Winds cancel Star fleet race during Miami Sailing Week on Biscayne Bay

Wild winds gusting upwards of 25 knots from the west-northwest forced cancellation of Friday’s race for the Star fleet and shortened competition for the other five classes in Bacardi Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank.

There were numerous reports of boats capsizing, breaking masts and sustaining other damage on frothy Biscayne Bay, but no reports of injuries, according to regatta chairman Mark Pincus.

“Going over isn’t the end of the world,” Pincus said. “They get their sails down and get up and start sailing again. What’s bad is breaking stuff so that you can’t finish the race.”

Race Week’s final day will begin earlier than usual Saturday so that all the fleets can make up missed races.

With no race Friday in the 54-boat Star fleet, Thursday’s standings had Brazilians Lars Grael and crew Samuel Gonzalves leading by five points over Mark Reynolds of San Diego and Magnus Liljedahl of Miami. Grael’s brother Torben and crew Guilheme Almeida are in third, followed by fourth-place Xavier Rohart and Pulfer Serge of France. Plantation’s Brad Funk and teammate Mark Strube of San Diego are fifth.

The 41-boat Audi Melges 20 class managed to complete two races Friday and their counterparts, the Melges 24s, got in three. Jupiter’s John Taylor and his team on Ninkasi tops the Melges 20s while Mikey — skippered by Kevin Welch of Anacortes, Wash. — heads the Melges 24s.

Fort Lauderdale’s Phil Lotz on Arethusa maintained a one-point lead over Canada’s Jackpot, skippered by Brad Boston, in Friday’s sole Viper 640 race. In J 70s, Will Welles’ Rascal out of Portsmouth, R.I., is tied for the lead with Savasana, skippered by Brian Keane of Weston, Mass. Team Smuggler, skippered by Donovan Brennan of Mobile, tops the new, 21-boat VX One class with a three-point lead over VX Racing, skippered by David Bolyard of Portsmouth, R.I.

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