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Robert O’Leary Makes Top Ten On Third Day Of Star Sailors League

6th December 2019
Tovar Mirsky and Robert O’Leary got their first bullet on day three in the Bahamas Tovar Mirsky and Robert O’Leary got their first bullet on day three in the Bahamas Credit: Marc Rouiller/Star Sailors League

Star of day three in the Star Sailors League was Australian Torvar Mirsky sailing with Ireland’s Robert O’Leary, as the pair cruised into the top 10 on a day where young talent shone through amid lighter 6-12 knot conditions on Nassau’s Montagu Bay.

With the wind due north, 2017 Match Racing World Champion Mirsky was unbeatable upwind, leading at the top mark in all three of today’s races.

However, it was only in the second when he and O’Leary converted this to their first bullet, which helped lift them up to ninth overall.

“It was a splendid day – I’m really stoked,” said Mirsky once ashore at Nassau Yacht Club. “We were struggling a little downwind, but we were at the front of the fleet, which was really cool.

“In the lighter conditions we could look around a bit so we were able to tack, play the fleet and the shifts a little bit. We held on to most of it.”

Generally the lighter conditions favoured the youngsters in the 23-team fleet.

While Mirsky and O’Leary were the class act, scoring just one point more today were Scottish Laser European Champion Lorenzo Chiavarini and his German crew Kilian Weise, whose 3-3-6 left them in seventh (following yesterday’s two DNFs). Also going well today were Brazilians Henrique Haddad and Henry Boening who posted a 2-7-7, leaving them 10th.

Another three races are scheduled for today (Friday 6 December) starting at 11am local time to complete the qualification round. After this the top 10 alone will be heading on to the finals round tomorrow.

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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