FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – SCARLINO, ITALY (September 14, 2023) Bacardi USA is proud to support Matthew Rajacich and Eric Wagner, the 2023 Bacardi Cup U30 Champions, in their pursuit of success at the 2023 Star Class World Championship. The regatta will take place in Scarlino, Italy from September 16th to the 24th.

The Bacardi U30Program underscores the significance of investing in the future of sailing, enabling access to competitive sailing and fostering the growth of young sailors who show exceptional promise and dedication to their sport. Recognizing U30 sailors have many other commitments at this stage of their lives, can mean that competing at sailing events can be a time and financial challenge. The Bacardi Cup U30 Program aims to be a catalyst that makes the difference.

Matthew Rajacich / Eric Wagner (USA 7996) racing at the 2023 Bacardi Cup, Miami, USA

A Partnership

The Bacardi U30 Program further enhances the long-term partnership between Bacardi and the International Star Class Yacht Racing Association (ISCYRA). Since the first Bacardi Cup in 1927, the Star Class and the Bacardi brand have forged shared values and celebrated the Star class motto “Honoring the Past, Leading the Future”.

Bacardi understands the pivotal role young sailors play in shaping the future of competitive sailing and is committed to supporting them on their path to excellence with financial assistance. 

America’s Matthew Rajacich started Star sailing in 2016 and has raced the Bacardi Cup, both at the helm and as crew. 2023 was his second time helming at the Bacardi Cup, where he claimed the title of U30 Champion. By winning, Rajacich automatically secured financial support from Bacardi to compete at the upcoming Star Worlds.

“For me, the U30 Program is more about getting other under-30 skippers in the boat. I am already hooked and just want to see the Star Class grow,” said Rajacich. “I love being able to race against sailors that are similar in age to me with the hope that I will be able to race against them for the rest of my life.

Matthew Rajacich / Eric Wagner racing at the 2022 Bacardi Cup, Miami, USA

The 2018 Star Worlds marked Rajacich’s first world championship experience, which he declared as, “My first introduction to 2-mile legs and the intense competition that comes with the Star Class. After that, I was hooked for life!”

Securing funding for young sailors is a crucial step in enabling them to participate in world-class events such as the Star Class World Championship. Young sailors face numerous challenges, including travel expenses, equipment costs, and training fees. With Bacardi’s support, these barriers can be reduced, allowing sailors to focus on their training and preparation for the Championship.

“Bacardi firmly believes that investing in the next generation of sailors is an investment in the future of the sport itself,” explained Eddie Cutillas, Bacardi USA. “By providing Matthew and Eric with the financial support they need, we are helping them reach their full potential and ensuring the continued success of Star Class sailing.

Celebrating U30 Bacardi Cup program recipients at the 2023 Bacardi Cup, Miami, USA

Be part of the 97th Bacardi Cup

Bacardi invites U30 Star Class sailors to the 97th Bacardi Cup in Miami, USA from March 3-9, 2024. The Bacardi Cup U30 Program gives the next generation of Star sailors the opportunity to pursue their racing ambitions and potential by providing complimentary event entry and financial assistance towards event costs for up to ten teams from around the world. To find out more please email [email protected].

Follow the 2023 Star Class World Championship:

Event website:

Text Credit: Luissa Smith

Photo Credits: Martina Orsini 

About Bacardi:

Bacardi U.S.A. Inc. is the United States import and distribution arm of family-owned Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world. The company boasts a portfolio of some of the most recognized and top-selling spirits brands in the United States including BACARDÍ® rum, PATRÓN® tequila, GREY GOOSE® vodka, DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch Whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, MARTINI vermouth and sparkling wines, the world’s leading vermouth and the world’s favorite Italian sparkling wines, and other leading and emerging brands. Founded more than 158 years ago in Santiago de Cuba, Bacardi Limited currently employs more than 7,000, operates more than 20 production facilities in 11 countries, and sells its brands in more than 170 countries. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited. Visit:

September 14, 2023 Press Release, WS1, WS2