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Paul FOERSTER & Kevin BURNHAM (USA)

Paul FOERSTER & Kevin BURNHAM (USA)

Paul FOERSTER and Kevin BURNHAM were the old timers of the men's double-handed dinghy fleet in Athens this August, with a combined age of 87 years. With the gold medal going to a nerve racking final race, the duo sailed a precise tactical race to clinch the gold medal. A superb result for this pair whom after many years of campaigning, and two silver medals between them, eventually claimed the ultimate prize.

Paul and Kevin had a mixed season prior to the Olympic Sailing Competition with a clue to their form coming with their victory at the ISAF Grade 1 SPA Regatta in May 2004.



Their other results have included a third place finish at the 470 European Championship, fifth at Semaine Olympique Française and numerous other top twenty finishes at ISAF Graded Events. Their ISAF World Sailing Ranking has indicated the exceptional year enjoyed by Paul and Kevin, as they progressed up the ladder from 22 to 5 by the end of the nomination period.

The Achievements of Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham


ISAF World Sailing Ranking at the end of the nomination period (3 August 2004) - 5
Current ISAF World Sailing Ranking (2 September 2004) - 5
1st - Olympic Sailing Competition, Grade W - August 2004
15th - Kieler Woche, Grade 1 - June 2004
3rd - 470 European Championship, Grade 1 - June 2004
1st - SPA Regatta, Grade 1 - May 2004
14th - 470 World Championship, Grade W - May 2004
5th - Semaine Olympique Française, Grade 1 - April 2004
15th - XXXV Princess Sofia Trophy, Grade 2 - April 2004
14th - Athens Eurolymp Week, Grade 2 - February 2004
15th - ISAF World Championship, Grade W - September 2003

