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Astronomers from NUI Galway's Centre for Astronomy have made an important breakthrough in the understanding of how pulsars work, and have recently published their findings in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The team, led by NUI Galway's Dr Andy Shearer, compared optical observations with a detailed model of the structure of the pulsar. From this, using their inverse mapping or reverse engineering approach, they were able to establish for the first time that most of the light from the pulsar comes from close to the star's surface. This is contrary to most pulsar models and points to a new way of analysing observational data from pulsars.

Pulsar Star

Dr Shearer said: "This is the culmination of ten years work. Our success is based upon having some talented post-graduate students and post-doctoral researchers combined with looking at the problem in a different way. The result shows the importance of our approach of combining numerical models run on large supercomputers with detailed observations. To follow these calculations we will use the SFI funded Galway Astronomical Stokes Polarimeter (GASP)* to finally establish the conditions around a pulsar and solve a forty year old problem - how do pulsars work?"

In another development, NUI Galway astronomers, working with colleagues in Italy, the UK and US, have discovered an X-ray bright tail coming from a pulsar. The tail was discovered by combining optical observations taken with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope and NASA's Chandra X-Ray observatory. The pulsar, known as PSR J0357, is about half a million years old and is located 1,600 light years from Earth with a tail of over four light years across. These findings have been recently published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Despite over forty years of observation and theory, pulsars, which are rapidly rotating neutron stars, have defied an explanation of how they work. Pulsars are about one and a half times the mass of the sun, but are so small they could fit into Galway Bay. Consequently they represent extreme matter. They have a magnetic field which can be greater than a million billion times stronger than the Earth's magnetic field. Their density is also about a million, billion times greater than the density of the Earth. They are formed during a massive explosion at the end of a star's life known as a Type II supernova. During a supernova, the light from a single star outshines its host galaxy which contains up to a hundred billion stars.

The work at NUI Galway involved observations of the Crab pulsar formed in April 1054 when it was observed as a daytime star – unusually, very few observations of this event come from Europe, although it was observed by Irish monks and recorded in the Irish Annals.

Published in Marine Science
Ireland will have two entries in a fleet of 30 plus boats for the Star European Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire in two weeks time.

Olympic trial winners Royal Cork's Peter O'Leary crewed by Malahide's David Burrows, who finished fourth at the Pre-Olympic regatta in Weymouth a week ago, lead a home challenge in a fleet that contains the current Olympic champion, four past world champions and seven continental class champions.

Ian_Percy_Andrew Simpson_Star

British Olympic Gold Medallists Percy and Simpson are coming to Dublin Bay next month. Photo: Delta Lloyd Regatta /Sander van der Borch

Beijing Gold Medalists, Britain's Ian Percy and Andrew Simpson, are confirmed for the presitgious Olympic class event that starts at the Royal St. George YC on September 2nd.

Ireland's other entry is Olympic triallists Max Treacy and Anthony Shanks from the host club.

The entries for the 2011 Star European Championships are:

Skipper Country Sailing Number
Chatagny CH SUI 8075
Niklaus Michel CH SUI 7829
Alexander Schlonski DE GER 8426
Maxwell Treacy IE IRL 8381
Mateusz Kusznierewicz PL POL 8417
DENIS KHASHINA UA UKR 8205
Andrew Campbell US 8423
Ante Razmilovic UK 8191
Johannes Polgar Germany 8414
Arthur Anosov UKR 8240
Andrey Berezhnoy Russia 8359
Barbara Beigel Vosbury   7986
Fernando Echavarri Spain 8209
Flemming Soerensen Danish 8225
George Szabo US 8434
Guillaume Florent France 8270
Lev Shnyr Russia 8047
MARIN LOVROVIC Croatia 8339
Pavlo Bondar UKR 8119
Tom Londrigan, Jr. US 8170
Vasyl Gureyev UKR 8247
Xavier ROHART France 8237
Mate Arapov 7287 Croatia
Richard Clarke 8361 Canada
Stuart Hebb 8427 Canada
Tom Lofstedt 8351 Sweden
Diego Negri 8266 Italy
Peter O'Leary 8418 Ireland
Tibor Tenke 8386 Hungary
Published in Olympics 2012

In an impressive show of speed and strength that may yet produce one of the top Irish Olympic campaign performances of all time, Peter O'Leary and David Burrows notched up two more top six results in the Star Class yesterday to be second overall - by a margin of 11 points - at the Weymouth Pre-Olympic regatta.

