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#rio – Although a decision isn't expected this summer, attention from the event has led to speculation the former Star class sailboats will be reinstated for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil.

The Star class' governing body is stating the earlier news of the event's reinstatement in the 2016 Olympics is "still just a rumour." Star class sailing was removed from the 2016 Olympics line-up in May 2011.

International Star Class Yacht Racing Association president Bill Allen said in a statement that Brazil's Olympic committee "may request an 11th medal for sailing" but no decision was made and probably won't be until this summer at the earliest. He will keep Star class members informed of new developments, Allen said.

The source of the speculation might be that Brazil's Robert Scheidt won the 2011 and 2012 World Championships in the Star class along with the silver medal at 2008's Beijing Olympics and the bronze medal at 2012's London Olympics.

The reports on various U.S. websites state International Olympic Committee regulations allow the host country to add one event of its choosing if the country itself picks up the tab. However, Allen says that is not accurate.

Since it debuted at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, the Star class has been absent from only one Olympics, Montreal in 1976. It was dropped prior to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney but then reinstated.

The Star class often is called "the fleet of champions" because many Olympic and world championship sailors finish their careers in that class of boat.

The inaugural CNM Estates UK Star Championships was held 18-20 January in cold and snowy conditions. Xavier Rohart of France and Serge Pulfer of Switzerland took the gold medal with 17 points.

The winners were presented with the Royal Thames Yacht Club "Fine Art Sails Regatta" by Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope.

The team of Max Treacy and Anthony Shanks of Ireland finished second with 35 points while Andrew Simpson and Iain Percy of Great Britain totalled 37 points for third place in the event, held in the waters of the Royal Victoria Docks outside London's ExCeL exhibition centre.

Other cities that have expressed interest in holding their own Fine Art Sails event are Moscow, San Francisco, Auckland, Stockholm and Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan and largest city on the Caspian Sea.

The event attracted top international sailors, including many European and World title holders. They included triple Olympic medallist Iain Percy, double Olympic medallist Andrew Simpson, Beijing gold medallist Pippa Wilson, London silver medallists Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell, and Athens bronze medallist Xavier Rohart.

The mainsails were unique pieces of art created by internationally famous artists such as: Julian Opie, EINE, Jaime Gili, INSA, Eley Kishimoto, Wendy Taylor, Christian Furr, David Begbie, Pam Glew and Goldie.

"This is a totally new venue for artists to display their work. It's an opportunity to show off their artwork to the public and reach an audience they haven't reached before," Ross said.

Published in Olympic
Tagged under

Ireland's 'Spiced Beef', Peter O'Leary's Star keelboat, finished eighth overall at the Bacardi cup in Miami, Florida at the weekend with a disappointing 27th scored in the penultimate race pushing the Cork man, sailing with Rodney Hagebols, out of overall contention in the 55-boat fleet.

O'Leary won the fourth race of the series in big breeze but failed to capitalise on this win in the latter half of the series that ended on Friday.

With points tight among the top contenders the big story of the regatta was the win of the 86th Bacardi Cup by the Florida team of Mark Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg) and Brian Fatih (Miami). Having started their series on Monday by picking up the max number of points for an over early start, the duo worked their way back up the standings to end the penultimate day of the series in second overall.
"We started [the series] not in the best way, but we turned it around," said Mendelblatt, who previously won the Bacardi Cup in 2005.  "It was a disappointing start and it was my fault for not having a good first race. After that we've been very consistent with low scores. We won the last two races and everything went our way.  Winning the Cup again means a lot to me; it's really great because winning any big Star regatta is not easy at all! I am very happy to have had Brian with me.  He is a great crew and wanted to have his name on the Tito Bacardi trophy. The Bacardi Cup is a great event and now, with the addition of all the other classes, it's even more satisfying."
Mendelblatt and Faith, who represented the USA in the Star class at the 2012 Olympics, won the single race contested by the 56 Star teams on the final day of the series to move to the top of the standings with 26 points. 

Lars Grael and Mario Lagoa (BRA), who had been atop the overall standings throughout the week, took second overall with 30 points after placing seventh in the race.  Defending champion Xavier Rohart (FRA) ended the series tied on points with Grael after finishing the race in fourth place to take third in the overall standings.  The only change for Diego Negri and Frithjof Kleen (ITA) or 2003 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Augie Diaz (Miami, Fla.) and Arnis Baltins, was in the point totals as both retained their positions in the top-five with, respectively, 33 and 41 points.

