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O'Leary & Burrows in Silver Medal Position after Opening Star Races

29th July 2012
O'Leary & Burrows in Silver Medal Position after Opening Star Races

#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
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