This year marked the 96th running of the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta in Miami, FL where fun, sun, and rum highlight the event. The iconic event marked the first appearance of the Melges 15 and is an annual highlight for the Melges 24s.

The Biscayne Bay features conditions that are unlike most places we sail throughout the year. There were three keys to victory that the top boats nailed at the event:

  1. Get on the lift!
    Sailing the lift longer than your competitor is always key, especially in Miami! Taking transoms and tacking on the lee stern of your competitor is a high-risk move that rarely pays off. This is largely due to our second tip.
  2. Don’t tack below the pressure!
    The pressure in Miami is condensed. You are either in it with a pressure and angle advantage or you are below it wondering why all the boats to windward are lifted. Make sure you are tacking as soon as you are headed and feel an increase in pressure. If you are not tacking as soon as you are headed, you’ll be missing out on the next oscillation and won’t be able to connect to the next shift while in a clean lane.
  3. Treat the first shift as your line bias.
    Understand what the first shift will be and then start your boat in a way to take full advantage. If you can nail the first shift, you’ll have a clear lane making life a whole lot easier.

Need help getting your program on track? Contact the Melges/Quantum Sails Zenda Team at or visit