The Irish Olympic pair lost out by three points yesterday but will take consolation in a well earned second overall against some key opponents. They sailled a consistent six race series in their new boat launched just in time for the Miami event. O'Leary steered to five top five placings (including two race wins) only dropping out of the top five once to record an eighth in the opening race.
Reflecting on the result a message on the Irish team's facebook page this morning says: 'Put it in the bitterness bank and move on'.
Six-time Olympian and two-time Star world champ Xavier Rohart of France added a new title to his sailing CV by becoming the winning skipper of the 85th Bacardi Cup on Biscayne Bay.
Rohart and crew Pierre Alexis Ponsot clawed their way through the 63-boat Star fleet to a fourth-place finish in Saturday’s final race — earning a score just low enough to overcome threats from not only the Irish but Polish and Austrian teams that had challenged all week. Full results are here.
Last year in spite of leading the regatta going in to the final race the Cork/Dublin sailors were pipped by a single point for overall honours. On that occasion France's Guillaume Florent and Pascal Rambeau accomplished a rare achievement winning the prestigious regatta at their first attempt.
O'Leary's brother and training partner Nin sailing with Rodny Hadenbols scored 11th overall at their first Star event.
Additional reporting from Miami organisers:
With five races already on the scoreboard, the Star fleet today completed the sixth race for the 85th BACARDI Cup, being held for the 50th year in Miami. Briefly postponed, the final race for the Stars got underway with just seven knots of breeze from the east southeast. The Swiss team of Flavio Marazzi and Enrico De Maria were across the finish line first, followed by Miami's own Augie Diaz with Bruno Prada, and 2008 Star World Champions Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (Poland). Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot (France) were across fourth, followed by 2008 Olympian Peter O'Leary and David Burrows (Ireland). By finishing ahead of the Irish team, Rohart and Ponsot, who had started the day with a three-point lead on O'Leary and Burrows, maintained the point spread to win the championship title with 13 points. O'Leary and Burrows, with 16 points, and Kusznierewicz and Zycki, with 18 points, filled out the remaining podium spots. Diaz and Prada, with finishes of 11-4-7-5-8-2; 26, moved up to fourth overall, with day one leaders, Austria's five-time Olympian Hans Spitzauer and Gerd Habermueller, finishing fifth overall with 29 points.
"It's wonderful," said Xavier Rohart on winning the 85th BACARDI Cup. "I'm extremely happy for this achievement. It's a dream come true! I've been dreaming about it for 10 years and finally it happened. Unfortunately, I'm on my way to the airport as I have to be back home and I will miss the celebration tonight, but my crew and coach will be there. This concludes my training in Miami and I will continue to focus on more training before the Olympics."