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30 July 2007, 11:58 am
Hosts Lead The Way At Pan Am Games
Brazil led the way in Rio
Brazil led the way in Rio

Rio 2007 Pan American Games
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil finished top of the pile at the XV Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, with the hosts picking up three gold, two silver and two bronze medals from the nine sailing events on Guanabara Bay. The USA finished second on the medal table, with two golds, a silver and a bronze.
Racing took place out of the Gloria Marina in predominantly light airs with plenty of rain - conditions which persisted for the final Medal Races (for the top five competitors rather than the top ten) on Friday and Saturday. As well as Brazil and the USA, other nations to win gold were Canada, Chile, Guatemala and Venezuela.

Spearheading the US challenge were Andrew CAMPBELL (USA) and Paige RAILEY (USA) who won gold medals in the Laser and Laser Radial fleets respectively. RAILEY, the 2006 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, had a very close battle with Mexico's Tania ELIAS CALLES but finished ahead of her in the Medal Race to win gold. CAMPBELL's win was particularly notable as prevented Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) from winning his fourth Pan Am title. SCHEIDT is an eighth-time World Champion and double Olympic gold medallist in the Laser but is now campaigning a Star for Beijing. However he made his return to the Laser in Rio and was looking set for a fourth Pan Am gold medal as CAMPBELL struggled up the first beat in the Medal Race. The young American split from the main pack on the final run - a calculated risk which paid off and rewarded him with the gold medal.

Brazil's three gold medals came in the J/24, Snipe and Men's RS:X fleets. In the J/24 fleet, reigning World Champions Maurício SANTA CRUZ, Carlos JORDAO, Alexandre SLIVA and Daniel SANTIAGO (BRA) took the title after a close Medal Race. Alexandre PARADEDA and Pedrop AMARAL (BRA) won the Medal Race to secure the title in the Snipe, whilst, in the Men's RS:X, Ricardo SANTOS (BRA) added the Pan Am gold medal to the World Championship title he secured in Cascais earlier this month.

The Lightning class was won by the 2005 World Champions, the Chilean father-and-son team of Alberto and Diego GONZALEZ along with Christian HERMAN. Canada's Dominique VALLEE won gold in the Women's RS:X fleet.

Neither the Sunfish nor Hobie 16 classes could complete their Medal Races on Saturday due to the weather, so the opening series scores decided the medals. Guatemala won gold in the Hobie 16 thanks to Juan MAEGLI and Cristina GUIROLA, whilst the Sunfish title went to Venezuela's Eduardo CORDERO.

The XV Pan American Games featured over 5,000 athletes from 42 nations competing in 37 sports. The sailing competition took place at the Gloria Marina in the Guanabara Bay.

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