In the twenty years since Paul CAYARD was a member of the U.S.A.'s 1984 Olympic Sailing Team - as an alternate - he has accomplished a number of sailing milestones that have made him the envy of most sailors.
He has won the Star World Championship ('88), the Star North American's ('03, '94), and the Whitbread 'Round the World Race ('98), all the while maintaining a very active career in America's Cup sailing. However, the lure of the Olympics has been like an unrequited love affair. That is all about to change.
After finishing fifth in the first race of the day, Cayard and crew Phil TRINTER wrapped up their win of the 2004 US Olympic Team Trials-Sailing in the Star class. Trinter, a 1993 Star World Champion, and Cayard have been sailing together for the last two years, having met during the 2000 America's Cup. For the last 10 days, Cayard and Trinter have done battle on Biscayne Bay in a "Star-studded" fleet that included five additional Star World Champions, three of whom are Star Olympic Gold Medallists: Steve ERICKSON ('84), Mark REYNOLDS ('00), and Magnus LILJEDAHL ('00).
This was the fourth time at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Cayard ('84, '88 and '96) and the third for Trinter ('96 and '00). "This regatta was pretty sweet,"
said Cayard. "We put a lot more preparation in this time,"
he explained when asked what was different this time around, explaining that many of the lessons he learned during the America's Cup he could afford to implement for these Trials, something he would not have been able to afford when younger.
While Cayard and Trinter were able to sit out the last two races of the series after mathematically securing their win, racing continued for the remaining 21 teams who were fighting for second through fifth place in the overall standings to secure a spot on the 2004 US Sailing Team. The US Sailing Team annually recognizes the top-five ranked athletes in each of the nine classes chosen for the Olympic Games. For 2004, the rankings were determined solely by the Olympic Team Trials.
Andy LOVELL and Olympic Gold Medallist Magnus LILJEDAHL finished 3-4-12 yesterday for second place overall on 65 points.
George SZABO and crew Mark STRUBE posted finishes of 11-7-5 yesterday to remain third in the overall standings at 69 points.
Eric DOYLE and Brian SHARP placed 6-6-3 for a final total of 76 points, and fourth place overall.
Olympic Gold Medallists Mark REYNOLDS and Steve ERICKSON finished 2-10-7 yesterday to net 80 points and fifth place in the overall standings.
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.