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OLYMPIC TRIALS / YACHTING

America's Cup Vets Lead First Day Of Trials

April 21, 1996|From Associated Press

SAVANNAH, Ga. — John Kostecki and Paul Cayard, opponents during last year's America's Cup regatta, were tied for the lead after Saturday's first round of the U.S. Yachting Trials.

Kostecki, tactician aboard Young America in the America's Cup defender finals, and crewman Tom Olsen beat Cayard in the first of two races in the Star class. Cayard, the helmsman and navigator of the yacht Stars & Stripes that eliminated Young America, came back to win the second race with crewman George Iverson.

Will Martin had a win and third to take first place in the Finn class.

Although known more for his America's Cup racing -- he also piloted the Italian entry in 1992 -- Cayard has been a success in the Star class as well, winning the 1988 world title.

Cayard has failed twice in a bid to make the Olympics. He lost by a quarter point in 1984 to Bill Bucken, who went on to win the gold medal.

"That's motiviation for me, sure, but it's also given me some experience," Cayard, 36, said. "I love the Star class, even more than the America's Cup, actually."

Kostecki, silver medalist in the Soling class in the 1988 Olympics, won the first race handily after taking charge on the first downwind leg.

"We've been going pretty fast going downwind. That was a good run," Kostecki said.

Kostecki got up for second in the second race by passing Tom Reynolds on the final downwind leg.

"I didn't take a lot of chances downwind," Kostecki said, "because I didn't want to roll it."

Star and Finn class skippers race twice a day for eight days, with the winner claiming a spot on the U.S. Olympic yachting team.

Trials in eight other sailing divisions are scheduled here May 4-12.

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