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February 20, 2008 -  For Immediate Release


2008 Acura Miami Grand Prix – Good As It Gets!

-- March Regatta to Feature World Class Competition


Miami Beach, Fla. – Rivalries and rematches will be the order of the day when racing beings on Thursday March 6 off of South Beach. At press time over 60 boats from 13 different countries had entered the 2008 Acura Miami Grand Prix. The competition promises to be fierce and world class.


A Farr 40 class approaching 30 boats, two IRC classes and over 20 Melges 32s, teeming with international talent and world champions, make up this extraordinary grand prix fleet.  


Class championships and bragging rights for this four day, 10-race regatta are not all that is at stake. The Acura Grand Prix trophies for the best combined Key West and Miami scores will be awarded at the conclusion of racing, and the Farr 40s will have taken another step toward their Rolex World Championship at this same venue later in April.


January’s Key West event set the stage for the 2008 Acura Grand Prix trophies. These prestigious awards debuted in 2005, recognizing the top performing boats with the best combined score from the celebrated Key West and Miami regattas. The Farr 40, Melges 32 and IRC classes are eligible.


"In recent years, winning in Key West has been one of the paramount achievements for sailing in this country. Now the level of competition in Miami is equally as high," Event Director Peter Craig said. "Winning the Acura Grand Prix Trophy demonstrates excellence on a very consistence basis against the best in the world.”


Here’s how things look heading into the regatta:


Farr 40s (28 boats)

Ten of the top twelve Key West finishers will be on the line. Jim Richardson’s Barking Mad (USA) won the January series on a last race tie-breaker over Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino (Italy). Erik Maris’ Twins (France) and Massimo Mezzaroma’s Nerone (Italy) finished 3rd and 4th respectively. Onorato is the defending World Champion.


Peter de Ridder’s Mean Machine (Monaco) and Fred and Steve Howe’s Warpath (USA) tied for 6th place at Key West, with de Ridder’s race 2 win breaking that tie. The Howes are defending their 2007 Miami Farr 40 class win. De Ridder took Mumm 30 2007 class honors, and the Acura Grand Prix combined trophy.


HRH Prince Frederik (Nanoq, Denmark) continues to move up in the Key West standings, having finishing a respectable 11th, just 4 points behind Taskashi Okura’s SLED (Japan). Class newcomer William Douglas (Goombay Smash) had the thrill of finishing ahead of Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi (Switzerland). Bertarelli won the Farr 40 Acura Grand Prix trophy last year, but will not be back to defend. Prince Frederik finished 3rd last March in Miami.


Melges 32s (21 boats)

Is there a closer three boat rivalry around than that of Jeff Ecklund’s Star (USA), Mike Carroll’s New Wave (USA) and Claudio Recchi’s Let’s Roll (Italy)?


Placing 1, 2 and 4 at Acura Key West in January and 2, 3 and 1 at last year’s Acura Miami Grand Prix respectively, these top tier crews will again be keeping tabs on one another. Last year, Recchi was unbeatable, winning Key West and Miami and the combined Acura Grand Prix trophy.


Seven of the top ten Key West boats will resume racing in the waters off Miami Beach.


IRC 1 and IRC 2 (13 boats)

Dan Meyer’s new J/V 66, Goetz built rocket Numbers is again the scratch boat in IRC. He took IRC 1 class honors in Key West, finishing four points clear of Colm Barrington’s J/V 52 Flash Glove (Ireland). Close behind was John Kilroy’s IRC optimized TP52 Samba Pa Ti.


Last year’s Acura Miami Grand Prix witnessed a very tight contest between Kilroy and Barrington, with Kilroy ultimately taking class and the combined trophy. Doug DeVos’ TP52 Windquest finished just behind Kilroy in Key West and was 3rd last March in Miami.


Four Swan 42s will race in the IRC 2 class. Twelve of these cruiser racers made a spectacular one design debut in Key West last month. The top two Swans in Key West, Andrew Fisher’s Bandit and Mark Watson’s Tiburon (both hailing from Newport, RI) will be a handful, though Jim Bishop’s Gold Digger (J/44) and Robin Team’s Teamwork (J/122) had podium finishes in Key West last month.    


