Brenner's Olympic Strategy Is Paying Off

Now entering his second term as chairman of US SAILING's Olympic Sailing Committee, Dean Brenner focuses on securing more funding for the country's top medal hopes. "First Beat" from our October 30, 2007, /SW eNewsletter/

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Stuart Streuli

When Dean Brenner took over the position of chairman of US SAILING's Olympic Sailing Committee three years ago he made some big promises. "I am looking forward to making a dramatic impact on Olympic Sailing in the United States," he said in a press release. Brenner's plan was quite simple, he wanted to raise more money for the U.S. Sailing Team, and he wanted to get a higher percentage of that money to the sailors. Of course, that's a goal that is easier said than done.In signing on for another four years--through the 2012 Olympics in London--Brenner says that he hasn't yet had the full impact he envisioned three years ago. However, that's not to say the former Soling crew hasn't made some notable progress during his first term at the helm of the U.S. Olympic sailing effort.Funding is up and Brenner has streamlined the U.S. Sailing Team and gotten more money directly into the hands of the sailors. How much of an impact Brenner and his team--he is quick to credit the people who have worked with him on the Olympic Sailing Committee--depends on whom you ask. For classes and/or athletes with a strong international track record, it has been significant. The return of Tornado sailors John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree, who had all but retired after winning a silver in Athens, speaks to the work Brenner has done to concentrate the money where it's most likely to produce medals. Even in less successful classes, however, there is a sense that things are improving and brighter days are ahead.With his first Olympic Trials as OSC chair in the rearview mirror, and the Qingdao Olympics looming 10 months away, we spoke with Brenner about what he's achieved so far, why he's coming back for a second term, and whether the U.S. Trials system is still the best way to pick an Olympic sailing team.To listen to the podcast of SW's interview with U.S. Olympic Sailing Committee chair Dean Brenner, click here.