Bacardi Miami Sailing Week: Brazilians maintain lead after rough day on Biscayne Bay

All six fleets managed one or more races in advance of a tornado threat Thursday afternoon in Biscayne Bay in Bacardi Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank.

In the 54-boat Star class, Brazilians Lars Grael and Samuel Gonzalves held on to a five-point lead over runners-up Mark Reynolds of San Diego and Magnus Liljedahl of Miami after both teams scored their worst finishes — 14th and 12th, respectively — since racing began Monday.

French skipper Xavier Rohart, the 2012 Bacardi and world champion, won Thursday with crew Pulfer Serge to take fourth place overall behind Grael’s brother Torben and crew Guilheme Almeida, in third.

Plantation’s Brad Funk and crew Mark Strube of San Diego are fifth. The team with the lowest score at the conclusion of racing Saturday wins the 87th Bacardi Cup — the marquee event of Sailing Week.

Thursday marked the opening of racing for the five other featured classes.

The 41-boat Audi Melges 20 fleet got in three races with Samba Pa Ti, owned by John Kilroy of Los Angeles, taking an 11-point lead over Drew Freides’ Pacific Yankee.

Fort Lauderdale skipper Phil Lotz and crew on Arethusa are tied with the Canadian team on Jackpot for first place after three races in the 26-boat Viper 640 class.

Muse, skippered by Heather Gregg-Earl of Boston, tops the 40-boat J 70 class, leading runner-up Savasana, skippered by Brian Keane of Weston, Mass., by one point.

Italy’s Little Wing, skippered by Nicola Ardito, tops the eight-boat Melges 24 fleet after three races.

In the new, 21-boat VX One class, Smuggler — skippered by Donovan Brennan of Mobile, Ala. — is tied with David Bolyard’s team on VX Racing out of Portsmouth, R.I., for the lead. Third-place USA 148, led by Kevin Northrop of Daphne, Ala., trails by one point.

Racing resumes Friday and Saturday out of Kennedy Park on the Coconut Grove waterfront.

Read more Outdoors stories from the Miami Herald

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Good to go:</span> Ryan Bancroft of Weston measures one of the lobsters he caught in the waters of Biscayne Bay near Fishermen’s Channel in July 2013.

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 <span class="cutline_leadin">Saving the day:</span> John Long releases a tarpon caught on fly rod by Sue Cocking off the Marquesas Keys.

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    Tarpon make for nice backup plan

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Shane Hutto of Orlando holds up a large red snapper he caught off Port Canaveral with Cop Out Charters.

    Final red snapper of the season ready to be snapped up

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