Class results here

Published in Olympic
Tagged under

UPDATE: The governing body for the Star class is reporting that the earlier news of its reinstatement in the Olympics for 2016 is still "just a rumour".

In a statement, International Star Class Yacht Racing Association (ISCYRA) president Bill Allen said that while the Olympic committee in Brazil "may request an 11th medal for sailing", no decision has yet been made and likely will not be made until summer at the earliest.

"The spreading of rumours concerning Olympic status does not help our position," he added, saying he would inform Star class membership with any new developments as and when they arise.

#Rio2016 - Ireland's Star sailors Peter O'Leary and David Burrows could have another shot at Olympic gold in Rio if the latest news from the IOC is to be believed.

Sailing Anarchy reports that "the ink is dry" on an agreement to secure a place for the Star class in the sailing schedule at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The move is thanks to a "quirk" in IOC regulations that allow the host country of any Olympic Games to add an event of their own choosing, provided the hosts cover the costs.

And with local sailing duo Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada in the Star's top ranks - claiming the bronze in London 2012 - the return of the class certainly seems a no-brainer.

The only question remaining now is whether O'Leary and Burrows - who finished 10th in the class at Weymouth last summer - want to go for gold one more time in Rio!

Published in Olympics 2012

#OLYMPICS - Irish Olympic sailor and current All-Ireland sailing champion Peter O'Leary has been let off with a warning by officials after betting on a competitor to win at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

O'Leary and his then partner Stephen Milne did not qualify for the Star class medal race in Beijing, in which O'Leary won €3,600 after placing a €300 bet on 12-1 Britain.

The story came to light days before O'Leary and current teammate David Burrows began their Star class campaign at this summer's London Olympics, prompting an investigation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

But IOC chiefs announced yesterday that they had found "no proof of any match-fixing".

While Olympic athletes are banned from betting on Olympic events, the IOC's ethics commission agreed that O'Leary was not fully aware of the rules at the time.

"The athlete was unaware he could not bet on Olympic events," said IOC spokesperson Mark Adams. "It is not something we agree with and we condemn it but we will not take any more action."

O'Leary and Burrows finished 10th in the Star class at the London Games in what was a milestone summer for Irish sailing on world sport's biggest stage.

Published in Olympics 2012

#Star – There is disappointment for Ireland's Peter O'Leary and David Burrows because although they sail in tomorrow's Olympic medal race – a significant achievement in itself – they are not in contention for a medal. The Cork-Dubin duo who came together three years ago for a final assault in the mens keelboat will nevertheless compete in the final race of the Star as an Olympic keelboat. The famous design has been ditched from the 2016 regatta after 100 years of involvement in favour of kitesurfing. Any result achieved by the pair inside the top ten will be Ireland's best ever result in the class.

O'Leary and Burrows finished fleet racing yesterday in ninth place overall and with 75 points. Leaders Percy and Simpson (GBR) have 18 points, followed by Scheidt and Prada (BRA) on 26 points and Loof and Salminen (SEW) on 30 points.

In Friday's  final fleet racing qualification for the medal race hinged on the two final races. 

The pair rounding the first mark of Race 9 in 10th place. However, they were 14th rounding the second mark and just didn't manage to break the top 10 again finishing the race in 11th. Not letting that deter them, O'Leary and Burrows came out fighting in Race 10; the final fleet race. In the first leg they moved from 11th to 5th to eventually finish in 7th place, less than 90 seconds behind the leaders Percy & Simpson (GBR).

Published in Olympics 2012

#olympic sailing – Peter O'Leary and David Burrows have been disqualified (DSQ) from this morning's race seven of the Star Class Olympic regatta following a protest taken by Denmark's (DEN) Michael Hestbaek over an incident on the water between the Irish and Danish yachts.

According to a notice published by the protest jury tonight O'Leary has been disqualified from the race because he 'failed to give mark-room' to a boat overlapped inside of the Irish boat, breaking rule 18.2(b). The full jury decision is published on the official site here. (Scroll down to read the full jury decision below).

The jury found that during the first rounding of the windward mark, DEN and IRL were sailing on port tack, DEN to windward of IRL, with strong wind, waves and current. When DEN was within two boat lengths from the mark, the two boats luffed in order to tack. Shortly after passing head-to-wind the boats came close to each other. There was contact between the bow of IRL and the starboard quarter of DEN. The boats then bore down to close-hauled on starboard tack and sailed around the mark, with DEN in front. Neither boat was damaged, nor did they do penalty turns according to the jury.

