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Royal Cork Sailor Excels in Miami, Florida.

Peter O'Leary has outstanding results in the 81st Annual Bacardi Cup Regatta in Miami, Florida.
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The Youngest Team on the Water Wins the Day at Bacardi Cup

The Youngest Team on the Water Wins the Day at Bacardi Cup
By Lynn Fitzpatrick

The second day of a moderate sea breeze left Biscayne Bay awash with handfuls of seaweed and partly sunny skies. After the third attempt at a start, most of the fleet headed toward Key Biscayne and a cloud bank to the northeast on their first tack to a mark that was set at 165 degrees, 2.4 nautical miles away.

For the second time in three races, past Star World Champion, Alan Adler and Ricardo Ermel (BRA) put together a great start and a spectacular first beat to round the weather mark in first, five boat lengths ahead of George Szabo and Rick Peters (USA) whose boat was badly damaged during the first race of the series. John Dane and Austin Sperry (USA), Joe Zambella and Bob Weinstein (USA) and Guns O’Leary and Stephen Milne (IRL) were in hot pursuit as they bore away for the first run.

Szabo/Peters jumped into the lead by staying right on the run. O’Leary/Milne “gained a boat on the downwind leg by staying in the middle, not going to extremes and trying to find pressure,” said Milne who spent a lot of time looking aft at a huge fleet behind him. The youngest team on the water had their work cut out for them during the remainder of the race. They played the middle left up the next beat and took a short hitch to sneak inside the weather mark just ahead of Dane/Sperry. Their mentors, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR), were hot on their tails.

O’Leary/Milne and Dane/Sperry broke away from the fleet as O’Leary/Milne took the high road and Dane/Sperry took the low road. “Dane did a good job of slipping in low at the offset. It was a nice feeling to round in the lead, but then the pressure was really on to the thought his experience would win out over the young Irishmen, Dane replied, “Of course, experience and calmness overcomes a lot of things in an 8-10 knot breeze with a big fleet,” but the boys had nice downwind speed and powerful gybes.

With their third place finish in the race, Percy/Simpson pulled into the lead for the regatta. “I’ve won a lot of races in the Bacardi over the years, but I haven’t won the Bacardi Cup yet,” said Percy earlier this week.

The legendary Bacardi Cup, ranked as one of the best international sailing regattas in the world, is sponsored in full by Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. and co-hosted by the Coral Reef Yacht Club and the U.S. Sailing Center in Miami, FL. What started out in 1927 as a three-day event with less than 10 boats in Havana, Cuba, now attracts more than 200 sailors each year from some 25 countries and remains one of the few sporting events in which weekend enthusiasts have the opportunity to compete head on with Olympians and World Champion athletes.

Scores following three races at the 81st Annual Bacardi Cup

1. Percy/Williams – 3, 14, 3
2. Grael/Jordao – 7, 1, 16
3. Domingos/Santos – 12, 9, 7
4. Adler/Seifert – 2, 19, 8
5. O’Leary/ Milne – 14, 15, 1
6. Negri/Viale – 16, 7, 12
7. Barovier/ Colonaninno – 23, 4, 9
8. Scheidt/Prada – 4, 12, 21
9. Diaz/Trinter – 9, 3, 29
10. Marazzi/DeMaria – 15, 21, 5
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