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Ireland's Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne Secure Victory in Race 4 of 97th Bacardi Cup

8th March 2024
Despite Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne's turbulent scorecard of 39, 9, 33, the Cork Harbour-Belfast Lough duo managed to take the lead and move up to 16th place overall
Despite Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne's turbulent scorecard of 39, 9, 33, the Cork Harbour-Belfast Lough duo managed to take the lead and move up to 16th place overall Credit: Martina Orsini

Ireland's Star keelboat sailors Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne clinched victory in race 4 of the 97th Bacardi Cup, marking a new winner for the day in Miami, Florida. Despite their turbulent scorecard of 39, 9, 33, the duo managed to take the lead and move up to 16th place overall. The weather conditions continued to pose challenges for the teams, with the race being postponed due to rain and clouds affecting the wind. However, the teams managed to push through the squalls, rain, and sunshine, with the breeze ranging from 5-15 knots across the three courses.

O'Leary expressed his satisfaction on winning the race, stating that the Cork-Belfast duo tend to perform well in strong winds and heavy rain, which is similar to their home conditions. Looking ahead to the next two races, O'Leary acknowledged the tough competition, saying, "This is proper racing, there is nowhere to hide, really good sailors and you are sailing against the best of the best. That’s what you get in the Star. The racing is really every inch. We have left ourselves a bit of work to do, but that is ok."

The defending champions of the Bacardi Cup, Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Bruno Prada, regained their top spot in the Star fleet, ahead of the 2019 Bacardi Cup winners, Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise. While the top two teams seem to be heading towards a thrilling duel, any of the top five teams could still unseat them with the series discard set to kick in after tomorrow's race 5. Facundo Olezza and Ricardo Vadia became the top-placed U30 team in 19th place overall after their impressive 3rd place finish.

Provisional Results – Top 3 after Race 4

1. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL 8559) - 13 pts
2. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise (USA 8580) - 13 pts
3. Augie Diaz / Henry Boening (USA 8509) - 24 pts

Race Results

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

Published in Star Team

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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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