Displaying items by tag: Peter O'Leary
Cork Harbour sailors will be part of a record-breaking Bacardi Cup Regatta in Miami next week when more than 500 sailors from around the world will race in Biscayne Bay Florida at the 93rd edition of the Cup and Bacardi Invitational Regatta from March 1-7, 2020.
From Myrtleville, North Sails Ireland boss Nigel Young is also Miami bound. Racing under the burgee of Guernsey Yacht Club, Young is racing the Melges 24 Black Seal with Richard Thompson, Mike Claxton, Catherine Alton and William Goldsmith.
See the entry list here.
Offering a unique blend of world-class racing, atmosphere and social events, the Bacardi Cup and Bacardi Invitational Regatta is undoubtedly one of the world’s most prestigious regattas that, in 2020, will welcome a record-breaking 196 entries, attracting an international entry list of professional rock star racers and super-talented Corinthian teams.
The goal is to build on the long tradition of the Star Class and maintain and champion performance in other popular classes, whilst retaining the mix of outstanding racing on Biscayne Bay and superb shore side atmosphere and socials for which the event is renowned.
Across the fleets, sailors from around the USA will be joined by teams representing nineteen countries, including Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Thailand. Four courses will operate simultaneously and this year, the iconic Star Class will be joined by the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640, and brand new for the race track this year are the VXOne sports boat and AV8 and Windfoil classes.
Racing for the Star Class gets underway in Biscayne Bay on Monday 2 March, with the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640, VXOne and windfoils taking to the track on Thursday 5 March. The Star fleet will contest their traditional one race per day in a true test of endurance relished by the sailors, whilst all other fleets will sail eight races across three days.
“We have an outstanding race management team who join us for the event and ensure scrupulous attention to detail,” commented Mark Pincus, Regatta Chairman. “We are super pleased to continue our path of innovation by embracing the latest technology and new for this year will be the MarkSetBot robotic mark laying system. These self-propelled marks are controlled by a smartphone and will help us deliver fast mark laying whatever the weather throws at us. The race tracks are complex and unpredictable, ensuring lots of opportunities for teams to really test themselves and guarantee some intense action.”
The largest entry goes to the Star Class where World Champions, Olympians and America’s Cup legends will crowd out the fleet in the pressure battle for the elusive Bacardi Cup title. The Star Class competed at eighteen Olympic Games over eighty years and holds a pedigree for producing legends of the sport and plenty of them will be in Miami. Numerous mainsails will feature the golden Star logo, awarded only to Star Class World Champions, including the renowned Paul Cayard (USA), who has been sailing the Star for over 40 years alongside his successful career in the America’s Cup and big yacht racing. Gold stars on the track will also be carried by two-time World Champion Xavier Rohart (FRA), and 2004 Olympic Bronze medalist and reigning World Champion Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL), who will be racing with his record five-time Star World Champion crew Bruno Prada (BRA). Kusznierewicz is also a Gold and Bronze Olympic medalist in the Finn class, and Prada is an Olympic Silver and Bronze medalist in the Star. The 2016 Star World Champion and runner up at the 2019 Worlds Augie Diaz (USA) will be racing, as will Diego Negri (ITA) who won the 2018 Bacardi Cup and this year is crewed by the renowned Frithjof Kleen (GER). Looking to trump them all however and keep a tight hold of their title will be the 2019 Bacardi Cup winners, Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise (USA), who will once again hope to enjoy the sweet taste of victory and retain the honour of drinking Bacardi rum from the winner’s trophy come Sunday 7 March.
The J/70 fleet has a compelling line-up of forty teams with the potential to seize the crown, as demonstrated at the two winter warm-up events where different faces claimed the top three standings. Those likely to feature up front include the USA teams headed up by Joel Ronning, Ryan McKillen, John Heaton, Trey Sheehan and Pamela Rose. But equally, some of the newer teams such as Great Britain’s JOLT, which includes plenty of Olympic talent, could pack a punch and change the leaderboard guard. Of course, the reigning J/70 World Champion, Paul Ward (GBR), will no doubt also set the race track rivalry stakes.
