Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Podcast: Peter O'Leary Interview

28th December 2010
Podcast: Peter O'Leary Interview

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.


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 Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button