The Stars, who were abandoned on Wednesday, continued with Race 7 and 8 yesterday. Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) continue to lead on 12 points. The day's race wins went to Britain's Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson in Race 7 and Flavio Marazzi and Enrico de Maria in Race 8.

O'Leary and Burrows have a very solid score line of  6 5 4 4 1 3 2 6 to give them 25 nett points in their 21-boat fleet  Third is current Olympic gold medallists Percy and Simpson on 36 points.

The Stars have a further two scheduled races today before tomorrow's medal race.

Only two races were possible in the 49er class  After 13 races Iker Martinez and Xabier Hernandez (ESP) lead Australia's Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen by a single point. In Race 12 the Australians finished a second ahead of the Spaniards to take the bullet but both teams finished out of the top three in Race 13 as Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) took the bullet and sit in third place on 48 points trailing the Spaniards by six.

Ireland's Matt McGovern and Ryan Seaton are 14th. Listen to the video interview here.

No racing was possible in the Finn class and they will race today as will the 49er and Star fleets.

The Laser, Laser Radial and Men's and Women's 470 will take place today with the first race scheduled to start at 12:00 local time.

Published in Olympics 2012
Tagged under

A very sold performance from Cork-Dublin pairing Peter O'Leary and David Burrows has produced second overall at the halfway stage of the Olympic Test event in Weymouth today.  The pair are racing in a 21-boat fleet, a fleet size that will be reduced to 16 for the Olympic regatta next year.

World Number 1 Star duo Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada had, by their standards, a bad day at office finishing second in Race 5 and ninth in Race 6. But with the discard coming into play they discard their ninth place and continue to lead on seven points. O’Leary and Burrows had a good day placing first in Race 5 and third in Race 6, working their way up from 11th at the first mark in race six.

O'Leary/Burrows move to second overall and Poland’s Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki are third on 19 points. Canada’s Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn won Race 6 and with 40 points they sit in ninth place.

The Laser and 470 were on a lay day today.

The Star rests tomorrow and it's back to business for second overall Annalise Murphy in the Laser radial and Ger Owens and Scott Flannigan in the 470.

Published in Olympics 2012

It's never easy stepping back in to a boat and finding your competitive edge again. It's even harder if it happens to be an Olympic class. On coming ashore after another windy Star race at the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta yesterday, Dun Laoghaire's Max Treacy concedes he 'never really expected to win the Irish Star keelboat trials this time around'. So far the Royal St. George pair have struggled to break in to the top half of the fleet.

Treacy and Peter O'Leary squared up for the right to represent Ireland next July at the Olympic Regatta in Weymouth but after winning the first trial in Holland ten days ago O'Leary has extended his lead this week.

Treacy, who has clocked up 12 years experience in the class and some impressive international results, says exam pressure kept him off the water this year. Together with his crew Anthony Shanks, the pair are now looking forward to the Star European championships on Dublin Bay in September, the 100th anniversary year for the class and the first time the Olympic keelboat has ever raced in Ireland.

 

Published in Olympics 2012

After last weekend's Sailing World Cup Regatta in Medemblik, Holland the Irish Olympic sailing squad is back on the water in five days time for the next round of the Cup, this time at the 2012 Olympic venue itself and the Skandia 'Sail for Gold' Regatta in Weymouth.

Expectations are high that Ireland can be in the medals in England not least because Ireland qualifed for three medal races last week and last year Peter O'Leary won Gold in the Star class in Weymouth.

