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Two of Ireland's 2008 Star Keelboat Campaigns are Racing at Bacardi Cup, Miami

6th March 2018
Both of Ireland's 2008 Beijing Olympic campaigners are back on the water at the Star Bacardi Cup this week in Miami, Florida Both of Ireland's 2008 Beijing Olympic campaigners are back on the water at the Star Bacardi Cup this week in Miami, Florida Photo: Tim Wilkes/Facebook

In what might be the first competitive meeting since the controversial 2008 Olympic Star selection trials – that ended up in front of an Olympic Council of Ireland Appeal hearing – two of Ireland's 2008 keelboat campaigners Peter O'Leary of Baltimore and Royal Cork and Max Treacy of the Royal St. George Yacht Club are back on–the–water and contesting this week's 2018 Bacardi Cup in Miami.

The Cup is one of the oldest and most traditional sailing events in the world. What started out as a three-day event with less than 10 boats in 1927, now attracts more than 200 sailors each year from some 23 countries and the attention of international media. It is is legendary as one of the few sporting events in which weekend enthusiasts have the opportunity to compete head on with Olympian and World Champion athletes.

As long time Afloat.ie readers will be aware, it was O'Leary who went on to represent Ireland in Beijing in 2008. A decade on, and now sailing with new crew, brother Robert, the Cork Harbour ace has taken first advantage yesterday and is placed sixth in the 76–boat fleet while Dublin Bay's Treacy, sailing with 2008 partner Anthony Shanks, is six places behind in 12th overall after one race sailed. 

In his new Star boat, named Dafni, O'Leary – who also sailed at London 2012 – is already very much up to speed winning last month's Star Walker Cup at the same venue. It was a result that earned them a February 2018 Afloat.ie Sailor of the Month award in to the bargain.

Yesterday, American's Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada, of the USA took the first winners gun on Biscayne Bay, Monday.

They finished ahead of Eivind Melleby and Joshua Revkin of Norway with Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi of Italy in third place.

Paul Cayard and Mark Strube USA finished fourth and fifth were Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise USA, with Ireland's O'Leary brother's sixth.

Top ten after the first race:

1. Augie Diaz / Bruno Prada, USA
2. Eivind Melleby / Joshua Revkin, NOR
3. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi, ITA
4. Paul Cayard / Mark Strube, USA
5. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise , USA
6. Peter O'Leary / Robert O'Leary, IRL
7. Robert Scheidt / Brian Fatih, BRA
8. Thomas Allart / Arthur Lopez, NED
9. Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter, USA
10. Luke Lawrence / Pedro Trouche, NED

Full results are here 

Published in Star
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The Star keelboat is a 6.9 metres (23 ft) one-design racing keelboat for two people designed by Francis Sweisguth in 1910.

The Star was an Olympic keelboat class from 1932 through to 2012, the last year keelboats appeared at the Summer Olympics at which Ireland's representatives were Peter O'Leary and David Burrows.

Ireland has performed well in the class internationally thanks to some Olympic campaigns including a bronze medal at the Star World Championships in 2000, won by Mark Mansfield and David O'Brien.

The boat is sloop-rigged, with a mainsail larger in proportional size than any other boat of its length. Unlike most modern racing boats, it does not use a spinnaker when sailing downwind. Instead, when running downwind a whisker pole is used to hold the jib out to windward for correct wind flow.

Early Stars were built from wood, but modern boats are of fibreglass and carbon construction.

The boat must weigh at least 671 kg (1,479 lb) with a maximum total sail area of 26.5 m2 (285 sq ft).

The Star class pioneered an unusual circular boom vang track, which allows the vang to effectively hold the boom down even when the boom is turned far outboard on a downwind run.

Another notable aspect of Star sailing is the extreme hiking position adopted by the crew and at times the helmsman, who normally use a harness to help hang low off the windward side of the boat with only their lower legs inside.

At A Glance – Star Specifications

Designer Francis Sweisguth
Year 1910
Crew 2 (Skipper + Crew)
S + 1.5 C ≤ 250 kg (550 lb)[1]
Draft 1.016 m (3 ft 4 in)
Hull Type keelboat
Hull weight ≥ 671 kg (1,479 lb)
(including keel)
LOA 6.922 m (22 ft 9 in)
LWL 4.724 m (15 ft 6 in)
Beam 1.734 m (5 ft 8 in) at deck
1.372 m (4 ft 6 in) at chine
Hull appendages
Keel/board type bulb keel
401.5 ± 7 kg (885 ± 15 lb)
Rig
Rig type sloop
Mast length 9.652 m (31 ft 8 in)
Sails
Mainsail area 20.5 m2 (221 sq ft)
Jib/genoa area  6.0 m2 (65 sq ft)
Upwind sail area ≤ 26.5 m2 (285 sq ft)

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