Plenty of twists and turns will unfold in the fully-primed Melges 24 fleet, where both the reigning silver and bronze World Championship medalists, Bruce Ayres (USA) and Andrea Pozzi (ITA), will be on the starting line. Amongst those also up for the challenge in the twenty-eight boat fleet will be the best two overall finishers from the two warm-up events here in Miami over the winter, Bora Gulari (USA) and Travis Weisleder (USA), who will resume their neck and neck performance.
Last year’s champion in the Viper 640, Mary Ewenson, returns to defend her title but will have to go through some tough opposition to be on top of the twenty-two other teams on the track. Plenty of talent will join the action across the VXOne, AV8 and Windfoil classes and new heroes will be born.
It looks like Baltimore Sailing Club's Peter O'Leary made the most of his two boat tuning in Star keelboats in Cork Harbour back in July as the double Olympian took second in the Star Eastern Championships in Austria today with new crew Joost Houweling of Holland.
The Eastern Hemisphere Championship has just dropped the curtains on Attersee, Austria, after staging a wonderful show with different conditions every day, so that the sailors had to adjust again and again to the wind, weather and waves and could not lower their attention. Wednesday was the "last summer day"; Thursday is the day between the seasons and Friday is called the "first autumn day" here in Attersee: winds from the north, up to 17 knots, 30 km / h, with big waves and the water almost ink black, proved the saying right.
The final ranking was decided only on the last day. The fleet was extremely nervous for the first start and as a result there were two general recalls before the committee hoisted the Black Flag that put the fleet in order. Third time was the charm and the last day was on.
Alexey Zhivotovskiy from Russia was the best at mastering the conditions on this last day. He was in the lead at the first windward mark, and kept the lead until the very end to win the race. Second place went to Peter O'Leary from Ireland, who kept improving over the week. The third place went to Christian Paucksch from Germany with his crew Vera Geck from Austria. She was the first woman on the podium in this series. The overall leader Augie Diaz closed the race with a 4th place and that was enough to ensure him the Eastern Hemisphere Championship title and he decided to not compete in the seventh race. Star Class President, Hubert Merkelbach from Germany, lost his last small chance to win the title with a 17th place finish.
“The Attersee is a beautiful lake and the sailing there is very good – said EHC Winner Augie Diaz – but, what makes the Attersee so special, is the people! The Club and organizers did a great job and they made us feel very welcome. I really enjoyed sailing with Christian Nehammer and the Attersee is his home so he knows the lake well- big advantage for us. The key for us was that we were fast and were able to be consistent”.
The start of the seventh and final race followed immediately afterwards. The big surprise at the first mark was Albert Sturm, a 77-year-old Austrian Star sailor, rounding first and heading downwind on his own. The winner of the 4th race, Piet Eckert, was able to take the win also in the last one, with Hubert Merkelbach getting back on track and securing a 2nd place finish, followed by Haico de Boer (NED), in third with crew Pedro Trouche.
The 2016 Star World Champion, Augie Diaz (USA), with his crew Christian Nehammer (UYC Attersee), earned another title for his rich collection. He didn’t manage to get a single bullet in the series, but with an absolutely consistent performance, he is the 2019 Eastern Hemisphere Champion. He won the series with an 8 point margin and a great score sheet: 2, 2, 3, 6, 2, 4, DNC!! The 2nd place went to Peter O'Leary (IRL) with Joost Houweling, who registered solid improvements throughout the week, (7, 11, 2, 18, 1, 2, 4).
One of the surprises of Attersee, was undoubtedly Haico de Boer from The Netherlands with his Brazilian crew Pedro Trouche. He has never shown at a major international event, but we shall expect it from now on. Hubert Merkelbach was one of the favourites with crew Markus Koy, both German, but three not so strong finishes ruined their overall results. They managed to finish 4th overall with 13, 1, 1, 2, 14, 14, 2.
The second Silver Star at stake for September is the North American Championship, beginning tomorrow, the 10th, at Toms River Yacht Club, New Jersey USA, with the official Opening Ceremony.
Results are here (just overlook the Italian flag for O'Leary's sole Irish entry!)
Peter O'Leary and Robert O'Leary from Baltimore Sailing Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club have finished 14th overall in a fleet of 90 at the Star Sailors League Breeze Grand Slam and European Championship in Italy.
