With winds gusting at an average of 12-15 knots, Brazil's Torben Grael and Marcelo Ferreira led from start to finish to easily win Wednesday's race.
"We're feeling pretty good about today," Grael said. "This might be the first time a non-North American wins the Bacardi Cup, but it is still too early to talk about this."
The victory, however, was not good enough to catapult the Olympic bronze medalists to first place overall. The top spot in the Bacardi Cup now belongs to Australian skipper Colin Beashel and crew David Giles, who finished in second place for the second consecutive race. Grael and Ferreira, who are competing in their fourth Bacardi Cup, are in second place overall. Beashel, who is competing in his seventh Bacardi Cup with Giles as his crew, said the winds were "pretty shifty," and the key to Wednesday's race was a "strong start." Beashel, who has never finished higher than fourth in the Bacardi Cup, said he would love to bring the prestigious Trofeo Bacardi back to his native Australia.
Olympic gold medalists Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl, who won the opening race, finished 17th Wednesday, dropping the pair to 5th overall. Liljedahl won the Bacardi Cup in 1997 and 1998 with Reynolds and in 1996 with Vince Brun. Reynolds, from San Diego, is a six-time Bacardi Cup champion. "We had a lot of opportunities to do better today, but never really did anything with them," said Liljedahl who is from Coral Gables. "We weren't really able to clear our wind so we had to tack several times. We went left and the wind went right, but that is sailboat racing."
Paul Cayard, who won the 1997-98 Whitbred Round the World Race, finished 13th Wednesday with his crew, Hal Haenel, putting the Americans in fourth place overall.
Because inclement weather caused races to be postponed Monday and Tuesday, race officials have scheduled two races for Thursday. Racing ends on Friday.
Results after two races
||Colin Beashel & David Giles
||Torben Grael & Marcelo Ferreira
||Rod Davis & Mark Dolan