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25 February 2008, 11:21 am
Don't Miss The Party At Bacardi Cup
John DANE and Austin SPERRY at the 2006 Bacardi Cup
2006 winners John DANE and Austin SPERRY are amongst the stars names lining up for the 81st Bacardi Cup

Bacardi Cup 2008
Miami, Florida, USA

"Drinking from the Bacardi Cup is as good as drinking from the Fountain of Youth," quipped John DANE III, who won the prestigious Star Bacardi Cup Regatta in 2006.
The 57 year old, John DANE who looks likely to be the oldest of 400 sailors at the 2008 Olympic Games, returns for what he believes is his tenth Bacardi Cup with his tried and true team that includes son-in-law and Olympic crew, Austin SPERRY; hull #8230 and the Manhattan Project team.

"The Bacardi Cup holds a special place in the hearts of all Star sailors. Its one race a day format and Bacardi-sponsored events attract Star sailors from all over the world. The relaxed atmosphere lets us spend a lot of time with our friends once we've come in from racing in a 100-boat plus fleet," explained DANE.

One of the first major regattas that the DANE and SPERRY team won together, the Bacardi Cup victory ranks up there with the 2007 US Olympic Trials triumph for the 57 year old and his 29 year old son-in-law.

SPERRY remarked, "I'll never forget the feeling I had when JD and I won the cup! It was awesome. It's something that every Star sailor dreams about, including my father, [Brooks SPERRY]. It was a great day for our families."

All of the winning Bacardi Cup skippers dating back to 1994 and many of the winning crew will be racing in this year's regatta. They will be competing against this year's crop of Olympians from Brazil, Great Britain, China, Portugal, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, Germany and Sweden and Olympic hopefuls who will use the regatta as a tune-up event for the 2008 Star World Championships that will be held in Miami in April.

Past Star World Champions, including Mark REYNOLDS (USA), who qualified the USA for the 2008 Olympic Games at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais, Portugal, will be there as well as devoted North American Star class veteran skippers including Bill ALLEN, Claude BONANNI, Peter BROMBY, Rick BURGESS, John CHIRELLA, Brian CRAMER, Steven KELLY, John MACCAUSLAND, Andy MACDONALD, Rick MERRIMAN, Brooks SPERRY, George SZABO, Larry WHIPPLE, Joe ZAMBELLA and the lively Jon VANDERMOLEN and his V-3 Racing Team.

Said VANDERMOLEN, who has non-stop fun on and off the water when he's in Miami, "Bacardi knows how to do it right. I wouldn't miss the regatta and the best advice that I can give to my friends about the Bacardi is 'Don't miss the Party.'"

So far, 107 boats are registered.

2 March marks the start of six days of racing on Biscayne Bay in Miami. The winner of the 81st Annual Bacardi Cup Regatta will be presented the Trofeo Bacardi on Friday afternoon, 7 March during a traditional Asado Tropical Cuban buffet.

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 in 1927 as a three-day event with less than ten boats in Havana, Cuba, now attracts more than 200 sailors each year from some 25 countries and remains one of the few sporting events in which weekend enthusiasts have the opportunity to compete head on with Olympian and World Champion athletes.

Follow the action at where daily photos, video, articles and results will be posted.
Lynn Fitzpatrick
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