Over 1,000 sailors, including a number of World and Olympic champions, will be competing in Weymouth, Great Britain, the venue of the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Great Britain's Ben Ainslie, Giles Scott and Ed Wright have dominated the Finn class during the 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup.

The British trio have been at the top of the podium on every occasion. Ainslie won Sail Melbourne, Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE and the Semaine Olympique Française, Scott won US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR and Wright won the Delta Lloyd Regatta last week.

But it is Ainslie who leads the Finn Standings on 79 points ahead of Scott, on 71, and Wright on 66. All three will sail in Weymouth alongside some equally impressive sailors in the form of the World #1 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO), World #2 Zach Railey and Spain's Rafael Trujillo.

However it is hard to see anyone defeating the Brits who have dominated the class since the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup in 2008-2009 which has seen Wright crowned ISAF Sailing World Cup Finn Champion on two occasions.

Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) reclaimed the top spot in the Men's 470 Standings after clinching gold at the Delta Lloyd Regatta. The World #1 Australians have a 17 point lead over Panagiotis Kambouridis and Efstathios Papadopoulos (GRE) in second. World #5 sailors Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos (FRA) trail the Australians by 18 points in third.

The top three will all sail in Weymouth but it is a tough ask for anyone to overhaul Belcher and Page who have a strong lead with just two ISAF Sailing World Cup Regattas remaining.

Eight points separate the top five in the Women's 470 ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings.

Despite not sailing in Medemblik, Penny Clark and Katrina Hughes (GBR) retained their lead at the top of the Standings on 54 points. But Delta Lloyd Regatta runners up Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata (JPN) trail the Brits by three points and will look to make up the ground on the World #3 pair at Skandia Sail for Gold.

Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and Evi Van Acker (BEL) are tied at the top of the Laser Radial Standings on 69 points each. They will renew their rivalry in Weymouth but with the top ten in the Standings all set to compete, and the third place Veronika Fenclova (CZE) within touching distance of the leaders the gold medal is far from a foregone conclusion.

The 2011 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta will also welcome the top ten in the Laser Standings. The standout performer this year has been Tom Slingsby (AUS) who has been on the podium in the four ISAF Sailing World Cup Regattas he has sailed in. He has a 14 point lead over Javier Hernandez (ESP) in second and a 20 point lead over Nick Thompson (GBR) in third.

In the Paralympic classes the top three in the 2.4mR, SKUD-18 and Sonar ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings will compete.

Racing begins at the 2011 Skandia Sail for Gold on 6 June and will run until 11 June.

Published in Olympics 2012

After two windy opening races and now today's two light/medium air races Holland's Delta Lloyd regatta is shaping up to be a true leg of the ISAF World Sailing Cup, an important event for 13 Irish crews competing there.

Peter O'Leary and David Burrows margin in the first Irish Star Olympic trial has increased following penalty points sustained by rivals Max Treacy and Anthony Shanks for a premature start in today's third race. O'Leary of Royal Cork is now seventh on 37 points and Treacy of Royal St. George 16th on 60 points in the ultra compettive 23-boat fleet.

After a blistering start yesterday with a 3 and a 1 in the Laser Radial Class Annalise Murphy stumbled this morning with a 37 in her 59–boat fleet. She recovered in the fourth race this afternoon picking up a ninth to be sixth overall on 51 points, some 31 points shy of leader Lithuania's Gintare Scheidt.

 

After scoring 10,10,21 on the first day Ryan Seaton and Matthew McGovern  counted a 27 and a 7 today to be 12th overall in the 49er dinghy. Ed Bulter and Ben Lynch are 36th after falling foul of a black flag in the 39-boat fleet.

In the 470 mens fleet top Irish boat after day one, Barry McCartin and Thomas Chaix are now 53rd, Rob Lehane and Tom Mapplebeck are 48th and after an 8 and 18 today double Olympian Ger Owens crewed by Scott Flannigan jumps 12 places from 61st to 49th in a fleet of 68.

