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2004 US Olympic Trials

This Article Last Updated: Oct 14th, 2010 - 15:13:49 

US Olympic Trials - First Day Report
By Rich Roberts for YachtRacing.com
Mar 18, 2004, 19:41

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Second Day's Report
Third Day's Report
Fourth Day's Report
Midway Report
Fifth Day's Report
Sixth Day's Report
Seventh Day's Report
Final Report
Complete results

Second Day Report

Brian Sharp and Erik Doyle
MIAMI, Fla.---Eric Doyle and Vince Brun are the only two of four world Star class champions competing for the U.S. Olympic berth on Biscayne Bay who are flying the gold star on their main sails that distinguishes them from their peers.

That's the point, said Paul Cayard (1988), who suspects it had made him a bit too conspicuous. "Have you seen how many black flags [for early starts] I've had lately?" he said.

Mark Reynolds ('95 and 2000) also flies the standard red star, but Doyle ('99) and Brun ('86) go for the gold.

"I earned it," Doyle said. "I'm proud of it. They don't give 'em away for nothing. I say, show it off."

It didn't seem to handicap Doyle and crew Brian Sharp Saturday when they won the first two of 16 scheduled races of the trials in 19 boat-busting knots of northeast breeze, with gusts above 20.

Out of the gate it's a California stampede. The top six skippers are Doyle, San Diego; Howie Shiebler, San Francisco; Reynolds, San Diego; Cayard, San Francisco; George Szabo, San Diego, and Rick Merriman, San Diego.

Brun, also San Diego, with crew Mike Dorgan, also appeared to be in the hunt but was cited for an early start in the first race but after finishing seventh was disqualified for failing to return to restart.

Maybe Cayard and Reynolds were on to something.

Although racing was scheduled for noon, the 22 competitors were kept ashore until 11:35 a.m. because the US Sailing race committee didn't want to put boats at undue risk in big wind on opening day of a nine-day grind.

Lovell/Liljedahl break their mast
The first race started at 1:30, and the fears came partly true. Two boats were dismasted. Andy Lovell, New Orleans, and crew Magnus Liljedahl's spar broke in the middle when they were in second place behind Doyle on the second downwind leg to the finish. They were unable to start the second race---thus, their two throwouts are already spent.

Bill Allen, Highwood, Ill., and crew Brad Lichte also lost their spar.

Cayard had a close call on the first run of the second race when his boat momentarily flew out of control.

"We rounded down," he said. "We were very lucky not to lose the mast."

How rough was it? Doyle's left eyebrow was cut and swollen.

"I yelled at Brian and he whacked me," he said.

Explanation No. 2: "I got hit with the whisker pole when we jibed."

Otherwise, Doyle and Sharp, who have been sailing together only since December, thrived in the conditions.

"When we saw it was windy we thought it would be pretty good," he said. "We've been working on our heavy weather stuff."

Doug/Bob Schofield and John MacCausland/Brad Nichol
In the first race they started in the middle of the line and led at every mark, playing the favored left side of the course. In the second race they took the lead on the second upwind leg.

Szabo said, "I don't know what Eric's doing but he's pointing really high."

Doyle didn't necessarily agree but did say, "There was definitely nobody faster than us."

Leaders (22 boats, 2 of 16 races):

1. Eric Doyle/Brian Sharp, San Diego, 1-1, 2 points.
2. Howie Shiebler/Will Stout, San Francisco, 3-3, 6.
3. Mark Reynolds/Steve Erickson, San Diego, 5-2, 7.
4. Paul Cayard/Phil Trinter, San Francisco, 2-6, 8.
5. George Szabo/Mark Strube, San Diego, 4-5, 9.


Bill Allen (Highwood, Ill.) and Brad Lichter (Des Moines, Iowa)
Karl Anderson (Harwich, Mass.) and Ezra Culver (Miami, Fla.)
Fotis Boliakis (Ridgefield, Conn.) and Chris Rogers (Miami, Fla.)
Steve Brown (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Michael Marzahl (Oxnard, Calif.)
Vince Brun* and Mike Dorgan (both San Diego, Calif.)
Paul Cayard* (Kentfield, Calif.) and Phil Trinter* (Lorain, Ohio)
Ben Cesare (Norwalk, Conn.) and Serge Leonidov (Jackson Heights, N.Y.)
John Dane (Pass Christian, Miss.) and Henry Sprague (Long Beach, Calif.)
Eric Doyle* and Brian Sharp (both San Diego, Calif.)
Stephen Gould (San Francisco, Calif.) and Christopher Gould (Atherton, Calif.)
Jock Kohlhaus (Miami, Fla.) and Rick Burgess (Hewitt, N.J.)
Andy Lovell (New Orleans, La.) and Magnus Liljedahl* (Miami, Fla.)
John MacCausland (Cherry Hill, N.J.) and J. Brad Nichol (Hanover, N.H.)
Andrew Macdonald and Austin Sperry (both Miami, Fla.)
Richard Merriman and William M. Bennett (both San Diego, Calif.)
Mark Reynolds* ** (San Diego, Calif.) and Steve Erickson* ** (Seattle, Wash./Hood River, Ore.)
Douglas Schofield (51) (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) and Robert Schofield (Annapolis, Md.)
Howie Shiebler (San Francisco, Calif.) and Will Stout (San Diego, Calif.)
George Szabo (San Diego, Calif.) and Mark Strube (Miami, Fla.)
Peter Vessella (Burlingame, Calif.) and Brian Fatih (Miami, Fla.)
John Virtue (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Scott Pack (San Diego, Calif.)
Henrik Wennerstrom (Miami, Fla.) and Jon Rogers (San Francisco, Calif.)

*---World champion
**---Olympic champion

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