The crucial US SAILING Olympic Trials starts today in Florida, USA. For this event, history and your current world form have no influence, what counts is consistency and who wins come the final day of racing scheduled for 22 February.
That will be the crew who has the honour of representing the USA at the 2004 Olympic Regatta.
From 12-22 February, five of the remaining six events qualification events will take place:
Keelboat Women (Yngling)
Single-handed Dinghy Women (Europe)
Single-handed Dinghy Men (Finn)
Multihull Open (Tornado)
Dinghy Open (49er)
Whilst at the time of writing the final list of competitors was not available, there is no shortage of hopefuls in the five events to be contested on the waters of Key Biscayne Yacht Club, Miami Yacht Club and Lauderdale Yacht Club.
Registration and measurement will take place today and Friday, with racing underway from Saturday 14 through until 22 February. Sixteen races are scheduled for each class except the 49ers for which 24 races are scheduled. Five races constitute a series, and no more than three races will be held on any day for any class except for the 49er fleet where four races may be held. This is an intense race schedule and one which is sure to see some upsets.
The selection event for the Keelboat Men (Star) will take place from 18-28 March.
Representatives in five of the eleven events have already been selected at Trials held in November of 2003:
Double-handed Dinghy Men (470) - Paul FOERSTER and Kevin BURNHAM
Double-handed Dinghy Women (470)- Katie MCDOWELL and Isabelle KINSOLVING
Single-handed Dinghy Open (Laser) - Mark MENDELBLATT
Boards Men (Mistral) - Peter WELLS
Boards Women (Mistral) - Lanee BUTLER BEASHEL
For the full story from the November 2003 trials Click Here
US SAILING also held trials for the two events at the Paralympics in November 2003, and the following sailors will be representing the USA in Athens in September 2004:
Single-Person Keelboat (2.4mR) - Tom BROWN
Three-Person Keelboat (Sonar) - John ROSS DUGGAN, J P CREGNOU and Brad JOHNSON