Name Paul FOERSTER Kevin BURNHAM
Date of Birth 23334 20810
Place of Birth Rangley, CO Hollis, New York, USA
Profession Systems Engineer Yacht Sales
ISAF Sailor ID USAPF3 USAKB7
Age started sailing 12 8
First boat sailed Sunflower Columbia 22
Age started racing 13 19
First boat raced Columbia 22 470
What inspired you to take up sailing? My dad was learning and he brought me and my brothers and sisters along. The Olympics is why I sail.
What inspired you to take up sailing? My dad was learning and he brought me and my brothers and sisters along. From the time I was 8 until I was 18, our family went cruising every Sunday and every summer, first on a Columbia 22 and then on a Morgan 30. Inititally I was not interested in sailing. In fact, when I was 9, I used to sabotage the engine of the Columbia 22 so that we could not get out of the harbour and go sailing! I was more into surfing and tennis.
What inspired you to take up sailing? My dad was learning and he brought me and my brothers and sisters along. In 1975, I met Steve BENJAMIN at the Coral Reef YC where my family had a membership. Steve had come to Miami, FL to train in a 470 for the 1976 Olympics. At this time, I did not even know taht sailing was an Olympic sport. Steve BENJAMIN indicated to me that my physique was ideal to be a crew in a 470 and asked if I was interested in going out for a sail with him. The nex day we went sailing in 15 to 20 knots of breeze in the 470. This was my first day of sailing a dinghy - a lot more exciting than the Sunday sailing days on the Columbia.
What inspired you to take up sailing? My dad was learning and he brought me and my brothers and sisters along. Sailing the 470 in breeze was so extremely thrilling and I was hooked! At that instance, sailing had completely captivated me. It was, and still is, a huge thrill!
What inspired you to take up sailing? My dad was learning and he brought me and my brothers and sisters along. Through 470 sailing I was able to take my competitive spirit and my dream of winning a medal at the Olympics and make it a reality.
How did you buy your first boat? I started off sailing my family's boat In the 1984 quadrennium, I sailed 470s with Pete MELVIN. We had a successful fundraising campaign that paid for our first boat, a Vanguard 470.
Which was your first sailing club? Bay Yacht Club, Corpus Christi, TX, USA Sailfish Club of Palm Beach, Florida
First Event competed in and Year Corpus Christi Wednesday Night Race in 1975 470 Midwinters in Key West in 1976
First Event won and Year Corpus Christi Navy Day Regatta (Laser) in 1979 470 North American Championship in 1981
Principle achievements 2004 Olympic Gold Medal - 470 Winning a gold medal in the 470 at the 2004 Olympics is something I have been trying to achieve for 29 years. I cannot express in words what it means to have accomplished this. I feel so lucky and blessed to have had this happen. It is hard to believe.
Principle achievements 2002 European Champion - 470 Winning a gold medal in the 470 at the 2004 Olympics is something I have been trying to achieve for 29 years. I cannot express in words what it means to have accomplished this. I feel so lucky and blessed to have had this happen. It is hard to believe.
Principle achievements 2000 Olympic Silver Medal - 470 Winning a gold medal in the 470 at the 2004 Olympics is something I have been trying to achieve for 29 years. I cannot express in words what it means to have accomplished this. I feel so lucky and blessed to have had this happen. It is hard to believe.
Principle achievements Sept 2000 - 1st ISAF World Sailing Rankings Winning a gold medal in the 470 at the 2004 Olympics is something I have been trying to achieve for 29 years. I cannot express in words what it means to have accomplished this. I feel so lucky and blessed to have had this happen. It is hard to believe.
Principle achievements 1996 J22 World Champion Winning a gold medal in the 470 at the 2004 Olympics is something I have been trying to achieve for 29 years. I cannot express in words what it means to have accomplished this. I feel so lucky and blessed to have had this happen. It is hard to believe.
Principle achievements 1995 Pan Am Games Gold Medal - J24 Match Racing Winning a gold medal in the 470 at the 2004 Olympics is something I have been trying to achieve for 29 years. I cannot express in words what it means to have accomplished this. I feel so lucky and blessed to have had this happen. It is hard to believe.
Principle achievements 1992 Olympic Silver medal - Flying Dutchman Winning a gold medal in the 470 at the 2004 Olympics is something I have been trying to achieve for 29 years. I cannot express in words what it means to have accomplished this. I feel so lucky and blessed to have had this happen. It is hard to believe.
Principle achievements 1992 World Champion - Flying Dutchman Winning a gold medal in the 470 at the 2004 Olympics is something I have been trying to achieve for 29 years. I cannot express in words what it means to have accomplished this. I feel so lucky and blessed to have had this happen. It is hard to believe.
Principle achievements 1991 World Champion - Flying Dutchman Winning a gold medal in the 470 at the 2004 Olympics is something I have been trying to achieve for 29 years. I cannot express in words what it means to have accomplished this. I feel so lucky and blessed to have had this happen. It is hard to believe.
Principle achievements 1988 European Champion - Flying Dutchman Winning a gold medal in the 470 at the 2004 Olympics is something I have been trying to achieve for 29 years. I cannot express in words what it means to have accomplished this. I feel so lucky and blessed to have had this happen. It is hard to believe.
