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CRONIN, FILTER AND HABERLAND WIN BRONZE
AT 2004 YNGLING WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONS
 
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (May 15, 2004) – It would seem fitting that on the day the Preakness Stakes were run, the U.S.A.'s representatives to the Olympics in sailing's newest discipline – the women's keelboat event – would earn comparisons to the legendary racehorse "Silky Sullivan." The Yngling team of Carol Cronin (Jamestown, R.I.), Liz Filter (Stevensville, Md.) and Nancy Haberland (Annapolis, Md.) have been competing at the 2004 Yngling Women's World Championship in Santander, Spain. When they were last in Spain, just eight months ago, for the 2003 Yngling Women's Worlds, they finished a respectable, if not dazzling, 14th overall. This time around, they rebounded from a painfully slow start – much like "Silky Sullivan" – in the 37 boat fleet. Day one of the series saw them place 31 and 20. On day two they wracked up some sizable points with an alphabet score for crossing the starting line early. But the 10-race series was far from over: the trio rebounded with two first-place finishes, plus three more postings in the top 10. Like the infamous horse that started out slow, Cronin, Filter and Haberland recovered to a bronze medal win.

Compounding the usual pressures of a world championship, this event was the final country qualifier for the Olympic Regatta, with several nations counting it as part of their athlete selection trials as well. For Cronin, Filter and Haberland the bronze medal performance is perfectly timed; with this their best performance at a world championship, they have answered those who were taken by surprise when the trio won the U.S.A.'s selection trials. With Opening Ceremonies exactly 90 days hence, Cronin, Filter and Haberland are heading to Athens with the validation from this performance which will surely have opened the eyes of competitors and observers alike.

Finishing one place out of the medals were Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wisc.), with Carrie Howe (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.); while 2003 Yngling Open Worlds Champions Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.), Lee Icyda (Stuart, Fla.) and Suzy Leech (Avon, Conn./Annapolis, Md.) finished 14th overall in the final standings.

The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Canada will join the 12 previously qualified nations on the start line at Athens: Spain, Germany, U.S.A., Bermuda, Denmark, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, France, Australia and The Ukraine. Greece, as host nation, receives an automatic entry.

The Games of the XXVIII Olympiad will be held August 13-29, 2004, in Athens, Greece. For more information on the U.S.A.'s sailors visit: www.ussailing.org/Olympics/OlympicGames/2004/
 
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