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13 March 2009, 01:16 pm
Close Finish On The Cards At Bacardi Cup
Peter BROMBY and crew Magnus LILJEDHAL
Peter BROMBY and crew Magnus LILJEDHAL hold the overall lead with one race to go

Bacardi Cup 2009
Miami, Florida, USA

Peter BROMBY and crew Magnus LILJEDHAL hold a narrow overall lead at the top of the Star fleet leaderboard with just one race to go at the Bacardi Cup in Miami.
It was a perfect sailing day on Biscayne Bay with 10-12 knots of wind from the northeast, sunny skies and temperatures in the high 70s. It was also the perfect day for Star newcomer Andrew CAMPBELL of San Diego and crew Mike NICHOL of Miami (USA) who edged out Olympians Marc PICKEL of Germany and crew Steve MITCHELL of Great Britain on the approach to the finish line to win the fifth race in the 82nd Annual Bacardi Cup being sailed on Biscayne Bay, Miami.

CAMPBELL was in the top dozen off the start line, moved up to second at the third mark, and never let go. "We made nice gains downwind and hung tough," said CAMPBELL, a 2008 Olympian in the Laser Class and 2006 College Sailor of the Year. "Truth is my legs fell asleep as we never let up."

The two teams went bow to bow on the last upwind leg and CAMPBELL and NICHOL kept their speed up through the finish line beating PICKEL and MITCHELL by seconds.

"There was some pressure to keep up the lead, but as the race goes on, the pace gets to you," said PICKEL who had an almost 30 boat lead at the first mark. "We are still pretty happy with the results," he said.

"If there is a competition to do a year, it has to be the Bacardi Cup," added PICKEL. "The camaraderie among the competitors creates a special atmosphere and I believe that this Bay is the best place to sail Stars."

2005 Bacardi Cup champion Mark MENDELBLATT of St. Pete, Florida (USA) and crew Bruno PRADA of Brazil, took third place today after running in the top six for most of the race.

"We got off to a good start, even though we choose the wrong side," said MENDELBLATT. "To be third today means we still have a shot at the regatta, an opportunity we were close to loosing if it wasn't for today's efforts."

Rounding out the top five were Irish Olympian Peter O'LEARY and crew Tim GOODBODY (IRL), and Swiss Olympian Flavio MARAZZI and crew Petter Morland PEDERSEN (NOR).

Overall leaders Peter BROMBY (BER) and crew Magnus LILJEDAHL (USA), both Olympians and Bacardi Cup champions, finished 24th in the 64-boat fleet and keep the number one slot with 12.3 points after discarding today's race. All competitors toss out their worst race after completing five races in the six-race Bacardi Cup.

MENDELBLATT and PRADA move from fourth into second overall with 17 points after discarding their day two finish, and Gull Lake, "weekend warrior" Jon VANDERMOLEN and crew Geoff EWENSON (USA) drop down from second to third overall after discarding today's 20th place finish.

The final race and sixth race in the 2009 Bacardi Cup will be sailed today, 13 March. Follow the racing action at where you will find daily videos and photos.

Results - click here

Janet Maizner
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