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2007 ACURA MIAMI GRAND PRIX - RESULTS
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World Class Racing at Acura Miami Grand Prix

-- Premiere Racing Event Delivers Top Notch Competition and Outstanding Conditions    

 March 11, 2007  -- For Immediate Release                     

Don't miss the

2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix

ESPN2 Special Production

SATURDAY MARCH 31

12:30 PM ET

                  

Miami Beach, Fla - They came from far and wide to Miami Beach and all went home happy.

 

   Sailors from 11 different countries traveled to South Florida seeking great sailing conditions and world-class racing. The 2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix delivered on both counts.

 

   Sunny skies, temperatures in the 80s and double-digit breezes arrived like clockwork all four days of the regatta. Those factors had sailors from Brazil to Russia and at least 15 U.S. states smiling broadly during the awards ceremony at the Miami Beach Marina.

 

   David Hoyt, Vermont-based owner of the Melges 32 Nosedive, summed it up best.

 

   “It was a very enjoyable regatta. We had fantastic sailing conditions and tremendous competition. It was warm and sunny all week and the Miami nightlife is as good as it gets,” said Hoyt, an avid skier who resides in Stowe. “This is the winter diversion we all look forward to while we’re freezing up north.”

 

   All four classes came down to the final day and none was more exciting than the professional-laden Farr 40. Warpath, sailed by the father-son team of Fred and Steve Howe, posted a second in Race 8 to move into first place then protected a narrow two-point lead in the ninth and final race to capture the Rolex North American Championship.

 

   “It was a typical Farr 40 regatta… it came down to the last beat of the last race,” said Steve Howe, who serves as helmsman aboard the entry from San Diego, Cal. “We were two points behind coming into today so we knew we had our work cut out for us. The team went out with a focused, determined mindset and put up a great result in the first race then took care of business in the second race.”  

 

   Tactician Ian Williams and strategist Dave Armitage did the math following the first race and figured out that Twins was the primary threat. Warpath got off the line clean and was able to cover the French entry, which finished seventh in that race – two places behind the California boat.

 

   “We only got two good starts all week and one of them came in that last race when we really needed it,” said Howe, who also earned the prestigious Acura Boat of the Week honor.  

 

   It was an impressive comeback for Warpath, which stood ninth in the 16-boat fleet after the opening day. 

 

   “We had a disappointing first day, but the team maintained a positive attitude and rebounded on the second day. We won the fourth race and steadily built some momentum,” Howe said.

 

   Williams, a Briton who is currently leading the professional match racing circuit, was making his debut as tactician on Warpath and came away impressed with the younger Howe.

 

   “Steve is one of the top Farr 40 helmsman and he showed it here. He steers the boat very confidently and really smoothly,” Williams said.

 

   Alinghi, the Swiss-based syndicate headed by billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, placed fourth overall to secure the Acura Grand Prix Championship for the Farr 40 class. Alinghi, the current holder of the America’s Cup, won Acura Key West 2007 in dominating fashion then followed with another strong result here in Miami to post the lowest combined score for the two winter regattas organized by Premiere Racing.

 

   “I’m extremely pleased because I very much like these two events. I had been to Key West once before and it is always a wonderful regatta. This is my first time in Miami and I must say it is a really nice venue, one of the nicest in the world. I am definitely going to come back,” Bertarelli said.    

 

  Bertarelli, tactician Brad Butterworth and three other members of the America’s Cup crew were aboard Alinghi, which has only done a handful of Farr 40 regattas the last couple seasons.

 

  “We don’t sail this boat very often so we are still figuring it out. We got a wide range of wind here so that allowed us to learn a lot,” Bertarelli said. “I am very fortunate to have the best sailors in the world aboard the boat. I give the crew all the credit for how well we did here and in Key West.”

 

   No boat did better in the Acura Grand Prix Championship than the Melges 32 Let’s Roll. The Italian entry, skippered by Claudio Recchi, scorched the fleet in Key West then put forth an equally impressive performance in also winning here in Miami.

 

   “It’s a great class, a great boat and great competition. We are honored to have won two of the biggest events in the United States,” said Recchi, who owns a construction business based in Torino and Rome. “We faced a high level of competition here in Miami. There were five boats that were sailed very well. Our strategy was to sail conservatively, not too aggressively. We stayed out of trouble, relied on our boat speed and succeeded in being consistent.”

 

  That would be an understatement. Let’s Roll finished no worse than third in the nine-race series, posting back-to-back bullets at the end as an exclamation point.

 

  “Claudio is a very good sailor and he has a great team. They had very good upwind speed on the rest of the fleet and always sailed smart. They deserved to win,” said Jeff Ecklund, skipper of second place Star.

 

   Samba Pa Ti was another double-winner, capturing IRC class here in Miami and also garnering the Acura Grand Prix Championship for that class. Skipper John Kilroy seized the lead on the second day of this regatta and never relinquished it despite heavy pressure from Magic Glove, a Ker 50 owned by Colm Barrington of Dublin, Ireland.

