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A last-race win gave Ireland's Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne sixth overall at the Star World Championships in Italy on Sunday.

The Cork-Belfast pair, who suffered a black flag setback on the penultimate day, bounced back after discard yesterday in the six races series to be sixth overall by a point.

A pair of 30-year-old German sailors, Max Kohlhoff and Ole Burzinski, who joined the Star Class three years ago thanks to the U30 programme in Kiel, were crowned World Champions in Marina di Scarlino.

Max Kohlhoff and Ole Burzinski have been crowned 2023 Star World Champions in Marina di Scarlino, Tuscany. The German duo started the Championship with a bullet and ended it with a golden star affixed to their mainsail, fulfilling a lifelong dream shared by over 200 Star sailors in Scarlino. 

Star World Champions 2023 - 30-year-old German sailors, Max Kohlhoff and Ole Burzinski Photo: Martina OrsiniStar World Champions 2023 - 30-year-old German sailors, Max Kohlhoff and Ole Burzinski Photo: Martina Orsini

"Since we started three years ago, our goal was always to win the gold star to put on the mainsail. We believed it was possible, but it was definitely hard work... and doing it here, on our second attempt, is unbelievable!" commented Max Kohlhoff. 

The final day of the 2023 Star World Championship started with a different breeze from the north. The day's first race started around 11:15 AM with 7/8 knots of wind speed, but it varied throughout the four legs, with a gentle but constant shift to the right. For the last race, the wind came even more from the right, 050 degrees, and the wind speed varied from as little as 5 knots to as much as 13. 

O’Leary and Milne were the best at reading the wind throughout the last race, even though the first at both the top mark and the gate were the Americans Doug Smith and Brian O’Mahony. Negri/Sodano and Eckert/Melo finished eighth and 12th respectively, which was enough to keep them both on the podium: the Swiss/Portuguese team won silver, and the Italians took bronze.

The 2023 Star World Championship comes to a close with the prize-giving at the Yacht Club Isole di Toscana. The event will be remembered for the excitement of having two new young Star World Champions, emerging from a successful U30 programme run by Arnd Glunde in the North of Germany. This is a sign of hope for a Class that's more than 100 years old, which has seen great legends of the sport raise the 100-year-old trophy and can continue to produce champions.

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A black flag disqualification in race three has dented the overall prospects of Ireland's Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne at the Star World Championships in Italy.

In a fleet of 96, the Cork-Belfast pairing are lying 28th after four races sailed and delays to the schedule with either no wind or too much of it at Marina di Scarlino, Tuscany.

As Afloat reported earlier, the Irish pair got off to a great start with a fifth in the first race.

Piet Eckert with Frederico Melo finished Race Four in fourth position, and their solid scorecard allows them to be the overall leader before the final two races on Sunday and the discard. Max Kohlhoff with Ole Burzinski are second, and Diego Negri with Alessandro Sodano fell to third with 15th place in the last race.
Organisers say the plan for Sunday's final day is to have two more races, with the first start scheduled at 10:30 AM. The forecast calls for a north breeze of up to 15 knots.

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The Cork Harbour and Belfast Lough pairing of Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne lie 11th from 94 starters at the 2023 Star keelboat World Championship in Tuscany, Italy.

The Championship finally began at Marina di Scarlino after two windless days of waiting. The 100 teams, representing 25 countries in Italy, were relieved when a southerly wind of 10 knots blew on the racecourse. The first race commenced as scheduled, following a general recall that ended in a U flag hoisting by the Race Committee led by PRO Giancarlo Crevatin.

German former Finn Sailor Max Kohlhoff and Ole Burzinski led the first race, followed by current Star World title holder Diego Negri and new young crew member Alessandro Soldano, then Doug Smith/Brian O’Mahony, Enrico Chieffi/Nando Colaninno, and the Swiss duo Piet Eckert and Frederico Melo. The Germans claimed first place in the championship, followed by Negri/Soldano, Eckert/Melo, Enrico Chieffi with Nando Colaninno, and the Irish duo of Peter O’Leary/Steve Milne in fifth place.

Race two followed three general recalls with a black flag that had everyone paying more attention to the line. Matthew Rajacich with Eric Wagner led the race, followed by Eugenio Cingolani/Juan Francisco Carrasquet, Jurg Wittich/Christian Trachsel, and Paolo Nazzaro/Alessandro Vongher. However, the latter team was subsequently disqualified with a black flag (BFD), taking them out of the race. Italian America’s Cup skipper Flavio Favini, participating in his first Star World Championship, won the second race with local crew Nicolas Seravalle.

