An Irish Sailor, Ciara Peelo of Malahide and Howth Yacht Clubs, is to have the honour of carrying the Irish Flag at to-day’s opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games at Beijing.
The first of the Irish sailors to go into action will be Tim Goodbody of Royal Irish Yacht Club sailing in the Finn Class to-morrow, Saturday, August 9th when races 1 and 2 for the Class will be sailed. On Monday, August 11th, Ger Owens of Royal St. George Yacht Club and Phil Lawton of Royal Irish Yacht Club commence competition in the 470 Class with Races 1 and 2. Interestingly this crew are reported to be using the very latest sailcloth technology that will reduce their weight aloft by half a kilogramme and this technology is also to be used by one other competiitor. On Tuesday, August 12th, Ciara Peelo will go into battle in the Laser Radial Class with Races 1 and 2. The event with most interest for Royal Cork Yacht Club sailors is of course the Star Class with Peter O’Leary of the home club and his crew Stephen Milne of Ballyholme Yacht Club. They will be competing in Races 1 and 2 on Friday, August 15th. Of particular interest to Royal Cork members will be the fact that O’Learys maternal Grandfather is Robin Aisher, winner of the 5.5 metre class Bronze medal in 1968 at Acapulco for Britain.
For sailors at the 2008 Olympic Sailing regatta at Qingdao (pronounced Chingdow) a new olympic format will be used for the first time. The Medal race format was decided on by the ISAF Council Annual Conference in Singapore. The top ten boats (i.e. the ten boats with the lowest series score) at the end of the opening series progress to the Medal Race. For the other boats the competition is over at that stage and the positions from eleven upwards are final. The Medal Race will be sailed over a shorter course closer to the shore with a race time of approximately 30 minutes and will count for double points.
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