Kayak Attack 

Oakland Olympic trials


So you're having this weird dream again where suddenly your nose is four feet long and yellow as a banana, your legs are pinned together in pike position, and your stomach is tightening in a rhythm with your arms, which seem to be doing some kind of wacky bird dance, beads of sweat dripping down your brow and shoulders, burning with each new pull. Wake up! This isn't a dream -- you're experiencing kayaker's déjà vu, and if it's a good one you find yourself in Lake Merritt, stroking your way to victory in the 2004 US Olympic Team Trials. Thursday through Sunday, flocks of hopefuls from all over continue their quest for the gold in downtown Oakland, whence two of the finest sprint paddlers will proceed directly to the Olympics in Athens, Greece this summer. For the other 85 or so, it's on to Brazil for the final try in the Continentals. All we noncontenders have to do is take a short trip to Jack London's California Canoe and Kayak (409 Water St., Oakland, 510-893-7833), where classes, tours, and equipment are available to get you on your way to making that dream a reality. Or not. Either way, be sure to check out all the Olympic trials action, hosted by the Lake Merritt Rowing Club. Additional attractions include adaptive paddling and sprint racing. Info: RowLakeMerritt.org -- Justine Nicole


Lazy, Hazy

The Jernts of summer

Sometimes between innings at SBC Park, in those little pockets of quiet when the vendors are catching their breath and the PA system hiccups, you can hear it. The sound of Giants fans sucking wind. You may never hear the hometown crowd hooting "Steroids! Steroids!" at Barry Bonds (a bucket of garlic fries on the head awaits the first one to yell it), but they're all wondering how long it can go on. This skating into the playoffs on the backs of the flabby NL West. Some say the Dodgers (they visit this weekend, April 16-18, with Juan Encarnacion in left) are coming up fast. The vengeful Padres also come to call, April 19-22. But first the Jernts have to dispose of Bud Selig's hapless Milwaukee Brewers. Enjoy it while you can, front-runners. Info: SFGiants.com -- Kelly Vance


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