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Australian Torvar Mirsky and Cork Harbour's Robert O'Leary are up to sixth overall at this week's Italian-based Star World Championships after three races sailed in Porto Cervo. The pair sailing the Irish Star Dafne now count a 16, 8, and 10 and are two points off fourth overall. Results are downloadable below.

Yesterday was the third day of racing at the Championship organized by the YCCS in collaboration with the International Star Class Yacht Racing Association (ISCYRA) and the support of Main Partner Audi and Technical Partners Quantum Sails and Garmin Marine. The games are still open with the world class sailor Augie Diaz now in the lead followed by Eivind Melleby and Mateusz Kusznierewicz.

Again the breeze took its time to kick in and the Race Committee kept the AP flag hoisted until 1 PM. An hour later, after a general recall, the Star sailors got the event's third race underway. Breeze from the southeast was at 6 to 7 knots at first and in the end built gradually to 10 knots.

Skipper Eivind Melleby, winner of the 2017 Star Class World Championship, and his crew Joshua Revkin worked their way up through the fleet and finished in first place. This win brings them from fifth place in the provisional overall results to second. Second place today was won by Christian Paucksch with Melanie Bentele - one of just two women racing in the Championship- who have been a team to watch all through the event. The Italian Roberto Benamati, Star Class World Champion in 1991, who is sailing with Alberto Ambrosini, placed third today.

Augie Diaz and Henry Boening staged an excellent recovery and finished fourth today and thanks to this result they are currently in the lead overall, trailed by the Norwegian Eivind Melleby. Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Bruno Prada are currently in third place overall after placing eleventh today. Paul Cayard is inching up on the podium: after having finished the day in ninth place overall yesterday, he's in fourth place overall today. So the games are still open with three races left on the calendar.

The Norwegian Eivind Melleby had these words: "It was a good race with pretty stable breeze and small shifts that were hard to play but it was for everyone. Downwind we had really good speed and I think that's how we won the race. We expect to have pretty much the same conditions in the next couple of days then a bit windier on Saturday, so we're half way through the Championship and we will give it our all."

The German Christian Paucksch commented on his performance: "We had a good start on the far left near the pin and then we got every shift right up until the mark. We also had a good tactic for the first downwind run. We tried to control the fleet on the second beat and we managed to do it quite well, then on the last run the fleet split a little and we stayed with the ones going towards the shore. Eivind Melleby passed us just at the end which is too bad, but if I think that when my girlfriend and I started sailing the Star Championship together we said that we should always try to leave a boat behind. We should be very proud of ourselves today as we left quite a few behind."

Today, June 20th, the forecast calls for light and shifty breeze. The first Warning Signal is scheduled for 12 noon.

Published in Star
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Maurice ‘Prof’ O’Connell joins the media team for next week’s Star Europeans and Star Sailors League on Lake Garda.

The professional sailor and coach, and one-design expert with North Sails Ireland, will be providing the in-studio commentary and analysis with Digby Fox for live action on StarSailors.com along with Shirley Robertson who will be out on the water.

Prof is no stranger to broadcast sailing coverage, having been in the RTÉ studios for the last three Olympic Games — and he’s certainly no stranger to the Star class, with his final race at the Star Worlds in Miami only 11 years ago.

This year Ireland’s focus will be on the O’Leary brothers Peter and Robert, set to compete against a who’s-who of the racing world from this Wednesday 15 May.

Published in Star

Two separate O'Leary teams both sailing under the burgee of Baltimore Sailing Club in West Cork are in action in Florida next week at the Bacardi Cup in Miami.

Former Irish Sailor of the Year Anthony O'Leary sailing with David Hassett, Niall Rafferty and Tom Durcan will sail in the Viper class while O'Leary's sons Robert and Nicholas, (Robert was a recent bronze medalist in the Star Junior Championships) will compete in the Star Class. The brothers' boat, the aptly named Star 'Brotherly Love' has been based in Miami for a string of regattas this winter. 

Ninety-two years of history is a record that not many sports competitions can match. With the number of teams and the unparalleled talent on the water increasing each year, the Bacardi Cup Regatta is among the world’s most iconic sporting events. For 56 years, this event has had the pleasure of calling the beautiful warm waters of Biscayne Bay its home.

