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Another consistent top ten placing in race four of the Bacardi Cup preserves fourth overall for the sole Irish Star keelboat pair competing in Miami today. Although today's eighth place result is being discarded it is another excellent result for Peter O'Leary and David Burrows who are only a single point off third place in the 93-boat fleet. Racing is scheduled to conclude tomorrow with two more scheduled races left to sail.
Published in Olympics 2012

Peter O'Leary and David Burrows lie fourth overall at the halfway stage of the Star class Bacardi Cup in Miami today having posted a 7, 2 and 5 in the 93-boat fleet. Promisingly for the Cork-Dublin duo their top results have also been achieved across the wind range, a fact that must bode well for the remaining three races of the series on Biscayne Bay. Full Results HERE. A podcast with Olympic team manager James O'Callaghan is below:

slideshowmaster

Peter O'Leary and David Burrows - fourth at the half way stage of the Bacardi Cup. Photo: Ingrid Abery. More HERE

 

 

Published in Olympics 2012
Ireland's top performers from last week's Miami Olympic Classes Regatta are captured by photographer Ingrid Abery. Peter O'Leary and David Burrows in the Star keelboat are photographed in upwind pose along with fourth overall Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial. Click HERE for Ingrid's gallery.
Published in Olympics 2012
Ireland is well placed in the latest world cup standings issued by ISAF this week. After two events Peter O'Leary and David Burrows are ranked 13th in the Star and Annalise Murphy who finished fourth in Miami last week is ninth in the Laser Radial class. More HERE.
Published in Olympics 2012
Annalise Murphy goes in to today's final round of Miami Olympic Classes Regatta in Florida as a medal contender in the Laser Radial class after a string of top results gave her fourth overall last night.

The strong Dun Laoghaire girl relished the prospects of the big winds that blew at times on Biscayne Bay this week. Consistent results of 5, 15, 2, 2, 5, 6 11,9, (21) and 5 never saw her out of the top five.

Tuesday saw her bag two second places in a fleet of 58.  It was a turning point in a regatta that she crashed out of last year only to return wth grit to be Ireland's only medal hope today.

Last night's move up to fourth overall on the scoreboard is another confidence boost, heightening the prospect of a place on this evening's podium. Conditions in Miami today are forcast to be light, probably not the conditions the National Yacht club girl would have hoped for.

In the Star Peter O'Leary and his crew for his London 2012 bid David Burrows finished with a strong fifth place yesterday but it was not enough to make today's final. They finished 13th overall after counting a black flag disqualification on day two of the event. See all results HERE.

Rival to Annalise, Tiffany Brien from Belfast Lough finished 21st overall.

Her club mate Jame Espey was 49th out of 52 after 7 races in the Laser gold fleet.

More from Miami organisers below:

Waking to a brisk northwesterly breeze, sailors at US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR yesterday made up for races lost to light air Wednesday. The conditions, though chilly by Florida standards, played out perfectly for medals to be determined in three Paralympic classes, while 10 Olympic classes fought their final battles for the right to compete in tomorrow’s medal races, which are comprised of top-ten “sail-offs” for Finn, 49er, Men’s 470, Women’s 470, Laser, Laser Radial, Men’s RS:X, Women’s RS:X and Star classes, and Finals and Petit Finals for Elliott 6m (women’s match racing).  The regatta, which began Monday for 716 sailors from 53 nations, prepares Olympic and Paralympic sailing aspirants for the 2012 Games and is the second of seven stops on the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup circuit.

For France’s Damien Seguin, a two-time 2.4mR IFDS World Champion who is currently ranked  #1 in the world, winning gold in the Paralympic 2.4mR class was looking good from day two when he assumed the lead over his 30-boat fleet.  Clinching today, however, was not as straightforward as today’s scores seemed to reflect.  Following seven boat lengths behind leader USA’s John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.) at the finish in race one, Seguin was determined the actual winner when Ruf was disqualified for starting the race prematurely and neglecting to exonerate himself.  “After that, for my next two races, my score was such that I needed only to loosely cover Thierry Schmitter (NED),” said Seguin, further explaining that only if he finished worse than sixth would he foil his own plot. Schmitter, another IFDS World Champion, took the Silver Medal, finishing fourth in the first race and winning the next two, each time with Seguin behind in second.  

“There were many different winds here,” said Damien about the practice this provides for his run for a spot on the French national team.  “We started in strong wind, then there was light wind and today medium-strong.  I am very happy for that and for the competition.”

