Percy & Simpson third in first race at Bacardi Cup

Eivind Melleby and crew Petter Pederson of Norway neck in neck with Alan Adler and crew Ricardo Ermel of Brazil during one leg of Day One racing in the Bacardi Cup, Miami, FL.

Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson finished third in the opening race of the Star class Bacardi Cup in Miami. Winners were Eivind Melleby and Petter Pederson of Norway with second, Brazil’s Alan Adler, the 1989 Star Class World Champion, who sails this week with crew Ricardo Ermel.

Melleby and Pederson finished a boat length ahead of Adler and Ermel who rounded all four marks in first place before losing cover to the Norwegians on the race’s final beat. Great Britain’s Iain Percy, the 2002 Star world champion, and crew Andrew Simpson, finished third.

Winds in excess of 15 knots forced two general recalls before the race’s eventual start; and three teams, including 2008 Rolex Miami OCR Champion Xavier Rohart and crew Pascal Rambeau, were black-flagged and disqualified for crossing the line early. An early tack along the right side of the course helped Adler and Ermel to the lead at each of the four marks, followed closely by Melleby and Pederson. Both teams continued to favor the right side throughout the race and rode favorable winds to extend their lead over the rest of the fleet, before Melleby took the win.

“Our strategy was to play it safe by going right on the first beat, and the further right we went, it got better and better,” said Melleby, who sails this year in only his second Bacardi Cup. “We were in a big fight on the final beat and were able to keep clear of Adler so that he could not cover us. We’re very happy with today’s result and we’re in good form, but it’s a long regatta. All the best sailors in the world are here this week.”

The 110 teams representing 26 countries are competing in the six-day regatta, which is widely regarded as one of the best and most competitive Star Class events in the world.

The Norwegian duo bested a fleet that included Peter Bromby, one of most acclaimed Bermudian sailors of all-time and a two-time Bacardi Cup champion; George Szabo, former North American champion in both the Star and Laser classes; 2006 Bacardi Cup Champions and U.S. Olympic hopefuls John Dane and crew Austin Sperry.

Defending Bacardi Cup Champion Hamish Pepper and crew El Peel of New Zealand finished nineteenth Sunday with five races to go in the regatta.

