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O'Leary's Star 'Iron Lotus' Scores 39th in First Race of Bacardi Cup

5th March 2024
Star – world-class racing against the Miami city skyline at the 9th Bacardi Cup on Biscayne Bay
Star – world class racing against the Miami city skyline at the 9th Bacardi Cup on Biscayne Bay

The 97th Bacardi Cup kicked off on Monday in Miami, Florida with sixty-six Stars representing fifteen nations (including Ireland) for what turned out to be a light-wind tactical challenge and no more so than for Cork-Belfast duo Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne sailing IRL 8118, Iron Lotus who finished 39th in the opening race on Biscayne Bay.

As regular Afloat readers know, O'Leary and Milne, who are consistently formidable and led the fleet mid-regatta last year before finishing fourth overall, so they will be hoping for better in the next races.

Americans Augie Diaz and Henry Boening perfectly displayed their skill in securing the win. Defending Bacardi Cup Champions, Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Bruno Prada initially led but Diaz and Boening found the speed button to overhaul them and take the race win.

All top four finishers today are both past Bacardi Cup and Star World Champions.

Provisional Results – Top 10 after Race 1

1. Augie Diaz / Henry Boening (USA 8509) - 1 pt
2. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL 8559) - 2 pt
3. Lars Grael / Ubiratan Matos (BRA 8392) - 3 pt
4. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise (USA 8580) - 4 pt
5. Marin Misura / Tonko Barac (CRO 8531) - 5 pt
6. Josh Powell / Mark Strube (USA 8522) - 6 pt
7. Piet Eckert / Frederico Melo (SUI 8575) - 7 pt
8. Paul Cayard / Frithjof Kleen (USA 8550) - 8 pt - Worlds
9. Jørgen Schönherr / Markus Koy (DEN 8532) - 9 pt
10. John MacCausland / Peter Sangmeister (USA 8448) - 10 pt – Worlds

Race Results

You may need to scroll vertically and horizontally within the box to view the full results

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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 type sloop
Mast length 9.652 m (31 ft 8 in)
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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