In comparison to the relative calm of Biscayne Bay on day one of the BACARDI Cup, day three saw a sharp increase in wind speed and was a welcome change for the 89 teams racing in the headline event of the 2011 BACARDI Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank.
High clouds, chop, and an east-southeasterly breeze in the mid-teens propelled the Stars around the 9.5 nautical mile course after an aggressive start saw seven teams pay a penalty with their scores for starting early.
The day's race was won by Guillaume Florent
and Pascal Rambeau
(FRA), making for three different winners in as many races thus far in the series. Sweden's Fredrik Loof
and Max Salminen
continued their consistent form, adding a second-place finish to yesterday's win. Third place went to three-time BACARDI Cup champion Peter Bromby sailing with Lee White (BER).
"We actually didn't have such a good start,"
said Florent about race three. "But we found a good lane to the right hand side of the course. We expected a small shift there, but nothing that could give us the lead.
"But the wind was quite stable, and the speed we had there was the key. We rounded first at the top mark, and after that we managed to stay in the lead. It was a very good win."
On the competition Florent remarked, "There are so many sailors to look out for here. There are only a few top sailors from the world that aren't here. It's a very high level [of sailing] so you have to keep your eyes on many competitors.
"This is my first BACARDI Cup, and my first year in the Star with Pascal, who did a very good job today."
Rambeau is a two-time Star World Champion (2003, 2005) and won a bronze medal in the Star at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, while Florent also has an Olympic bronze medal - won at the 2008 Olympics in the Finn.
"The Olympics is definitely the goal,"
Florent concluded. "Both Pascal and I have been to the Olympics already, so we'd like to do better than we did before. We're working hard to achieve that and hope we'll be good enough."
With the midpoint of the regatta reached, the overall standings continue to reflect a close contest at the top of the fleet after teams discarded early results.
Lööf and Salminen have moved into the overall lead with three points, Florent and Rambeau (FRA) are now second with four points. Early series leaders Eivind Melleby
and Petter Morland Pedersen (NOR) dropped two places and stand third overall with five points.
Standings after day three:
1. Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen (SWE) - 3 points
2. Guillaume Florent and Pascal Rambeau (FRA) - 4 points
3. Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen (NOR) - 5 points
4. Peter O'leary and David Burones (IRL) - 7 points
5. Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (POL) - 12 points
6. Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk (NZL) - 13 points
7. Maciej Grabowski and Lukasz Lesinski (POL) - 14 points
8. Peter Vessella and Rodney Hagerbols (USA) - 15 points
Racing for the BACARDI Cup resumes Thursday 10 March, and continues through Saturday 12 March. For photos, results and additional information on the 84th Bacardi Cup and 2nd annual BACARDI Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank, visit www.BACARDICup.com and www.MiamiSailingWeek.com