With one race remaining in the 74th Annual Bacardi Cup, a handful of the world's best sailors find themselves in position to capture the Trofeo Bacardi.
Wind averaging eight knots from the east, allowed race officials to hold two races on Thursday on Miami's Biscayne Bay. After four total races, Brazil's Torben Grael and Marcelo Ferreira cling to a one-point lead over Americans Paul Cayard and Hal Haenel.
In a long series, consistency is the name of the game. And Grael and Ferreira, who won Wednesday's race, have been consistent throughout the entire regatta, including Thursday's 17th- and 6th-place finishes.
"This regatta has been a lot of fun," said Grael, who has won four Olympic medals. "As for tomorrow's strategy, we have to see what the conditions are like first. If it is windy, it will be easier for us to have a good finish." Grael has been racing in the Star class since 1988. He has most of his sailing experience in the Snipe class, including two world championships.
Climbing back into Cup contention is Bermuda's Peter Bromby and Martin Siese, who won Thursday's first race and finished third, in the second race of the day. Though technically in 10th place overall, Bromby is sitting in a great position to win his first BACARDI Cup in 10 tries. Sailors are allowed to discard their worst finish - provided the Regatta goes five races. Bromby and Siese have a fifth-place finish, but did not finish the first race of the series and were saddled with an 81st place finish.
When asked about his overall position after not even finishing the first race, Bromby, the boat's skipper, said he was shocked, considering he has a first-time crew and with Sunday's mishap. "After the first day, we busted the outhaul and it was my fault," Bromby said. "Plus, this is the first time Martin has raced in a Star boat. The first time he even saw a Star was on the way over here!"
Sitting in second overall are Paul Cayard, the 88-89 Whitbred Round the World Race champion, and his crew, Hal Haenel, who continued to be consistent with third- and 10th-place finishes Thursday.
Australian skipper Colin Beashel and crew David Giles, who were in first place before Thursday's races, had a disappointing day of racing Thursday, including 11th- and 25th-place finishes.
||Torben Grael & Marcelo Ferreira
||Paul Cayard & Hal Haenel
||George Szabo & Billy Hollowesko
||San Diego & Nassau
||Colin Beashel & David Giles
||Vince Brun & Doug Brophy