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20 August 2007, 06:31 am
Tallest, Oldest, Most Experienced
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From left, Marc PICKEL tallest, John DANE oldest, Peter BROMBY most experienced

Qingdao International Regatta 2007
Qingdao, China

The tallest, the oldest and the one who has been to the most Olympic Games - Lynn FITZPATRICK delves into the Star fleet to seek out some of the extremes of the 2007 Olympic Test Event.
At 6'5' Marc PICKEL (GER) is the tallest sailor at the regatta. John DANE (USA) did his first Olympic campaign in 1968. That was before all of the participants in the Laser, Laser Radial, Finn, 470 Men, 470 Women and 49er were born. 1968 was the year that one RS:X Men and two Tornado sailors were born. There are very few in the Tornado, Star and Yngling Classes that were born before 1968. Peter BROMBY (BER) sailed the Star at the Barcelona, Savannah, Sydney and Athens Games. (BROMBY is one of the few at the regatta who was born before DANE did his first Olympic campaign.)

In the USA, winning the Trials means winning the Olympic Trials Regatta. DANE was second in the US Dragon Trials in 1968, fourth in the Soling Trials in 1972, third in the Finn Trials in 1976, and fourth in the Star in 1984. Three of the four times that DANE competed in the US Trials, the person who won went on to win the Olympic gold medal. 'I've sailed the Trials in four different boats and never been to the Olympics. Most of the time the person who has won, has gone on to win the gold. The sad part is that the one who wins the Trials goes. If you don't have a good regatta, you don't go.'

For DANE, sailing and winning the US Olympic Trials is an unfulfilled dream. While he has been the top ranked US Star sailor for a while, DANE still must compete in the US Trials this October. His coach at this regatta is two-time Olympic gold medallist in the Star, Mark REYNOLDS (USA). REYNOLDS just qualified the USA for the Beijing Games through his 12th place performance at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais and has represented the USA in the Star four times.

The Giant among the sailors, PICKEL is an inch taller than BROMBY and the two often tip the measurement scales within a kilo of one another. PICKEL qualified Germany for the Beijing in the Star Class and has fulfilled the entire criterion to represent Germany at the Games, but is waiting to see if any other German teams place among the top five at the Europeans or Worlds next year. If so, there will be a German sail-off at next year's Holland Regatta.

BROMBY sails the only Star in his home country. He does not have an Olympic Trials to worry about, but he still has to qualify his country for the Olympic Games at next year's World Championship in Miami. Miami, one of BROMBY's favourite sailing venues, is where he is the master of the pin end start. BROMBY's crew, Lee WHITE, was on the bow in Savannah, Sydney and Athens and was part of BROMBY's support crew in Barcelona. The pair has just started training together again and is happy to have received the IOC Olympic Solidarity Scholarship and corporate sponsorship from Black Rock, an investment company headquartered in New York; Validis Reinsurance of Bermuda and Arch Capital of Bermuda. It is the first time that BROMBY has had corporate sponsorship this quadrennial and is relieved that he can focus on his campaign.



Men's 470

Women's 470



Laser Radial

Men's RS:X

Women's RS:X




Organizing Committee of the 2007 Qingdao International Regatta
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