 

   “It’s always nice to win a major regatta, but you also want to leave the race course feeling that you had a good time. We really enjoyed ourselves because the conditions and the competition were outstanding,” Kilroy said.

 

   Magic Glove beat Samba by a point in Key West, but the California-based TP52 turned the tables in Miami by winning three races and placing second or third in five others.

 

    “It was wonderful competing against Magic Glove. I cannot say enough about that team. Colm is a fantastic gentleman for whom I have great respect,” said Kilroy, who holds an Irish passport.

 

   Samba Pa Ti was loaded with Volvo Ocean Race veterans such as tactician Stu Bannatyne, trimmer Richard Clarke and grinder Mike Howard. Kilroy and crew had better boat speed than in Key West and were the class of the four TP52s in Miami.

 

   “We made some changes to the boat since Key West, lots of little things that seemed to make a difference. We really made a nice improvement since Key West,” said Bannatyne, who had high praise for Kilroy’s steering ability. “John is a very good helmsman. He has a great feel for the boat and a lot of input into the way it is set up.”

 

   Peter De Ridder and the Mean Machine team completed a dominating effort in Mumm 30 class, winning the final race to finish six points ahead of archrival Groovederci. Ft. Lauderdale resident Jono Swain called tactics on Mean Machine, which finished first or second in all but one race.

 

  “We have now won this regatta four times in a row so I am a happy man,” said De Ridder, whose Miami victories were split evenly between a Farr 40 and Mumm 30. “I enjoy coming to these waters at this time of the season because you always get good sailing conditions.”

 

  Deneen Demourkas (Santa Barbara, Cal.) steered Groovederci to steady string of top four finishes, but just could not match De Ridder, a Monaco resident who was sailing his last Mumm 30 regatta.

 

  “We had a good final day. We finished on a high note for this boat and this class,” said De Ridder, who notched a first and a second on Sunday.

 

  Not just the winners came away happy after the Acura Miami Grand Prix. Alexey Nikolaev, owner of the Russian TP 52 Rusal Synergy, was pleased despite a sixth place finish in the nine-boat IRC class.

 

  “We need to train in the winter and Florida is a great setting,” Nikolaev said. “We are happy because we have greatly improved our speed and our results. Sailing two great regattas against such tough competition has made us much better.”          

 

2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix – March 8 – 11, 2007

Final Class Standings after 9 Races - Top 3 Boats in Class

 

IRC (with discard)

1.  Samba Pa Ti, TP52, John Kilroy, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 3-1-3-2-1-3-1-2,(7), 16

2.  Magic Glove, Ker 50, Colm Barrington, Dublin, IRL, 1-3-2-(5)-3-2-3-1-4, 19

3.  Windquest, TP52, Doug DeVos, Holland, MI, USA, 4-2-1-3-(6)-5-4-4-1, 24

 

Farr 40 - Rolex National Championship and Mark H. Baxter Trophy  (with no discard)

  1. Warpath, Fred & Steve Howe, San Diego, CA, 4-10-13-1-3-4-1-2-5, 43

  2. Twins, Erik Maris, Newport, RI, USA, 6-1-2-7-9-5-4-4-7, 45

  3. Nanoq, HRH Prince Frederik, Copenhangen, DEN, 12-7-5-5-1-9-3-1-6, 49

 

Melges 32  (with discard)

  1. Let’s Roll, Claudio Recchi, YC Italiano, ITA, (3)-2-2-2-3-2-1-1-2, 15

  2. Star, Jeff Ecklund, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 4-1-1-3-1-(13),4-5-1, 20

  3. New Wave, Carroll/Kullman, St,Petersburg, FL, 5-5-(9)-1-2-1-3-2-6, 25

 

Mumm 30 (with no discard)

  1. Mean Machine, Peter De Ridder, Monaco, 1-2-1-1-1-1-4-2-1, 14

  2. Groovederci, Deneen Demourkas, Santa Barbara, CA, 3-1-2-2-2-4-3-1-2, 20

  3. Champosa,  Jonathan McDonagh, Minneapolis, MN, 5-3-3-3-4-2-2-3-3, 28

 

Acura Boat of the Week

            Farr 40             Warpath, Fred & Steve Howe, San Diego, CA

 

Acura Grand Prix Awards (Key West and Miami Series Combined)

IRC                      Samba Pa Ti, TP52, John Kilroy, Los Angeles, CA

Farr 40                Alinghi, Ernesto Bertarelli, Geneva, SUI

Melges 32           Let’s Roll, Claudio Recchi, YC Italiano, Italy

Mumm 30            Mean Machine, Peter DeRidder, Monaco

 

Bill Wagner

Press and Public Relations

 

Details, photos and results on the 2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix are posted on the Premiere Racing web site: www.Premiere-Racing.com

 

Acura has been the proud title sponsor and Official Vehicle of SORC and Miami Race Week for the previous 7 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

 

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 Key West films are also available for viewing. A special Jobson Sailing production on the 2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix will air on ESPN 2, Saturday, March 31 at 12:30 PM ET. The Acura Key West 2007 special airs on Sunday, March 11 at 1:30 PM ET.

