North Sails NEWS

March 14, 2019


Eric Doyle Wins Bacardi Cup With M-25 Mainsail And J-115 Full Radial Jib

Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise, 2019 Bacardi Cup Champions. © Martina Orsini

Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise won the 2019 Bacardi Cup Invitational, beating out seven World Champions and multiple Olympic medalists by never crossing the finish line worse than fourth. Coral Reef Yacht Club and the beautiful Biscayne Bay host this prestigious event every year, and Miami did not disappoint; sailors had warm weather and great breeze almost the entire week.


Racing began on Monday with a shifty southerly breeze. Defending champions Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi showed they were serious about winning again by decisively taking the first race. After a day off with not enough wind for racing, Polish Olympic champion Mateusz Kuszierewicz/Frithjof Kleen redeemed themselves from a first race OCS to take the gun in race two. Great breeze arrived Thursday, and the French duo of Xavier Rohart/Pierre Alexis Ponsot won a hard-fought victory in race three. Midway through the series, Doyle/Infelise hadn’t finished out of the top four and were leading the series by a nice margin.

On Friday, Paul Cayard and six-time Bacardi Cup champion Magnus Liljedahl really hit their stride and won races four and five by comfortable margins. Doyle/Infelise had not yet won a race, but with no finish worse than fourth they went into the final race with only Cayard/Liljedahl a mathematical threat for the championship. When they rounded first and spotted Cayard/Liljedahl uncharacteristically far from the leaders, Doyle/Infelise were able to retire early and enjoy a quiet victory sail back to the dock. Kuszierewicz/Kleen won a hard fought battle against the always fast team of Eivind Melleby/Josh Revkin, and those two teams filled out the other podium spots.

The Star Class is known to have a deep fleet of very talented sailors from all over the World ©Martina Orsini


A good crew is critical to winning Star regattas, and Eric says he’s lucky to sail with Payson. “We always have a good time on and off the water. He basically runs the show downwind. At the bottom, it’s just a basic question: do we go left or right? What do you like? And we go that way. It’s great to have someone to bounce ideas off of, and it’s almost always correct. We’ve been sailing together five or six years, so everything happens automatically with very few distractions. Anything goes wrong, it’s no big deal. We just move on.”

Eric and Payson celebrating after the final race. © Martina Orsini


According to Eric, 2019 is going to be a really big year for the Star. “At the European Championships in Garda in May, there’ll be the traditional Star racing until the last day, and then the top ten boats go into a Star Sailors League knockout series. Then we have the Star Worlds in Porto Cervo, which everybody is excited about. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect 100 boats at each of those events.”

And the North Sails product line will be ready to perform. “We had 5-20 knots and we used one main the whole time,” Eric says. “I felt as fast as anybody throughout the whole wind range. Many customers commented on how well it worked in all conditions, easy to trim and set up and most importantly, fast. And that’s what we’re aiming for.”

The awards ceremony © Martina Orsini
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