Detail the personal highlights of your sailing career to date Racing at the Olympics in Sydney inside the Harbour where my family could see me race up close. Winning a J24 Texas Circuit with my dad and brother in 1982. Winning four JY-15 North American Championships and a USA Championship of Champions with my wife. Winning the Gold Medal in the 470 at the 2004 Olympic Games
Detail the personal highlights of your sailing career to date Racing at the Olympics in Sydney inside the Harbour where my family could see me race up close. Winning a J24 Texas Circuit with my dad and brother in 1982. Winning four JY-15 North American Championships and a USA Championship of Champions with my wife. Winning the Silver Medal in the 470 at the 1992 Olympic Games
Detail the personal highlights of your sailing career to date Racing at the Olympics in Sydney inside the Harbour where my family could see me race up close. Winning a J24 Texas Circuit with my dad and brother in 1982. Winning four JY-15 North American Championships and a USA Championship of Champions with my wife. Winning the Gold Medal at the Goodwill Games in 1996
Detail the personal highlights of your sailing career to date Racing at the Olympics in Sydney inside the Harbour where my family could see me race up close. Winning a J24 Texas Circuit with my dad and brother in 1982. Winning four JY-15 North American Championships and a USA Championship of Champions with my wife. Winning the Worrell 1000
Detail the personal highlights of your sailing career to date Racing at the Olympics in Sydney inside the Harbour where my family could see me race up close. Winning a J24 Texas Circuit with my dad and brother in 1982. Winning four JY-15 North American Championships and a USA Championship of Champions with my wife. Particpating in the America's Cup Jubliee Regatta as tactician aboard the J-Class Shamrock V
Detail the personal highlights of your sailing career to date Racing at the Olympics in Sydney inside the Harbour where my family could see me race up close. Winning a J24 Texas Circuit with my dad and brother in 1982. Winning four JY-15 North American Championships and a USA Championship of Champions with my wife. Racing my J24 from Key West to Varadero Beach, Cuba in the 1980s (the extreme weather conditions mde this race EXCITING!)
Detail the personal highlights of your sailing career to date Racing at the Olympics in Sydney inside the Harbour where my family could see me race up close. Winning a J24 Texas Circuit with my dad and brother in 1982. Winning four JY-15 North American Championships and a USA Championship of Champions with my wife. Racing from Miami to Montego Bay, Jamaica in an Olsen 30 (AWESOME downwind sailing!)
What are your future sailing aspirations? Sail with my wife and children. Win a Gold Medal at the 2008 Olympic Regatta in Beijing in the Tornado Class
Briefly state what sailing means to you Challenge, hard work, enjoyment, getting to see amazing places
Who has had the greatest impact or inspiration in your sailing career and why? God - He has given me all the talents that I have and the atmosphere to make the most of them. My father for teaching me how to sail and taking me sailing every Sunday.
Who has had the greatest impact or inspiration in your sailing career and why? God - He has given me all the talents that I have and the atmosphere to make the most of them. Steve BENJAMIN for introducing me to Olympic sailing and to the 470.
Who has had the greatest impact or inspiration in your sailing career and why? God - He has given me all the talents that I have and the atmosphere to make the most of them. Morgan REESER and Paul FOERSTER for helping bring out the best in me in Olympic competition.
Who do you consider to be your sailing hero? I don't have any sailing heroes. Torben GRAEL for winning five Olympic medals in sailing.
What other sports do you participate in outside of sailing? I like all sorts - Basketball, running, tennis, golf, biking, soccer, ping pong. Backgammon
Who do you consider to be the greatest sailor in the World and why? I don't think there is one greatest sailor. Sailing is too diverse for that. There are great dinghy sailors, catamaran sailors, board sailors, small keelboat sailors, large keelboat sailors, long distance racers, single-handed racers, match racers etc. It would be impossible to say. Again, Torben GRAEL is the greatest sailor in my mind for winning five Olympic medals in sailing. He is sailing's true champion. He has done every kind of sailing there is - Olympic, America's Cup and now is doing a Volvo Round the World campaign.
Briefly state what being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award 2004 means to you It means to be recognised as one of the best sailors inthe world. It means you have done something extraordinary in 2004. It is an honour to be nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award. This is the top accolade in the world of sailing.
If voted as the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2004, briefly say what will this mean to you? I would feel very honoured to be chosen among the many sailors that are just as worthy and very happy for my team mate Kevin Burnham. To receive this prestigious award would be the culmination of a dream come true for me this 2004 year.
If voted as the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2004, briefly say what will this mean to you? I would feel very honoured to be chosen among the many sailors that are just as worthy and very happy for my team mate Kevin Burnham. Winning a Gold Medal in the Olympics and being awarded ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award is something that dreams are made of.
If voted as the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2004, briefly say what will this mean to you? I would feel very honoured to be chosen among the many sailors that are just as worthy and very happy for my team mate Kevin Burnham. Thank you for considering me for this award.
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