by Dana Paxton
Team USA’s sailors wrapped up the Pan American Games regatta by grabbing six total medals — four silver and two bronze — in the nine classes contested. The event was held at the Vallarta Yacht Cluband concluded on Sunday.
US Sailing Team Alpha Graphics Logo 2011
The U.S. earned silver in the J/24, Lightning, Snipe and Sunfish classes. Bronze went to the Americans in the Laser Radial and women’s Windsurfing classes. Each class raced just once today with double points on the line to decide the medalists. 'We had four medals secured yesterday and we were able to close out two more medals today for six total. That makes us really happy,' said U.S. Sailing team leader Dave Johnson. 'A lot of these athletes don’t get to necessarily compete at the Olympic level, but the overall level of world-class sailing was definitely shown here by the Americans. Our sailors were able to perform, and it’s pretty exciting to see that.'
Among the U.S. silver medalists was the Lightning team of skipper Jody Lutz (Brick, N.J.) and crew Jay Lutz (Houston, Texas) and Derek Gauger (Ann Arbor, Mich.) The Lightning was fifth in today’s medal race to finish six points back of gold medalist Chile. While he was disappointed to not bring home the gold, Jody Lutz enjoyed his Pan Am Games experience. 'It was such an opportunity to represent the U.S. It was something that us ‘old guys’ don’t get a chance to do very often. The class that we sail, the Lightning, is not in the Olympics, so this is our Olympics,' he said. 'To have the support of the U.S. and all the staff that’s involved here was tremendous. I’m disappointed that we weren’t able to bring the gold home to everybody but I’m proud that we did it right and we acted properly and competed fairly. We did the best darn job that we could.'
In addition to the Lightning team, the following U.S. sailors also earned silver medals: • J/24: John Mollicone (Newport, R.I.), Geoffrey Becker (Arnold, Md.), Daniel Rabin (Charlestown, Mass.), Paul Abdullah (Jacksonville, Fla.)• Snipe: Augie Diaz (Miami, Fla.), Kathleen Tocke (Miami, Fla.)• Sunfish: Paul Foerester (Heath, Texas) Bronze medals went to: • Laser Radial: Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) • RS:X Women (Windsurfer Women): Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.)
Visit guadalajara2011.org.mx for complete results. (http://info.guadalajara2011.org.mx/ENG/ZZ/ZZS158A_SA@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ENG_date=2011-10-23.htm)
Joining the team in Puerto Vallarta: Head Coach Leandro Spina (Miami, Fla.), Team Coach Greg Wilkinson (Rockport, Mass.), and Team Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer, Dr. Scott Weiss (New York, N.Y.).
The 16 athletes qualified for the US SAILING 2011 Pan American Games Team after winning a select regatta previously determined as a qualifying event for each class. US SAILING’s Olympic Sailing Committee then submitted its team to the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) for inclusion on the 2011 U.S. Pan American Games Team. Athletes must be U.S. citizens to qualify for the team, members of US SAILING and the classes in which they compete. Since sailing was included in the Pan American Games in 1955, USA has won 72 medals in sailing: 33 gold, 29 silver and 18 bronze.For more information on the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, visit the event website: http://www.guadalajara2011.org.mx/ENG/01_inicio/
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