Sunday, 13 March 2011
Craig Monk (left) and Hamish Pepper collect a race podium prize at the Bacardi Cup in Miami. Image copyright Franco Paco/Bacardi Cup.
by Jodie Bakewell-White, with additional information from SailRaceWin
The NZL Sailing Team Star crew of Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk have finished fifth at the prestigious Bacardi Cup Miami Sailing Week Regatta 2011, which was also the first outing for their new P Star boat.
The Bacardi Cup for the Olympic Men’s keelboat – the Star - dates back 84 years and the event attracts a world class fleet; 2011 was no exception and a 93 strong fleet took part in the week long regatta.
A top five finish for Pepper and Monk marks a solid start to the 2011 European season for the pair who joined forces in 2009 to campaign towards the 2012 Olympic Games in the Star class.
Guillaume Florent and Pascal Rambeau of France won the regatta with a one point margin over Ireland’s Peter O'Leary and David Burrows. Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen of Norway rounded out the podium places for bronze two points further back. Pepper and Monk were only seven points behind the overall winners.
Southern Star Racing (Pepper and Monk) on the race course on Day 2 at the Bacardi Cup with their new P Star boat. Image copyright Fried Elliott/www.friedbits.com
The Kiwis saved their best until last rounding off the regatta with a race win on the final day recording three top three finishes’ from a total of six races sailed during the week. In line with class tradition the fleet sailed just one race per day in an every race counts battle of the best in the Star, but made up yesterday with two races due to one missed from no racing the previous day.
A 14th on day one, and an 18th in race five were the stumbling blocks for Pepper and Monk in terms of securing a podium finish this time. Their best performance as a pair in the Star to date is a silver medal at the 2009 Star World Championships in Varberg, Sweden.
Pepper and Monk on Day 1 at the Bacardi Cup, Miami. Image copyright Franco Paco.
Individually both have built hugely successful careers in sailing with highlights including Olympic Bronze for Monk in the Finn in 1992, and a Star World Championship title for Pepper in 2006. Together now they continue to demonstrate that they’re a force to be reckoned with in the hotly contested Star class.
Pepper and Monk are now coached in the Star by Mark Bradford.
Southern Star Racing
Yachting New Zealand