 

Kattack - Courtesy of www.Kattack.com, all of the racing in Miami will feature detailed GPS tracking data for every race in every fleet. According to Kattack President Tom Verburgt “Kattack changes sailboat race reporting and makes the racing more accessible to viewers. Results are results, but this shows the whole story of how the race went. Was the race won with tactics, crew work, or boat speed? Kattack makes this clear to web spectators.” Video versions of all races will be offered for people who have not yet downloaded the Kattack Race Player.  Race player data should be available by 5:00pm each evening, and all videos should be posted by 9:00pm (Eastern time). Viewers can visit www.Kattack.com and watch replays of each race or to learn more about the product.

 

About Acura
Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced luxury performance vehicles through a nationwide network of more than 260 dealers throughout the United States. The 2007 Acura lineup features five distinctive models, the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sports sedan, the turbo-charged RDX luxury sport utility vehicle and the award-winning MDX luxury SUV. For more information about Acura vehicles, please visit
www.Acura.com  For media inquiries, please go to www.AcuraNews.com


For more information on Premiere Racing, 2007 Acura Grand Prix, and its Sponsors and Partners:

Premiere Racing, Inc.

67B Front Street, Marblehead, MA, 01945
Tel: (781) 639-9545 Fax: (781) 639-9171
Email:
Info@Premiere-Racing.com                

Web Site: www.Premiere-Racing.com

 

With the support of the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

 


Final Day Drama at Acura Miami Grand Prix

-- Championships Come Down to the Wire

 

March 10, 2007  -- For Immediate Release     

 

 

Miami Beach, Fla –  It’s game on at the 2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix.

 

   Class championships remain in doubt heading into the final day of the regatta, organized by Premiere Racing. Action on the Atlantic Ocean course is sure to remain fierce as those teams in contention pull out all the stops to claim victory at one of the world’s most renowned venues.

 

   Competition is incredibly close in Farr 40 class, which is contesting the Rolex North American Championship. Twins maintained its lead for a third straight day, but has a pack of six other boats within striking range. Only five points separate the top five teams in the 16-boat fleet and the winner probably won’t be decided until the final race of the four-day series.

 

   “I would rather be two points ahead instead of two points behind,” Twins skipper Erik Maris said. “We are in position to control our own destiny, but the boats behind us are all extremely well sailed. We have to forget about the standings and approach (Sunday) as though we are all even.”

 

   Warpath won Race 7 and also notched a fourth on Saturday to jump from fifth to second in the overall standings. The California entry, sailed by the father-son team of Fred and Steve Howe, is the only Farr 40 to have won two races so far.

 

   “We are one of the quicker boats on the course and our tactician (Ian Williams) has done a good job of picking the lanes, picking the shifts,” helmsman Steve Howe said. “Coming into a major regatta like this, all you can hope is to have a chance to win on the last day and we do.”

 

   Lurking just three points off the pace is Alinghi, the Swiss syndicate that is current holder of the America’s Cup. Skipper Ernesto Bertarelli opened the regatta with a bullet before suffering a ninth and 12th, but has rebounded with a string of top five finishes.

 

   “We haven’t sailed these boats in the steep waves we have here in Miami. It’s quite different from what we saw in Newport and Key West,” Alinghi tactician Brad Butterworth said. “We started a bit slow, but have re-trimmed the boat a bit and have tried to help Ernesto out with handling the boat in the waves.”

 

   Alinghi has been training hard off Dubai to prepare its defense of the America’s Cup, which gets underway next month with the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series. Bertarelli, Butterworth and crew had this week free because their Cup class boats are being shipped to Valencia.

 

  “We wanted to keep our sailing skills sharp and this is the place to do that. I think Key West and Miami are the premier regattas in the states,” Butterworth said. “We’ve had fantastic sailing here this week. The conditions have been terrific and the race committee has done a really nice job.”

 

   Things are equally as tight in the Melges 32 class, which has a five-point spread between the top three boats. Let’s Roll, skippered by Claudio Recchi, took over the lead with a first and a second on Saturday. The Italian entry has been incredibly consistent, finishing no worse than third in all seven races.

 

   “Those guys sail the boat very smart and very hard, both upwind and downwind. They have great boat speed and don’t make any mistakes,” said Simon Williams, skipper of fifth place Fresh Guidance.

 

   Star, which entered the day with a two point lead over Let’s Roll, now trails by two points. Skipper Jeff Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) welcomed the completion of seven races because that allowed him to throw out a 13th sustained on Saturday morning.

 

    “We are pleased, but we must be careful because there are at least four boats that are just as fast as we are,” Recchi said. “We will keep an eye on Star, but we also must be aware of (third place) New Wave.

 

    Let’s Roll dominated the fleet at Acura Key West 2007, winning the series with one day to spare. Recchi did not hesitate when asked how it would feel to also win in Miami.

