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Another first place in the penultimate race for Italians Diego Negri and Enrico Voltolini sealed their series-long domination and overall victory at the Star European Championship (2nd-10th September) at Dun Laoghaire (Co. Dublin, Ireland) on Friday.  Light and shifty conditions followed by a sea breeze completed the regatta that delivered a full range of conditions for the 27-boat fleet from 18 nations.

Negri and Voltolini kept their form for a fourth race win and typically enjoyed a comfortable lead at the finish of race seven.  For the crews chasing the runner-up podium positions, the breeze proved as challenging as it has been all week, this time dying to a near calm on the final run before filling gently on the left hand-side side of the course catching the unwary, notably Guillaume Florent and Pascal Rambeau who had been vying with the Italian leaders for first place.

A wait followed for the eighth and final race of the week but only after a long wait for the sea breeze to build and settle.  This took the fleet away from the now familiar area off Dun Laoghaire’s West Pier and southwards towards this historic Dalkey Island side of Dublin Bay.  After starting in ideal conditions of 18 knots, halfway through the race the breeze died completely to be followed by a 90-degree wind-shift that saw 2008 World Champion Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki emerge with a substantial lead on the water and, having led from the outset were confirmed as second overall runners-up.  Negri and Voltolini had already retired as their position was no better than their already discarded eighth in race six and were busy packing their boat as the final ended.

Irish hopes of a podium result on home waters were denied to London 2012 Olympic contenders Peter O’Leary and David Burrows who placed fourth in the last race but a ninth earlier in the day left them fourth overall as Canada’s Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn took third place.

Star European Championship 2011 at Royal St. George YC, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland

(Final overall after eight races):

1st ITA Diego Negri & Enrico Voltolini 
2nd POL Mateusz Kusznierewicz & Dominik Zycki
3rd CAN Richard Clarke & Tyler Bjorn
4th IRL Peter O'Leary & David Burrow
5th NOR Eivind Melleby & Petter Morland Pedersen
6th POR Afonso Domingos & Frederico Melo

See here for full results.

*** *** ***

The weather gods finally allowed a full day of racing at the Star European Championship (2nd-10th September) at Dun Laoghaire (Co. Dublin, Ireland) on Dublin Bay as a moderate westerly breeze allowed Principal Race Officer David Lovegrove and his team to deliver three races. It is hoped to have two races tomorrow ahead of the forecast for heavier winds.  

With their form unchanged since Sunday, Italians Diego Negri and Enrico Voltolini extended their overall lead in the 26-boat fleet, counting one win plus a third place while discarding their eighth place in race six. 

Polish 2008 World champion and past Finn Olympic Gold medallist Mateusz Kusznierewicz with Dominik Zycki also showed good pace, with a fifth place and a win yesterday while discarding a ninth in the hunt for the overall lead. Canada’s Richard Clarke with Tyler Bjorn also moved up a place to third overnight as the final two races are slated for Friday – weather permitting.

In local interest, a slip in form for Peter O’Leary and David Burrows saw the Cork/Dublin pair drop to fifth place while Max Treacy and Anthony Shanks failed to find their form today. 

Star European Championship 2011 at Royal St. George YC, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland

(Provisional overall standings after six races):

1st ITA Diego Negri & Enrico Voltolini 
2nd POL Mateusz Kusznierewicz Dominik Zycki
3rd CAN Richard Clarke & Tyler Bjorn
4th FRA Guillaume Florent & Pascal Rambeau
5th IRL Peter O'Leary & David Burrows
6th POR Afonso Domingos & Frederico Melo

Updates and results will be posted daily at www.rsgyc.ie/stareuro2011

Twitter updates will also be available during racing www.twitter.com/rsgyc

*** *** ***

Race three of the Star European Championship (2nd-10th September) at Dun Laoghaire (Co. Dublin, Ireland) was successfully started on Dublin Bay this morning as gales finally abated for the 26-boat fleet gathered at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.  Double Olympic Gold medallist Iain Percy (GBR) has been forced out of the event due to an ankle injury.

