melleby/ Petter Morland Pedersen, 12-14, 26
10. ITA, Luca Modena/ Michele Marchesini, 11-18, 29

Click here for full results

click to enlarge
Jock Kohlaus and Larry Scott narrowly edging out Loof/ Ekstrom at the finish.

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Day One: Prof O’Connell Outsmarts the Rest of the Bacardi Fleet
(March 4, 2007) All week long I kept asking Prof O’Connell who was going fast during practice sessions out on the Bay and he kept saying “we’re sailing pretty fast” or “we’re doing well” or “we won the practice race”. Knowing Prof, I could tell that he was pleased with practice, but I couldn’t tell whether he was telling the truth. Prof has been campaigning hard for the past two years but took some time off after the 2006 Worlds, regrouped and started sailing with an old friend, Ben Cooke.

Prof and Ben sailed together for the first time during this year’s Rolex Miami OCR and started the series with a top ten finish. They sailed well until Prof threw out his back and the pair retired from the series. Today they rounded the first weather mark in the lead, gybed and extended their lead down the leeward leg. By the bottom mark, Prof and Ben had about at 200 yard lead on Hamish Pepper and David Giles. The Kiwis closed the gap up the next beat and down the final run. With a freshening breeze and sun to the east, Prof and Ben flawlessly rounded the right gate while Hamish went for a quick swim as he rounded the left gate. Thankfully, while he did his back flip he hooked the main sheet with his feet and managed to pull himself hand over hand back onto the boat.

Hamish and Giles tried to draw Prof and Ben back to the middle of the course, but after about 25 tacks up the final beat, and the Irishmen maintained their lose cover and crossed the line ahead of the Kiwis.

A record 23 boats were black flagged and sailed back to Coconut Grove after making their way to the first weather mark. Needless to say, many are filing for redress. - Lynn Fitzpatrick

Preliminary results after first race (top ten of 77 boats)
1. IRL, Maurice O'Connell/ Ben Cooke
2. NZL, Hamish Pepper/ David Giles
3. GER, Robert Stanjek / Frithjof Kleen
4. POL, Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Dominik Zycki
5. BER, Peter Bromby / Bill McNiven
6. AUS, Ian Murray / Andrew Palfrey
7. GER, Matthias Miller/ Manuel Voigt
8. SWE, Fredrik Loof/ Anders Ekstrom
9. USA, John Dane/ Austin Sperry
10. GER, Marc Pickel/ Ingo Borkowski

Click here for full results

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Southern Stars
(March 1, 2007) How does an incredibly talented sailor go from never having set foot in a Star to winning the World Championship and the North American Championship in the same year? Many things contributed to Hamish Pepper’s 2006 success in the Star Class, but if you ask me, it’s the people with whom he surrounds himself that enable him to excel. Bright and affable, Hamish has dedicated, friendly and talented traveling and training partners. David Giles, Carl Williams and Annabel Jeaffreson are rarely at the same regatta, but one can be sure that Hamish is sailing at his best when at least two of his companions are around.

Australian David Giles did not sail the Worlds or the NA’s with Hamish, but this superstar crew doubles as an awesome coach. In the winter of 2006 Hamish and David sailed the Levin Memorial and finished a respectable 8th. Following the Levin, David became the team coach. After coaching Hamish and Carl to a 14th place finish in the last January’s Biscayne Cup, he put Carl through a week of boot camp on Biscayne Bay while Hamish took off for Key West Race Week. Well trained and in the right frame of mind, the team from Oceania shot to the top of the fleet and finished 5th in the 2006 Rolex Miami OCR.

Throughout the spring and summer of 2006 the David and Carl juggled their various commitments and America’s Cup campaigns so that Hamish always had a stellar crew. At last year’s world championship in San Francisco, with less than a year in the Star Class, the Kiwi’s, Hamish and Carl, set the pace for the regatta by winning the first race and ultimately winning the gold star.

So how does Annabel Jeaffreson fit in? Well, Hamish is always at the top of his game when Annabel’s around. She’s a terrific friend and companion and has a radiant personality. So whenever you see any combination of this foursome together, watch out because you are about to encounter some of the nicest devils in sheep’s clothing that you will every find on the sailing circuit.

Will the fledgling Hamish & Co. add another coveted title to its meteoric ascendancy? Follow Hamish and David as they team up next week during the 80th Annual Bacardi Cup. - Lynn Fitzpatrick

PS: Ian Percy was here for barely a day. He was able to go for a practice sail ... before he was recalled to Valencia. No Bacardi for him.

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Busy Biscayne Bay
(Feb. 28, 2007) All of the hoists will be working overtime this weekend in Miami. Etchells were splashed on Wednesday in preparation for the Midwinters, which starts Thursday and runs through Saturday. The 70-boat fleet is chock full of talent. The Midwinter Championship will also be used to determine the hotly contested Jaguar Series Championship. Going into the fourth and final regatta of the Jaguar Series, Jud Smith and Henry Frazer’s American team is tied for the lead with Oscar Strugstad, Andy Beadsworth and Simon Fry from England. Phil Garland’s team is nipping at their heels in third.

Many of Europe’s top Star sailors have been in town for quite a while. They are avoiding the cold, training for the 80th Annual Bacardi Cup (beginning Sunday with over 70-boats), and preparing for the European circuit. The two crews that have spent the most time in the boat yard and on the water lately are Germans Marc Pickel and Ingo Borkowski and Swiss Flavio Marazzi and Lukas von Bidder. Each team has a third crewmember – a boat builder/rigger, because they have designed and built new Stars. The Swiss boat has completed the measurement certification process with the Class and the German P-Star certification is expected to be completed by the end of March. After sailing for ten days, Marazzi and crew have pulled their boat apart and are going through a punch list of subtle modifications before they race the new boat. In the meantime, Pickel and Borkowski, who had sailed some of the season’s earlier regattas in the P-Star, have been getting reacquainted with their old boat.

Between the Etchells and the Stars, a galaxy of talent will be clustered on Biscayne Bay, for the next several days. - Lynn Fitzpatrick

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