 

“It would be an incredible honor, an incredible achievement. Those are two very prestigious regattas and the class has become so tough,” Recchi said.

 

    Samba Pa Ti, the TP52 owned by John Kilroy of Los Angeles, Cal., held the lead in IRC class for a second straight day. Kilroy has assembled an all-star crew consisting of Volvo Ocean Race veterans and has finished first, second or third in all seven races.

 

    “Samba is sailing very, very well. They have clearly upped their game since Key West and seem to be going a lot faster than the other TP52s,” said Colm Barrington, skipper of second place Magic Glove.

 

    Magic Glove, the second smallest entry in the nine-boat fleet, also counts all top three finishes and stands just two points behind Samba Pa Ti.

 

    “We have seven boats that are bigger than us so we are taking gas all the way around the track,” said Barrington, a native of Dublin, Ireland. “It cuts down on your tactical options because most of the time you just go for clean air. All things considered, we are happy to be as close as we are.”

 

    Mean Machine has dominated Mumm 30 class, winning five of seven starts. However, skipper Peter De Ridder and crew have not clinched victory as Groovederci is still mathematically alive.

 

    Skipper Deneen Demourkas and crew would need to win both races on Sunday and hope for Mean Machine to suffer a fourth and a fifth in order to pull off an improbable comeback.

 

    “We’ve sailed a solid regatta so far and we just have to go out and do it for one more day,” said Mean Machine tactician Jono Swain, a Fort Lauderdale resident.

 

    De Ridder has already announced intention to field a Volvo Ocean Race syndicate and is also having a TP52 and a Farr 40 built. The Mumm 30 has already been sold and this may be the Monaco resident’s last regatta in the class.

 

    “It would be nice to go out on a high note,” Swain said.

 

Action in the four-day regatta, organized by Premiere Racing, concludes on Sunday.

 

2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix – March 8 – 11, 2007

Provisional Class Standings after 7 Races -  March 10

Top 3 Boats in Class

 

IRC (with discard)

1.       Samba Pa Ti, TP52, John Kilroy, Los Angeles, CA, USA,(3)-1-3-2-1-3-1, 11

2.       Magic Glove, Ker 50, Colm Barrington, Dublin, IRL, 1-3-2-(5)-3-2-3, 14

3.       Windquest, TP52, Doug DeVos, Holland, MI, USA, 4-2-1-3-(6)-5-4, 19

 

Farr 40 (Rolex National Championship – with no discard)

  1. Twins, Erik Maris, Newport, RI, USA, 6-1-2-7-9-5-4, 34

  2. Warpath, Fred & Steve Howe, San Diego, CA, 4-10-13-1-3-4-1, 36

  3. Ainghi, Ernesto Bertarelli, Geneva, SUI, 1-9-12-4-2-3-6, 37

 

Melges 32  (with discard)

  1. Let’s Roll, Claudio Recchi, YC Italiano, ITA, (3)-2-2-2-3-2-1, 12

  2. Star, Jeff Ecklund, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 4-1-1-3-1-(13),4, 14

  3. New Wave, Carroll/Kullman, St,Petersburg, FL, 5-5-(9)-1-2-1-3, 17

 

Mumm 30 (with no discard)

  1. Mean Machine, Peter De Ridder, Monaco, 1-2-1-1-1-1-4, 11

  2. Groovederci, Deneen Demourkas, Santa Barbara, CA, 3-1-2-2-2-4-3, 17

  3. Kaizen,  Baker / Solomon, Noank, CT, 2-4-4-4-3-3-1, 21

 

Acura Grand Prix Awards (Key West and Miami Series Combined)

Provisional Standings after 7 Races -  March 10

Top 2 Boats

 

IRC

  1. Samba Pa Ti, TP52, John Kilroy – 26 points

  2. Magic Glove, Ker 50, Colm Barrington – 28 points

 

Farr 40

  1. Alinghi, Ernesto Bertarelli – 88 points

  2. Twins, Erik Maris – 98 points

 

Melges 32

  1. Let’s Roll, Claudio Recchi – 24 points

  2. New Wave, Carroll / Kullman – 47 points

 

Mumm 30

  1. Mean Machine, Peter DeRidder – 38 points

  2. Groovederci, Deneen Demourkas – 56 points

 

Bill Wagner

Press and Public Relations

 

Racing is March 8 – 11. Details, photos and results on the 2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix are posted on the Premiere Racing web site: www.Premiere-Racing.com

 

Acura has been the proud title sponsor and Official Vehicle of SORC and Miami Race Week for the previous 7 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

 

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 Key West films are also available for viewing. A special Jobson Sailing production on the 2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix will air on ESPN 2, Saturday, March 31 at 12:30 PM ET. The Acura Key West 2007 special airs on Sunday, March 11 at 1:30 PM ET.

