News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : American Olympic Sailing worst performance since World War II

American Olympic Sailing worst performance since World War II

The Olympics brought good news for two of America's more dedicated sailing teams.

Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham finally won a gold in the men's 470 dinghy class after earning silver twice (in the Flying Dutchman and 470).

And John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree medalled for the first time, claiming a silver in their third Olympics sailing in the Tornado catamaran class.

But two medals in 11 classes equals the worst performance by American sailors in the Olympics since World War II.

As recently as a dozen years ago, American sailors claimed a record nine medals in Spain.

In 1984, the American team won seven off Long Beach.

‘We can do better,’ three-time Olympic medallist Mark Reynolds said yesterday.

Reynolds, who lost the Star berth this time around to Paul Cayard, cites a number of factors for the American team's struggle in Greece.

‘One of the biggest reasons is that the rest of the world is getting better,’ Reynolds said, ‘and sailing has become a much bigger sport in Europe than here in the United States.

‘That fact has helped lead to European sailors having more sponsors and financial support than sailors from the United States.’

Other factors include the unusual conditions that greeted the sailors in Greece and the fact that many of this nation's top sailors are off making money sailing in such competitions as the America's Cup.

‘There isn't one reason, but there are plenty of reasons,’ Reynolds said. ‘I remember when I was comparing budgets with the British team before the Sydney Olympics, they had about four times to spend what we had.’

The British team, by the way, led all nations with five medals in Greece.

‘Many countries also focus on fewer sailors,’ Reynolds said. ‘They decide early who has the best shot in each class and support them as a national team. Here, the United States' way is to have a wide-open trials with the winner going to the Olympics.’

Reynolds has represented the United States in the venerable Star class in four Olympics. He won a silver medal in South Korea in 1988 and golds in 1992 (Spain) and 2000 (Australia).

He failed to medal in 1996 when the sailing was conducted off Savannah. ‘Those winds were unique,’ said Reynolds, who used the same word to describe the winds that Cayard and his teammates encountered in Greece.

Reynolds spent a week in Greece coaching Cayard.
‘You got strong wind and no wind. You got wind that bounced off mountains and changed directions down canyons,’ Reynolds said. ‘Sometimes, it didn't make any difference if you made the right tactical decisions.

The only thing that counted was where you were when the wind hit. When you look at the final Star standings, a lot of good sailors finished down in the standings.’

Cayard (and crew Phil Trinter) finished fifth in his first Olympics, the same position that native San Diegan Tim Wadlow (and crew Peter Spaulding) finished in the 49er dinghy class.

Both had a chance to medal going into the final day. But Wadlow's effort was considered a breakthrough while Cayard's was a disappointment.

The difference? The United States has always done well in the Star class. Wadlow's finish was the best by an American skipper in a 49er world championship event. The only other Americans to finish as high as fifth were Katie McDowell and crew Isabelle Kinsolving in the women's 470.

Meantime, the Olympic bug has not passed Reynolds, 47. The San Diegan is taking a long look at China in 2008. That is, if the Star remains in the Olympic lineup when the classes for the next Games are selected in November.

by Bill Center


Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

6:27 AM Wed 1 Sep 2004 GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2004 Olympics Athens

Related News Stories:

04 Nov 2004  Athens shares Olympic lessons
29 Oct 2004  Voting closed for ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year
02 Oct 2004  Yachting Australia High Performance review
16 Sep 2004  The President speaks - Olympics and no throw out
08 Sep 2004  ISAF official Olympic film
07 Sep 2004  First Rankings Of The New Olympiad Released
06 Sep 2004  Channel 7’s lack of Olympic sailing coverage
06 Sep 2004  The 2004 Olympic Games – the Forbes perspective
05 Sep 2004  Aussie Olympic dreams shattered
03 Sep 2004  Channel 7’s Olympic coverage

News - USA and the World

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - 13 things to See and do by Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,

Volvo Ocean Race: Update from Team Vestas Wind in images by Richard Gladwell/,

Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Classic Garda conditions on day 2 by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,

Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Alessandro Rombelli's 'STIG' leads by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,

2014 18' Skiff International Regatta - Day 2
2014 Audi Melges 20 World Championship - It's go time in Garda
2nd Annual Keith Dinsmoor Regatta September 13-14
Aldo Alessio Regatta - Three days of tight racing
PWA Alacati World Cup - First blood to Van Der Steen and Offringa
Oakcliff Sailing hosts the Nacra 17, 49er and 49erFX Nationals + Video
International 18ft Skiff Regatta underway on San Francisco Bay
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014 - Quality fleet for Maxi Classic
Sailing Champions League - which is Europe's best sailing club?
Weta fun at the Wine & Roses Regatta
Extreme Sailing Series: The Wave, Muscat claims victory on Cardiff Bay
International 14 World Championships 2015: Not just for boys
Rio de Janeiro achieves 50% treatment of sewage outflow *Feature
2014 AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Event memorable videos
2014 18' Skiff Int Regatta: Day 1 at San Francisco - Reversal on beach
Emirates Team NZ: Last race boost cannot save team from table bottom
PWA Alacati World Cup - Furious slalom is upon us
J/111 World Championships - The Winner is Shmokin Joe!
J/24 US National Championship - Victory for Will Welles’ Cougar
Extreme Sailing Series: View the Final Day's action - Replay
NYYC Grandmasters Team Race - Reign continues for Noroton Yacht Club   
WSSR announces new World Record Around Britain and Ireland   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final day photos by Tim Wilkes   
2014 Detroit Cup - Morvan wins   
Newport Bucket Regatta 2014 -Images by George Bekris   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final report: USA qualifies for Rio 2016   
Extreme Sailing Series: Absent With-Out Leave – Ben Ainslie Racing   
2014 IFDS World Championship - New champions claim medals   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Sunday’s race images by Tim Wilkes   
Shark World Championships underway in Toronto   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi second o'all - Extreme Sailing Series, Day 3   
Formula Kite World Championships - Nocher and Bridge crowned Champions   
Emirates Team NZ: Frustrating Day 3 in Extreme Sailing Series, Cardiff   
Extreme Sailing Series: Light winds help The Wave Muscat - Day 3   
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act five - Absent without leave – the wind   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Images: Race day five   
Herreshoff Classic Regatta 2014 - Images by Ingrid Abery   
Youth Olympics - Gold to Argentinean and Chinese Techno 293 racers   
Youth Olympics Games Nanjing - Double Youth Olympic Gold for Singapore   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014 - Two Handers celebrate   

For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





Privacy Policy



Cookie Policy



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT