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13 March 2009, 11:16 pm
Bermuda's BROMBY And Crew LILJEDAHL Win 2009 Bacardi Cup
Peter BROMBY and Magnus LILJEDAHL with the Bacardi Cup
Peter BROMBY and Magnus LILJEDAHL with the Bacardi Cup

Bacardi Cup 2009
Miami, Florida, USA

Bermuda's Peter BROMBY and veteran Star Class crew Magnus LILJEDAHL of Miami won the 2009 Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta on Biscayne Bay in Miami.
Peter BROMBY (BER) and Magnus LILJEDAHL (USA) sailed to victory on the final race in the six race regatta to finish with a commanding six-point lead over Floridian Mark MENDELBLATT (USA), the 2005 Bacardi Cup champion, and crew Bruno PRADA (BRA) who finished second overall.

BROMBY took an early lead on the left side of the fleet following a very strong start and held the lead at each of the first three marks. He rounded the fourth mark in second place behind seven-time Bacardi Cup Champion Mark REYNOLDS (USA) of San Diego, sailing this week with crew Hal HAENEL (USA), but regained the lead on the final leg to capture both the Day Six victory and his third Bacardi Cup championship.

"Every time we needed some extra horsepower, we seemed to find it today," said BROMBY. "We were keeping an eye on MENDELBLATT. If he would have taken control of us, things would have been very different. Our strategy was to cover him throughout the race."

Added LILJEDAHL, "We attacked [MENDELBLATT] at the start, tripped him a few more times, and sucker-punched him a couple times at the end. We just needed to stay ahead of him today."

Rounding out the overall top five were New Yorker Rick MERRIMAN and crew Phil TRINTER (USA); Switzerland's Olympic Star sailor Flavio MARAZZI and crew Petter Morland PEDERSEN (NOR); and veteran Star sailor Paul CAYARD (USA), who has finished second in the Bacardi Cup four times, with crew Austin SPERRY (USA), the 2008 Olympian representing the USA in the Star Class.

"Our start was a disaster," said 2003 US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Augie DIAZ (USA). "Half way up the first weather leg, we had an opportunity to come across, but we got greedy. Had we gone toward the fleet, we might have been in the top 20. For us, it was combination of sailing badly and a bad start. BROMBY, however, was on fire this week; he is very deserving of this victory."

"I came in not knowing what to expect," added Clay BISCHOFF (USA), a Star Class up-and-comer and winner of the 2009 ISAF Team Racing World Championship with Team USA in Australia. "I came to learn as much as I could, regardless of the scores and standings. Growing up in Miami, seeing this bay, and being around a group of great guys willing to pass down their knowledge created just a perfect atmosphere for me as a young sailor. I can't wait to come back to the Bacardi Cup."

More than 60 teams representing 15 countries competed in the 82nd Bacardi Cup Star Class Regatta, one of the most competitive Star Class events in the world. The legendary Bacardi Cup, ranked as one of the best international sailing regattas in the world, is sponsored in full by Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. and co-hosted by the Coral Reef Yacht Club and the U.S. Sailing Center in Miami, Florida. What started out as a three-day event with less than 10 boats in Havana, Cuba in 1927, remains one of the few sporting events in which weekend enthusiasts have the opportunity to compete head on with Olympians and Star World Champions.

Results - click here

Janet Maizner
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