 

Kattack - Courtesy of www.Kattack.com, all of the racing in Miami will feature detailed GPS tracking data for every race in every fleet. According to Kattack President Tom Verburgt “Kattack changes sailboat race reporting and makes the racing more accessible to viewers. Results are results, but this shows the whole story of how the race went. Was the race won with tactics, crew work, or boat speed? Kattack makes this clear to web spectators.” Video versions of all races will be offered for people who have not yet downloaded the Kattack Race Player.  Race player data should be available by 5:00pm each evening, and all videos should be posted by 9:00pm (Eastern time). Viewers can visit www.Kattack.com and watch replays of each race or to learn more about the product.

 

About Acura
Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced luxury performance vehicles through a nationwide network of more than 260 dealers throughout the United States. The 2007 Acura lineup features five distinctive models, the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sports sedan, the turbo-charged RDX luxury sport utility vehicle and the award-winning MDX luxury SUV. For more information about Acura vehicles, please visit
www.Acura.com  For media inquiries, please go to www.AcuraNews.com


For more information on Premiere Racing, 2007 Acura Grand Prix, and its Sponsors and Partners:

Premiere Racing, Inc.

67B Front Street, Marblehead, MA, 01945
Tel: (781) 639-9545 Fax: (781) 639-9171
Email:
Info@Premiere-Racing.com                

Web Site: www.Premiere-Racing.com

 

With the support of the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

 


Championship Battles at Acura Miami Grand Prix

  --- Trophies for Combined Key West and Miami Results Up for Grabs   

March 9, 2007  -- For Immediate Release       

 

Miami Beach, Fla – French skipper Erik Maris and the Twins crew are currently on top of a talent-laden Farr 40 fleet at the 2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix. However, they face two more days of tough competition before they can lay claim to the prestigious Grand Prix Championship that rewards outstanding performance at both of Premiere Racing’s winter regattas.

 

   Twins is one of three Farr 40s battling to win the Acura Grand Prix Championship, awarded to the team with the lowest cumulative points scored in Key West and Miami combined. Alinghi, which won Key West in convincing fashion, leads the grand prix standings with Flash Gordon 5 (Helmut Jahn, Chicago, Ill.) and Twins close behind.

 

   “We are interested in any hardware that we can get our hands on,” Maris said when asked his thoughts on the Acura Grand Prix Championship. “It would be fantastic to win the combined trophy because that would mean we did well at two major events.”

 

   Twins narrowly held onto its overall lead in the 16-boat Farr 40 class at Acura Miami Grand Prix, which also serves as the Rolex North American Championship. Maris and crew posted a seventh and ninth on Friday and saw their lead over the Italian entry Nerone (Massimo Mezzaroma) cut in half.

 

   “We had a tough day. We got two mediocre starts and struggled with our speed,” said Maris, who has Lorenzo Bressani aboard as tactician. “We tried our best to limit the damage, but the whole thing has tightened up. If we sail tomorrow like we did today, we will no longer be leading.”

 

  Alinghi got off to a rough start – absorbing a ninth and a 12th on Thursday – but rebounded nicely on Friday with a fourth and a second. Skipper Ernesto Bertarelli and the Swiss syndicate, current holder of the America’s Cup, moved into third overall for Miami and regained the lead in the grand prix championship.

 

  Nanoq, owned by Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, won Race 5 and jumped from eighth to fourth in the overall standings. Bouwe Bekking, skipper of the movistar in the last Volvo Ocean Race, was all smiles as he stood on the dock at the Miami Beach Marina afterward.

 

  “We had a very nice day. We are getting better and better with every race,” Bekking said. “Everything came together in the second race today. We got a good start, we had sharp mark roundings and our boat speed was excellent.”

    

   John Kilroy, skipper of the TP52 Samba Pa Ti, could say the same about his team’s performance on Friday. The California entry notched a first and a second to take over the overall lead in IRC class.

“I’m very happy with the way the team sailed today. I think we had the boat set up right and our decision-making on the water was real strong,” said Kilroy, a Los Angeles resident. “It was just another day at the office for this bunch. We have some very talented sailors onboard.”

 

Tactician Stu Bannatyne heads a long list of America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race veterans who are crewing on Samba Pa Ti, which moved four points ahead of Day 1 leader Magic Glove. Other notables on Samba include Richard Clarke, Mike Howard and Peter Dorien.

 

  “We felt the rig was tuned too tight on Wednesday so we went back to the setup we had in Key West and it worked better,” Kilroy said.

 

   Samba Pa Ti also overtook Magic Glove in the grand prix championship standings for IRC. The Ker 50, owned by Colm Barrington of Dublin, Ireland, went from two points ahead to three points behind.

 

   “I like the concept behind combining the two regattas. It’s good for the boats to have that as an objective,” Kilroy said.

 

   Fresh Guidance, skippered by Simon Williams of Newport, R.I., lost the lead in Melges 32 class late Thursday night after being disqualified from Race 3. That moved Star to the top of the leader board and skipper Jeff Ecklund maintained that position with a first and a third on Friday.

