White on the comeback trail at trials

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The Independent Online


Some big names are set to make their comeback at the Brut British Olympic trials at Weymouth at the end of August in the Tornado catamaran class. The former world champion in the class, Rob White, son of the gold medallist Reg, will be challenged by the 1976 470 Olympic pairing of Phil Crebbin and Derek Clark.

Crebbin and Clark will miss the Eurolymp regatta at Hayling Island tomorrow, where Austrian television is sending a crew to cover their three top Tornado teams, Andreas Hagara and Florian Schneeberger, Roman Hagara and Wolfgang Moser, Hans Peter Steinacher and Harald Vetterman. But some other venerable names will be on parade, Kevin Sproul and Steve Irish also taking to the multi-hull, David Howell and Ed Leask are re-entering the singlehanded Finn, and Shirley Robertson leads British hopes in the singlehanded Europe.

While the current 470 world No 1 crew, John Merricks and Ian Walker, are tuning up for the Europeans, the 1988 Olympic representative, Jason Belben, and the 1992 representative, Paul Brotherton, aim to provide competition in Weymouth.

Brotherton's Barcelona crew, Andy Hemmings, has now teamed up with Chris Law in a strong attack for the three-man Soling ticket. Law will have the former International 14 world champion, Neal McDonald, as his middle man and has secured $100,000 (pounds 62,500) of sponsorship from a Bermudan insurance company.