Yngling skipper Carol Cronin sent the following email to her supporters on Monday afternoon announcing her team’s decision to abandon its campaign for the 2008 Olympics.
Dear Cronin Sailing Team supporters:As you all know, we just finished our 2007 US Sailing Team qualifiers. Sixteen teams from around the world came to Miami, and jockeying for a front row start or an inside overlap with this elite group showed us how much the world level has climbed since last summer’s Yngling Worlds.After a lot of thought and discussion, we have decided to end our Olympic campaign effective immediately. Only two US teams competed in the ranking regattas: Team Cronin and Team Seven (Sally Barkow, Carrie Howe, and Debbie Capozzi). Our retirement means Team Seven will represent the US at the 2008 Olympics in Qingdao, China.When I started sailing Ynglings in 2001, four US teams finished in the top eight at the Worlds – and all of us were sailing part time. Since then the world has changed, and a full time effort is now mandatory to be competitiveon the Olympic stage. Kim, Margaret and I have had a fantastic year together, and our recent results don’t reflect how much we learned and grew as a team. But with the rest of the group sailing full time, it is simplynot possible to meet our performance goals of winning the US Trials and medaling at the 2008 Games.In 2003 I watched Sally, Carrie, and Debbie jump into a very intimidating group of US Yngling sailors – and beat us all at their second regatta together. Since then they have, most amazingly, stayed together (the onlyYngling team in the world to do so), and matured both as a team and as individuals. I wish them all the best and have already offered them my support as they prepare for the Games.Team Seven represents the first generation of sailors to benefit from the significant improvements in the US Olympic Sailing program that have taken place since 2004. Thanks to the hard work of Gary Bodie, Katie Kelly, and Dean Brenner, US Sailing now provides significant financial and logistical support to US athletes that have proven themselves internationally. I am proud to have played a role in improving the US Sailing Team which will help build a strong Olympic Team for many Games to come.Thanks to each and every one of you who supported us, financially and logistically; we could not have had such a successful year without your help. We also appreciate the support we received from the followingorganizations: WAMIT (www.wamit.com), Boat/U.S. (www.boatus.com), New England Ropes (www.neropes.com), Crystal Spring Water (www.crystalspring.net), RegattaWeb (www.regattaweb.net), and the Annapolis Yacht Club Foundation (www.annapolisyc.org).It is very hard to let go of the challenge and excitement of Olympic sailing. It is also hard to give up the pleasure of sailing with two such fantastic teammates. But I know that US medal hopes are safe in Team Seven’s hands, and I wish the next US Olympic Yngling team all the best in their hunt for a podium finish in 2008.Cheers,Carol– Carol CroninCronin Sailing TeamYngling USA 341