On the water incidents between competing boats are a regular and normal part of sailing competition. A protest is a standard procedure to resolve disputes between competitors under the racing rules of sailing.

dsqsheet

O'Leary and Burrows had a strong start in Race 7 this afternoon. Rounding the second mark they were in fourth, ahead of rivals Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) but while the Brazilians progressed to finish third, O'Leary and Burrows slipped back to finish in 9th but tonight this result has been changed to a DSQ.

In race 8 the Irish duo finished seventh.

O'Leary and Burrows now sit 9th overall on 51 points. Leaders Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) are on 13 points while the Brazilians in second are on 22 points. The Star class have a final two fleet races tomorrow before the top 10 progress to the double points medal race on Sunday, 5th August.

In the 49er class Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern, who have been sailing for four consecutive days, put in another solid performance to hold on to their spot as 9th overall on the leader board. They began Race 7 in 16th place but quickly moved up the ranks to finish just outside the top 10 in 11th. Race 8 saw them better themselves further, finishing a respectable 9th, which was enough for them to remain in 9th overall on 61 points. The Australians, Outteridge and Jensen, hold the lead on 24 points followed by Morrison and Rhodes (GBR) on 35 and Burling and Tuke (GBR) on 41. The 49er class will continue to race tomorrow before their well-earned rest day on Saturday.

Today was the long awaited first day of racing for the Irish 470 duo, Ger Owens, sailing at his third Olympics and Scott Flanigan. Flanigan is the youngest of the Irish sailors at just 19. They got off to a solid start holding position in the middle of the 27 boat fleet, working their way up to 15th during the middle of the race. They didn't quite manage to hold on to their spot and slipped back to finished 18th. They didn't fare as well in Race 2 finishing in 25thplace. They will continue sailing tomorrow, beginning the day in 23rd overall.

Today was the rest day for both the Laser Radial and the Laser fleets. Annalise Murphy remains in first overall and James Espey remains in 45th overall. Both classes will resume racing tomorrow.

Racing will continue tomorrow for all classes with a total of 11 races being sailed by Irish competitors. Sailing action starts at 12 noon in Weymouth.

 

Protest No. 34

Event: Star - Men

Race: 7

Protestor: DEN

Protestee: IRL

Protest details: Rule 18

Description:

Facts found:

Protestor represented by: Michael Hestbaek, protestee represented by Peter O"Leary

Notes on procedure: The protestee questioned validity, as the description of the incident was only a diagram with no text. The Jury found that there was enough information on the protest (time and location of incident, identity of protestor and protestee and diagram) to identify the incident as required by RRS 61.2(b)

During the first rounding of the windward mark, DEN and IRL were sailing on port tack, DEN to windward of IRL, with strong wind, waves and current. When DEN was within two boat lengths from the mark, the two boats luffed in order to tack. Shortly after passing head-to-wind the boats came close to each other. There was contact between the bow of IRL and the starboard quarter of DEN. The boats then bore down to close-hauled on starboard tack and sailed around the mark, with DEN in front. Neither boat was damaged, nor did they do penalty turns.

Conclusion:

By not giving room to tack to DEN overlapped to windward and on the inside of her, IRL failed to give mark-room to a boat overlapped inside of her, breaking rule 18.2(b). She also broke rule 14. DEN broke rule 13 by not keeping clear of IRL when both were subject to rule 13 as she was on IRL"s port side; however she is exonerated under rule 18.5(a). DEN didn"t break rule 14.

Rule(s) applicable:

13,14, 18.2(b), Definiton of mark-room

Decision:

IRL is disqualified from Race 7

Short decision:

IRL DSQ Race 7

Jury:

John Doerr, Francisco Jauregui, David de Vries, Nelson Ilha, Rut Subniran

Published in Olympics 2012

#olympicsailing – In a perfect opening salvo Peter O'Leary and David Burrows are in silver medal position in the Mens keelboat class after two races in testing 16-20 knots winds at Weymouth today.

The Irish pair led both races of the Star class for a time and made a dramatic comeback in race one where they were 14th out of 16 for a time before a 15 degree left hand windshift moved them up from 13th to second, a fantastic opening result for the Irish campaign. 

But right now everyone in the Irish camp is mindful that the focus must be very much sailing rather than premature celebrations. After all it's only day one with two gold medallist teams just a few points behind.

After racing Burrows said in terms of wind across the race track there was as much as five knots difference from one side of the course to the other making it essential for success to stay in the strongest breeze, a tough job in shifting winds.