Piet Eckert and Frederico Melo showed consistency throughout the championship, making them the current leaders in the overall ranking. However, the winner of the last two Star World titles is only one point behind them, and American Scott Barnard, with World Champion crew Phil Trinter, is not too far behind in third place. The Mid-Week Award Ceremony and presentation of the Harry Gale Nye Trophy, which recognizes an individual's outstanding contribution to the ISCYRA, will take place tonight at the Marina di Scarlino.

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It all came down to the final race in the battle for the 96th Bacardi Cup in Miami on Saturday, with eight teams theoretically in the running for the trophies. After two general recalls, the elite of Star sailing embarked on a 5-leg race.

Unfortunately for overnight leaders Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne, who were on an upward trajectory all week on Biscayne Bay, the Cork-Belfast pairing scored a 20th dropping them from the lead and the podium into fourth overall.

Hans Spitzauer/Christian Nehammer led to the first mark, but with series, frontrunners close behind they were off podium contention. Kusznierewicz/Prada thought they had a disadvantage by choosing the left side, but it played out well as they rounded in third.

From early, it was evident huge disappointment was on the cards for O'Leary/Milne. After finishing the Bacardi Cup in 2nd place three times, they dreamed 2023 would be their year. They started on the right side of the course but couldn’t execute their plan and slowly slipped through the pack.

Kusznierewicz/Prada reeled in Spitzauer/Nehammer to go for the win. Rounding the final upwind mark, they had a 30 second advantage, extending even further to the leeward mark. The other teams could only battle it out for second and third.

Their passion for a perfect mission was precisely executed, and by the finish Kusznierewicz/Prada secured over a one-minute lead to win the 96th Bacardi Cup. The duo made history last year as the first ever same-crew team to win three consecutive times and are now back in the history books with their fourth successive win. No skipper or crew has ever achieved that.

“Sometimes I am thinking how much longer we can go,” grinned Kusznierewicz. “But I must say at the beginning it is a great fun, pleasure but also an honour to sail with Bruno. Unbelievable how I enjoy the week spent together. Thanks Bruno.”

“The week was a tough one. Mateusz started the week a little bit sick, we had the ‘old man’s funeral,” said Prada, in reference to the passing of Gonzalo Diaz, a renowned sailing personality and father of Augie Diaz. “It was tough to have our minds focused on the regatta, but we were able to manage all these outside odds and still we are super happy.”

“It was the toughest win out of the four,” continued Kusznierewicz. “The level of the competition was very high, and the five top teams were sailing just brilliantly. They played strategy and tactics very well. This time we had to fight to the end, but I like it.”

Whilst appreciating their momentous achievement, Prada had another motivation to win, rivalry with an old friend, saying, “For me the only important thing is to be ahead of the best crew in the world, that’s Frithjof. Once I am ahead of him, I am happy! I am not worried about records, if I am ahead of the best.”

“I know that he really likes the winning,” chipped in Kusznierewicz. “The race when we finished 21, Bruno was so angry. He is addicted to winning. I say, ‘let’s have some fun’, and he says, ‘you know how I spell fun, W-I-N’! This is good, this is what I like, because we are athletes. We really enjoy sailing and competition.”

They have already confirmed they will return in 2024, with Kusznierewicz affirming, “Once you have Bacardi, you want to have it more.”

A meticulous performance from Kusznierewicz/Prada who celebrated their remarkable achievement by sipping Bacardi rum from the iconic Bacardi Cup and Tito Bacardi Cup trophies at the prize giving to huge applause.

In paying tribute, Eddie Cutillas said, “Last year, you made history as the first same team crew to ever achieve three back-to-back wins. Whilst there had been skippers who had won three times in a row and crew who had won three times in a row, never had the same skipper and crew won three times in a row.”

“This year, you go one better and become the first skipper or crew to ever win four times in a row in the ninety-six-year history of the Bacardi Cup. Simply phenomenal. I don’t want to predict the future of the Bacardi Cup, but it is going to be a long time before anyone will ever have a chance at breaking your record,” Cutillas concluded.