Results are here
In the end, the event went the way of Brazilian pairing Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening who had been the dominant force for much of the week at the Star Sailors League Breeze Grand Slam and European Championship, but they did not have it all their own way
It was an early start and a long day out on the water for some, with a single final qualifying race at 08:30 followed by two knockout races before the winner-takes-all final. Racing was once again held in the Peler wind, running from north to south down the lake and, as in the previous day, the cooler air funneling down two valleys created some significant shifts, particularly at the top end of the course where the breeze softened and the shifts increased in both size and frequency.
The qualifying series, quarter final, and semi final could scarcely have delivered a more mouthwatering final. Of those who made it through from the qualifying series, it was early showers for Eric Doyle (USA) and Payson Infelise (USA), Fredrik Lööf (SWE) and Brian Fatih (USA), and Hubert Merkelbach (GER) and Markus Koy (GER). They were soon followed home by Roberto Benamati (ITA) and Alberto Ambrosini, and Eivind Melleby (NOR) and Joshua Revkin (USA) and Diego Negri (ITA) with Frithjof Kleen (GER).
This left four teams who had been standout performers all week and it was hard to call who might walk away with the title. Of: Scheidt and Boening; Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Frederico Melo (POR); Paul Cayard (USA) and Arthur Lopes (BRA); and Xavier Rohart (FRA) and Pierre Alexis Ponsot (FRA).
Rohart and Ponsot in particular had found incredible form at the tail end of the event, winning the final race of the penultimate day, then the first race this morning, before picking up another win and a second in the knockout stages.
It was Kusznierewicz and Melo, however, who finished qualifying in top spot, earning a free pass to the four-boat final. They may well wonder whether this was a blessing or a curse as they appeared to struggle to get fired up in their single final race and never really challenged for the win.
For his part Cayard, celebrating his 60th birthday out on the rainy Lake Garda, was also looking solid and his unparalled tactical skill was coming into its own as the fleet sizes reduced. “To win this, you will need a perfect start, be fast and then it will come down to some metres here or there at some point,” he predicted ahead of the start.
The American sailor, so revered here in Italy for skippering the Italian Il Moro di Venezia to Louis Vuitton Cup success back in 1992, barely put a foot wrong early on and led for the first lap of the final race. However, a split in the fleet saw Rohart and Scheidt, on the right of the second beat, sail past. By the final windward mark the French led Scheidt by a distance, with Cayard and Kusznierewicz further back still.
“We’ve tried really hard in the last few days to develop our downwind skills,” explained Rohart after racing. “And we said on that last upwind ‘okay, right we need to make a big gap here to prevent him coming back’, but Robert is such a specialist it was always going to be tough.”
With lighter winds and limited waves, Scheidt’s downwind speed advantage appeared reduced in the semi final, even with free pumping allowed and it was easy to believe the French had done enough by the final windward mark to take victory. What followed was a nail-biting race to the finish with Scheidt clawing in metres on the French team using all his skill to finally overhaul them right at the line. In winning, the Brazilian pairing claim the SSL Breeze Grand Slam title, European Championship title, and the biggest stake of the $100,000 prize purse. No doubt Scheidt will return to his home here in Garda a very tired, but happy man.
Despite a variable forecast and unusually wet weather, the first ever combined Star Sailor’s League Grand Slam Breeze and European Championship has been an outstanding success. Among the 92 boats competing where some of the finest sailors you will find anywhere in the world, but also taking part where any number of amateurs and weekend sailors going up against their heroes.
Most of the fleet will gather again in less than a month’s time in Porto Cervo, Italy, for the 2019 Star World Championship, where a fair amount of SSL Ranking points will be at stake and the World title, and then, the top 10 ranked with up to 15 VIPs will attend the SSL Finals 2019 in Nassau, The Bahamas, from December 2nd to the 7th.