The 2006 European champion Diego Negri (ITA) with Enrico Voltolini remain as overalls leaders after their second win of the series while local interest hinges on Peter O’Leary and David Burrows in third overall after their second third place of weather-hit event.

However, the plan to sail three races to catch-up on the programme was scuppered by the weather once again.  Although the strong winds had eased to less than 20 knots, barely half an hour after starting shortly before mid-day, a 30-plus knot squall swept across the fleet that was already dealing with a short, choppy seaway.  Three boats suffered mast damage and retired while there were two reports of separate man-overboard incidents that were successfully recovered.

Thursday’s forecast offers better hope of completing a minimum number of races for a championship as well as a single discard with light to moderate winds expected leading to an early morning start to racing.

Star European Championship 2011 at Royal St. George YC, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland

(Provisional overall standings after three races):

1st ITA Diego Negri & Enrico Voltolini 
2nd FRA Guillaume Florent & Pascal Rambeau 
3rd IRL Peter O'Leary & David Burrows
4th CAN Richard Clarke & Tyler Bjorn
5th POL Mateusz Kusznierewicz Dominik Zycki
6th POR Afonso Domingos & Frederico Melo

Updates and results will be posted daily at www.rsgyc.ie/stareuro2011

Twitter updates will also be available during racing www.twitter.com/rsgyc

*** *** ***

High winds once again dictated the racing schedule at the Star European Championship (2nd-10th September) at Dun Laoghaire (Co. Dublin, Ireland) on the third day of the series that has had two races out of the original eight-race programme completed.  

The overnight offshore gale eased slightly during the morning and a two-hour postponement by principal race officer David Lovegrove offered some hope of racing for the 27 crews waiting at the nearby  Royal St. George YC.  However, gale force gusts continued and the programme was abandoned for the day leaving the sailors free to take the 20-minute train ride into the historic Dublin city-centre offering the famous Book of Kells at Trinity College, the Jameson Irish Whiskey centre and other attractions.

Wednesday's forecast does appear more hopeful though the unsettled frontal conditions are set to continue towards the weekend and racing is certain to be testing for the fleet and race management team alike.  However, if winds do ease during the day, three races will be sailed to get the championship back on schedule.

Star European Championship 2011 at Royal St. George YC, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland

(Overall standings after two races):

1st ITA Diego Negri & Enrico Voltolini 
2nd FRA Guillaume Florent & Pascal Rambeau 
3rd IRL Peter O'Leary & David Burrows
4th FRA Xavier Rohart Pierre & Alexis Ponsot
5th CAN Richard Clarke & Tyler Bjorn
6th POR Afonso Domingos & Frederico Melo

Updates and results will be posted daily at www.rsgyc.ie/stareuro2011

Twitter updates will also be available during racing www.twitter.com/rsgyc

*** *** ***

After gales delayed the start of the Star European Championship (2nd-10th September) at Dun Laoghaire (Co. Dublin, Ireland) on Sunday, a lull allowed two races to be sailed today (Monday 5th September) that saw Italians Diego Negri and Enrico Voltolini deliver two consistent results of a race win and a second place in the 27-boat fleet from 17 nations. 

The Italians leaders were the 2006 European champions and overcame challenging post-frontal weather conditions that delivered 20-degree wind-shifts at times on an otherwise smooth race course off Seapoint on the south shore of Dublin Bay.

France’s Guillaume Florent and Pascal Rambeau also had a consistent day with a second and third while the home fleet delivered a strong showing as Olympic veterans and contenders for London 2012 Peter O’Leary and David Burrows placed third and sixth to lie third overall on countback, ahead of France’s Xavier Rohart Pierre and Alexis Ponsot at this early stage in the regatta.

A return to stormy conditions is expected for Tuesday with 40 knots forecast for the morning.