As custodians of the Bacardi Cup for four years, the legacy secured by Kusznierewicz/Prada will be hard to beat. However, the quest for dominance and ambition to be part of the rich heritage of the Bacardi Cup will continue.

A sixth-place finish for Eivind Melleby/Mark Strube upgraded them to second overall, and Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise crossed the line in 3rd to leapfrog from leader board fifth to third.

Star Final Results – Top 4

  1. Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada (POL) - 15 pts
  2. Eivind Melleby/Mark Strube (NOR) - 21 pts
  3. Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise (USA) - 26 pts
  4. Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne (IRL) 29 pts

Prizes were presented to the top five and to winners in the age divisions:

  • U30 (skipper under 30) - Matthew Rajacich/Eric Wagner
  • Master (skippers aged 50 through 59) - Eivind Melleby/Mark Strube
  • Grand Master (skippers aged 60+) - Paul Cayard/Frithjof Kleen
  • Exalted Grand Master (skippers aged 70+) - Larry Whipple/Killian Weise

The 2024 Bacardi Cup will be held from March 3-9

Results here

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Sole Irish duo Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne lead the Star Class into the final Bacardi Cup race in Miami today.

Another strong performance from the 2008 Irish Olympic duo sees them two points clear of Polish defenders Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Bruno Prada on 14 pts.

Another massive day of energy and perfect sailing on a sunny Biscayne Bay for teams racing at the 96th Bacardi Cup. The usual shifty breeze was around 10-12 knots from the southeast, with plenty of race track nuances.

A game-changer of a day for some and still a mountain to climb for others as Saturday, March 11, marks the final fight for the podium. 

The all-important discard came into play in race 5 for the seventy-three boat Star fleet, and what a shake-up with O’Leary/Milne now topping the leaderboard. The tightness of racing indicates nothing is out of reach, and it is going to be a battle of titans in Saturday’s concluding race.

Another long day on the water for the Stars, with two races proving a match for everyone. It was all about consistent performances, and the Cork-Belfast partnership had plenty of that. They combined team wisdom and playing off the cuff to deliver a phenomenal all-round performance, scoring 1,4 to move into the overall lead. Whilst Royal Cork Yacht Club's O’Leary has competed at the Bacardi Cup in recent years, as a team the last time they raced in Miami together was thirteen years ago.

“We just tried to keep it simple and get out of the start, not be dictated to by other boats in the first few minutes,” commented O’Leary. “Steve hiking hard out of the start and head out of the boat downwind, especially in lanes of pressure. It was hard today, trying to keep some decent fellas behind you! We will try and do it all again tomorrow.”

Defending champions Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada secured a 2, followed by a 21 in the day’s second race, which is discarded to position them 2 points behind the Irish. A helter-skelter of results too for Eivind Melleby/Mark Strube, whose 16,1 scored card places them in third.

Yesterday’s race winners, Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise now have their BFD discarded and advance up to 5th overall.

With just 17 points separating them, theoretically the chase for top spot remains in the hands of any of the top eight teams who could still claim the 96th Bacardi Cup. That’s seven out of the nineteen nations represented in the Star fleet here in Miami in the running. The opportunity extends further to the top nine who could claim 2nd or 3rd.

Double Olympian O’Leary has come super close to the Bacardi Cup trophies before, finishing in second place three times. Looking ahead to their game plan for the final race, he continued, “Just stay out of trouble, be clean, you know there’s lots of good guys here. It would be nice to try and finally get it across the line.”

Star Provisional Results – Top 5 after Race 5

1. Peter O'Leary/Stephen Milne (IRL) - 12 pts
2. Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada (POL) - 14 pts
3. Eivind Melleby/Mark Strube (NOR) - 15 pts
4. Piet Eckert/Frederico Melo (SUI) - 20 pts
5. Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise (USA) - 22 pts

Results here and Afloat's coverage of the 2023 Bacardi Cup here

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Ireland’s Peter O'Leary/Stephen Milne finished second in race three of the Star class Bacardi Cup in Miami on Thursday and moved to sixth overall.

The Cork-Belfast pairing have moved up the rankings from their opening score of 17th on Monday. A fifth place in race two moved them into the top ten on Wednesday, and now they are six points off the podium with three races left to sail.

Two general recalls for the Star as the fleet re-contested yesterday’s abandoned race 2. A five-leg race in 12 knots of breeze tested teams’ endurance and displayed their vast sailing prowess. Never underestimating the fleet quality, five of the boats inside the race top ten carried the gold Star mainsail logo awarded to World Champions.

