Star title bout

US trials for men's Olympic keel boat start this weekend with a top line-up of talent

Friday March 19th 2004, Author: James Boyd, Location: United States
Under the experienced eye of Olympic Games and International Star Class measurer John Koopman, the process of hull and rig measurement is well underway at the US Sailing Center in Coconut Grove for the 22 teams of Star sailors gathered here for the year’s most anticipated contest in the class - the 2004 US Olympic Team Trials.

Many of the competitors have been living and training in Florida for much of the winter, working out the bugs and trying new gear during several lead-up events including the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta in January and the Bacardi Cup which concluded only a few days ago. With tomorrow the final day of measurement, the atmosphere is anything but relaxed, in spite of the bright sunshine and warm breezes that would make the normal sailor jump for joy.

The planned 16-race series begins this Saturday, 20 March, and will continue until Sunday, 28 March, with a mandatory layday on Wednesday, 24 March.

The format for the U.S. Trials, with two races scheduled each day, is designed to replicate the Olympic Games as closely as possible. At the conclusion of racing, the winners will be named to the 2004 Olympic Team that will represent the USA in Athens, in August.

The US is one of the most accomplished Star sailing nations and the line-up includes several past World champions such as Mark Reynolds (1995 and 2000), Eric Doyle (1999), Vince Brun (1986) and Paul Cayard (1988). Recently Reynolds and Steve Erickson won at the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes regatta, while Howie Shiebler and Will Stout, were top placed Americans at the Bacardi Cup.

Entries:

Bill Allen (Highwood, Ill.) and Brad Lichter (Des Moines, Iowa)
Karl Anderson (Harwich, Mass.) and Ezra Culver (Miami, Fla.)
Fotis Boliakis (Ridgefield, Conn.) and Chris Rogers (Miami, Fla.)
Steve Brown (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Michael Marzahl (Oxnard, Calif.)
Vince Brun and Mike Dorgan (both San Diego, Calif.)
Paul Cayard (Kentfield, Calif.) and Phil Trinter (Lorain, Ohio)
Ben Cesare (Norwalk, Conn.) and Serge Leonidov (Jackson Heights, N.Y.)
John Dane (Pass Christian, Miss.) and Henry Sprague (Long Beach, Calif.)
Eric Doyle and Brian Sharp (both San Diego, Calif.)
Stephen Gould (San Francisco, Calif.) and Christopher Gould (Atherton, Calif.)
Jock Kohlhaus (Miami, Fla.) and Rick Burgess (Hewitt, N.J.)
Andy Lovell (New Orleans, La.) and Magnus Liljedahl (Miami, Fla.)
John MacCausland (Cherry Hill, N.J.) and J. Brad Nichol (Hanover, N.H.)
Andrew Macdonald and Austin Sperry (both Miami, Fla.)
Richard Merriman and William M. Bennett (both San Diego, Calif.)
Mark Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.) and Steve Erickson (Seattle, Wash./Hood River, Ore.)
Douglas Schofield (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) and Robert Schofield (Annapolis, Md.)
Howie Shiebler (San Francisco, Calif.) and Will Stout (San Diego, Calif.)
George Szabo (San Diego, Calif.) and Mark Strube (Miami, Fla.)
Peter Vessella (Burlingame, Calif.) and Brian Fatih (Miami, Fla.)
John Virtue (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Scott Pack (San Diego, Calif.)
Henrik Wennerstrom (Miami, Fla.) and Jon Rogers (San Francisco, Calif.)

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