Team GBR update - 4


Peter Bentley surveys Britain's chances in the keelboats for the coming season and 2004
Continued from parts one , two and three on madforsailing... Star Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell With two British medallists from Sydney going full-on in this class it seems there is a reasonable expectation of a tight trials. Iain Percy has teamed up with well known crew Steve Mitchell and judging by their early season showing in Miami, the duo have got on top of what is by any standards a complex class very quickly. Fourth in Miami looks good enough, but when you consider that Percy and Mitchell were the only crew racing under the new weight limit, it looks even better. Ian Barker has had something of a slow start to his Star campaign, picking the previously unknown Edmund Peel as a crew. Barker rarely does anything without good reason, and though it may take him a while to get up to speed expect a spirited performance a little further down the line. With changes in the class rules, gaining weight is not quite the issue it once was, though Mitchell still has some way to go in this department. Peel has only limited sailing experience but is already big enough for the job. It remains to be seen which proves the better approach. Both Percy and Barker have been training hard in Miami, which many regard as the spiritual home of the class, and are learning fast. Their secret weapon comes in the same form as it does in the Finn (and quite possibly the Yngling). Once again, it's that man David Howlett. Coach to both Mike McIntyre in 1988 and Ian Walker in Sydney, Howlett has an unrivalled knowledge of the class both as a sailor and coach. Internationally, the game is changing fast, with the theory that you need half a life time in the boat to do well pretty much discredited. Ian Walker and

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