Yet again Piet Eckert/Frederico Melo led the fleet to the first mark, before 2019 Bacardi Cup champions Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise dismantled the opposition to take the lead and the win after a battle in the second upwind. They were at their best and making up for yesterday’s BFD error. However, their scorecard won’t be realised on the leader board until the discard kicks in after race 5. They currently sit in 25th from scores of 3,1, 74 (BFD).

“It was a little tough to take yesterday, it got us a little fired up,” reflected Doyle on their penalty score. “It was good motivation to get us back in the regatta.”

Speaking on today’s win, he continued, “We are happy when it is windy and shifty is pretty nice too. It is anybody’s game then. But if you are feeling confident and feeling good you can tack on the shifts, try and surf a little downwind and be a little bold at times, which we like.”

Team work is key said Infelise, “We work well, our communication in the boat is really good, so we know what moves are coming at what time. We are very happy with it.”

In reference to the BFD penalty, Doyle added, “We can’t make any mistakes now. There are so many good guys, we have got to go for it. It has put us in a little bit of a corner. We have got to have some bold races if we want to win the regatta. That is what we are here for, and it is going to be fun.”

Defending Champions Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada finished in third and gear up to top the leader board, with overnight leaders Eivind Melleby/Mark Strube finishing two places behind and now second overall.

Star Provisional Results – Top 5 after Race 3

1. Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada (POL) - 12 pts
2. Eivind Melleby/Mark Strube (NOR) - 14 pts
3. Hans Spitzauer/Christian Nehammer (AUT) - 18 pts
4. Piet Eckert/Frederico Melo (SUI) - 22 pts
5. Leandro Altolaguirre/Lucas Altolaguirre (ARG) - 22 pts

Results here

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After two races sailed, Royal Cork Star helmsman Peter O'Leary and his 2008 Beijing Olympic crewman Stephen Milne have moved into the top ten of the Bacardi Cup in Biscayne Bay, Miami.

Expectations for racing at 1100 hours were swept aside yesterday as the breeze filled in later and lighter than forecast on race day three at the 96th edition of the Cup.

The Cork-Belfast pairing took a fifth in race two to move up from 17th to ninth overall.

An on-water postponement saw the Race Committee searching Biscayne Bay for the breeze, before selecting the southern bay area. In extremely shifty conditions racing got underway and two races took place. The Race Committee subsequently abandoned the opening race of the day, series race 2, which will be resailed on Thursday, March 9, 2023.

Seventy-three boats make a long start line, so no surprise it took three general recalls, then a black flag start to get race 3 away. Casualties of the UFD penalty included Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise, who plummet to 40th overall.

Switzerland’s Piet Eckert/Frederico Melo led the fleet upwind in 14 knots of breeze, but were overhauled by Austria’s Hans Spitzauer/Christian Nehammer who went on to take the win. The Austrians were at their best, making up for yesterday’s 10th place finish, and will no doubt continue to nurture their winning formula.

“We did our programme during starting, we were of course aware of the black flag, so it’s super dangerous. We did a really good start, conservative but good,” said Nehammer. “We were able to stay on the left side and be at the top mark second or third and we were able to get into first place.”

Pushing hard behind Spitzauer/Nehammer were defending Bacardi Cup champions Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada in second, with Eckert/Melo going on to finish in third. Eckert/Melo, who were 2020 Star Class European Champions, were satisfied with the result, despite passing over the lead.

“Sometimes it’s hard to lose the lead,” commented Eckert. “But I think it was a great day for us. A great keeper so we are motivated for the next days. We want to stay in contention, not make mistakes or less mistakes than the others and then we will see and count the points in the end.”

Bacardi Cup leaders Melleby/Strube have previously raced together, but it has been a while as Melleby explained, “We kind of figure it out together, but there is always a little bit of practice so we can still up our game a little bit. Hopefully we can do that over the next three days, so it will be exciting.”

“We had solid races so far, the boat is working very well, so a shout out to Austin Sperry for letting us use the boat,” concluded Melleby.

Just three points behind are Kusznierewicz/Prada, with overnight leaders Jørgen Schönherr/ Markus Koy in third after their 10th place result, and on tiebreak with Spitzauer/Nehammer in fourth.

