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27 February 2007, 10:13 am
High Stakes And Renewed Rivalries
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Acura Miami Grand Prix 2007
Miami, Florida, USA

The stakes will be high when the 2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix starts on 8 March. For many of the programmes, it signals a resumption of their Key West battles. In addition to renewed rivalries and Miami class championships, the Acura Grand Prix Awards will double the race course drama. The Farr 40 class will also have their National Championship at stake.
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The Acura Grand Prix Awards will be presented to the boats with the lowest combined cumulative points for Acura Key West and the Acura Miami Grand Prix. Given the stature of both events and the competitiveness of these four grand prix groups, the Farr 40, Mumm 30, Melges 32 and IRC winners will be special champions.

Vincenzo ONORATO's (ITA) Mascalzone Latino is the defending Farr 40 2006 Acura Grand Prix Champion. Ernesto BERTARELLI's (SUI) Alinghi won this year in Key West handily. An America's Cup warm-up in Miami? ONORATO is a Valencia challenger with Cup winning skipper Russell COUTTS (NZL) as his tactician. BERTARELLI is the well known defender and has Brad BUTTERWORTH (NZL) as his Miami tactician.

Given a ten race series with no discard, anything could happen in the Farr 40 class. In addition to Alinghi and Mascalzone Latino, contenders for the Farr 40 2007 Acura Grand Prix award are Flash Gordon, Twins, Opus One and Nerone.

Loaded With Possibilities

The IRC big boat class is loaded with possibilities. Dan MEYERS' (USA) Farr 60 Numbers recent one point Key West win over Edgar CATO's (USA) Hissar in the IRC 1 class has him tied on points with Magic Glove, Colm BARRINGTON's (IRL) new Ker 50. Magic Glove also had a one point win in IRC 2. TP52's Samba Pa Ti of John KILROY (USA) and Windquest of Doug DEVOS (USA) were close behind, making them serious contenders for the combined award.

All but one of the sixteen high-performance Melges 32s were on the line in Key West. Italian Claudio RECCHI's (ITA) impressive win last January makes Let's Roll the boat to beat. Mike CARROLL and Marty KULLMAN's (USA) New Wave, Jeff ECKLUND's (USA) Star and Simon WILLIAMS' (USA) Fresh Guidance are close enough in points to be serious contenders for the combined trophy. WILLIAMS has World Champion Bill HARDESTY (USA) on board in Miami.

Watch for a good battle between the Netherlands based Mean Machine of Peter DE RIDDER and the Santa Barbara, California crew on Deneen DEMOURKAS's (USA)Groovederci. DEMOURKAS is the defending Acura Grand Prix champion and DE RIDDER is the defending Miami class champ, winning in 2006 by just two points. He recently was second in Key West, a tiebreaker away from the class win. The Mumm 30s also race with no discard.

Video Broadcasts

Racing is 8-11 March and these high profile classes will all see plenty of action in this ten race series just south of Miami's Government Cut. TV and Internet Productions will bring the Miami racing excitement into homes and offices around the world. Acura is sponsoring a special internet production which was available nightly after racing. It can be viewed on www.jobsonsailing.com.

Acura has been the proud title sponsor and Official Vehicle of SORC and Miami Race Week for the previous seven years. Supporting sponsor Mount Gay Rum is the Official Rum. The Miami Beach Marina is the Official Site for this 2007 grand prix event. The Avalon and South Seas Hotels are the Official Host Hotels. Shake-A-Leg Miami is the official charity of both the Acura Miami Grand Prix and Acura Key West. For information about them please visit: www.shakealegmiami.org.

Premiere Racing (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from last year in Miami:© Tim Wilkes
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