This year, the Organising Committee decided to extend an invitation not only to the Star Class, but also to other one-design fleets, making the 2019 Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta the most attended spring sailing event. The J/70 class, the fastest-growing one-design fleet in the world, has been invited for the second year in a row, while the successful long-lived Melges 24 class will make its return to Biscayne Bay along with the high-performance classes represented by the Viper 640 and Flying Tiger 7.5!

Racing gets underway in Biscayne Bay on Monday, March 4 for the Star Class. Racing for the J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640 and Flying Tiger 7.5 classes starts Thursday, March 7. The Star fleet will compete in a single daily race of proper endurance racing, which is the traditional format that the more than 100-year-old class dictates and exactly what the sailors relish. The other four fleets will sail 8 races scheduled across three days.

Teams from across the U.S. will be joined in every class by an international line-up of 23 different countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Ukraine.

The 2019 Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta has a recording-breaking 166 entries, with more than 500 sailors attending. World champions, Olympians and America’s Cup legends will be on the starting line. The most shining one will traditionally be the Star Class, with the many heroes that still competitively race in it and sport the Gold star on their main sail for winning at least one Star World Championship. We are excited to have competitors include the very eclectic Paul Cayard (USA), who has been sailing Stars for 40 years alongside his successful career in the America’s Cup and big yacht racing; Xavier Rohart (FRA), the Bronze Olympic medalist in the class in Athens; Lars Grael (BRA), a two times Bronze Olympic medalist in the Tornado class; and Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL), the Gold and Bronze winner at the Olympics in Atlanta and Athens in the Finn class.

Amongst those targeting victory in the J70 fleet is Brian Keane (USA), who has raced the J/70 since the start; Vincenzo Onorato (ITA), who holds World titles in the Farr 40 and M32; Will Welles (USA) who is at the top of the leader board at just about every major J/24 regatta and Joel Ronning (USA) who finished first in the 2016 J/70 World Championships held in the San Francisco Bay.

A robust Melges 24 fleet of 26 entries are present in Miami to kick-off the U.S. class’ 2019 National Ranking Series, an eight-part regatta circuit that spans the North American continent. Returning to the impeccable Biscayne Bay racing stage is current Winter Series overall ranking leader Bruce Ayres (USA), and Megan Ratliff (USA) who is in charge of the Corinthian division. Other major players include 2013 World Champion and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Brian Porter (USA), Travis Weisleder (USA) and KC Shannon’s (USA).

In the Viper 640 Fleet, we are welcoming back Steve Chapman (CAN) – Viper Class North American President, Geoff Fargo (USA) - West Cost Class President, Anthony O’Leary (IRL) and Mary and Jeff Eweson (USA). The Gulf Performance Sailing Foundation, a 501(c)3 from Gulfport, LA, with the purpose to promote sailing, will be sailing with all-junior crews.

The Flying Tiger Class will provide a “hassle free” regatta experience on fully rigged- and ready-to-sail boats, offering a three-day North-U Clinic where competitors can master their skills on the water.

Both Star and J/70 reigning champions will participate at the 2019 event: Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) will try to replicate their success in the huge Star fleet of almost 70 boats. Joel Ronning (USA), with his Catapult team, will try to be the fastest in the J/70 40-teams fleet.

Full results are available here

Published in Star

Cork’s Rob and Peter O’Leary are the Afloat.ie “Sailors of the Month (Open)” for February with their Bronze Medals at the talent-studded Star Junior Worlds in Florida in the first week of the month. The unique attraction of the International Star draws in a substantial fleet of world-class sailors from many disciplines, and the fluctuations in placings can be unnerving. However, with a strong finish the brothers not only kept themselves in the frame, but they moved into the medals while they were at it.

Published in Sailor of the Month

Baltimore Sailing Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club's Robert and Peter O'Leary are lying third overall after the first race of the Star Junior World Championship at Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami, USA.

