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Team USA athletes start strong on Day 2 of Pan American Games

by US Sailing 4 Aug 20:12 PDT 3-9 August 2019
Farrah Hall - USA Women's RS:X © US Sailing

Once again, the Bay of Paracas delivered challenging conditions for the Race Committee of the Pan American Games Lima 2019 Sailing events. Despite another long postponement, several more classes were able to complete the first races of the 2019 Pan American Games Regatta.

Sailors were postponed on shore today until the late afternoon. The Men's and Women's RS:X, Mixed Nacra 17, Mixed Snipe, Mixed Lighting, Open Sunfish, Men's Laser, and Women's Laser Radial Athletes were sent out at 1430 local time. The athletes were further postponed on the water into the late afternoon while the race committee waited for the west-southwesterly breeze to stabilize.

Finally, the southwesterly sea breeze solidified and the Race Committee was able to score two races in the Men's and Women's RS:X and Nacra classes, and one race in the Snipe and Lightning classes. The southwesterly remained too light and unstable for racing on the Laser, Laser Radial, and Sunfish course. In addition to the Open Formula Kites, those athletes will be looking to complete their first race of the regatta tomorrow. The 49ers and 49erFXs each finished one race yesterday, in similar conditions.

Despite the light and shifty conditions, many sailors were eager to race. "I was really hoping we would race today, since we were on shore all day yesterday," said Team USA Men's RS:X athlete, Pedro Pascual (West Palm Beach, Fla.). Pascual is tied for first place after scoring a total of three points in his two races today. Despite conditions falling short of perfect, he was pleased to earn some solid scores, "Even though the conditions were puffy and light, I managed to get some good results, so I'm happy with how today went."

Pascual also noted that this event is an important piece of his journey to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, "I think this is a great stepping stone towards the Olympics. There's the same atmosphere here as the Games. It's a great experience that I can use to do my best in Tokyo, if I qualify. So I think it's a really important event to be a part of."

Other notable U.S. finishes include that of Mixed Snipe team, Ernesto Rodriguez (Miami, Fla.) and Hallie Schiffman (Sarasota, Fla.), and Mixed Lightning sailors, Jody Starck (Buffalo, N.Y.), Skip Dieball (Grosse Ile, Mich.), and Ian Jones (Buffalo, N.Y.). Rodriguez and Schiffman finished first in the only Snipe race of the day, and Starck, Dieball, and Jones finished second in the only Lightning Race of the day.

Heavier winds are predicted for tomorrow. In hopes that the conditions deliver the forecasted 10-to-14-knot southerly, the Race Committee has scheduled racing for an hour earlier. Assuming the marine layer burns off early and the breeze fills on time, the first races will start at 1100 local time.

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