Bacardi – Long Term Commitment to the Cup.

Lynn Fitzpatrick is at the Bacardi Cup. Do you think these sailors have a rum of choice? Given Bacardi’s commitment to their sport – they should. Lynn’s article below…..

Miami, FL (March 9, 2009) – For the past 33 years, Chris Rogers has had one week blocked out on his calendar; no questions asked. Nothing has kept him off of the water during the week of the Bacardi Cup. “It’s the one regatta that you know you are going to have good competition, good weather and good sailing. The first time I sailed it was in 1976. It was the first time that I ever came to Miami. I liked it so much that I decided to move here.”

Rogers has sailed with a list of legends and even won the regatta in 1977 with Miami and Star sailing legend, Ding Schoonmaker. Schoonmaker won the Bacardi Cup seven times over his career. “It’s a tough regatta to win and the list of sailors who have won it is as good as the one that hasn’t won it,” said Rogers.

While Rogers has sailed 33 consecutive Bacardi Cup regattas as a crew, John MacCausland has attended every Bacardi Cup since 1982, having sailed four others prior to 1982. His quest to win the precious Bacardi Cup for the first time continues.

Others at this year’s Bacardi Cup who know that they sailed their first Bacardi Cup within a decade after the competition moved from Cuba to Coconut Grove in 1962, yet have missed anywhere from a handful to a few races over the years are Rick Burgess, Chairman of the International Governing Committee, and Joe Zambella, who is also a member of the International Governing Committee and the North American Vice President.

Larry Scott, a member of Canada’s 1972 Olympic Tempest team, has crewed in approximately 15 Bacardi Cups. While he has never won the Bacardi Cup, his most memorable moment in his Star sailing career is undoubtedly Race 2 of the 2007 Bacardi Cup.

Scott and his skipper, Jock Kohlhas, had a not so comfortable lead over the fleet as they went into the final two legs of the race. They extended the lead on the run and loosely covered the past Star World Championship team of Loof and Ekstrom. Loof and Ekstrom tried to draw them into a tacking duel, but the leaders made sure that they minimized their tacks against the strong Swedes. Spectators held their collective breath as Kohlhas and Scott barely crossed the Swedes on port within one hundred yards of the finish line. The Swedes tried to ground them down by hiking with their hands over their heads. In the end Kohlhas and Scott beat Loof and Ekstrom by a nose.

The very same Larry Scott has just stepped into the position of Rear Commodore of the Star Class. Scott replaces Bill Parks who passed away December 10, 2008, one day before his 87th birthday. Parks was the president of the Star Class from 1974 to 1978 and a Bronze medalist in the Star at the 1960 Olympic Games (Rome).

Everyone who has ever been touched by the aura of the Bacardi Cup regatta owes a debt of gratitude to Tito Bacardi, the patriarch of the Bacardi Cup and the Bacardi family member who spirited the regatta from Cuba to Coconut Grove in 1962 and continues to present bottles of rum to the winners and cherished trophies at every one of the Annual Bacardi Cup Regattas.