In race two a plucky move nailed a mid line start and some incredible off the line boat speed put O'Leary/Burrows into first place on the opening beat, a position the Irish held until halfway down the first run when class supremos Iain Percy/Andrew Simpson of (GBR) and Robert Scheidt/Bruno Prada (BRA) overhauled them with some blistering downwind pace.

sailing2012 M2629

Peter O'Leary and David Burrows (IRL), competing today in the Men's Keelboat (Star) event in The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. Photo: Onedition

A big left hand shift cost O'Leary five places at the second weather mark and put the pair as far back as eighth at one point. The pair fought back strongly though to be sixth by the finish and to put them into second place in the overall regatta standings tonight.

It was a photo finish in Race 2 as Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) overcame Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) by the narrowest of margins.

Both teams finished in a time of 73:39 but the race win was awarded to the Brazilians as they took the overall lead having finished fourth in Race 1.

On the race Scheidt said, "We exchanged positions on the second beat, one passing the other all the time and it came down to the finish line. It was a very interesting race. It was so tight that it was hard to see if we won."

Percy and Simpson had a weak start to the competition finishing Race 1 in 11th place but they fought back and almost recorded a bullet in the second place. Simpson said, "It was a tricky race and a good battle at the front. It was very shifty out there and we learnt a few lessons from the first race. We thought we were ahead and it was unbelievably close.

Ireland's David Burrows and Peter O'Leary are second overall after a consistent day that included a second in Race 1 and sixth in Race 2. Meanwhile Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (POL) are third overall.

The Star event consists of 10 races and a medal race held between today and Sunday. Race Three gets underway tomorrow at 2.05pm.

Competition at the Games starts for three other Irish sailing campaigns tomorrow with Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern in the 49er, James Espey in the Laser and Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial class. Sailing actions starts at 12 noon.

Full results here

Live feeds for racing here

Published in Olympics 2012
Tagged under

#genuine prospects – Ireland has won Gold in the Star class and Bronze in the Radial class at the most important pre-Olympic event of the season.

While the boycott reduced Olympics of 1980 may have given hope to the Irish Olympic Sailing team, it is perhaps fair to say that the performances of the class of 2012 are closer to the positive end of the hope-expectation scale. With superb timing, in the last major confrontation of Olympic contenders, the Irish medal race sailors put in tremendous final race performances to take away a first, a third and a seventh from the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta last week.

With only a few weeks to go to the ultimate competition in this quadrennial, Ireland is set to emulate and perhaps exceed the 1980 result. If we do, it could lessen the burden carried for so long by Wilkins and Wilkinson in the same way that Michael Carruth's gold in Barcelona eventually relieved the nation's unreasonable reliance on Ronnie Delaney.

olearyandburrows

Peter O'Leary and David Burrows on the way to overall victory in the Star class. Photo: Brian Carlin

In the Star Class, Peter O'Leary and David Burrows have been mixing it with the world's best for a couple of years now and in getting the better of current World champions, Brazilians Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada and the British Olympic Champions, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, the Cork/Dublin combo have laid down a very clear message that the destiny of this year's top reward is no longer the two horse race that many punters have been predicting. With consistency across a variety of conditions, the Irish Star team are no longer outsiders for a medal, but have clearly signalled their intention to, once again, ascend the Weymouth podium come August 5th. However, this Star Class is deep with talent and anyone of ten teams could realistically medal. Canada, Switzerland, Poland, France, Denmark and Greece all harbour aspirations to medal in the Star and our heroes will need to double check equipment on a daily basis to ensure they are not denied by equipment failure, particularly with the additional restrictions on coach support during the Games itself.

annalise1

Annalise is recognised as the world leader in heavy airs. Photo: Richard Langdon

Annalise Murphy's welcome return to form, following a Radial worlds dogged by inconsistency and a poor showing (by her standards) at a reduced quality Delta Lloyd regatta, augurs well should Weymouth enjoy decent breeze. Recognised internationally as the class's best heavy weather sailor by some distance, it was encouraging to see that she wasn't completely off the pace in the lighter winds on the regatta's first day. Annalise has set out her schedule for the remaining period prior to the Games – more work on light air sailing work should be a part of the work plan.

49ersailforgold

Ryan Searton and Matt McGovern produced three race wins at Sail for Gold last week. Photo: Richard Langdon

Team officials must be delighted, not only with the Star and Radial performances, but also by the 49er team of Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern. 10th in the 2011 World Championship in Perth must have seemed to be a distant memory with a poor start to 2012.

