Miami Olympic class preview

Germany's Marc Pickel steers his Star at last
year's Rolex Miami OCR

Germany's Marc Pickel steers his Star at last year's Rolex Miami OCR

International competition to fight it out this Wednesday
Next week, the USA’s Olympic sailing hopefuls will have a chance to gauge themselves against the world’s best as they prepare for Athens 2004. In fact, more than 470 athletes representing over 30 countries will be competing on Biscayne Bay as the Rolex Miami OCR gets underway. In its 14th year, the Rolex Miami OCR has not seen a turnout like this since the two years leading up to the ’96 Savannah Olympic Regatta, when foreign sailors targeted the event for testing themselves on U.S. waters. Registration ends next Tuesday, before racing begins on Wednesday, January 29. 470 Highlights In the 470 Men’s class, 2000 470 Men’s Olympic Silver Medallist Paul Foerster (Rockwall, Texas) will team up with Miami’s Kevin Burnham, a 470 Olympic Silver Medallist (crew) from 1992. Considered yachting’s elite 'elders' at ages 38 and 45, respectively, Foerster and Burnham are considerable threats on the international circuit after a second-place finish at last fall’s U.S. Olympic Pre-Trials, only their second regatta as a team. On the women’s side of this class, another intriguing duo, Allison Jolly and Lynne Shore has made a comeback after a long sailing hiatus. The winners of the first-ever Olympic gold medals in the 470 Women’s class when the event debuted in 1988, Jolly and Shore - ages 45 and 42, respectively--also dusted off their act as a team at the Olympic Pre-Trials. Jolly and Shore are both Rolex Yachtswomen of the Year. Star Highlights Now that all the U.S. teams have been eliminated from the America's Cup, U.S. sailors returning from New Zealand are turning their focus to the Rolex Miami OCR - especially in the Star class. Entries so far include skippers Paul Cayard from Oracle Racing, and Vince Brun, Tony Rey and Terry Hutchinson all from Stars & Stripes. Also from Stars & Stripes is Andrew