Acura Grand Prix Standings after Acura Key West 2008, presented by Nautica

Top Boats in each Class


Farr 40

1.    Barking Mad, Jim Richardson – 29 points

2.    Mascalzone Latino, Vincenzo Onorato – 29 points

3.    Twins, Erik Maris – 37 points

4.    Nerone, Massimo Mezzaroma  - 42 points

5.    Mean Machine, Peter de Ridder – 61 points

6.    Warpath-MedImpact, Fred & Steve Howe – 61 points


Melges 32

1.    Star, Jeff Ecklund – 25 points

2.    New Wave, Mike Carroll and Marty Kullman – 27 points

3.    Let’s Roll, Claudio Recchi – 34 points

4.    Arkle, John Sherlock – 41 points

5.    Pinta, Michael Illbruck – 47 points


IRC Combined

1.    Numbers, Dan Meyers – 10 points

2.    Flash Glove, Colm Barrington – 14 points

3.    Samba Pa Ti, John Kilroy Jr. – 16 points

4.    Gold Digger,  Jim Bishop – 20 points

5.    Teamwork,  Robin Team – 24 points



Acura has been the proud title sponsor and Official Vehicle of the Miami Grand Prix, Miami Race Week and the SORC for the previous 8 years.  They are joined by supporting sponsors Mount Gay Rum (Official Rum) and SLAM (Official Technical Gear and Retailer).


The Miami Beach Marina is the Official Site for this 2008 grand prix event. The Avalon and South Seas Hotels are the Official Host Hotels.


The first entry deadline (for no late fee) is February 8.


Event details, entries and past results are available at www.Premiere-Racing.com


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


Acura Key West 2008 and the 2008 Acura Miami Grand Prix are US Sailing sanctioned events and are included in the US-IRC Gulf Stream Series.


Thirty-five Industry Partners bring their support through a program that is now in its 7th year.

Learn more about the Industry Partners and the Program on the event web site.


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 2008 Acura lineup features five distinctive models, the RL luxury performance sedan, the  TL premium performance sedan, the  TSX premium sport sedan, the turbo-charged RDX premium sport CUV and the award-winning MDX premium performance CUV. For more information about Acura vehicles, please visit www.acura.com.  For media inquiries, please go to www.acuranews.com.


Event details, entries and past results are available at www.Premiere-Racing.com


For more information on Premiere Racing, 2008 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

Web Site: www.Premiere-Racing.com



February 5, 2008  -- For Immediate Release                  


2008 Acura Miami Grand Prix Begins March 6

-- South Beach Beckons Top National and International Sailors


An impressive fleet of top-caliber racing programs is gearing up for top tier racing next month. The 2008 Acura Miami Grand Prix (March 6–9) will carry on the winter regatta excitement that recently concluded in Key West.


Two high profile one design classes, the Farr 40s and Melges 32s, and two IRC classes will compete in the four-day, ten-race series.


Warm Florida ocean waters and hot South Beach nightlife await the grand prix programs hailing from over 15 different countries.


The ultra competitive Farr 40 class takes the next step toward its World Championship in Miami later in April. The 25 boats on the line at Acura Key West 2008 will be joined by others, including former World Champion John Thomson in Miami. Jim Richardson’s Barking Mad prevailed in a tie-breaker over Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino earning a hard fought class win and the prestigious Acura Boat of the Week honors in Key West.


This owner driver class will feature a lineup of tacticians that can only be matched at a major World Championship event.


The IRC racing will be very competitive with a “big boat class” and a second smaller boat class that will include at least four Swan 42s. Dan Meyers’ new J/V 60 Numbers (Newport RI) took the big boat IRC class in their Key West debut. Tactician Brad Butterworth and a core Alinghi crew will be looking for a repeat win. Colm Barrington’s J/V 52 Magic Glove (Dublin, Ireland) and John Kilroy’s IRC optimized TP52 Samba Pa Ti ( Los Angeles California), will be looking to improve on their 2nd and 3rd place finishes in Key West.


The smaller IRC boat class will see Miami local Stuart Hebb (Aerodyne 38, Thin Ice) challenging the new Sllim 37 and Irish Commodore’s Cup boat No Naked Flames. The Swan 42s will be well represented in IRC 2 with four entries logged to date.

The Melges 32 class was the second largest class in Key West with an impressive 27-boat fleet. The level of talent in this exciting sport boat class has been on the rise since their South Florida debut in 2006. Key West rivalries will resume With Key West champion Jeff Ecklund and his all-Star crew firmly established as the boat to beat.


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 in their respective classes. Given the stature of both events and the competitiveness of these grand prix classes, these recipients will be special champions. Perpetual awards are in the offing to the Farr 40, Melges 32 classes and a combined IRC class. Samba Pa Ti is the defending IRC Acura Grand Prix Champion.


Information, details and results on the 2008 Acura Miami Grand Prix will be posted on the Premiere Racing web site: www.Premiere-Racing.com