James Espey leads in 42nd leads Irish hopes in the Laser class where Chris Penney, Chris Russell and Ronan Cull are also competing in the 123-boat fleet.

In the mens heavywieght Finn dinghy, Ross Hamilton is 42nd in a 66-boat fleet.

Delta Lloyd stories:

First Blood to O'Leary and Burrows

Capsize Costs Annalise the Lead

All our Olympic Sailing Coverage here.

Day 2 report:

After a windy opening day, the Delta Lloyd regatta provided sailors with challenging conditions with shifty winds on day two of the fifth ISAF Sailing World Cup event.

"Olympic couple" Robert and Gintare Scheidt, racing in the Star and the Laser Radial are leading their class with top results including a win in the last race. At the end of the day they Match-raced each others in the "fun race" organised for the day winners. Robert took the win but Gintare is aiming to take her revenge before the end of the week!

The Stars were last off the water last night, with their fourth race ending at 9.30 PM! Beijing Silver medallists, Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) took the early lead with a third and a win, followed by another win in today's last race. They are continuing on their good form after winning the Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères with a day to spare. After a victory in their last event in Palma, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) are in second position and in contention for the event title. Canadians Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn, and last year SWC winners Eivind Melleby and Petter Moerland Pedersen (NOR) are only one point from second.

Beijing Silver medallist Gintare Scheidt (LTU) is climbing to first place in the Laser radial after mastering the day's tricky conditions. "The wind was very shifty and the positions changed constantly throughout the races." Tina Mihelic (CRO) who is still carrying a disqualification from the first day won the first race and placed fourth in the second. She is in tenth overall. "It was a difficult day with big shifts but I sailed well. I look forward more races to discard my OCS and come up in the rankings."

Early leader Marit Bouwmeester (NED) lost seven places after a difficult day. She comments on her 39th with: "On the first race I got carried away, too eager, I went too far left and ended up with less wind." Bouwmeester compared today's conditions with the ones encountered in Weymouth when the northerly is blowing.

Milan Vujasinovic (CRO) conserves the lead in the Laser on equal points with Bruno Fontes from Brazil. "I am happy with today's results and to keep the lead." says the Croat, "Light winds are not my favoured conditions, and I found it really hard! I just had to be patient and wait to benefit from the situations that came my way."

In the RS:X, Palma's winner Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) takes the lead from JP Tobin (NZL) after consistent sailing. "I have not seen conditions so unstable, the wind went right and left and up and down. In the second race I ended up in a hole in the middle and rounded the top mark in 30th position. These conditions also gave me opportunities to catch up and finally finish fifth!" explains the Dutch.

2010 Asian Games champion, Wang Aichen (CHN) wins the second race and places in sixth position overall.

In the Women division, Mayaan Davidovich (ISR) who placed 9th in the Delta lloyd regatta last year is taking the lead with consistent results. Jessica Crisp (AUS) is following closely after winning the first race of the day. The Chinese sailors are once again proving their strong abilities in windsurfing claiming, third, fourth and fifth places.

Olympic medallist Fernanda Oliveira with new crew Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA) have taken the lead in the 470 after top three results in today's tricky conditions. Yuka Yoshisako and Noriko Okuma (JAP), 5th at the 470 Spring Cup are taking second position overall. After mixed results (19th and 1st), early leaders Martine Grael and Isabel Swan (BRA) are in third in front of Dutch team of Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout who have collected near perfect results with a first and a second.

In the Men division, Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) are conserving their lead, three points over World # 1 Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS). The day went to the Japanese teams with Tetsuya Matsunaga / Kimihiko Imamura and Ichino Naoki/Ryouhei Froyliche enjoying the conditions with a second and a first each. "We like the light conditions so today was a day for us." explains Tetsuya, "We were in the lead at the top mark but got passed by Ichino and Ryouhei. We beat them again downwind." The Japanese 470 has a strong team in Medemblik. "We are five boats training together and progressing together as well." Tetsuya and Kimihiko, after finishing 18th in Medemblik in previous years, have an objective of top three in this event.

