An ominous front enshrouded the Miami skyline while the 100+ boat Star fleet tuned up in an 8-10 knot southeasterly for the fourth race of the 81st Annual Bacardi Cup.
The white Star boats and sails were a sharp contrast to the dark grey clouds. The Star sailor who grew up on Biscayne Bay, ninth place skipper, Augie DIAZ
(USA), was the first to take down his sails as the lightning bolts flashed and the downpour approached.
As the Race Committee hauled their anchor and headed east toward brighter skies, some boats were under bare poles while others hopped up on a plane and hauled the mail. The cold front from the NNW brought with it a downpour that flattened the seas. Winds gusted to over 30 knots. In fleet spread out during the grey out and lost sight of all but the closest boats around them. Some sailors pulled out their bow protectors and use them as helmets to protect their heads from the pelting rains.
and Michael MARZAHL
(USA) kept their sails hoisted and sailed upwind in the grey-out. "It was blowing too hard to fall off and too hard to take the sails down. Fortunately, we were close to the Irish who had a coach boat. When things cleared, we were close to the channel and headed in,"
recounted the tallest Star sailor among the 230 or so sailors at the Bacardi Cup. The outcome of their survival strategy said LIDECIS as he wiped some ketchup off his face, "It was the first time ever that we've been the first to hoist out."
They finished up their burgers and fries and headed to the hoist.
The Race Committee abandoned racing for the day and cast a wide net to account for its flock. Results following the completion of Tuesday's racing stand and Iain PERCY
and Andrew SIMPSON
(GBR) lead the regatta with 20 points. Three races have been sailed. Five races must be sailed before competitors are allowed to discard their worst race. Competitors should study the official notice board at tonight's mid-week prize ceremony determine what time races will start on Thursday 6 March as the Race Committee attempts to make up the race that was abandoned on Wednesday.
Results - click here
Bacardi Cup - www.bacardicup.com