There will be no shortage of world-class talent in South Beach with names such as Butterworth, Melges, Fogh, Larson, Cutler, Dodson, Stead, Bertrand, Haines, and many more spread throughout the Ocean and Biscayne Bay fleets.
January's Key West competition was fierce and Miami is going to see some great rematches. Key West 2004 Boat of the Week winner Peter DERIDDER (Mean Machine - Monaco), multiple class winner George ANDREADIS (Atalanti -Greece) and Wolfgang SCHAEFER (Struntje Light - Germany) were all at the top of the Key West 2005 Farr 40 fleet. They'll be gunning for gold off South Beach and the new Florida Grand Prix Award presented to the combined winner of Premiere Racing's Key West and Miami regattas. The Melges 24, Transpac 52, J/105 and Mumm 30 classes will also crown combined regatta champions.
Transpac 52s are all the buzz lately and when Michael BRENNAN heard Premiere Racing was taking over management of the annual winter regatta held off Miami, he didn't hesitate to register his TP52 Sjambok. 'That was a very important aspect of my decision-making because I know Premiere organizes great regattas,' said Brennan, an Annapolis resident. 'I think Premiere brings immediate credibility to the event. Sailors want good racing, and Peter CRAIG and his people provide it.'
Craig SPECK'S Swan 45 (VIM - Newport, RI) will challenge William DOUGLASS (Goombay Smash - also Newport, RI) and Massimo FERRAGAMO (Bellicosa - New York, NY). They finished 2,3 and 4 at Key West in their 2004 debut. 'Miami has the potential to become a big-time event just like Key West', said Speck.
J/105s set a Key West record with 40 boats on the line - and in Miami next month their numbers will be impressive with as many as 20 of these popular boats doubling their 2004 turnout. Look for Key West 2005 champion Tom COATES (Masquerade - San Francisco, CA) and Key West 2004 champions Richard BERGMANN and Shawn BENNETT (Zuni Bear - San Diego, CA) to continue their good-natured rivalry. Include boats from Canada, Bermuda and at least ten different US states and you've got an exciting J/Boat competition brewing.
Racing on the Ocean venue will feature four one design classes (Transpac 52, Farr 40, J/105 and Mumm 30), and as many as four PHRF handicap classes on two separate divisions run by Principal Race Officers Ken LEGLER and Tom DUGGAN.
Handicap racing on the ocean courses is for boats with handicaps of 100 or less. The big boat in the fleet is Dan MEYERS' CM60 Numbers with Alinghi's Brad BUTTERWORTH showing the way. Key West 2005's PHRF Boat of the Week returns with a new owner and new name (Melges 32 Dawn Raid - Oscar STRUGSTAD). The Key West J/120 class winner George PETRIDES (Avra) will mix it up with Othmar von BLUMENCORN'S Beneteau 40.7 Dame Blanche (second in PHRF 4).
Back by popular demand is racing on Biscayne Bay with four classes - Melges 24, Etchells, J/24 and a small-boat PHRF class (100-140 handicappers). Over 25 Melges 24 teams from Great Britain, Germany and all points of the US compass will race under the watchful eye of PRO Dave BRENNAN and his crackerjack Miami-based team. Nearly 30 Etchells will pick up where they left off during the recently completed Jaguar series. Local racers and world travellers will have the Etchells and other Biscayne Bay classes hopping. Racing for this 60+ boat fleet starts on Friday, March 11.
Race dates for Acura Miami Race Week 2005 are March 10-13. Acura is the Title Sponsor. This is the fifth consecutive year that Acura, the luxury division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. has been the title sponsor for the Miami Beach based regatta.
The event, founded over 60 years ago, was previously known as the SORC. The founding yacht clubs discontinued their management of the event and reached an agreement with Key West event organizer Premiere Racing to produce a new event that will continue the tradition of great racing in this popular South Florida venue. Premiere Racing is committed to producing an event that will restore the luster and loyalty that was the hallmark of this storied regatta.
Peter CRAIG'S organization is best known for its management of the highly regarded Key West Race Week, now in its 18th year. 'Boat owners, sponsors, and the sailing industry have come to expect top quality at our events,' said Craig. 'We intend to apply all that we have learned and experienced to make Acura Miami Race Week an equally outstanding event.'
The Miami Beach Marina is the Official Site, hosting the two ocean courses, while the new Shake-A-Leg sailing facility in Coconut Grove will be the host site for racing on the bay. The Avalon and South Seas Hotels are the Official Hotels. Supporting sponsor Mount Gay Rum is the Official Rum.