Cooper Captures 2017 Bermuda Bacardi Keelboat Win
posted Nov 20, 2017, 1:51 PM by IOD-WCA Webmaster [ updated Nov 20, 2017, 2:21 PM ]
By Richard Thompson
The Bacardi Keelboat Regatta is now 3 years old and is establishing itself as a must-come-to event on the IOD sailing calendar, particularly for those members of fleets on the East Coast of the United States. This year, we had 9 participating skippers from our various fleets. Four of the competitors were from Bermuda, Patrick Cooper, Blythe Walker, Craig Davis and Bob Duffy, three from our newest fleet in Manhattan, Commodore Michael Fortenbaugh, Andreas Glacoumis and Yannick Le Gourieres and Mac True. The final 2 competitors were Nick Schoeder from Northeast Harbor and Trig Lijestrand from San Francisco. This is a 3-day event and consists of 3 races per day. Bacardi are the lead sponsor and provided great cocktail parties for us, the first at their worldwide headquarters and the second at the prize giving at the RBYC.
Racing got off to a great start on Thursday Nov. 16th with 10 – 15 knots of breeze. The day was dominated by the Bermudians with Patrick Cooper winning 2 races and Blythe Walker taking the other top finish. Day 2 brought freshening and shifting breezes of 12 – 18 knots. In the middle of the second race, a cold front came through the racecourse bringing torrential rain, increased winds, and chaos as the final downwind leg became a tight reach and spinnakers went up and then quickly came down!
After the storm came the calm, and the competitors waited for some time for the race committee to establish a course as the wind had made a dramatic shift to the right. The final race was sailed in 10 – 15 knots but the outcome on day 2 was the same with the Bermudians dominating the top spots.
The final day of racing was held under sunny skies and moderate 10 – 15 knots of wind, a perfect way to finish the regatta. Blythe Walker won 2 of the races and Patrick Cooper the other race to win the regatta with the other 2 Bermudians (Blythe Walker and Craig Davis) coming 2nd and 3rd. The prize giving was held at the RBYC sponsored by Bacardi after which our IOD participants and friends went to Henry VIII for dinner, drinks and dancing to close out a successful and fun week. We are now planning and looking forward to next year!