Taking bronze was Canada’s Allan Leibel, who is able-bodied and allowed to compete here, since the class is declared “open” for this event.

The Gold Medal taking in the Paralympic Sonar class by GBR’s John Robertson/Hannah Stodel/Steve Thomas came with an intriguing twist today. With two races completed, the Dutch team of Udo Hessels/Mischa Rossen/Marcel van de Veen were in the lead, and surprisingly, they did not sail the third and final race. 

“There were two points between us and the Dutch, so no one will ever know how it would have played out on the water,” said Robertson, explaining that he understands Hessel’s middle crew Rossen, a single-arm amputee, had been having problems with his opposite shoulder and the team had decided beforehand to race no more than two races today.

Robertson’s team, which took the Silver here last year, posted a final score of 30 to the 36 points posted by silver medalists Bruon Jourdren/Eric Flageul/Nicolas Vimont Vicary (FRA). The Dutch team, with 37 points, is going home with the Bronze.

As for his team’s overall strategy here, Robertson said, “We tried to sail our own race and not get hung up with the other guys. Hanna did a fantastic job calling tactics, especially today, as the wind was up and down and all over the place, with 40-50 degree shifts.”

The Australian Paralympic SKUD 18 team of Daniel Fitzgibbon/Liesl Tesch has led their fleet since day one and boasted six victories in their nine-race score line to take the Gold medal.  Today they finished 1-1-2.

“We didn’t walk away with it, really, but we were comfortably ahead,” said Fitzgibbon, who won a Paralympic Silver Medal (with a different crew) in Qingdao. "We didn’t expect to have done so well with such a new combination,” he added, noting that he and Tesch, who gave up Paralympic basketball (she is a two-time medalist) for her new-found love of sailing, have only been together on the SKUD 18 for a few weeks. “It’s a new challenge for her and a breath of fresh air for everybody.”
Taking Silver was US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics’ Scott Whitman/Julia Dorsett (USA), with Alexandra Rickham/Niki Birrell (GBR) taking the Bronze.

Medal Races Tomorrow
Top-ten finishers from today in each of nine Olympic classes will get only one chance--a 30- to 40-minute race—to make or break their claim to a podium position.  Emulating the Olympic format, the medal race counts double points and cannot be counted as the one allowed discard race when it is added to a sailor’s score line from the rest of the series.

In women’s match racing, US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics members Anna Tunnicliffe(/Molly Vandemoer/Debbie Capozzi (Plantation, Fla., USA/Redwood City, Calif./Bayport, N.Y., USA) will meet Claire Leroy/ Elodie Bertrand/Marie Riou (FRA) in a first-to-three points Finals match tomorrow to determine Gold and Silver medalists.  Lucy Macgregor/Mary Rook/ Kate Macgregor (GBR) and Sally Barkow (Nashotah, WI., USA)/ Alana O’Reilly (Charleston SC, USA)/ Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham (Miami Beach FL, USA) will be fighting for bronze in the Petit Finals.

Match racing starts on its own course at 9:30 tomorrow, with fleet racing starting at 11:00 am on two additional courses.  Fleet races are planned to be approximately 30 minutes in length and started 40 minutes apart. No racing will start after 1:40 p.m., so it will be an early day. 

US SAILING has partnered with the city of Miami to provide world-class venues for competition. Additional hosts for the event include Coral Reef Yacht Club, Key Biscayne Yacht Club, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Miami Rowing Club and Shake-a-Leg Miami. These sailing organizations host classes onshore, as well as help run the on-the-water racing. The Coral Reef Yacht Club also hosts the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

In addition to title sponsor Rolex Watch U.S.A., US SAILING’s 2011 Rolex Miami OCR is also sponsored by AlphaGraphics, Gowrie Group, Chubb Insurance, Sperry Top-Sider, Harken McLube, Trinity Yachts, University of Miami Hospital and Kattack.

A complete roster of competitors can be viewed at the event website, RMOCR.ussailing.org, where real-time racecourse blogging, commentary and fan interaction, regatta results, photos and news updates will be integrated into a live coverage platform once racing begins. Video highlights produced by Gary Jobson and presented by Rolex air daily and are available on-demand on the event website. Fans can also follow the event on Facebook/RolexMiamiOCR and Twitter/RolexMiamiOCR.