Star European Championship 2011 at Royal St. George YC, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland

(Provisional overall standings after two races):

1st ITA Diego Negri & Enrico Voltolini 
2nd FRA Guillaume Florent & Pascal Rambeau 
3rd IRL Peter O'Leary & David Burrows
4th FRA Xavier Rohart Pierre & Alexis Ponsot
5th CAN Richard Clarke & Tyler Bjorn
6th POR Afonso Domingos & Frederico Melo

Updates and results will be posted daily at www.rsgyc.ie/stareuro2011

Twitter updates will also be available during racing www.twitter.com/rsgyc

*** *** ***

Winds gusting above gale force have delayed the start to racing in Star European Championship (2nd-10th September) at Dun Laoghaire (Co. Dublin, Ireland) where 27 boats have gathered from 17 nations.  The forecast conditions had already altered the schedule with two races instead of one intended to be sailed.  However, as winds freshened to 25 knots, Principal Race Officer David Lovegrove opted to send the fleet ashore ahead of the gale that was followed by torrential rain and squalls. This decision was met with the approval of the competitors. 

Fresh to strong conditions are expected to continue for the early part of the week and further disruption to the programme cannot be ruled out.  However, more moderate conditions should arrive by Wednesday and a spare day of next Saturday is included in the event schedule.

Updates and results will be posted daily at www.rsgyc.ie/stareuro2011

Twitter updates will also be available during racing www.twitter.com/rsgyc

*** *** ***

The Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin is delighted to be hosting the Star European Championship 2011 between the 2nd and 10th September.

The Star Class is at the very top of the sport of sailing and boasts many of the best and most well known sailors in the World, from Olympic medal winners and World Champions in numerous classes to victorious Volvo Ocean Race skippers. 

Commenting on upcoming this event, the Commodore of the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Martin Byrne said, “It is a great honour that the Star Class Association has chosen to hold their 2011 European Championship for the first time in Ireland at the Royal St. George Yacht Club. We are focused on delivering an event to remember this September.”

In total, 33 Teams will be competing at this event, including Ireland’s own Star Class Sailors, Peter O’Leary /David Burrows and Max Treacy/Anthony Shanks as well as the UK’s Iain Percy/Andrew Simpson who are the current World Champions and were Gold medalists in the Star Class at 2008’s Beijing Olympics. Indeed, many of the teams competing have their hopes set on qualifying for next year’s Olympic Games in Weymouth.

Live updates will be available throughout the event on Twitter (www.twitter.com/rsgyc) and daily reports, results and photos will be available on the event website, www.rsgyc.ie/stareuropeans2011. 

The full list of teams competing is as follows:

Skipper                         Country
Richard Clarke                 Canada 
Mate Arapov                       Croatia
Marin Lovrovic                   Croatia
Flemming Soerensen   Denmark
Guillaume Florent               France
Xavier Rohart                       France
Alexander Schlonski           Germany
Johannes Polgar               Germany
Tibor Tenke                         Hungary
Maxwell Treacy                   Ireland
Peter O’Leary                       Ireland
Diego Negri                       Italy     
Eivind Melleby                     Norway
Mateusz Kusznierewic Poland
Afonso Domingos             Portugal
Gustavo Roxo Lima         Portugal
Andrey Berezhnoy             Russia
Lev Shnyr                             Russia
Fernando Echavarri           Spain
Tom Loefstedt                   Sweden
Chatagny                             Switzerland
Niklaus Michel                     Switzerland
Arthur Anosov                       Ukraine
Denis Khashina       Ukraine
Pavlo Bondar                       Ukraine
Vasyl Gureyev                     Ukraine
Iain Percy                             United Kingdom
Ante Razmilovic                   United Kingdom
John Gimson                     United Kingdom
George Szabo                     USA
Andrew Campbell             USA
Tom Londrigan, Jr.             USA
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