1 BRA Robert Scheidt Henry Boening
2 FRA Xavier Rohart Pierre-Alexis Ponsot
3 USA Paul Cayard Arthur Lopes
4 POL Mateusz Kusznierewicz Frederico Melo
5 ITA Diego Negri Frithjof Kleen
6 NOR Eivind Melleby Joshua Revkin
7 ITA Roberto Benamati Alberto Ambrosini
8 GER Hubert Merkelbach Markus Koy
9 SWE Fredrik Lööf Brian Fatih
10 USA Eric Doyle Payson Infelise
Cork Harbour's Peter and Robert O'Leary - and Ireland's sole entry - are 19th from 90 at the Star Sailors League Grand Slam Breeze and European Championship.
Download full results here
Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening (BRA) delivered another masterclass on the second day of racing after a big day of racing in Riva del Garda, Italy.
There will be plenty of weary sailors after an epic three-race day in winds that hovered around the high teens. But with variable winds predicted later in the week, the race committee wisely decided to take advantage of today’s weather to provide flexibility later in the series.
It was not just the breeze that was taking its toll on the teams, however, as the 1.5 mile beats consistently saw a drag race to the right-hand side of the course, making it an effective conveyer belt towards the windward mark and a hiking contest to get there first.
After day one, where tactics had been much the same as today, the race committee added some port bias to the startline to reduce the crowds at the committee boat end. It certainly saw a spread in the field with many fighting for the pin end and several teams coming unstuck in doing so. Scheidt’s day looked as though it would get off to a bad start when a port tacker managed to make a mess of the bunch of boats queuing at the pin in Race 1, of which the five-time Olympic medalist was one.
Scheidt showed his class, however, and by the first mark had miraculously hauled his way up to seventh picking off a few extra positions to finally end up third. Consistently fast, he was always near the front and was usually able to pick off a few spots downwind, showing once again why he is considered by many to be the best downwind sailor in the world. His 3, 5, 2 scoreline across the three races sees him lead the overall results by some six points, but there were plenty of other teams looking dangerous in these testing conditions.
Diego Negri (ITA), sailing with Frithjof Kleen (GER) also had a good day picking up a 1, 10, 3. With another win on their scorecard from day one and a discard in play after four races – allowing them to drop a UFD (over the startline) in yesterday’s second race – they now sit at 2nd overall and, like Scheidt, are looking consistently strong downwind. “I think downwind I have often been quick and I think that comes from sailing a Laser all those years,” Negri explained. “It has been a while for me since I sailed a Laser, but the years sailing that boat put you in touch with the waves and that was very important today. But Frithjof was also doing a great job working the boat today.”
Another sailor showing their form was 2012 Olympic star gold medalist, Freddie Lööf (SWE), who improved throughout the day to take the win in the final race by a country mile. Lööf was one of those who struggled near the raft of boats at the pin end in race one: “The first race was difficult as the left side of the startline was really biased, so it was hard to get out of that side. Then they changed things later on and it was great for the rest of the day. It was still hard to get off the line and get over to the cliffs in space but that is the same for everyone.” Lööf’s 11, 3, 1 is particularly impressive as his crew, Brian Fatih (USA), is nursing an injury after being hit in the back by another boat yesterday.
One of yesterday’s top performers, Paul Cayard (USA), looked set to continue his form, taking a second in the first race of the day. But bad starts in the second and third races saw him struggling to break into the very top placings. His 2, 24, 10 over the course of the day is hardly a disaster and he did extremely well to mitigate the damage, but he’ll expect better results tomorrow.
If the day cannot be categorized as a disaster for Cayard then the last race of the day will certainly be labelled such by Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Frederico Melo (POR) who were looking fast all day taking a sixth in race one and victory by a big margin in race two. “For us we have been really enjoying the downwind and I think we have been going really fast,” Mateusz said at the end of the second race. But fighting for a podium position on the final run of the day the Pole’s mast snapped in two leaving him to drift towards the finish – where he still managed to pick up a 27th for his drifting efforts.
Tomorrow looks set for more of the same with a 1pm start and two races scheduled, and will be streamed live on internet with expert commentary from double Olympic gold medallist, Shirley Robertson (GBR) and Star Olympic campaigner and coach, Maurice O’Connell (IRL). On the water, the latest in hi-tech camera technology, as well as 3D tracking Graphics, will provide thrilling viewing.
