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Peter O'Leary's Star Keelboat 'The Iron Lotus' Now 18th After Three Bacardi Cup Races

6th March 2024
American's Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise claimed the overall lead in the Bacardi Cup after winning race 3 on Biscayne Bay
American's Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise claimed the overall lead in the Bacardi Cup after winning race 3 on Biscayne Bay Credit: Martina Orsini

Cork-Belfast duo Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne continue their march back up the 97th Bacardi Cup in Miami, Florida, on Wednesday after Monday's low opening result.

The sole Irish pair, sailing IRL 8118, 'The Iron Lotus,' finished 39th in the opening race. With a ninth scored in race two and a 33rd on Wednesday, they are in 18th overall in the 66-boat fleet. 

As regular Afloat readers know, O'Leary and Milne, who placed sixth in the 2023 world championships are regular top five performers on the world stage and led the fleet mid-Bacardi Cup regatta last year, finishing fourth overall.

Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise won race 3 on Biscayne Bay to claim the overall lead in the Bacardi Cup, pushing overnight leaders Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Bruno Prada into second place.

The conditions were challenging, with 10-12 knot southerly breeze and chop making downwind particularly difficult.

Despite that, Doyle/Infelise made their move and won the race. John Dane III/Dave Martin finished second. Diaz/Boening claimed fifth place and climbed to third overall on the leaderboard.

Provisional Results – Top 10 after Race 3

1. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise (USA 8580) - 7 pts
2. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL 8559) - 11 pts
3. Augie Diaz / Henry Boening (USA 8509) - 19 pts
4. Lars Grael / Ubiratan Matos (BRA 8392) - 24 pts
5. Jørgen Schönherr / Markus Koy (DEN 8532) - 27 pts
6. John MacCausland / Peter Sangmeister (USA 8448) - 34 pts
7. John Dane III / Dave Martin (USA 8230) - 36 pts
8. Johann Spitzauer / Christian Nehammer (AUT 8529) - 38 pts
9. Piet Eckert / Frederico Melo (SUI 8575) - 38 pts
10. Will Stout / Parker Mitchell (USA 8538) - 41 pts.

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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