Provisional Results – Top 10 after two races

1. Eivind Melleby / Mark Strube (NOR 2017) - 6 pts
2. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL 8548) - 9 pts
3. Jørgen Schönherr / Markus Koy (DEN 8532) - 11 pts
4. Hans Spitzauer / Christian Nehammer (AUT 8529) - 11 pts
5. Marin Misura / Tonko Barac (CRO 8531) - 16 pts
6. Leandro Altolaguirre / Lucas Altolaguirre (ARG 1945) - 17 pts
7. Piet Eckert / Frederico Melo (SUI 8575) - 18 pts
8. Paul Cayard / Frithjof Kleen (USA 1988) - 18 pts
9. Peter O'Leary / Stephen Milne (IRL 8118) - 22 pts
10. George Szabo / Guy Avellon (USA 8537) - 22 pts

Click here for full results

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Racing at the Star Class 96th Bacardi Cup was abandoned on Tuesday, March 7, due to an inconsistent breeze.

After a postponement ashore, the Race Committee was hopeful racing would get underway, but ultimately the decision was taken to abandon racing.

As reported earlier, Irish 2008 Olympic keelboat duo Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne have renewed their partnership for a bid at the Cup that runs until March 11th. 

Inconsistent breeze forces race abandonment on day two at the 96th Bacardi Cup; “The weather forecast was for the breeze to fill in somewhere between 2 to 3 o’clock out of the southeast,” explained Carl Schellbach, Principal Race Officer. “The breeze finally made it and was doing battle with what might have been the sea breeze here. However, the Race Committee didn’t think it was going to offer quality sailing until very late this afternoon and, even then, it was still in doubt.

“We decided that with four days ahead of very good weather forecast there’s no reason in the world we should have a terrible race just to have a second race in two days. The risk of having a bad race was too great given the weather forecast for the rest of the week.”

Racing for the seventy-three Star teams is scheduled to resume today, March 8, with race 2 starting one hour earlier at 1100 hours, immediately followed by race 3.

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Royal Cork Star helmsman Peter O'Leary is teamed up with his 2008 Beijing Olympic crewman Stephen Milne (not as previously listed on the official entry sheet), for the 96th Bacardi Cup, which kicked off on Tuesday in Biscayne Bay, Miami with the opening race for the Star Class featuring seventy-three teams from seventeen nations across North and South America and Europe.

The Cork Harbour/Belfast Lough partnership is lying 17th after the first race. 

After a one-hour postponement ashore waiting for breeze, followed by a general recall, race 1 got underway at 1320 hrs in a light 7-9 knots southerly. The breeze increased at the first windward mark to 10 knots, before easing to remain between 7-9 knots for the rest of the 8nm race.

Impressive form from Denmark’s Jørgen Schönherr/Markus Koy, who found the formula to convert their position outside the top ten at the first mark to nail a decisive opening win.

“We are feeling great,” smiled Koy. “I mean winning a race is always like, it couldn’t be better.”

“We feel confident, because we won the last two Bacardi Cup Races,” added Schönherr, in reference to winning the final race of the 2022 Bacardi Cup and today’s opening race.

Leading off the start and upwind were two big name teams in the Star, defending Bacardi Cup champions Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada and Austria’s Hans Spitzauer/Christian Nehammer. Between them they have more Olympic history than fits on two hands, counting thirteen appearances in total. Add to that multiple World and Continental Championships appearances and podium finishes across different classes and we have serious talent. The last time the two teams faced each other was at the 2021 Star Worlds, where it was advantage to Spitzauer/Nehammer who secured bronze, with Kusznierewicz/Prada in fifth.

Seventy-three Star Class teams from 17 nations compete at 96th Bacardi Cup

Whilst eventual race victors Schönherr/Koy were back around tenth at the first mark, Spitzauer/Nehammer rounded ahead with Kusznierewicz/Prada a few seconds behind. At the downwind gate they split and the advantage went to Kusznierewicz/Prada, just. The Austrians responded and reclaimed their lead by the second windward mark as the two teams locked into a battle for supremacy, before their dominance became an unplanned unravel during the final two legs.

“Everyone caught us, because we made seven unnecessary tacks in the second upwind,” explained Kusznierewicz on his plummet down the leader board. “We were in second and Hans and Christian were tacking on us, so we had to tack again and tack again, and we lost 30-40 metres as I had to get away into clear wind.”

