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Miami nice for O'Leary and Milne

2nd May 2008
Miami nice for O'Leary and Milne
As a stand alone feat it was the final race world championship win by Royal
Cork's Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne in Miami two weeks ago that
ultimately swung selectors towards a pairing whose fifth-ever Star regatta
will now also be their Olympic debut.

In a four month campaign that was originally aimed at London before pitching
in for Beijing, O'Leary and Milne have notched up some top results and
dispensed with two rival campaigns of eight and four years duration.

As expected yesterday's decision in favour of O'Leary is to be appealed and in a wider context it puts Irish Olympic sailing back in to the spotlight as questions remain over whether any future Olympic selections should be made in the boardroom or kept on the water.

"While it is very disappointing for the two crews who miss out, the ISA unanimously selected O'Leary and Milne. They have demonstrated that they
have the best chance of success in the Olympic regatta" said chairman of the selectors, Colm Barrington.

Significantly O'Leary and Milne were the only crew to post two top five results at April's World Championships. It did not escape selectors attention that, were it not for a dismasting in second place, a third top five result and a top ten overall was on the cards.

But yesterday Treacy of Dun Laoghaire, the only Irish helmsman to have
attained the status of ‘World Class Athlete’ with the Irish Sports Council,
branded it a 'controversial' decision.

"Anthony and I won outright on the water, we alone qualified the country, we
are the highest placed Irish Star sailors in the world rankings, we won the
nominated events by an indisputable margin, and we were fourth in the Grade
One Spring Europeans last year against virtually all of the current nominated countries for the 2008 Olympics."

Treacy's appeal must be made within ten days and under current ISA rules it
must be made in the first instance to the group who only yesterday
unanimously rejected him.
Published in Editors Blog Team

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