 

   “We’ve struggled getting off the line, but we have exceptional downwind speed and that has saved us,” said Ecklund, a native Midwesterner who now lives in nearby Ft. Lauderdale.

 

   Harry Melges is calling tactics while brother Hans Melges is trimming on Star, which has improved its performance significantly since finishing fifth in Key West.

 

   “This class is only a year old and, like everyone, we are still learning the boat,” Ecklund said. “We don’t have as much time in the boat as some of the other top teams. We haven’t practiced and we haven’t been coached so we are kind of figuring things out by the seat of our pants.”

 

   Let’s Roll, an Italian entry skippered by Claudio Recchi, dominated the fleet in Key West – clinching the regatta with a race to spare and finishing with an 18-point margin of victory. It’s been tougher sledding here in Miami for Let’s Roll, which is two points behind Star.

 

   “It has been very close racing, which is more exciting and more fun for everyone,” Recchi said. “The fleet has improved a lot in two months.”

  

   Let’s Roll still holds a nearly insurmountable lead in the grand prix championship, a title Recchi would love to claim.

  

  “Of course we would like to win that championship because it shows consistency,” he said.

 

 Mean Machine and Groovederci continue to duke it out in Mumm 30 class with the former entry making a strong move on Friday. Monaco-based skipper Peter De Ridder steered Mean Machine to a pair of bullets to increase his lead over Deneen Demourkas from two to four points.

 

   “The battle has been raging, but Peter is getting the best of us,” said Demourkas, a resident of Santa Barbara, Cal. “Our boat speed is very good both up and down wind so that’s not an excuse. We need to position ourselves better and we need to get around the corners better.”

 

  Action in the four-day regatta, organized by Premiere Racing, continues on Saturday with principal race officer Dave Brennan planning to start three races. The 10-race series, being held on a course set just off the north end of Key Biscayne, concludes on Sunday.

 

2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix – March 8 – 11, 2007

Provisional Standings after 5 Races -  March 9

Top 3 Boats in Class

 

IRC

  1. Samba Pa Ti, TP52, John Kilroy, SanFrancisco, CA, USA, 3-1-3-2-1, 10

  2. Magic Glove, Ker 50, Colm Barrington, Dublin, IRL, 1-3-2-5-3, 14

  3. Windquest, TP52, Doug DeVos, Holland, MI, USA, 4-2-1-3-6, 16

 

Farr 40 (Rolex National Championship)

  1. Twins, Erik Maris, Newport, RI, USA, 6-1-2-7-9, 25

  2. Nerone, Massimo Mezzaroma, Rome, Italy, 9-3-1-6-8, 27

  3. Ainghi, Ernesto Bertarelli, Geneva, SUI, 1-9-12-4-2, 28

 

Melges 32

  1. Star, Jeff Ecklund, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 4-1-1-3-1, 10

  2. Let’s Roll, Claudio Recchi, YC Italiano, ITA, 3-2-2-2-3, 12

  3. Highlife, Peter Rogers, Hanble, UK, 1-7-3-4-6, 21

 

Mumm 30

  1. Mean Machine, Peter De Ridder, Monaco, 1-2-1-1-1, 6

  2. Groovederci, Deneen Demourkas, Santa Barbara, CA, 3-1-2-2-2, 10

  3. Kaizen,  Baker / Solomon, Noank, CT, 2-4-4-4-3, 17


 

Action Packed Opening Day at

2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix

-- Competitors Treated to Three Races in Strong Winds

  

March 8, 2007  -- For Immediate Release       

 

Miami Beach, Fla – All the sailors competing in 2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix will sleep well tonight.

 

   Principal Race Officer Dave Brennan and his crackerjack committee got in three races on the opening day of the grand prix regatta, leaving sailors with sore muscles and satisfied smiles. Racing was held in a 12-15 knot northeasterly and all the boats were back at the dock at the Miami Beach Marina by 4 p.m.

 

    “It was the ideal day to get in three races. The conditions were fantastic and the race committee did a great job of getting the starts off quickly,” said Simon Williams, skipper of the Melges 32 Fresh Guidance.

 

   Early forecasts called for lighter winds, but a sea breeze came on faster and stronger than predicted, increasing the velocity to double digits just in time for the first race.

 

   “It’s always a pleasant surprise when the wind is better than expected. We all got a good workout today,” said Colm Barrington, skipper of the Ker 50 Magic Glove.

 

   Those two skippers should be happy since they are among the leaders after Day 1. Williams, from Newport, R.I., displayed superb all-around boat speed in steering Fresh Guidance to a strong line of 2-3-1 and a one-point lead in the 16-boat Melges 32 class.

 

   “We were reasonably quick upwind and really fast downwind. We were absolutely flying on the runs and passing boats left and right,” Williams said. “Sometimes, things just click and that certainly was the case today.”

 

   Williams, formerly a Farr 40 owner, made his debut in the Melges 32 class at Acura Key West 2007 and finished a respectable fourth. Claudio Recchi and Let’s Roll won that regatta in convincing fashion and Williams felt the Italians were the team to beat here.