Beautiful sunshine and light breeze welcomed this morning the 36 teams attending the inaugural championships yesterday. The Committee was eager to get on the racecourse as the weather forecast said the breeze would be dropping in the early afternoon. One race was concluded on Biscayne Bay with the wind blowing around 6-8 knots from West at the start at 12,10 pm and then dropping to 4-5 knots towards the end of the race one hour and 15 minutes later.

The fleet began the Junior World Championship with a general recall and a few flags went up on the racecourse for unauthorized pumping over the four leg race. The fleet was distributed evenly over the course, with a little more wind on the right-hand side of it, towards Key Biscayne. It was American Star sailor Luke Lawrence, with crew Alexey Selivanov, who took an early lead at the first windward mark and kept gaining on the way down to the gate and through to the finish. Behind them, the Italian Laser Radial Youth World Champion, Guido Gallinaro with German Star World Champion crew Firthjof Kleen fought for second against Irish brothers Robert and Peter O'Leary in the unusual setting with Robert at the helm.

"It was great out there said, Luke Lawrence, a bit shifty but after a good start on the pin side, clean and easy, the wind went our way and we could put the bow down. There are a lot of fast guys on the racecourse, even among the newcomers. I've been sailing in the Star class for five years now, I love it and this 30 and under World Championship is a great idea!"

"It was very shifty on the racecourse said American Olympic Laser sailor Charlie Buckingham I am coming from the World Cup Series event that just ended yesterday with the Medal Race and I am quite tired, but I am lucky to sail with Austin Sperry who makes my job much easier and it is a lot of fun to be on the boat with a friend instead of racing alone like in the Laser."

After racing, the official Opening Ceremony took place in the beautiful garden of Coral Reef Yacht Club before everyone went home to rest for tomorrow. Racing is scheduled to start one hour earlier (at 11am EST) to try to get three races done and get back on track with the program.

Results after Day 1: (top ten, 1 race)

1 USA Luke Lawrence Alexey Selivanov
2 ITA Guido Gallinaro Frithjof Kleen
3 IRL Robert O'Leary Peter O'Leary
4 ARG Facundo Olezza Frederico Melo
5 BRA Nick Pellicano Grael Samuel Gonçalves
6 MEX Juan Ignacio Perez Mark Strube
7 USA Tomas Hornos Pedro Trouche
8 USA Charlie Buckingham Austin Sperry
9 AUS Luke Payne Torvar Minsky
10 CAN Alex Baker Rick Burgess

Published in Star

Cork Harbour brothers Robert and Peter O’Leary start the first ever Star Junior World Championship at Miami, Florida, at Coral Reef Yacht Club today. 

Following a successful week for Ireland's Finn Lynch in the Laser class at the same race track last week, the O'Leary's go into battle on Biscayne Bay today.

As Afloat.ie reported previously, Robert, normally crewing for his older brother Peter (sailing twice at the Olympics for Ireland), will helm with Peter crewing. The Irish duo are no strangers to Miami waters either sailing to victory at the Walker Cup this time last year. 

"Robert, normally crewing for his older brother Peter, will helm with Peter crewing"

About 35 skippers 30 and under will be racing starting today February 3rd through Wednesday the 6th to win the title of Star Junior World Champion. Fifteen Nations are represented in Miami and many newbies will helm one of the oldest and most traditional boats, the Star. Designed in 1911 and still holding very popular regattas around the world in which some of the heroes of our sport race.

At the Junior Worlds in Miami, there will be the youngsters, skippers who have yet to be 31 year old, but they will race with crew with no age restrictions, and quite many of them have history in the class. Like Frithjof Kleen (GER), Star World Champion who attended the London Olympics in 2012 and won the SSL Finals 2017, sailing here with young Italian Laser Radial World Champion Guido Gallinaro (ITA), or Brian Fatih (USA), who finished 7th at the Games in Weymouth and won with Mark Mendelblatt (USA) the SSL Finals twice, crewing in Miami for British Laser sailor Lorenzo Chiavarini (GBR), and again, Star World Champion Samuel Gonçalves (BRA), crewing for Nick Grael (BRA) and Austin Sperry (USA), 11th at Bejing Olympics, at the bow of American Laser sailor Charlie Buckingham.

