Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) of US SAILING, has named Peter Wells (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Lanee Butler (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) as members of its 2003 Pan American Games Team.
Wells and Butler are the respective winners of the Mistral men and women's selection trials held recently at the US Sailing Center-Martin County (Stuart, Fla.). Pending approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee they will represent the U.S.A. in the boardsailing events at the XIV Pan American Games, scheduled for August 1-17, 2003, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The U.S. has qualified to enter all nine events featured in the sailing competition which will be staged from the Santo Domingo Yacht Club: Laser (men) and Mistral (men and women), and the non-Olympic Laser Radial (women), Hobie 16, J/24, Lightning, Snipe and Sunfish (all open).
Wells, a three-time ICSA All-American while at the University of California - Irvine, posted two first-place finishes to win the men's division by three points over the second-place finisher, Ben Barger (St. Petersburg, Fla.). Wells, a member of the US Sailing Team since 1998, faced tough competition from Barger, and fellow 2002 US Sailing Team members Kevin Jewett (Deephaven, Minn.) and Phillip Muller (Ft. Pierce, Fla.), each of whom won at least one race during the six-race series.
In the two years since Sydney's Olympic Regatta, Butler, a three-time Olympian ('00, '96, '92), has been absent from the U.S. boardsailing scene. Ever competitive, Butler has just been testing the water in other ways - most notably crewing aboard Maiden II when it broke the 24-hour distance record in June, 2002. Unable to resist the lure of a fourth trip to the Pan Am Games, Butler returned to sweep the women's division of the Mistral Pan Am Trials. Her closest competition came from Beth Winkler (Banana River, Fla.), another veteran of the class, who finished the series with 11 points to Butler's 5. The trip to Santo Domingo will give Butler the opportunity to add to the three boardsailing medals (gold in '99 and '91; bronze in '95) won in her previous trips to the Pan Am Games.
Upcoming Pan Am Trials:
November 14-17, 2002 - for Laser and Laser Radials at Houston Yacht Club (Houston, Texas)
January 4-6, 2003 - for J/24s at Key Biscayne Yacht Club (Key Biscayne, Fla.)
March 21-23, 2003 - for Snipes at Clearwater Yacht Club (Clearwater, Fla.)
April 25-27, 2003 - for Sunfish at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron (Sarasota, Fla.)
A multi-sport event, the Pan Am Games has been held every four years since its inception in 1951. Always held the summer preceding the Olympics, the Pan Am Games has featured some of the world's finest athletes from the 41 member nations of the Pan American Sports Organizations from North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.