Wind taken out of DeCouto’s sails
Douglas DeCouto and the crew of Man O' War lost momentum at the Bacardi Miami Sail Week in Biscayne Bay yesterday.
DeCouto, Rockal Evans and Bill McNiven started the day in sixth after making a flying start to the regatta 24 hours earlier.
But the local team struggled to come to grips with yesterday's light breezes, which further diminished in the afternoon, forcing the race committee to abandon competition after two races.
DeCouto slipped from sixth to eighth after placing 26th in the first race and eighteenth in the second before proceedings came to a premature halt.
“It was a very tough day and very different conditions,” the Bermuda Viper 640 Class Association president said. “It was light and lumpy and very hard to get off the starting line, and very hard to get clear air.”
DeCouto hopes his fortunes will take a turn for the better heading into today's final day of a regatta that features nearly 200 boats and sailors from 15 countries.
“We will get a good rest, reflect on our lessons, refresh ourselves and see what happens,” he said.
Climbing one spot from thirteenth to twelfth in the Viper 640 fleet was Somers Kempe and the crew of Overproof.
The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club skipper, who warmed up for the regatta by winning the EFG Winter Cup this week, sailed more consistently than the previous day to make subtle inroads.
Kempe posted finishes of eleventh and nineteenth but also found the conditions challenging — particularly coming off the starting line.
“It was light and very shifty and we didn't have good speed coming off the line,” he said. “We had a pretty good first race and then we faded a little bit in the second.”
The overall lead changed hands in the Viper 640 fleet, with Brad Boston replacing overnight Lawrence Crispin, of Britain, atop the leaderboard.
Crispin, who finished runner-up to Kempe at the Winter Cup, slipped to third, three points adrift of second-placed skipper Geoffrey Ewenson, of the United States.
Chuck Millican, the remaining sailor flying Bermuda's banner in Miami this week, slipped from 38th to 39th in the 46-boat J-70 Class.
Millican, who is sailing aboard Elusive with crew Corola Cooper, Dave Brining and Dan Couglin, placed 45th, 38th and 24th in the three races contested.
The lead also swapped hands in the J-70 fleet, with Carlo Alberini, of Italy, replacing Mexican Julian Fernández Neckelmann at the summit.
Neckelmann slipped to third, nine points behind Mauricio Santa Cruz, of Brazil.