Star - Results after day 1 at Bacardi Cup

1 NOR 8234 Melleby Eivind Pedersen Petter 8234 NOR 1.0 1
2 BRA 8337 Adler Alan SEIFERT RONALD 8337 RdJ 2.0 2
3 GBR 8345 Percy Iain Simpson Andrew 8345 SO 3.0 3
4 BRA 8255 SCHEIDT ROBERT PRADA BRUNO 8255 Glu 4.0 4
5 AUT 8226 Spitzauer Hans Nehammer Christian 8226 Att 5.0 5
6 BER 8272 Bromby Peter White Lee 8272 Isol 6.0 6
7 BRA 8284 GRAEL LARS JORDÁO MARCELO 8284 Par 7.0 7
8 IRL 8254 O'Connell Maurice Cooke Ben 8254 Isol 8.0 8
9 USA 8285 Diaz Augie Trinter Phil 8285 BisB 9.0 9
10 USA 8320 Reynolds Mark Gale Jamie 8320 SDB 10.0 10
11 POL 8209 Kusznierewicz Mateusz Zycki Dominik 8209 Isol 11.0 11
12 POR 8309 Domingos Afonso Santos Bernardo 8309 CP 12.0 12
13 AUS 8214 Murray Iain Palfrey Andrew 8214 Lmac 13.0 13
14 IRL 8261 O'Leary Peter Milne Stephen 8261 Isol 14.0 14
15 SUI 8296 Marazzi Flavio De Maria Enrico 8296 TB 15.0 15
16 ITA 8266 Negri Diego Viale Luigi 8266 VE 16.0 16
17 USA 8312 Merriman Rick Sharp Brian 8312 LH 17.0 17
18 ITA 8281 Modena Luca Lambertenghi Sergio 8281 NG 18.0 18
19 NZL 8187 PEPPER Hamish Peel Ed 8187 Isol 19.0 19
20 USA 8230 DANE John Sperry Austin 8230 MoB 20.0 20
21 USA 8136 Filter Henry Wagner Will 8136 AN 21.0 21
22 ITA 8180 Bruni Francesco NOBILI Gilberto 8180 Pal 22.0 22
23 ITA 8313 Barovier Alberto Colaninno Nando 8313 SG 23.0 23
24 FIN 8094 MAKILA Jali Heinonen Erkki 8094 FIN 24.0 24
25 USA 8176 Lidecis Erik Marzahl Michael 8176 NH 25.0 25
26 USA 7986 Labandeira Julio Chernobilsky Nicolas 7986 OL 26.0 26
27 USA 8303 Macdonald Andy Fatih Brian 8303 NH 27.0 27
28 BRA 8283 Brun Gastao Kraiczyk Fabio 8283 RdJ 28.0 28
29 USA 8306 Buckingham Jim Monroe Eric 8306 NH 29.0 29
30 UKR 8314 GUREYEV Vasyl KOROTKOV Volodymyr 8314 Ukr 30.0 30
31 ARG 7907 MacGowan Fabian ENGELHARD Federico 7907 OL 31.0 31
32 JPN 8144 SUZUKI Kunio WadaDaichi 8144 Isol 32.0 32
33 GER 8109 Stanjek Robert Koy Markus 8109 BF 33.0 33
34 ITA 8332 Chieffi Enrico Galli Massimo 8332 PDV 34.0 34
35 ESP 7581 Bermudez Roberto Ferreira Marcelo 7581 P-San 35.0 35
36 ARG 7 Rigoni Alejo Gonzalez Gustavo 7 BA 36.0 36
37 HUN 8166 Tenke Tibor Bendicsek Jozsef 8166 ore 37.0 37
38 GER 8213 Wilhelm Peer Hollweg Nils 8213 KF 38.0 38
39 ITA 8290 Santoni Silvio Natucci Dodo 8290 NG 39.0 39
40 RUS 8305 Shevtsov Sergey Sadchikov Roman 8305 StP 40.0 40
41 USA 8195 Maccausland John Murphy Kevin 8195 CR 41.0 41
42 USA 8218 Serinis Aaron Schofield Bob 8218 MES 42.0 42
43 BAH 8265 Kelly Steven Bill Holowesko 8265 N 43.0 43
44 USA 8043 Manderson John GOTSULYAK Roman 8043 Mid 44.0 44
45 SUI 8009 Gautschi Christoph Gouda Alex 8009 Bod 45.0 45
46 CHI 8319 Zuazola Rodrigo Riegel Robert 8319 Val 46.0 46
47 USA 8264 McChesney Peter Zwingelberg Shane 8264 AN 47.0 47
48 USA 8269 Kohlhas Jock Scott Larry 8269 BisB 48.0 48
49 GBR 7601 Hicks Michael Hicks Patrick 7601 49.0 49
50 BRA 8282 PASCOLATO ALESSANDRO Boening Henry 8282 GuB 50.0 50
51 SUI 7990 Stegmeier Daniel Stegmeier Beat 7990 TB 51.0 51
52 GER 8130 Voigt Henning Dirk Steve 8130 Aac 52.0 52
53 USA 8215 Allen Bill Hatfield Bruce 8215 WH 53.0 53
54 SUI 8085 Zimmerman Lorenz Mutti Michael 8085 LUV 54.0 54
55 USA 8253 Brethorst Rick Anderson Scott 8253 LS 55.0 55
56 CRO 8280 Lovrovic Dan Lovrovic Sr Marin 8280 Isol 56.0 56
57 ITA 8344 Tamburini Antonio Ricci Renzo 8344 SI 57.0 57
58 SWE 7978 Krook Ingvar Hasselgren Henrik 7978 AR 58.0 58
59 ARG 8169 Zanetti Alberto Warburg Gustavo 8169 OL 59.0 59
60 USA 8317 Vandermolen Jon Ticknor Steve 8317 Glu 60.0 60
61 UKR 8096 8096 Ukr 61.0 61
62 ARG 8239 Pendola Martin Engelhard Jaun Pablo 8239 OL 62.0 62
63 CAN 8143 Cramer Brian Bjorn Tyler 8143 WLOC 63.0 63
64 CAN 7784 Li Hongquan Wang He 7784 EB 64.0 64
65 ITA 8156 Irrera Renato Corrado Cristaldini 8156 Pal 65.0 65
66 UKR 8205 Datsenko Kostyantin Yevseyenko Oleksandr 8205 Ukr 66.0 66
67 USA 8087 McNeilKevin 8087 AN 67.0 67
68 GER 8311 Hampe Axel Conrads Chris 8311 ZuW 68.0 68
69 BRA 8300 FICKER PETER Lopes Arthur 8300 SAN 69.0 69
70 USA 8222 Gardner Ed Gardner Kip 8222 LG 70.0 70
71 USA 8270 Bonanni Claude Burgess Rick 8270 TaB 71.0 71
72 ITA 8164 Chinca Valerio Ciano Massimo 8164 FDM 72.0 72
73 GER 7865 Lehnert Stefan Menning Peter 7865 Brm 73.0 73
74 USA 7713 Fransen Ben Coleman Ian 7713 AN 74.0 74
75 USA 8245 Zambella Joe Morey Ed 82