 

    “Let’s Roll is a great boat with a great crew. They are a formidable opponent, but we were faster than them today,” Williams said. “We learned a ton at Key West and that time in the boat has really improved our performance.”

 

    Pending the outcome of a protest, Fresh Guidance holds a one-point lead over Star, skippered by Jeff Ecklund of nearby Ft. Lauderdale. Bill Hardesty, former College Sailor of the Year at the Merchant Marine Academy, is calling tactics for Williams.

 

    Magic Glove captured IRC 2 class at Acura Key West and remains hot in Miami. Barrington, from Dublin, Ireland, posted an impressive line of 1-3-2 on Thursday to take a one-point lead in IRC class.

 

    “We got three reasonably good starts and we gybed real well, but we had a few less than perfect spinnaker launches and drops. Overall, it was a fairly decent day,” Barrington said.

 

    A pair of TP52s are hot on the trail of Magic Glove, which is clinging to a one point lead. Windquest, owned by Doug Devos of Holland, Mich., was first across the line and first on corrected time in Race 3 to win a tiebreaker with Samba Pa Ti (John Kilroy, Los Angeles, Cal).

 

   Frenchman Erik Maris and his crew aboard Twins were all smiles as they stood along the dock drinking beer following a strong performance in the 16-boat Farr 40 class. Tactician Gildas Philippe did a good job calling the shifts aboard Twins, which notched a first and a second in the afternoon races.

 

   “To finish the day on top in this fleet is a great feeling. We got good starts, had good speed and hit most of the shifts,” Maris said.

 

    Maris won the Mumm 30 World Championship off Miami in December and was anxious to return aboard his other boat. He has never won a Farr 40 regatta since joining the class three years ago.

 

    “We love it here in Miami. We get lucky here,” Maris joked. “We’ve had the same core crew together for three years and have been working toward winning a major regatta. We can’t get too excited yet because there is a long way to go.”

 

    Twins will seek to protect a four-point lead over Nerone (Massimo Mezzaroma, Italy) and Norwegian Steam (Eivind Astrup, Norway), which are deadlocked at 13. Nerone wins the tiebreaker by virtue of getting the gun in Race 3.

 

   As expected, the Mumm 30 class has quickly evolved into a two-horse race between Mean Machine and Groovederci. Monaco resident Peter De Ridder got the upper hand on Thursday by steering Mean Machine to a pair of bullets and a runner-up result. Deneen Demourkas (Santa Barbara, Cal.) won the other race and has Groovederci just two points off the pace.

 

   “We are sailing in close proximity with Groovederci all the time. We only beat them by half a boat length in one race,” De Ridder said. “We may have a little bit better boat speed on her upwind.”

 

    Action in the four-day regatta, organized by Premiere Racing, continues on Friday with organizers planning to conduct two races. Thursday’s strong, steady breeze got event director Peter Craig well on the way to his goal of holding a 10-race series.

 

2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix – March 8 – 11, 2007

Provisional Standings after 3 Races -  March 8

 

IRC                   

   1.   Magic Glove, Ker 50, Colm Barrington, Dublin, IRL, 1-3-2, 6   

   2.   Windquest, TP52, Doug DeVos, Holland, MI, USA, 4-2-1, 7

   3.   Samba Pa Ti, TP52, John Kilroy, San Francisco, CA, USA, 3-1-3, 7

 

Farr 40 (Rolex National Championship)

  1. Twins, Erik Maris, Newport, RI, USA, 6-1-2, 9

  2. Nerone, Massimo Mezzaroma, Rome, Italy, 9-3-1,13

  3. Norweigian Steam, Eivind Astrup, Oslo, Norway, 7-2-4, 13

 

Melges 32 – protest pending

  1. Fresh Guidance, Simon Williams, Newport, RI, 2-3-1, 6

  2. Star, Jeff Ecklund, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 4-1-2, 7

  3. Let’s Roll, Claudio Recchi, YC Italiano, ITA, 3-2-3, 7

 

Mumm 30

  1. Mean Machine, Peter De Ridder, Monaco, 1-2-1, 4

  2. Groovederci, Deneen Demourkas, Santa Barbara, CA, 3-1-2, 6

  3. Kaizen,  Baker / Solomon, Noank, CT, 2-4-4, 10

 

 


Miami Set To Deliver On All Counts

-- 2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix Action Kicks Off Thursday

March 7, 2007  -- For Immediate Release 

Miami Beach, Fla –   If the final practice day was any indication, the 2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix should deliver just what the hundreds of visiting sailors are seeking.

 

   Most of the 46 entries participating in the annual regatta headed out of Government Cut for one final tune-up before the competition turns serious on Thursday. It proved an ideal day for testing sails and training crew as sunny skies and warm temperatures were augmented by winds that ranged from 12-15 knots.