Nehammer explained their downfall was down to a penalty in the final downwind, saying, “We were still leading after the second upwind, so we were fighting very close with the Danish guys at the beginning of the second downwind. We were yellow flagged and then we were in completely the wrong position of the fleet on the right side and weren’t able to recover.”

Make a mistake and you lose – just like that. The Austrian’s penalty gave an open ticket for Schönherr/Koy to head for the finish and seal their dismantling of the opposition. An impressive performance from the Danish with a steady and assured comeback through the fleet in a demonstration of technical excellence.

Reflecting on their race, Koy commented, “We had a very nice race. We started somewhere like ten at the top mark and Jørgen was sailing the boat upwind very fast and also downwind. On the downwinds there were some opportunities to catch a little bit more pressure and get the current right. Basically, from the top mark, we gained upwind and downwind.”

“It’s super tough competition here, so of course it is a very high goal we have,” said Schonherr. “We will take it from here and every day is a beautiful day when you sail in Miami with Bacardi.”

Last year, Schonherr was off form due to a broken foot, although they still pulled an impressive 8th place overall.

Finishing in 2nd and 3rd respectively, Eivind Melleby/Mark Strube and Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise both came through in the final downwind leg to break into the top 5 and seize strong finishes. Doyle/Infelise won the 2019 Bacardi Cup, before Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada unleashed their three back-to-back wins. A consistent performance also from Will Stout/Erik Anderson saw them in the leading pack throughout the race to finish in 4th.

Provisional Results – Top 10 after Race 1

1. Jørgen Schönherr / Markus Koy (DEN 8532) - 1 pts
2. Eivind Melleby / Mark Strube (NOR 2017) - 2 pts
3. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise (USA 8580) - 3 pts
4. Will Stout / Erik Anderson (USA 8538) - 4 pts
5. Marin Misura / Tonko Barac (CRO 8531) - 5 pts
6. Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter (USA 8573) - 6 pts
7. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL 8548) - 7 pts
8. Leandro Altolaguirre / Lucas Altolaguirre (ARG 1945) - 8 pts
9. George Szabo / Guy Avellon (USA 8537) - 9 pts
10. Hans Spitzauer / Christian Nehammer (AUT 8529) - 10 pts

Overall here

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The Bacardi Cup for the Star Class will kick off on March 5, and double Olympic keelboat helmsman Peter O'Leary from Royal Cork and Baltimore will add Irish interest to the 75-boat regatta.

O'Leary will race Star IRL 8465 Verticoli with Ante Razmilovic, the 2022 Etchells World Champion in the 96th edition of the Cup.

Since 1927, forty-five different teams have claimed Bacardi Cup glory. Defending champions Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada are the first same-crew partnership to complete a three-peat, with wins in 2019, 2020 and 2022. While they return to attempt another title defence, it will take a lot more work before they edge close to Ding Schoonmaker, who remains the most prolific Bacardi Cup champion with eight victories.

Double Olympic keelboat helmsman Peter O'LearyDouble Olympic keelboat helmsman Peter O'Leary

Racing gets underway at 1200 hours on March 6, featuring plenty of big names amongst the runners and riders, including Eric Doyle/Payson Infelise who won in 2019, and finished second in 2022 and 2021. Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic/Tudor Bilic, who picked up the silver medal at the 2022 and 2021 Star Worlds, will be looking to upgrade on their 14th place from last year. Ever present are Paul Cayard/Frithjof Kleen, who most recently raced together at the 2022 Star Worlds claiming bronze and finished 7th in Miami last year. Jack Jennings/Pedro Trouche have proven a force, racking up two race wins last year but countered with scores that placed them in 6th overall. From Norway, Eivind Melleby/Joshua Revkin lay claim to many Star successes, but as yet the Bacardi Cup has remained elusive.

Launched in 2023, the Bacardi Cup U30 Programme supports participation by skippers and crew under thirty, with six teams set to benefit from the program this year.

The venerated Bacardi Cup and Tito Cup will be the highlight of the awards ceremony, with other sought-after prizes awarded to the top finishing U30 team, Masters (skippers aged 50 through 59), Grand Masters (skippers aged 60 and above) and Exalted Grand Masters (skippers aged 70 and above). As always, the Tammy Rubin-Rice Trophy is presented to the highest-placing team who did not otherwise win an award.

See the current entry list here

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Page 1 of 14

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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W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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