1 BRA Robert Scheidt Henry Boening
2 ITA Diego Negri Frithjof Kleen
3 POL Mateusz Kusznierewicz Frederico Melo
4 USA Paul Cayard Arthur Lopes
5 SWE Fredrik Lööf Brian Fatih
6 USA Eric Doyle Payson Infelise
7 FRA Xavier Rohart Pierre-Alexis Ponsot
8 ITA Roberto Benamati Alberto Ambrosini
9 GER Ubert Merkelbach Markus Koy
10 CRO Marin Misura Tonko Barac
Maurice ‘Prof’ O’Connell joins the media team for next week’s Star Europeans and Star Sailors League on Lake Garda.
The professional sailor and coach, and one-design expert with North Sails Ireland, will be providing the in-studio commentary and analysis with Digby Fox for live action on StarSailors.com along with Shirley Robertson who will be out on the water.
Prof is no stranger to broadcast sailing coverage, having been in the RTÉ studios for the last three Olympic Games — and he’s certainly no stranger to the Star class, with his final race at the Star Worlds in Miami only 11 years ago.
This year Ireland’s focus will be on the O’Leary brothers Peter and Robert, set to compete against a who’s-who of the racing world from this Wednesday 15 May.
Royal Cork's Peter and Robert O'Leary who raced their Star keelboat 'Brotherly Love' stateside in January (along with brother Nicholas) will return to European waters next week for the Star European Championship on Lake Garda in Italy.
There is now less than one week to go to the first ever combined Star European Championship and Star Sailors League Breeze Grand Slam in Riva del Garda, Italy. 96 teams from 23 countries are arriving these days on Lake Garda, but the International Star Class, the Star Sailors League and Fraglia Vela Riva del Garda are still aiming for their goal of 100 Star boats on the start line on 15th May!
The entry list reads like a Who’s Who of the racing world, with at least 20 Star World Champions, five Olympic medallists and ten Olympians among the 200 sailors set to take part. Professional sailors as well as amateurs will join the class for the first time, alongside Star class stalwarts and other legends of our sport, all here to try to win the Star Class European title, the 2,500 SSL Ranking points and the lion share of the $ 100,000 prize pot.
Five time Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt (BRA), who lives and trains for his renewed Olympic campaign in the Laser class right here on Lake Garda, will sail with Brazilian crew Henry Boening; Slovenian three time Olympic medallist Vasilij Zbogar, now coach of the Irish Olympic team, will get back on the tiller and race for the European title and SSL Ranking points; Paul Cayard (USA) one of the most successful sailors of all time having been first American to win the Whitbread Round the World Race, winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup and just missing out on the podium at the 2004 Olympics. This Stars-and-Striped legend will sail with young Brazilian Arthur ‘Tutu’ Lopes – together they finished third at the Star World Championship last year.
Olympic Bronze medallist and sport role model, Lars Grael (BRA) will conclude his international sailing career in Riva del Garda at the combined Europeans and SSL Grand Slam - a sad end but at the same time a joyful moment for the sport of sailing. From the USA alongside Cayard, three other World Champions will attend: Augie Diaz with Olympic medallist Bruno Prada (BRA), George Szabo plus the freshly crowned 2019 Bacardi Cup winner Eric Doyle sailing with Payson Infelise.
Competition will be fierce on the famed waters of northern Lake Garda. Ashore, everything is set to make the competitors coming from all over the world feel right at home and welcome by the produce and hospitality of Trentino, the region of Riva del Garda and the hosts at the Fraglia Vela Riva.
“As Star Sailors League Sport Director for the Grand Slams and responsible of the SSL Training Centre right here in Riva del Garda I am very proud to see this event coming to fruition - the first combined Star Class Championship and SSL Grand Slam, it’s going to be huge.” said German Star World Champion crew Frithjof Kleen. “This will launch the first step of the next eight years of challenges together. We are planning the next events well in advance, merging the Star Class classic Silver or Gold events with SSL Grand Slams. The Star Sailors League is pleased that the Star Class agreed to do this together. It’s already proven to be successful: 96 entries is a record for the Star Class in this post-Olympic period. All the sailors are looking for events like this, combining the tradition of the Star class and the exciting new SSL format with live coverage. Everybody in the sailing world will be watching our racing from 15-19th May.”