All of them, and many more, experienced crew will sail with and support the young skippers, but some of the entries are not new to the class at all. Like Daniel Cayard (USA), who was born among Star sailors with both his father, Paul, and his grandfather, Pelle Peterson (SWE), Star World Champions – his grandfather also won the Silver medal in Kiel in 1972 – or Robert O’Leary (IRL), normally crewing for his older brother Peter (twice at the Olympics for Ireland), will helm with Peter crewing, or American Joshua Revkin (USA), who won the Star Worlds in 2017 crewing for Eivind Melleby (NOR), will helm with Arthur Anosov (USA), and again Dutch skipper Thomas Allart (NED) sailing with Kilian Weise (GER) with whom he finished third at the Eastern European Championship in Trieste 2018. There is even an under 30 girl helming at the Junior Worlds, Chloe Holder, from San Francisco, who will take some time of her 420 junior programme. Too bad the Star World Champion and SSL Finals 2018 winner, Jorge Zarif (BRA), won’t be able to attend due to his Finn Olympic campaign commitment.

The regatta will officially begin tomorrow with the first warning signal at 12.00 (EST) on Biscayne Bay, two races per day are scheduled each day from Monday to Wednesday with no races starting later than 2.00 pm.

Published in Star

Baltimore Sailing Club brothers Peter and Robert O’Leary are signed up for the inaugural Junior Star Worlds in Miami’s Biscayne Bay from 3-6 February.

Last year’s bronze medallists in the Star Europeans join a list of more than 30 skipper-crew pairs under 30 already entered to compete for the first junior trophy in the storied International Star Class.

Others in the pedigree field include 2014 Star World Champion and 2017 Star Sailors League Finals winner Frithjof Kleen from Garmany, who is crewing for Italian Laser Radial world champion Guido Gallinaro.

For more see the official website for the 2019 Star Junior World Championship.

Published in Star

#sailDLR2014 – Dublin Moth sailor Rory Fitzpatrick lies tenth overall after tricky winds dominated the third day of racing at the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Holland.

The day looked perfect for sailing, but the word from the sailors coming shore was of shifty, gusty winds that kept everyone on their toes through the day.

Fitzpatrick's Irish team mates on the Isselmeer at Medemblik include 49er pair Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern in 11th place, Finn Sailor Robert O'Leary in 13th place, Laser man James Espey in 14th, and John Twomey eighth in the Sonar. Dublin's Jade O'Connor lies eighth in the kitesurf event. Full results here.

Forecasts of a significant drop in the wind in the afternoon were luckily wrong, and while the wind did decrease from the 15-18 knots in the morning there was still a healthy breeze late in the afternoon when the Moths were finishing their final race of the day. And the sun shone down on the 350 sailors from 49 nations all day long. It was a great day to be sailing.

Megan Pascoe (GBR) had a perfect day in the 2.4 mR with two race wins. Michelle Broekhuizen and Marieke Jongens (NED) in the women's 470, Nicholas Heiner (NED) in the Laser, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) in the Laser Radial, Phillip Kasueske (GER) in the Finn, Zofia Klepacka (POL) in RS:X women, Alexandra Rickham and Niki Burrell (GBR) in the Skud 18 and Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary (FRA) in the Sonar all maintained their leads.

There were new leaders in the men's 470 with Onan Barreiros Rodriguez and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP), in the 49er with Pavle Kostov and Petar Cupac (CRO), in the Nacra with Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA), in the RS:X men's with Louis Giard (FRA).

Today was also the first day for the two demonstration events, the Kitesurfers and the Moths. Both fleets enjoyed showing off what they could in waters off Medemblik.

470 Men

A second and a third place today was enough for Onan Barreiros Rodriguez and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP) to take the overall lead in the 470 men. Barreiros commented, "Today was difficult because the wind was nice, but so shifty. Also the first mark was close to the beach. Today we are happy at the end with a second and a third. Our first day here was really bad, when we collected 24 points, but tomorrow we will aim for top five and try and keep first overall."

"We are using new sails here and I need to test them at a regatta before the Europeans. It's different to test in training and a regatta. But I am very happy with the new sails, especially the spinnaker."

