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During the past two years Harvard has begun to reclaim the dominance it held over Eastern sailing in the early sixties, and one of the reasons for this resurgence is All-American Robbie Doyle.
Doyle placed first at the North American Intercollegiate Single-handed Championships in Wisconsin in June for the second straight year, thus capping a very successful personal season and earning him All-American honors, also for the second straight year.
Two of 'em
Ironically, Doyle faced the stiffest challenge at the single-handeds from his brother Richie, an All-American at Notre Dame and the 1970 College Sailor of the Year.
The two Doyles are products of the Pleon Yacht Club in Marblehead, where a high-powered sailing program for juniors has developed a string of good sailors. Among Robbie's early adversaries were Tim Bernard, who finished third at the 1970 North American Single-handeds, and Steve Milligan, now M. I. T.'s top skipper.
"Robbie is aggressive enough to be a good sailor, and he has the confidence," Harvard sailing coach Mike Horn said last night. "These are the two things it takes to win; you just can't go out and round the buoys," he added.
In addition to two crowded seasons of sailing each year, Robbie sails constantly during the summer. This summer he sailed in three classes in the open North American Championships. He became the first college sailor to win the open single-handed championships; he crewed for the winner in the Soling class; and sailing in a tempest for the first time he crewed for a friend, and the two took second in that class.
Used to sailing in the sea, Robbie finds the windy Charles is no haven. "It's like two different sports," Robbie said. "The Charles is like a card game, and things happen very fast. You can't always develop plans the way you can on the ocean."
Robbie was the first Harvard sailor to win the North American single-handeds and the first and only one to gain All-American-an institution established in 1970.
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