2008 Ken Stanek / KenStanek.com2008 Ken Stanek / KenStanek.com

Top Programs and Sailors Set to Compete in the Acura Miami Grand Prix, Racing Starts March 6

5 March 2008

Miami Beach, Fla – A spectacular location and superb sailing conditions are two reasons why 61 boats from 14 countries have entered the 2008 Acura Miami Grand Prix, being held Thursday through Sunday off South Beach.

The fast growing Melges 32 class was also hotly contested in Key West and another battle royale shapes up for Acura Miami Grand Prix. Jeff Ecklund skippered Star to a narrow two-point victory over New Wave (Mike Carroll and Marty Kullman) at Key West and knows it will be tough to repeat that feat.

New Wave’s Carroll and Kullman are coming off a hard-earned victory at the St. Petersburg Sperry Top-Sider NOOD and have brought Quantum professional Scott Nixon onboard as tactician.

“We normally have a completely Corinthian crew and take great pride in that approach, but the class just continues to get stronger and all the top boats have star-studded crews,” Carroll said. “We felt we needed to do something in order to remain competitive. Jeff (Ecklund), in particular, has brought the fleet along with his commitment and effort. We will be hard-pressed to keep pace with his team.”

“This regatta is going to be the same as Key West… any one of six boats is capable of winning,” said Ecklund, a Fort Lauderdale resident who will have boat builder Harry Melges calling tactics again. “We were fortunate to have consistent boat speed in all conditions in Key West and hopefully we can carry that over to Miami.”

Dave Brennan, a lifelong Miami resident, returns for his fifth year as principal race officer. Brennan hopes to complete 10 windward-leeward races set off Hawk Channel just south of Government Cut.

“The breeze tends to be very steady off Miami this time of year,” said Brennan, who is coming off a successful stint as PRO for the Etchells Jaguar Series. “Sea conditions inside the reef are terrific when the wind is under 15 knots. If it kicks up to 18 or 20, the waves tend to corner up and it can get a bit bumpy.”

Since taking over management of the annual regatta four years ago, Premiere Racing has breathed new life into an event with a 60 year history.

“It’s great to see this grand prix format we put in place last year take hold,” event director Peter Craig said. “We are looking at strong numbers in all four classes, which proves the owners have responded positively to the change.”

Competitors in all classes will be looking to capture the Acura Grand Prix Trophy, awarded for best overall performance at the two major winter regattas organized by Premiere Racing.

“To win the combined trophy for Acura Key West and Acura Miami Grand Prix is a real accomplishment. It shows consistency over the course of two highly competitive events,” Craig said.

Results, photos and news: http://www.premiere-racing.com

ABOUT 2008 ACURA MIAMI GRAND PRIX
March 6 – 9, 2008
Acura has been the proud title sponsor and Official Vehicle of the Miami Grand Prix, Miami Race Week and the SORC for the previous 8 years. They are joined by supporting sponsors Mount Gay Rum (Official Rum) and SLAM (Official Technical Gear and Retailer).

The Miami Beach Marina is the Official Site for this 2008 grand prix event. The Avalon and South Seas Hotels are the Official Host Hotels.

Event details, entries and past results are available at www.Premiere-Racing.com

Shake-A-Leg Miami is the official charity of both the Acura Miami Grand Prix and Acura Key West. For information about them please visit: www.ShakeALegMiami.org

Acura Key West 2008 and the 2008 Acura Miami Grand Prix are US Sailing sanctioned events.

Thirty-five Industry Partners bring their support through a program that is now in its 7th year.

Learn more about the Industry Partners and the Program on the event web site.

ABOUT ACURA
Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced luxury performance vehicles through a nationwide network of more than 260 dealers throughout the United States. The 2008 Acura lineup features five distinctive models, the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL premium performance sedan, the TSX premium sport sedan, the turbo-charged RDX premium sport CUV and the award-winning MDX premium performance CUV. For more information about Acura vehicles, please visit www.acura.com. For media inquiries, please go to www.acuranews.com.

For more information on Premiere Racing, 2008 Acura Grand Prix, and its Sponsors and Partners:

Premiere Racing, Inc.
67B Front Street, Marblehead, MA, 01945
Tel: (781) 639-9545 Fax: (781) 639-9171
Email: Info@Premiere-Racing.com
Web Site

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