Luke Patience and Elliot Willis (GBR) dropped to second after picking up a black flag disqualification (BFD) in the first race, and then placing tenth in the second. Patience said, "It was a tricky start. The flag and the hooter were not timed the same and we had set our watch at clearly the wrong time, so we were just over a metre too early, but it was our misjudgement."

"In the last race we were in good control, and then the race went from pretty big gusts up to 17 knots down to suddenly high wiring at about 7 knots and when it does that, when you have created so much leverage planing, you are really exposed, and we just got it wrong. We were in the wrong place. And then when you're not planing you just can't get back. A small error turned out to be huge in terms of numbers, so a bit frustrating."

Giulio Desiderato and Andrea Trani (ITA) also picked up a BFD to drop to third. The second race of the day was won by Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson (RSA). Hudson said, "It was nice that we got some breezy conditions. It made a bit of a change and we enjoyed that. In the first race we had a good start and were in a great spot but we broke our vang, and had to fix that in the middle of the race and it cost us a lot, but we managed to get back to eighth. So that wasn't too bad.

"In the second race we had a similar start and strategy and it went very well and we ended up leading at the top mark. Although it was fairly breezy the wind was really up and down, so it was absolutely critical to stay in the big pressure. That made life quite difficult defending, but we did a pretty good job with a lot of experienced, high quality guys on our tail. We were very happy to close out the win."

For Jim and Hudson, the Delta Lloyd Regatta marks three years since they first sailed together. "The Delta Lloyd Regatta marks the anniversary of when we started sailing together here in 2011 and we like to come back here because it reminds us where we started."

470 Women

Michelle Broekhuizen and Marieke Jongens (NED) won the first race and then placed fourth in the second to maintain their lead. Broekhuizen said, "We had an OK day. The first race was pretty windy and the second it decreased a bit. It's like paradise now, windy and sunny. We are still in a process learning a lot. Our expectation was not to win here, we are just expecting to learn a lot, and that's our focus. We're not really focussing on the results, though it would be nice to win."

Afrodite Kyranakou and Anneloes van Veen (NED) are still in second after a 6, 2 today. Kyranakou said, "It was a challenging day because the wind was shifting every two minutes, with many pressure differences. In the first race we had to come back at the start because we were over. And then we needed to catch up a lot. We didn't quite make top five, which is always our goal, but we were close. In the second race we had some speed problems, but we caught up with tactics and a good downwind to second, so that was good. We are happy with the week. Of course we are still making a lot of mistakes, so we want to improve a lot. You are never good enough."

"We are showing, that with our sparring partners Michelle and Marieke, that we have trained well recently and it's good to see that we are closer together and we are beating the rest of the fleet. It's good to see we have both made so much progress and the programme we have together is making us both better and that is very positive."

Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthaler (SUI) are still third after a 3, 8 but the points are now very close. The second race was won by Anna Burnet and Flora Stewart (GBR). Burnet said, "It was quite a shifty race but we got a good start at the pin end and had good speed up the first beat. We worked our way up with the shifts and pressure, and rounded in front of everybody and held that for the rest of the rest, which was a bit tricky as it was so shifty, but managed to keep the lead."

"We've had a bit of time off, so it's important for us to get back into it and do some racing. It's the best way to learn really. And we ended the Dutch girls winning streak today."

49er

There is a new leader in the 49er fleet with Pavle Kostov and Petar Cupac (CRO) moving three points clear after another three races were sailed. Former leaders Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) had a high score day, but only dropped to second while Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) fared better to move up to third.

John Pink and Stuart Blithell (GBR) dominated the first two races with two bullets, while Frederico Alonso and Arturo Alonso (ESP) won the third race of the day.

RS:X Men

After winning the first race Przemyslaw Mirczynski (POL) slipped up with two mid fleet scores to drop to fifth. Louis Giard (FRA) had the best day with a 3, 5, 1 to move into a narrow lead over Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED). The second race was won by third overall Piotr Myszka (POL).

RS:X Women

Zofia Klepacka (POL) solidified her overall lead with two race wins and a second place to take a six point lead after eight races. Malgorzata Bialecka (POL) won the third race of the day to move up to second overall while three top four positions keeps Lilian de Geus (NED) firmly still in the race, sandwiched between the four Polish sailors.