More in our Olympics 2012 category HERE

Published in Olympics 2012
Two more races in the Star keelboat at Miami Olympic classes regatta today has not brought any improvement for Peter O'Leary and David Burrows in the Star keelboat. The Cork -Dublin pair stay in the top third though, dropping one place to 16th in the 57-boat fleet after a day spent waiting for wind.
Published in Olympics 2012

Two seconds in today's Laser Radial racing on Biscayne Bay give Dun Laoghaire's Annalise Murphy third overall at Miami Olympic Classes Regatta but the news in the Star class is not as good after Ireland's Peter O'Leary and David Burrows nosedive after a Black Flag Disqualification in race four.

Single hander Murphy, from the National YC, is racing in a highly competitive 58-boat fleet that is led by Belgium's Evi Van Acker. Winds over 16 knots ideally suited the National YC sailor wh now counts a 5, 15 and the two second places. Results HERE.

O'Leary and Burrows dropped from fourth to 23rd after counting a 28th and the Black Flag result today in their 56-boat fleet. Results HERE.

radial-start

Annalise to leeward in a start in great conditions in Miami. Photo: Daniel Forster/Rolex

 

Published in Olympics 2012

Ireland is off to a flying start at Miami Olympic Classes Regatta in the Star Class. Peter O'Leary and David Burrows lie fourth overall in a fleet of 58 boats. Former Laser ace Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada from Brazil lead from Sweden's Frederick Loof and Max Salminen. Racing continues today. More HERE. Peter O'Leary podcast interview HERE.

 

 

Published in Olympics 2012

At 27 years of age Peter O'Leary has more achievements than many Irish sailors gain in a lifetime. Ireland's Beijing Olympic representative talks in this podcast below about his first tack in an Oppy (aged four), and how those formative years on the Owenabue river in Crosshaven have shaped his sailing career.

Latest Peter O'Leary Olympic Sailing News here.

His family continue to be a big influence (including one Grandad who won a Bronze medal at the 1968 Mexico Olympics). His early sailing was in Optimist and Laser dinghies and the ocassional cruiser until he started racing Cork's own 1720 sportsboat, a move the former Helmsmans Champion says was another big influence on him.

O'Leary reveals how local encouragement from Royal Cork club mate and four times Olympian Mark Mansfield first put him into the Star in 2007, a move that has given Ireland some stellar results.

He's sailing the Star now with David Burrows in a campaign for London 2012, the pair having just completed a month of training in Miami, Florida. 

The pair have secured a competitive edge through a new P Star boat that is proving very fast downwind. The boat and the sailors themselves will be back in Ireland next September for a crack at the class European title when it is sailed in Dun Laoghaire.

olearystar

Peter (left) and his stand in German Crew Frithjof Kleen celebrate their win in the Sail for Gold Regatta in August. Photo: Onedition

Peter O Leary – Sailing CV summary

1996     Optimist Europeans  Palma

1997     Optimist Europeans  Slovenia

1999     ISA Representative  Youth Worlds – Finland  24th place from 31 countries
2000     ISA Representative Youth Worlds – Sydney 12th place from 30 countries
2001     ISA Representative Youth Worlds – France   6th place from 39 countries

2000 / 2001/ 2002  Laser Irish National Champion

2005 / 2006    1720  National Champion

1999  – 2006  Tactician on several winning keelboats inc. Boat of the Series at Scottish Series(2004 and 2006) and at Sovereigns Cup 2005.

2006       ISA Helmsmans Champion

2008 Olympic Representative, Beijing

2010 Winner Sail for Gold Regatta, Weymouth

2010 Member of Winning Irish Rolex Commodore's Cup Team

Below a youtube clip of  Star keelboat sailing from Germany's Kiel Week

Published in Olympics 2012

The clearest indication of Irish sailing form for the 2012 Olympics will be known this week when four Sports council carded sailors go into action in a massive regatta of 800 sailors at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth. Annalise Murphy is in the Laser Radial and in the Star class Max Treacy and Anthony Shanks go head to head with Peter O'Leary who the Irish Times says this morning has had a last mniute crew change. David Burrows is out and Germany's Frithjof Kleen is sailing as a late substitution.

If you took a wander around the fine old English seaside resort of Weymouth, you'd find a mix of motives for being there on this particular Sunday in August – the beach, the sea, the ice cream. Move round the bay a little to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, where the elite of Olympic sailing are gathered for Skandia Sail for Gold 2010, and you'd think that the replies would be a little more focused – winning, perhaps? But you'd be wrong...