Kleen continues: "And now, with the SSL Ranking, sailors are looking to gain points to join their national team in the SSL Gold Cup in 2021! The Star Europeans/SSL Breeze Grand Slam is going to be great. Fraglia Vela Riva organises international events every year and the wind here is always great - this is the best sailing ‘gym’ in the world! Plus we’ll have amazing after-sailing events too. Thanks to the many partners that joined us, concerts and DJ sets are planned every evening and they’re not just for the sailors, but for the public too. We want spectators to join in through extra events and then to appreciate the sailing we’ll be showing on the big screen.”
The Opening Ceremony of the Star European Championship/Star Sailors League Breeze Grand Slam will take place on Thursday 14th May at 17:30, going from Fraglia Vela Riva to Piazza Garibaldi for the VIP sailors’ presentation. Then from Wednesday 15th May at 13:00 racing gets going and runs until Sunday 19th May, when, in the afternoon, the knock-out series will be on for the top ten sailors in the ranking. Later that day the winner of the first combined Star Class European and SSL Breeze Grand Slam champion will be crowned.
You can follow all the action live and for free, streamed on the internet with expert commentary from special studio guests. On the water, the latest in hi-tech camera technology, as well as 3D Graphics tracking, will provide "thrilling" viewing.
Two separate O'Leary teams both sailing under the burgee of Baltimore Sailing Club in West Cork are in action in Florida next week at the Bacardi Cup in Miami.
Former Irish Sailor of the Year Anthony O'Leary sailing with David Hassett, Niall Rafferty and Tom Durcan will sail in the Viper class while O'Leary's sons Robert and Nicholas, (Robert was a recent bronze medalist in the Star Junior Championships) will compete in the Star Class. The brothers' boat, the aptly named Star 'Brotherly Love' has been based in Miami for a string of regattas this winter.
Ninety-two years of history is a record that not many sports competitions can match. With the number of teams and the unparalleled talent on the water increasing each year, the Bacardi Cup Regatta is among the world’s most iconic sporting events. For 56 years, this event has had the pleasure of calling the beautiful warm waters of Biscayne Bay its home.
This year, the Organising Committee decided to extend an invitation not only to the Star Class, but also to other one-design fleets, making the 2019 Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta the most attended spring sailing event. The J/70 class, the fastest-growing one-design fleet in the world, has been invited for the second year in a row, while the successful long-lived Melges 24 class will make its return to Biscayne Bay along with the high-performance classes represented by the Viper 640 and Flying Tiger 7.5!
Racing gets underway in Biscayne Bay on Monday, March 4 for the Star Class. Racing for the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640 and Flying Tiger 7.5 classes starts Thursday, March 7. The Star fleet will compete in a single daily race of proper endurance racing, which is the traditional format that the more than 100-year-old class dictates and exactly what the sailors relish. The other four fleets will sail 8 races scheduled across three days.
Teams from across the U.S. will be joined in every class by an international line-up of 23 different countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Ukraine.
The 2019 Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta has a recording-breaking 166 entries, with more than 500 sailors attending. World champions, Olympians and America’s Cup legends will be on the starting line. The most shining one will traditionally be the Star Class, with the many heroes that still competitively race in it and sport the Gold star on their main sail for winning at least one Star World Championship. We are excited to have competitors include the very eclectic Paul Cayard (USA), who has been sailing Stars for 40 years alongside his successful career in the America’s Cup and big yacht racing; Xavier Rohart (FRA), the Bronze Olympic medalist in the class in Athens; Lars Grael (BRA), a two times Bronze Olympic medalist in the Tornado class; and Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL), the Gold and Bronze winner at the Olympics in Atlanta and Athens in the Finn class.
Amongst those targeting victory in the J70 fleet is Brian Keane (USA), who has raced the J/70 since the start; Vincenzo Onorato (ITA), who holds World titles in the Farr 40 and M32; Will Welles (USA) who is at the top of the leader board at just about every major J/24 regatta and Joel Ronning (USA) who finished first in the 2016 J/70 World Championships held in the San Francisco Bay.