Nacra 17

The 35 Nacra sailors produced the expected spectacle with hulls flying, crashes and even a breakage as the mast on the boat of Lucy Macgregor and Andrew Walsh (GBR) came down after a capsize. Up to that point they had been having a great week.

Despite posting a 3, 22, 10, Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) moved into the overall lead, overtaking Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA). Darren Bundocck and Nina Curtis (AUS) took a race win to stay in third. The other race wins went to Audrey Ogereau and Matthieu Vandame (FRA) and Flora Laugier and Valentin Bedllet (FRA).

Finn

Phillip Kasueske (GER) maintains his overall lead with a 3, 4, though it is now down to a single point from Pieter-Jan Postma (NED). Jake Lilley (AUS) is now up to third, after he and Postma both picked up a first and second today in the stronger winds.

Lilley said, "We had a bit of wind today and it was much nicer to be able to use our speed a bit more. I think the biggest change today was that so far PJ and myself have been sailing too conservatively, and these kids have been getting round us on the corners. We changed it today and were a bit more aggressive. In the second race PJ and I both came off the pin. We were being quite bold, but the wind went right and we were back in the fleet again. But this time we managed to fight through the fleet for a 1, 2 finish."

Despite Oscar flag being displayed for free pumping on the downwinds, Postma picked up a yellow flag for having his boom in the water while pumping in the second race, which he admits probably cost him a second race win.

Lilley continued, "Each day we have been up the front, but what's been happening is that on the second beat these kids have been punching out from us while we are still kind of sailing up the middle because that's what you do in the bigger fleets. Anyway, it's something different and heaps to learn. And this eight race series format is quite interesting. With a small fleet it brings a different aspect to the racing."

"It was pretty nice today again. The last three days have been glamour, and definitely the best weather we have had so far this season out of any of the regattas."

Laser

Nicholas Heiner (NED) started the day by winning his third race of the week and then placed eighth in the second to end the day with a seven point lead. Sam Meech (NZL) is still proving to be the best of the chasing Kiwis, while Andy Malony (NZL) remains in third, though on equal points with the next two boats.

Laser Radial

Marit Bouwmeester (NED) continues to lead the Laser Radial fleet though she didn't have things all her own way. Alicia Cebrian Martinez de Lagos (ESP) remains in second with Evi van Acker (BEL) in third. The race wins went to fourth placed Isabella Bertold (CAN) and van Acker.

Sonar

After six races there is just five points separating the top three boats in the three man keel boat. Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary (FRA) still lead from Colin Harrison, Jon Harris and Russell Boaden (AUS) and Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen (NOR). Race wins went to the Norwegian and Australian teams.

Skud 18

There is just one point in it in the Skud fleet after Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti (ITA) produced two bullets in the increased wind today, while regatta leaders Alexandra Rickham and Niki Burrell (GBR) picked up two second places. Vera Voorbach and Jan Rein van Essenveld (NED) remain in third, eight points adrift of the leaders.

2.4 mR

Megan Pascoe (GBR) looks to be running away with the 2.4mR class after two more race wins today, to extend her lead to eight points over Helena Lucas (GBR). Matt Bugg (AUS) is in third, another four points adrift.

Pascoe said on her day, "It was a very good day for me with two wins and it was quite breezy at times. The first race really quite windy with shifts from the right. It was mainly a speed race which I seemed to win. Downwind was quite fun playing on the waves. Otherwise an uneventful race."

"The second race was lighter but choppy as usual. It was more tricky with a lot more shifts and boats coming back from the left and the right. The gusts were also a lot more shifty. Some had gusts and some weren't so that made it much trickier. But there were five or six of us up there. Every time someone tacked it looked like they were winning and then the next person tacked and they looked like they were winning. But I got a nice shift at the bottom of the second beat and that gave me the lead for the rest of the race."

Demonstration events

The Kite and the Moth were both began racing today as demonstration events at the Delta Lloyd Regatta. The 21 kites sailed a series of five or six person round robin heats through the day. After five sets of races, Oliver Bridge (GBR) is tied on points with Florian Gruber (GER), with Alejandro Climent Hernandez (ESP) just two points back in third.