Less than stellar results in the early season World Cup events culminated in failing to make gold fleet at the 2012 Worlds in Croatia in May last month. However, the Northern Ireland duo bounced back in fine style to record their best result to date. Barely hanging on to the medal race spot in the final gold fleet race, the boys then finished 5th in the medal race, leap frogging three competitors to finish in 7th overall. With three British sailors ahead of them, this conceivably puts them top five in the Olympic fleet. However, form suggests the gold medal battle will be between Spaniards, Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez, currently away on Volvo duty, and Australian World Champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, with the battle for the minor medal between any number of countries - France, Britain, Finland and Denmark are among those – making the Irish team outsiders. But outsiders with a great boost to their confidence, and this young team, should they continue, will have made a huge claim for enhanced support for the next quadrennial.

So, Irish sailing embarks on the voyage to London 2012 with a reasonable expectation for a positive outcome. But for it to be similar to the Sail for Gold result will not only demand that all our sailors are on their best form, but also that there is consistently strong breeze for the duration. A tall order perhaps? Gaoth láidir, le do thoil!

Published in Olympics 2012

#sailforgold – Peter O'Leary and David Burrows are wearing Gold tonight in Weymouth having won the most important pre-Olympic regatta of the season. They finished third in the Olympic Star class medal race to leap frog the Olympic and World champions raising further the expectation that the Cork-Dublin pair can deliver Ireland's first Olympic medal since 1980 in just under two months time.

The duo, who were fourth at last month's world championships in France performed consistently again this week staying in the top three in some of the toughest condtions of the season. Racing was cut short on Thursday when gales hit the Olympic venue.

The Irish Olympic bound pair were third overall heading in to this afternoon's medal race and a third place finish in the double points final this afternoon saw them jump ahead of Brazilian rivals Scheidt & Prada (BRA) and Brtiain's Olympic champions Percy and Simpson who were involved in a collision.

It is the second Gold for O'Leary in Weymouth he previously won with German crew Fritjof Kleen at Sail for Gold 2010.

Earlier today, in a big day for Irish sailing single hander Annalise Murphy took bronze in the Laser Radial and in the 49er class Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern were seventh giving Ireland three medal possbilities at the Summer Olympics.

Published in Olympics 2012

#sailforgold – Olympic bound Irish duo David Burrows and Peter O'Leary are in medal contention at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta - and that is exactly what they intend to be when the Games itself gets underway writes our special correspondent Paul Smith.
Burrows and O'Leary compete in the star class and are ranked third after six races over the first three days of the regatta, which is being held at the Olympic venue in Weymouth.
An interrupted first day saw just one race, in which they came fifth, before claiming a second, fourth and first place on day two to lead overnight.
Yesterday was less successful as they discarded their seventh place in race five before claiming fifth in the final outing of the day. It leaves them trailing Britain's reigning Olympic champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, and Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil.
Dublin-born Burrows, a veteran of three Olympics having competed in the star class in 1996 and finn in both 2000 and 2004, says the duo are content with their performance but are also looking at the bigger picture.
"We are just testing some things here, getting ready for the Olympics in a few weeks' time," said the 35-year-old.
"This is the last chance to really test a few things against all of the competitors who we are going to be racing against at the Olympics, and so we are just testing a few settings and gears and also getting used to the racecourse a bit better.
"Our goal is to be standing on the podium (at the Olympics) that is what we are here for.
"We are quite happy with how our progress is going so far, and we are happy with the week we are having here at the Sail for Gold Regatta.
"We are confident enough and we just need to stick to our programme.
"The result isn't so important. It is more about just learning about your equipment, your gear, and also the venue itself and the racecourse."
Burrows and Cork-born helmsman O'Leary, 29, came together in the star class in 2009, with their sights firmly set on London 2012.
And with the Games now under two months away, Burrows believes a successful week in Weymouth will stand them in good stead.
"The first day, the first race was late in the evening and we scored a fifth in that race and we were pretty happy with the good start," he said.
"On Tuesday we were delighted with ourselves. We had a very solid day, with three races in pretty relentless conditions, but it suited us as we are from Ireland so we are used to it, and we were very happy.
"It is Weymouth. I think you can have any conditions in the summer time as we have seen, so you just have to take anything that comes really."
More on sail for gold regatta: www.skandiateamgbr.com Investment specialist Skandia is the principal sponsor of the British sailing team
More:  Irish Olympic sailing news

Published in Olympics 2012
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