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Baltimore's Peter & Robert O'Leary Win Bronze Medals at the Star Europeans

12th August 2018
The podium of the 2018 Star European Championship, with Cork's O'Leary brothers on the right The podium of the 2018 Star European Championship, with Cork's O'Leary brothers on the right

American Augie Diaz and Brazilian Bruno Prada are the winner of the Robbe & Berking Star European Championships 2018, tied to Lars Grael with Samuel Gonçalves (BRA) who are second. The Bronze medal goes to Cork brothers Peter and Robert O’Leary from Baltimore Sailing Club.

Six of the seven races were sailed even though two of the four days of racing have been quite rough with very strong stormy winds. The PRO Claus Otto was excellent in deciding the right time to give the starts, postponing on Thursday and anticipating yesterday.

The winners of today’s races were two German team, the first bullet went to Star Class President Hubert Merkelbach with Marcus Koy, and the second one to Olympic Star skipper Robert Stanjek with crew Leif Bähr. But nothing could stop Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada, not even the early start they had in race 5, that cost them to go back and re-start. Not even one mistake by the runners-up was made, Lars Grael and Samuel Goncalves, who discard a seven and are tie to the winners. A Championship well played by the Irish brothers O’Leary, who proved to be excellent team on tough conditions, winning yesterday’s race with winds gusting up to over 30 knots.

Augie Diaz: “We had really some tough days of racing, we are happy we were eventually able to recover after the first early start.”

Bruno Prada: “The regatta was decided on the last downwind of the last race, we had to be fifth to win the race tied with Lars, and we just managed to finish one boat length ahead of Eivind Melleby who was sixth. So we are super happy and lucky for the last puff.”

Best junior team were the German Dominik and Simon Fallais

Best senior team in the Ü65 ranking were the Hungarians Tibor Tenke and Miklos. Bezereti.

Hubert Merklebach, ISCYRA President: “It was really a Championship for the tough sailors, the only non stormy day was today with 15-16 knots of nice breeze. Flensburger Segel Club did a fantastic job to manage the event, they’re used to have international regattas, and proved it this week. Everything went well with a great program, even on the social side with dinner in the old Silver factory of the main sponsor, Robbe&Berking, amazing Championship”.

The Star sailors are not done for the summer with the Silver regattas, next week the North American will take place in Los Angeles, with probably very different conditions.

For full results 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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