As many as 200 sailboats will dot the horizon in Biscayne Bay for Bacardi Miami Sailing Week, which runs Sunday through Saturday. But competitive racing isn’t the only highlight of the weeklong festival along the Coconut Grove waterfront.
Street artists from Wynwood will be using sails as canvases, creating paintings to be displayed at Coco Walk, and local residents are invited to team up with Olympians and world champions for a friendly pro-am regatta aboard Sonar and Marstrom 32 boats out of Shake-A-Leg Miami on Sunday to benefit several charities.
“Sailors are competitive but they also enjoy the camaraderie surrounding it,” said event organizer Gabriele Pedrone of StudioMilano.
“It’s a combination of racing and social.”
The marquee event of sailing week is the Bacardi Cup on Monday through Saturday — one of the longest-running sporting events in the western hemisphere now in its 87th year — featuring as many as 60 Star-class sailboats from 15 countries.
The Star — sailing’s oldest Olympic class — will not compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but the venerable keelboat still draws some of the most competitive racers in the world. The two-person team with the lowest score at the conclusion of racing Saturday gets to drink rum from the silver Trofeo Bacardi.
The Stars will be joined in the bay Thursday through Saturday by five other one-design classes: Audi Melges 20; J 70; Viper 640; Melges 24; and, new this year, VX One — a sport boat just launched in 2011.
The social center for the festivities is Kennedy Park, but the event is co-hosted by the US Sailing Center; Coral Reef Yacht Club; Coconut Grove Sailing Club and Shake-A-Leg Miami.