With a little more than a year to go until the 1992 Olympic Games inBarcelona, Spain, things are shaping up nicely for the U.S. Sailing Team and for competitors familiar to local sailors.
Members of theU.S. Sailing Team members in the Finn, Flying Dutchman and Tornado classes recently were named.
Michael B. Schoettle, chairman of the USYRU Olympic Yachting Committee, said, "The top contenders are emerging as we begin our final period of preparation and training for the Olympic Games in Barcelona next year. These athletes and the ones yet to be named from the remaining seven classes are among the best sailors in the world today. We'll be very competitive in 1992."
Among the 15 -- five in each class -- named so far are two skippers easily recognized in Anne Arundel County.
Lt. Alec Cutler of Madison, Conn., a graduate of the NavalAcademy and a distinguished alumnus of its Collegiate Sailing Team, is ranked third in the Finn class. Adam Werblow of Lexington Park, a St. Mary's College sailing coach, sailing with Joe Thompson of Storrs, Conn., is ranked second in Flying Dutchmen.
In the most recent event in the four-regatta Can-Am series, the Alamitos Bay Olympic Classes Regatta in Long Beach, Calif., on April 4-7, Cutler placed third in the 36-boat Finn class after losing a tie-breaker for second to Canadian Larry Lemieux.
It was a solid win by nearly 15 points in this regatta for Annapolitan Scott Steele, first in the 21-boat Men's Lechner Division II Sailboard class. Former Annapolis sailboarder Kathy Chapin hammered her competition in the 15-boat Women's Sailboards, taking first by an impressive 17 points.
More progress was made toward 1992 last week with the Olympic Pre-Trials for Finns, Men's and Women's 470s, Europe Dinghies and Tornados, which sailed out of several southern California yacht clubs over April 8-14.
For Diane Burton of Annapolis, the 26-boat Europe Dinghy regatta at Balboa Yacht Club was a fine performance.
Burton took fifth in a very tough field, only narrowly beaten by 1990 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Courtenay Becker at the end of the seven-race, one-throwout series.
Burtonwon the first race and finished in the top five or six in all but the fifth race, in which she was 15th. She was a premature starter in the seventh and final race, or she might well have beaten Becker, whose results were far less consistent than Burton's in this regatta.
In the 26-boat Finn regatta, also at Balboa, Cutler placed second in his class. He was apparently knocked out of first by the combination of a penalty in the fifth race and a premature start in the seventh, and having one of them as his keeper.
In Women's 470s, former Annapolitan Corey Fischer Sertl is making a second bid at the games, sailing this time with Jody Swanson. This dynamic duo placed second in both the Alamitos Bay event and the Pre-Trials out of Newport Harbor Yacht Club.
The Soling class' Pre-Trials are going on through the weekend at the Platinum Point Yacht Club in Punta Gorda, Fla.
For local sailors and sailing fans who want a chance to watch top-flight Olympic-caliber racing and get a taste of this high-level competition, the second annual Chesapeake Olympic Classes Regatta will be here May3-5.
Competition will be at venues from Sandy Point State Park for the sailboarders stretching on south over three more course areas from Annapolis to West River.
The regatta should draw many Olympic hopefuls, and -- especially if the wind gods are kind -- certainly will be a memorable event.
Alamitos Bay Olympic Classes
Men's Sailboard (21 boats): 1) Scott Steele, Annapolis, 11.7 pts.; 2) Robert Normann, Metairie, La., 26.1 pts.; 3) Greg Fenton, Oakville, Canada.
Finn (36 boats): 1) Brian Ledbetter, San Diego, Calif., 26.7 pts.; 2) Larry Lemieux, Edmonton, Ont., 31.7 pts.; 3) Alec Cutler, Madison, Conn., 31.7 pts.
Women's Sailboard (15 boats):1) Kathy Chapin, Cape Canaveral, Fla., 5.7 pts.; 2) Jayne Fenner, Sarasota, Fla., 22.7 pts.; 3) Lanee Butler, San Juan Capistrano, Calif., 39.4 pts.
Olympic Pre-trials Results
Europe (26 boats): 1) Julia Trotman, Syosset, N.Y., 22.7 pts.; 2) Nancy Haberland, Satellite, Fla., 31.0 pts.; 3) Carol Ulander, (address unavailable), 43.4 pts.; 4) Courtenay Becker, Rye, N.Y., 58.1 pts.; 5) Diane Burton, Annapolis, 60.7 pts.
Finn (26 boats): 1) Brian Ledbetter, San Diego, Calif., 20 pts.; 2) Alec Cutler, Madison, Conn., 41.6 pts.; 3) Rich Bryon, (address unavailable), 41.6 pts.
Women's 470 (7 boats): 1) J. J. Isler, La Jolla, Calif., 6 pts.; 2) Jody Swanson/Corey Sertl, Eggertsville, N.Y., 19.7 pts.; 3) Jackie Golison, Long Beach, Calif., 39 pts.
Nancy Noyes is a member of the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association and has been racing on the bay for about five years. Her Sailing column appears every Wednesday and Sunday in The Anne Arundel County Sun.