It might be the final event of this year's ISAF Sailing World Cup, not to mention the last but one Olympic class regatta at the 2012 venue before the main event, but not everyone is necessarily here to win. The Dutch 470 sailors, Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhort have racked up five 470 World Championship titles between them, including the most recent, along with Olympic silver in Beijing for Lobke. But when Lisa was asked if they had a choice between going left on the race course to stay with their competition, and going right to learn more about the venue, she replied, "We might choose the right, but we'll have to see," adding with a laugh, "It's nice to have a good result, we're sportsmen, we like to win."

Lisa and Lobke are out of contention for the ISAF Sailing World Cup, but Emmanuelle Rol and Hélène Defrance are just one point behind their French compatriots overall, Ingrid Petitjean and Nadège Douroux. But Rol reckons they have a weakness in breezier conditions after a poor performance at the World Championships, and is hoping to establish that they have improved after training in the Mistral in Marseille, "For us, the result is important, but also to try to have good races in strong conditions, and of course, learn about the Olympic venue. And so far, we have learned that the weather is not as good as in Marseille." The last said, we're sure, purely in jest...

US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics meteorologist (and former holder of the same position for the Luna Rossa America's Cup team), Doug Charko reckoned that Rol and Defrance will have plenty of opportunity to check their heavy weather progress, "There's a low heading into the area, which will probably arrive for Tuesday. So ten to 15 knots for Monday, building during the day, and then Tuesday with the low passing over Scotland there's quite a wide range in the global models, so although I'm hedging my bets a little, I'd say 15 to 20 and gusting to 25 knots from the south-west, raining and unsettled." Things look a little better for the rest of the week, with moderate south-westerly sea breezes forecast – classic Weymouth conditions.

Another Women's 470 contender who theoretically doesn't need to learn much about the venue is double Olympic Yngling Gold medallist and Weymouth resident Sarah Ayton. After recently returning to sailing following the birth of her first child, Ayton and her crew Saskia Clark is not in contention for the overall ISAF Sailing World Cup. But Sarah nevertheless finds herself with a similar balancing act; "You've got to use the opportunity to learn, you don't get many opportunities with a world class fleet in this venue, so it is important to learn. But obviously, it is important to perform in the Olympic venue, so it is a real balancing act of trying things when you can, but bearing in mind the end results." When asked the left or right-side of the course question, she replied with a smile, "It would be hard not to stay with the competition."

Sarah was up on the stage for a very bling opening ceremony, the new Olympic venue dripping with medals two years early. Many of those present are sailing in the Star class, which has some serious star-wattage. Double Olympic-medallist and current Star World Champions, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson had come straight from Team origin's win over current America's Cup holders, BMW Oracle, in the 1851 Cup.

For Iain Percy, it was a chance to learn about the venue, reckoning that they had to look at each Olympic venue afresh, in a much more analytical, professional way. But there were other reasons for coming to Weymouth, "Myself and Andrew do a lot of other sailing, and whenever we get back in the Star we always have a really good time, relax and enjoy it, old mates going out for a sail. So whenever we get a bit of a window in the calendar we jump at trying to get out in the Star for a bit of fun, and that's the main reason we're here."

Further Quotes
Lisa Westerhof (Holland, Women's 470, current World Champions), on their priorities for Skandia Sail for Gold; "We do set priorities during the year and our main goal this year was the World Championships. We use the World Cup to work with our processes and to develop equipment. We'll use this week to get to know the conditions in Weymouth and to get a feel for the water and the sailing conditions. But the weather and the systems - the low pressure and high pressure weather systems - the variety in the weather is comparable to Holland, so we feel at home."

Emmanuelle Rol (France, Women's 470, currently second in ISAF Sailing World Cup), on their priorities for Skandia Sail for Gold; "We are using the same equipment here as at the Worlds - developing gear will be the winter's task, we will try some new stuff then. We are quite a new crew together, so we had to work out our team work, and our next job will be to work on the equipment."

Iain Percy (Britain, Star, current World Champion), on the topic of keeping current with Olympic sailing, while balancing it with other sailing commitments; "I tried a little experiment after 2000 with the Finn, when I used to go back and have a race against the guys - and after nine months I felt pretty good, but then when I went back and tried it a couple of years later I was absolutely hopeless. So somewhere between your brain and your hands there's a memory that runs out after a certain amount of time."

Published in Olympics 2012
Page 4 of 5

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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