No Surprises on Final Day of February Trials

OlyTrials2
Stuart Streuli

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla.--Five U.S. Olympic Trials came to a close on Sunday in southern Florida with the leaders in four of the classes watching as the remaining teams fought for the consolation prizes in the last race in each series. The fifth, Finn competitor Kevin Hall, could've watched the final race from shore, but chose to sail. Only Europe sailor Meg Gaillard was able to wrap up her Olympic berth a full day early-she was able to sleep easy Saturday night-but the leaders in the other four classes took to the water on Sunday with leads that varied from virtually insurmountable to tenuous. To no one's surprise, the advantage enjoyed by Yngling class leader Team Atkins was one of the latter. Carol Cronin, Liz Filter, and Nancy Haberland entered the final two races of the regatta with a 3-point advantage over Hannah Swett's Conde Nast team. Sally Barkow's crew was also alive for the Olympic berth, but only just barely. Cronin's lead was courtesy of a key performance in a third race the day before, which the raced committee squeaked in just before sunset. Swett had won the two earlier races and trailed by just a point. In a shifty, dying breeze Cronin had taken an early lead and fended off all challengers for an "agonizing" four legs. After waiting out a long delay because of no wind, Cronin's crew picked up right where they'd left off the previous night, winning the start in a 5- to 7-knot easterly and earning a five-boatlength lead. She held that lead for the next two legs, but lost most of it on the second run. Another strong upwind gave Cronin, Filter, and Haberland a slightly more comfortably cushion, which they were able to hold to the finish. The other three leading teams-Kevin Hall in the Finn, 49er sailors Tim Wadlow and Peter Spaulding, and the Tornado team of John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree-entered the final day of sailing needed just to avoid any major mistakes. Much to the chagrin of the teams lurking in second in each of those classes no mistakes were made. Wadlow and Spaulding, the favorites heading into the Trials, finished first and second before sitting out the day's third and final race. Hall finished third in the first race, when anything better than a 20th would've worked. He won the second race for good measure. The Tornado fleet started the day four races short of the 16-races scheduled for the series. When the lack of wind limited the fleet to two races, Lovell and Ogletree basically needed one good finish to wrap up the event, and they got that in the first race, which they won. For the third time in a row, Lars Guck finished a close second to Lovell and Ogletree. The U.S. Sailing Team has now picked the competitors in 10 of 11 classes for the 2004 Athens Olympics. Only the Star class remains. Those Trials, which are expected to be hotly contested among a number of top teams, will begin on March 18. For complete results, http://www.ussailing.org/Olympics/OlympicTrials/2004/index.asp U.S. Olympic Trials Feb. 14 to 22 Lauderdale YC Europe (14 competitors) 1. Meg Gaillard, 15.0; 2. Krysia Pohl, 34.0; 3. Christin Feldman, 37.0; 4. Anna Tunnicliffe, 56.0; 5. Kathleen Tocke, 66.0. Finn (23 competitors) 1. Kevin Hall, 26.0; 2. Geoff Ewenson, 53.0; 3. Eric Oetgen, 55.0; 4. Bryan Boyd, 56.0; 5. Mo Hart, 57.0. Key Biscayne YC 49er (11 teams) 1. Wadlow/Spaulding, 48.00; 2. Bergan/Maxam, 59.00; 3. Mack/Lowry, 64.00; 4. Karas/Boscolo, 100.00; 5. Reed/Gulari 100.00. Yngling (6 teams) 1. Team Atkins/Cronin/Merrifield Filter/Haberland, 31.00; 2. Self/Swett/Touchette/Purdy, 36.00; 3. Team 7/Barkow/Howe/Capozzi, 38.00; 4. Swanson/Sertl/Kratzig, 41.00; 5. Team Challenge US/Alison/Icyda/Leech, 44.00. Miami YC Tornado (8 teams) 1. Lovell/Ogletree, 16.00; 2. Team Koch Eye/Guck/Farrar, 24.00; 3. Team Home Depot/Daniel/Rodriguez, 38.00; 4. Schreyer/Durdin, 39.00; 5. Camp/Cromwell, 48.00.