#bacardicup – Royal Cork and Baltimore's Peter O'Leary is heading for Florida and Bacardi Cup next week where he lines up against some of his London 2012 Olympic rivals for the first time since Weymouth.
The Star keelboat however is no longer an Olympic class and the prospects of its reinstatement appeared premature this week. In Miami O'Leary will be crewed by former training partner Rodney Hagebols.
This time last year, and the Olympics just months away, O'Leary and Burrows launched a new Star boat for Bacardi Cup and although the Irish pair were one time regatta leaders they were pipped for a second year running by a French team for overall honours.
Headlining a week-long one design regatta, headquartered in Coconut Grove, is the 86th Bacardi Cup. Among the 62 Star teams registered are some of the storied class's most notable. Leading the lineup are 2012 Star World Champions Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot (France), who are also the BACARDI Cup defending champions. They will face, among others, 1992 Finn Silver medalist Brian Ledbetter (Medina, Wash.) who has teamed with Canadian 2012 Olympian Tyler Bjorn; 2009 Star World Champion George Szabo (San Diego) sailing with Miami's Magnus Liljedahl, the 2000 world champion and Olympic Gold Medalist; two-time ('08, '12) Olympian Peter O'Leary (Ireland) with Rodney Hagebols (Australia); Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Augie Diaz (Miami, Fla.); and two-time ('88, '96) Tornado Olympic Medalist Lars Grael (Rio de Janeiro, BRA.
Racing for the Star class gets underway on Monday, March 4.
Starting on Thursday, March 7, the Stars will be joined on Biscayne Bay by sailors in the Viper 640, Audi Melges 20, and Melges 24 classes, along with the J/70 class which makes its event debut. Racing, for all classes, will conclude on Saturday, March 10.
More information here www.MiamiSailingWeek.com