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Team USA sailors win seven medals at Pan American Games Lima 2019

by US Sailing 11 Aug 16:20 PDT 3-9 August 2019
Pan American Games Lima 2019 Team USA Sailing Medalists (right to left): Charlie Buckingham, Ernesto Rodriguez, Charlotte Rose, Anna Weis, Hallie Schiffman, Stephanie Roble, Riley Gibbs, Pedro Pascual, Maggie Shea © US Sailing

On Saturday, August 10, Team USA's sailing athletes clinched three more medals at the Pan American Games Lima 2019. Will Cyr (Bayview, Mich.) secured the Bronze Medal in the Open Formula Kite Class, Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea earned the Silver in the Women's 49erFX fleet, and Ernesto Rodriguez (Miami, Fla.) and Hallie Schiffman (Sarasota, Fla.) won the Gold in the Mixed Snipe fleet. Combined with the four medals won by Team USA the previous day, the American team will be bringing home a total of seven medals.

Final Results of the U.S. Pan American Games Sailing Team:

  • Gold - Ernesto Rodriguez & Hallie Schiffman, Mixed Snipe
  • Gold - Riley Gibbs & Anna Weis, Mixed Nacra 17
  • Silver - Stephanie Roble & Maggie Shea, Women's 49erFX
  • Silver - Charlotte Rose, Women's Laser Radial
  • Silver - Pedro Pascual, Men's RS:X
  • Bronze - Will Cyr, Open Formula Kite
  • Bronze - Charlie Buckingham, Men's Laser
  • 4th - Conner Blouin, Open Sunfish
  • 4th - Andrew Mollerus & Ian MacDiarmid, Men's 49er
  • 4th - Farrah Hall, Women's RS:X
  • 5th - Jody Starck, Skip Dieball, & Ian Jones, Mixed Lightning
Rodriguez and Schiffman maintained dominance over the Snipe fleet for the entire week. From the first day of racing, the pair stood atop the leaderboard. While Rodriguez is a decorated and well-seasoned Snipe sailor, Schiffman never competed in a doublehanded boat prior to beginning training with Rodriguez, five months ago. "I had never crewed before, so I had to learn how to sail with a teammate," said Schiffman. "Working together and communicating was really difficult at first, but we had a much better grip on it this week."

As someone who normally sails alone, Schiffman is used to driving the boat. In the Snipe, she competed as Rodriguez's crew. She admitted that the switch from driving to crewing was uncomfortable at first, "When I'm in the front of the boat, I feel so blind to what's happening to the rest of the boat. I basically had to figure out how to work the boat when I'm not steering and be comfortable with that unnatural feeling."

While getting comfortable with a new position in an entirely unfamiliar boat, Schiffman also endured some bruises this week. Despite the hurdles they encountered, the pair prevailed and are pleased with their Gold Medal performance, "As Leandro [Spina (Miami, Fla.), US Sailing's Olympic Development Director and Pan American Games Coach] said earlier this week, 'bruises are temporary, but Medals are forever,'" said Schiffman.

In the 49erFX fleet, Roble and Shea went into their final race with a comfortable lead. The pair sailed a conservative race to lock in the Silver Medal and qualification for U.S. representation in the 49erFX class at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Thanks to his performance early in the week, Cyr also began his Medal Race day with a guaranteed medal. He finished with a Bronze Medal in the Open Formula Kite fleet.

Also representing Team USA in the final Medal Races of the event, Conner Blouin (Tampa, Fla.) finished fourth overall in the Sunfish fleet and Lightning team, Jody Starck (Buffalo, N.Y.), Skip Dieball (Grosse Ile, Mich.), and Ian Jones (Buffalo, N.Y.), finished fifth.

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