Finn World Champion Ed Wright (GBR) is increasing his lead in the Finn fleet after winning a second race today. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) is second, ten points from Laser Olympic medallist, Slovenian Vasilij Zbogar. The second race in the Finn penalised eight boats over the line. Among them, Dan Slater (NZL) is collecting his second penalty.

In the 49er, yesterday leaders, the Australians Outteridge/Jensen and the Philips brothers, got disqualified by the jury for rounding the wrong mark. Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes (GBR) are taking the lead with Peter Kruger Andersen and Nicolai Thorsell (DEN) in second and the Australians Outteridge/Jensen third.

The qualification stage in the Women Match racing is nearly completed. In Group A, Tamara Echegoyen (ESP) and team have continued on their perfect racing with eight wins and will enter the Gold group undefeated. Team Tunnicliffe (USA) have had a better day with four wins and are second in the Gold. Second spanish team of Roca is taking the third place in the Gold from Group A. There are still some matches to be raced in Group B, Groeneveld (NED) and Skudina (RUS) have both collected 6 victories. Racing will resume in the morning to decide the three teams qualified in the Gold fleet.

"The matches have been really hard and a real contest so we are happy with our results. We are in the Gold group thanks to real team work. Yesterday, in the breeze every small mistake could cost a lot and we needed to be careful. Today the wind was hard to read and my crew did a great work with the strategies. We needed to be very attentive to the wind shifts." explained Tamara Echegoyen (ESP).

Thierry Schmitter (NED) and Megan Pascoe (GBR) are continuing with their series of first and second places and increase their margin over the rest of the fleet.

Thursday will be the last chances for classes racing in groups to qualify for the Gold fleet.

 

Published in Olympics 2012

Big breeze played in to the hands of Ireland's top Olympic campaigners in the first day of the Delta Lloyd regatta. Annalise Murphy nearly had the overall lead save for a capsize but she holds second overall. Both the Stars are in the top ten and O'Leary leads.

All our Olympic Sailing Coverage here.

After scoring 10,10,21 Ryan Seaton and Matthew McGovern are 10th overall in the 49er dinghy and Ed Bulter and Ben Lynch are 22nd in the 39-boat fleet.

Barry McCartin and Thomas Chaix are 38th, Robe Lehane and Tom Mapplebeck are 44th and after an OCS double Olympian Ger Owens crewed by Scott Flannigan is 61st in a fleet of 68.

Delta Lloyd Day one stories:

First Blood to O'Leary and Burrows

Capsize Costs Annalise the Lead

 

Published in Olympics 2012

It's first blood to Cork/Dublin pairing Peter O'Leary and David Burrows who lie five places and ten points ahead of Dun Laoghaire's Max Treacy and Anthony Shanks after a blustery first day of racing in the Olympic Star keelboat class at the Delta Lloyd regatta. It's Holland's biggest sailing fixture, the fifth of seven ISAF World Cup events, and it's serving as the first of two Irish selection trials for the London Olympics.

With over 30 knots registered on their racing area, the Stars were postponed until 5pm this afternoon to allow for the wind to abate. It was still around 20 knots when the Star fleet started their first of two races after 6pm!

starholland

Dun Laoghaire's Max Treacy and Anthony Shanks in the first race of the Delta Lloyd Series

O'Leary and Burrows, who were second overall in March's Bacardi Cup, have scored a fixth and sixth in the 23-boat fleet, Treacy and Shanks a ninth and a 12th to lie fifth and tenth respecctively. The regatta is being led by Brazilian Gold medalist Roberth Sheidt and his crew Bruno Prada. Britain's Beijing Gold medallists Ian Percy and Andrew Simpson are second.

Racing in the 11–race series continues until Sunday.

Screen_shot_2011-05-24_at_21.01.08

Published in Olympics 2012
Page 9 of 11

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