This website has been following the Star campaign of Peter O’Leary of the Royal Cork Yacht Club from its very first day and is absolutely delighted that he and his crew David Burrows have earned themselves the right to represent Ireland at the Olympic Regatta to be held in London 2012. This will be both a spectacularly thrilling and poignant event for the class as it will be the last time they will compete in the Olympics. This is a very sore subject and has caused a lot of controversy.
They finished 12th overall after a thrilling fight for the last qualification slot between the Irish, Italian, Swiss and Spanish boats. Given the string of top results the pair have achieved this season there may be some disappointment in the Irish camp that they miss out on tomorrow’s medal race final. However, given the way the racing has been going and with so many of the class world top names falling by the wayside there is now only cause for jubilation that they have qualified.
Going into the final day of the International Star fleet racing Ireland’s Peter O’Leary and David Burrows occupied the final qualification spot but were tied on 97 points with Spain’s Fernando Echavarri and Fernando Rodriguez. With qualification in their hands the Irish put in one of their best performances of the regatta with a seventh in Race 9 followed up with a 13th place finish in Race 10 whilst the Spanish crumbled with a 24-22.
They rounded the first mark of the second race in the mid 20’s and then had an incident with the Spaniards during the rounding. Rather than risk disqualification O’Leary opted to take penalty turns leaving them at the back of the fleet but a come back to finish the race in 13th was an impressive recovery. It’s a result that gives them 12th overall and ninth nation, thus securing Ireland its third boat at the London Olympic Games.
Eleven nations in the Star class have qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition after ten races at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.
Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden and the USA have all guaranteed themselves a Star spot at London 2012 following an action packed week of sailing.
Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) had to withdraw earlier on in the week due to Percy suffering a back injury but their place at London 2012 is assured after they were selected to take the British quota spot. Four more places will be available at the Star World Championship in Hyeres, France from 2-12 May 2012.