 

   “It truly is wonderful to be back here in Florida. We had lovely conditions today with the sun shining brightly and the wind blowing strong,” said Colm Barrington, owner of the IRC entry Magic Glove. “That is why we all come here to go sailing in the winter. There aren’t many places in the world this nice at this time of the year.”

 

   Barrington hails from Dublin, Ireland, where it is quite cold and nasty at the moment. He steered his relatively new Ker 50 to overall victory in the IRC 2 class at Acura Key West 2007 and is hoping to duplicate that type of performance here in Miami.

 

   It won’t be easy as the one IRC class has nine good boats ranging in size from Marcin Rojek’s Swan 45 Better Than to Hap Fauth’s JV 66 Bella Mente. In between are four TP52s and a pair of Farr 60s.

 

   “I think if anything the competition will be more intense than in Key West because we’ve added the three bigger boats,” Barrington said. “A lot will depend on the type of conditions we get. Certain boats perform better in certain conditions.”

 

   No one can ever accurately predict the wind and weather, but Premiere Racing will surely deliver its characteristic top-notch race management and superb awards parties throughout the Acura Miami Grand Prix, being held Thursday through Sunday on an ocean course set just off the north end of Key Biscayne.

 

   Respected principal race officer Dave Brennan and his well-trained team of volunteers plan to conduct 10 races over four days while the evening social gathering at Monty’s Raw Bar is sure to deliver the best in food and drink.

 

   There is certain to be stiff competition in all four grand prix classes as some of the top professional sailing talent in the world has trekked to this colorful, cosmopolitan city.

 

   Robert Greenhalgh, a past world champion in International 14 class and member of the ABN AMRO syndicate that captured the last Volvo Ocean Race is tactician aboard Magic Glove.

 

   Samba Pa Ti, a TP 52 owned by California native John Kilroy, has four Volvo veterans aboard, including tactician Stu Bannatyne (movistar). Samba Pa Ti, named for Kilroy’s favorite Carlos Santana song, finished just one point behind Magic Glove at Key West.

 

   “I’ve always enjoyed doing the Florida circuit, and to me that means a regatta in Key West and a regatta in Miami,” said Kilroy, a veteran of the old Southern Ocean Racing Circuit.

 

   An international fleet of 16 Farr 40s has come to contest the Rolex North American Championship and has typically attracted a slew of big-time professionals. Alinghi, the Swiss-based syndicate that currently holds the America’s Cup, is the pre-regatta favorite after putting forth an impressive performance in Key West. Skipper Ernesto Bertarelli has several members of his America’s Cup crew onboard, including tactician Brad Butterworth.

 

   “On paper, Alinghi has got a really good cart and a really good team,” said Helmut Jahn, German-born skipper of Flash Gordon 5. “We were one of the other boats that did well in Key West, but it can all be turned upside down at this regatta. That is what makes this class so exciting.”

 

   Several foreign entries that missed Key West have arrived in Miami, including Aleph  (Hughes Lepic, France), Cannonball (Dario Ferrari, Italy), Monick (Nicklas Holm, Denmark) and Old Boys (Eduardo Souza Ramos, Brazil).

 

   “There are some new players and all of them are capable of doing well,” said Jahn, who finished second, three points behind Alinghi, at Key West.

 

   Another notable entry in Farr 40 class is Norwegian Storm, runner-up at the 2006 Miami Grand Prix. Skipper Eivind Astrup and crew led the regatta most of the way before being overtaken by Heartbreaker on the final day.

 

   “We are very happy to be back because this is such a well-organized regatta. We hope this place brings us the luck we deserve,” Astrup said.

 

   There figures to be equally stiff competition in Melges 32 class, which also has drawn a slew of talent-laden teams. Skipper Claudio Recchi and crew aboard Let’s Roll overwhelmed the competition in Key West, clinching overall victory with one race to spare. Recchi is remaining humble despite keeping the Italian team entirely intact.

 

   “It’s always nice to be in sunny Florida. We are back to see if we still have the boat speed we had in Key West,” said Recchi, who deflects credit to tactician Gabriele Benussi. “We had very good fortune in Key West. It will be difficult to repeat. The gap in this class is very close.”

 

  Let’s Roll could get a challenge from Grins, the Georgia-based entry that placed second in Miami last year. Skipper Rick Orchard missed Key West for the first time in years because he was helicopter skiing in Canada with boyhood friends from California.

 

  “From what I heard, Let’s Roll won Key West with good execution. It wasn’t the rig, it wasn’t the sails, it was time on the water and time in the boat,” Orchard said. “We haven’t spent as much time in the boat as we should, but feel we can be competitive.”

 

  Peter De Ridder and the Mean Machine team are early favorite in Mumm 30 class after losing a tiebreaker and placing second in Key West. Volvo Ocean Race veteran Jono Swain, a Ft. Lauderdale resident, is calling tactics on Mean Machine.

 

  “We are coming into this confident and sailing well,” said De Ridder, a Monaco resident who is mounting a Volvo Ocean Race campaign. “Our main competition will probably be Groovederci (Deneen Demourkas), although there are several solid teams here.”