A robust Melges 24 fleet of 26 entries are present in Miami to kick-off the U.S. class’ 2019 National Ranking Series, an eight-part regatta circuit that spans the North American continent. Returning to the impeccable Biscayne Bay racing stage is current Winter Series overall ranking leader Bruce Ayres (USA), and Megan Ratliff (USA) who is in charge of the Corinthian division. Other major players include 2013 World Champion and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Brian Porter (USA), Travis Weisleder (USA) and KC Shannon’s (USA).
In the Viper 640 Fleet, we are welcoming back Steve Chapman (CAN) – Viper Class North American President, Geoff Fargo (USA) - West Cost Class President, Anthony O’Leary (IRL) and Mary and Jeff Eweson (USA). The Gulf Performance Sailing Foundation, a 501(c)3 from Gulfport, LA, with the purpose to promote sailing, will be sailing with all-junior crews.
The Flying Tiger Class will provide a “hassle free” regatta experience on fully rigged- and ready-to-sail boats, offering a three-day North-U Clinic where competitors can master their skills on the water.
Both Star and J/70 reigning champions will participate at the 2019 event: Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) will try to replicate their success in the huge Star fleet of almost 70 boats. Joel Ronning (USA), with his Catapult team, will try to be the fastest in the J/70 40-teams fleet.
Full results are available here
Cork’s Rob and Peter O’Leary are the Afloat.ie “Sailors of the Month (Open)” for February with their Bronze Medals at the talent-studded Star Junior Worlds in Florida in the first week of the month. The unique attraction of the International Star draws in a substantial fleet of world-class sailors from many disciplines, and the fluctuations in placings can be unnerving. However, with a strong finish the brothers not only kept themselves in the frame, but they moved into the medals while they were at it.
Royal Cork Yacht Club brothers Robert and Peter O'Leary have dropped three places overall at the inaugural Star Junior World Championship hosted by the Coral Reef Yacht Club. The Cork Harbour duo lie sixth overall in a fleet of 36 after four races sailed.
It was a typical Biscayne Bay kind of day; sunshine and breeze going from 6-7 knots in the morning up to 10-12 in the afternoon. Three races were sailed as scheduled, thanks to a great job by the Race Committee with PRO Carl Schellbach, and the 36 teams, with their ’30 and under’ skippers who really enjoyed the second day of the event.
With today’s three races completed the Championship is back on schedule with the provisional leaders, after four races, American Charlie Buckingham – who moved to the Star after finishing fourth in the Laser at the recent World Cup Series event – and Star US Olympian, Austin Sperry. The American team posted a bullet in today’s last race, while the other two race wins went to Star Sailors League Finals 2018 winner Pedro Trouche (BRA) crewing for American Tomas Hornos, sitting in second place overall, and to 2017 Star World Champion crew Joshua Revkin (USA), at the helm, with Arthur Anosov as crew. Third overall are Americans Luke Lawrence with Alexey Selvanov, winners of yesterday’s only race.
“The breeze was better today – said Charlie Buckingham (USA) – our speed was good both up and downwind and we managed to be consistent. I’d love to race the Star more often, I tried to do that when I am not training or racing the Laser, any regatta that I can do, I do it. Now we’re focused on being consistent and fast again tomorrow for the last two races.”
“It’s nice to be the provisional leaders – said Austin Sperry (USA), not here as just a crew but one of the organizers behind the event, being Secretary of the District – but the best is coming back ashore and seeing the Aussie guy Jake Lilley with a big smile saying he’s going to get himself a Star and he’s going to stay here and sail at the Mid-Winters this weekend. To me that’s the win!”
The day kicked off with a clean start at 11:20 with the wind blowing from East at about 7 knots. Hornos and Trouche were leading at the first windward mark through to the finish. A bit trickier was the start of race 3 – the second for today – it took three general recalls before the Race Committee was able to see the fleet advance on the first of four legs. Revkin and Antonov were able to get a good start and control their lead over the Mexican skipper Juan Ignacio Perez and his crew Mark Strube until the end. At the start of race four, the wind had picked up to 12 knots and the seas a bit choppy and American Olympic Laser sailor Charlie Buckingham with experienced crew Austin Sperry were able to be quite fast both upwind and downwind getting the victory over Australian newbie to the Star Jake Lilley and Lewis Brake, fifth overall.
