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O’Leary Brothers Expected to Shine for Ireland at 100th Star Worlds

1st June 2022
2022 Star World Championship logo

Baltimore Sailing Club’s Star keelboat pair Peter and Robert O’Leary look to be the most likely Irish duo to fly the tricolour at the centenary Star Worlds in Marblehead, Massachusetts this September.

The 2022 Star World Championship from 8-17 September will mark 100 years of history since the first World Championship was held in 1922. 

This year’s event at the Eastern Yacht Club will also celebrate one of sailing’s most popular, successful and appreciated boat and its legends.

The world’s best Star sailors will be etched into history on the event’s coveted trophies | Credit: YCCS/Studio BorlenghiThe world’s best Star sailors will be etched into history on the event’s coveted trophies | Credit: YCCS/Studio Borlenghi
 
Remaining true to the heritage of the Star Class since 1922, the Worlds will be contested over six days with one long daily race, bringing together the world’s best in class alongside emerging talent in a battle of endurance, fitness, strategy and competition.

The single-race format is also reflected at the iconic Bacardi Cup, partner of the Star Class since 1927, at which the O’Leary brothers finished just shy of a podium place this past March in Miami.

Staking a place on the Star World Championship leaderboard remains as competitive as ever and the challenge for victory is as tough as the first edition back in 1922.

Published in Star
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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
Rig type sloop
Mast length 9.652 m (31 ft 8 in)
Sails
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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