Chris Rashley (GBR) won three of the four races in the Moth fleet, with Ben Paton (GBR) picking up three second places and then a win in the final race. The British sailors made a top three with Tom Offer (GBR) finishing the day with a third place to move into third place overall.

Published in Olympic

The O'Learys of Crosshaven have taken the Sailor of the Month title several times over the years with the remarkable achievements of father Anthony, and sons Peter and Nicholas. But the season of 2013 has clearly demonstrated that there's a new O'Leary on the stage - younger brother Robert, who played a key role in Irish university sailing through March and April.

Previously in the baby brother position as the successful skipper of the family's "cruiserfied" 1720 Antix Beg, young O'Leary is currently making the scene in that hotbed of college development, the University of Limerick. This admired institution's success is doing more to change public perceptions of the sometimes troubled Shannonside city than a whole raft of government inner city initiatives. But even so, when UL came into being in 1989, it would have aroused incredulity to suggest that, by 2013, it would be the clear pace-setter in the highly competitive and long established world of Irish college sailing.

Yet such is the case. And what a pace they've been setting. Despite the coldest Irish spring in years, it was the Limerick college sailors who kicked the new season into action by hosting the three day Intervarsity Team Racing National Opens over the St Patrick's weekend in March. Run in Kerry in conjunction with the hospitable Tralee Bay SC, and sailed in Fireflies, the series attracted 26 teams. The logistical demands were such that Robert O'Leary stayed ashore as overall event manager, but UL was on a roll and they won the main title too, captained by Ross Murray.

Then in April O'Leary was very much afloat, skippering the UL crew in the Student Yachting Worlds Irish selection trials raced over three successive Saturdays in April in the SailFleet J/80s, currently based in Howth. The format was demanding, as it involved getting your crew on site three times over a two week period, and then coping with very different conditions on three separate occasions. But it was an ideal selection method, as the Worlds in France at the end of October – to be sailed in J/80s –will make a considerable demand on resources and organisational ability, so those who could cope with the special challenges of the Howth series are clearly made of the right stuff.

On top of that, with no discards, consistency afloat was vital. The great Robert Scheidt of Brazil, probably world sailing's best-liked superstar, remarked very recently that in the final analysis, modern sailing is a consistency sport. Before he'd said it, the Limerick college sailors showed they were well aware of this reality. On each of the three Saturdays, Rob O'Leary sailed them to a first and second. Three firsts and three seconds is "quite a consistent scoreboard". Coupled with his achievements in March in ensuring the success of the staging of the team racing championship, Robert O'Leary is a very worthy Afloat.ie Sailor of the Month for April 2013.

Published in Sailor of the Month

Yesterday marked the beginning of the 30th Student Yachting World Cup (SYWoC), and for the Irish Team, it was the first opportunity for some of them to check out La Rochelle. This year's Team Ireland consists of a joint effort between UL, LIT and UCC.

The team consists of Skipper Robert O'Leary(UCC), Cian Gallagher (UL), John Blake (UL), Dee O'Rourke (LIT), Lisa Dann (UCC), Caitlin Cuppage (UCC), Shane Newman (UL), Peadar O'Suilleabhain (UL), Jamie Donegan (UCC). The team will race with 6 or 7 up depending on the weather for the week, currently the forecast is looking quite light. Not what was expected for this time of year in La Rochelle.
After an early start at 7am this morning, the team travelled to the Societé de Regatis Rochelouies, the club which hosted the very first SYWoC in 1979. And which is SYWoC's base for the week.
A practice race was scheduled for 2pm, after a general briefing at 1pm. However, with wind gusting over 30kts, the race organisers decided that it was not worth risking the fleet with 6 days of racing ahead. The teams will be given an hour prior to racing tomorrow to put the final preparations on their 2010 SYWoC campaigns.
Team Ireland will hope to keep the title of a force to be reckoned with, after all the past 4 SYWoC campaigns for Ireland have had results of a 1st (Trinity - 2006), 2nd (CIT - 2007), 1st (CIT - 2008), 4th (CIT - 2009).

Published in Youth Sailing
Page 1 of 2

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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