“We caught a shift right after the start – said Tomas Hornos (USA), winner of race 2 – our speed was really good, we just played out in front and we covered the fleet after that making it look easy, but it wasn’t easy. We are really happy, we needed that!”
“It took me a little while to get back into things, but it feels good – said Joshua Revkin (USA), winner of race 3, normally crewing for Eivind Melleby (NOR) – our speed is up to pace, I had a bad start in the second race and it took a lot of effort to get back into it, but the third race we got off the line and cruised to a pretty easy first place. We had a great time, it’s the perfect conditions you can have in Miami and hopefully tomorrow there’s more of the same.”
And the conditions tomorrow look to be the same as today with the first start confirmed at 12 pm, two races scheduled with no warning sequence starting after 2 pm.
The first Star Junior World Champions will be crowned tomorrow after racing with the prize giving ceremony held at the beautiful Coral Reef Yacht Club.
Top ten teams in the provisional ranking after four races:
1 - USA Charlie Buckingham – Austin Sperry
2 - USA Tomas Hornos – Pedro Trouche
3 - USA Luke Lawrence – Alexey Selivanov
4 - MEX Juan Ignacio Perez – Mark Strube
5 - AUS Jake Lilley – Lewis Brake
6 - IRL Robert O’Leary – Peter O’Leary
7 - BRA Nick Pellicano Grael – Samuel Gonçalves
8 - ARG Facundo Olezza – Frederico Melo
9 - GBR Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini – Brian Fatih
10 - ARG Leandro Altolaguirre – Lucas Altolaguirre
Full results here.
Beautiful sunshine and light breeze welcomed this morning the 36 teams attending the inaugural championships yesterday. The Committee was eager to get on the racecourse as the weather forecast said the breeze would be dropping in the early afternoon. One race was concluded on Biscayne Bay with the wind blowing around 6-8 knots from West at the start at 12,10 pm and then dropping to 4-5 knots towards the end of the race one hour and 15 minutes later.
The fleet began the Junior World Championship with a general recall and a few flags went up on the racecourse for unauthorized pumping over the four leg race. The fleet was distributed evenly over the course, with a little more wind on the right-hand side of it, towards Key Biscayne. It was American Star sailor Luke Lawrence, with crew Alexey Selivanov, who took an early lead at the first windward mark and kept gaining on the way down to the gate and through to the finish. Behind them, the Italian Laser Radial Youth World Champion, Guido Gallinaro with German Star World Champion crew Firthjof Kleen fought for second against Irish brothers Robert and Peter O'Leary in the unusual setting with Robert at the helm.
"It was great out there said, Luke Lawrence, a bit shifty but after a good start on the pin side, clean and easy, the wind went our way and we could put the bow down. There are a lot of fast guys on the racecourse, even among the newcomers. I've been sailing in the Star class for five years now, I love it and this 30 and under World Championship is a great idea!"
"It was very shifty on the racecourse said American Olympic Laser sailor Charlie Buckingham I am coming from the World Cup Series event that just ended yesterday with the Medal Race and I am quite tired, but I am lucky to sail with Austin Sperry who makes my job much easier and it is a lot of fun to be on the boat with a friend instead of racing alone like in the Laser."
After racing, the official Opening Ceremony took place in the beautiful garden of Coral Reef Yacht Club before everyone went home to rest for tomorrow. Racing is scheduled to start one hour earlier (at 11am EST) to try to get three races done and get back on track with the program.
Results after Day 1: (top ten, 1 race)
1 USA Luke Lawrence Alexey Selivanov
2 ITA Guido Gallinaro Frithjof Kleen
3 IRL Robert O'Leary Peter O'Leary
4 ARG Facundo Olezza Frederico Melo
5 BRA Nick Pellicano Grael Samuel Gonçalves
6 MEX Juan Ignacio Perez Mark Strube
7 USA Tomas Hornos Pedro Trouche
8 USA Charlie Buckingham Austin Sperry
9 AUS Luke Payne Torvar Minsky
10 CAN Alex Baker Rick Burgess