The USA's 13-member Pan Am Games Team-Sailing positioned themselves solidly during yesterday's two opening-day races on Andreas Bay.
Staged at Santo Domingo's Club Nautico, the Pan Am Games sailing competition is hosting a total of 114 sailors from 17 countries, sailing in seven classes (eight disciplines).
In the J/24 class, Tim HEALY (Newport, R.I.) with crew Nick JUDSON (Nantucket, Mass.), Gordon BORGES (Newport, R.I.) and Davenport CROCKER (Cohasset, Mass.) sailed to a tied first-place position with Brazil. Finishing scores of 1-2 kept them even in points with Brazil, which posted finishes of 2-1.
"We sailed conservatively today to learn about this rig and our setup,"
said Healy, explaining that his championship team typically sails the J/24 with a larger headsail and an additional crewmember. "We are allowed only a small jib at this event and four people."
Healy had predicted that the Brazilians would be tough competition, but he says it is too early to begin watching them hawkishly. "Tomorrow we will keep sailing to fine-tune our program,"
said Healy. "We'll worry later in the week about where we are with Brazil and the others."
Mistral sailor Lanee BUTLER (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) also had a strong start to her regatta with a 2-1 for three points to top Canadian Dominique VALLEE'S four point total. "I was really pleased to top the scoreboard, because I didn't know what to expect. Dominique has been training in Europe for two months, so she really came on strong. It's a real speed course because of the puffs and lulls. There aren't many shifts, so you just have to concentrate on getting to the breeze first and go fast all the time."
Ben RICHARDSON (Gloucester, Mass.) turned in a 5-3 to finish third overall. "I was getting out early and clean on the first beats,"
said Richardson,"but I fell back in both races. Once you lose ground in a small fleet, it's hard to gain it back."
In Sunfish, Jeff LINTON (Tampa, Fla.) had a "come from behind" third-place finish in race one and an eighth in race two to finish sixth overall. "I'm a middle-of-the-course kind of guy and today you had to get out on the edges,"
Snipe sailor Henry FILTER (Stevensville, Md.) agreed, saying the trick was to go "either all left or all right"
and manage the ocean swell with chop. He finished seventh overall, posting finishes of 6-6 with crew Lisa GRIFFITH (San Diego, Calif./Phillipsburg, N.J.). "The top six boats at the finish were within 30 seconds of each other, so it's really tough competition."
In Hobie 16s, the husband-and-wife team of Paul and Mary Ann HESS (Napa, Calif.) finished 5-6 for fifth overall, while Laser Radial sailor Sally BARKOW (Pine Lake, Wisc.) finished 4-4 for fifth overall as well. Peter WELLS (Newport Beach, Calif.) finished 7-6 and stands in seventh overall in Mistral Men's class.
"All in all, it was a good start to the regatta,"
said Head Coach Scott Ikle (Geneva, N.Y.). "We have a long way to go still, and we're very optimistic."
The event continues with two races both tomorrow and Wednesday. Thursday is a scheduled lay day with racing to resume Friday and continue through Sunday.
The Pan American Games, held every four years since their inception in 1951, are always held the summer preceding the Olympic Games and are attended by athletes from 42 nations in North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, who compete in 288 events across 35 sports. The event showcases all 28 Olympic sports and seven non-Olympic events.
Top 3 Results from Day 1
Hobie 16 Open (9 boats)
1. E. Figueroa, PUR, 2-2, 4
2. B. Arndt, BRA, 1-4; 5
3. J.I. Maegli, GUA, 3-3; 6
J/24 Open (11 boats)
1(t). M. Santa Cruz, BRA, 2-1; 3
1(t). Tim Healy/Davenport Crocker/Gordon Borges,/Nick Judson, USA, 1-2; 3
3. A. Gonzalez, CHI, 7-3; 10
Laser Male (15 boats)
1. Robert Scheidt, BRA, 1-1; 2
2. D.E. Romero, ARG, 2-2; 4
3. Ben Richardson, USA, 5-3; 8
Laser Radial Female (11 boats)
1. T.E. Calles, MEX 1-1; 2
2. K. Rasa, CAN, 2-3; 5
3. C. Bejar, BRA, 5-2; 7
Mistral Male (10 boats)
1. M. Galvan, ARG, 2-1; 3
2. K. Stittle, CAN, 1-2; 3
3. R. Santos, BRA, 3-3; 6
Mistral Female (7 boats)
1. Lanee Butler, USA, 2-1; 3
2. D. Vallee, CAN, 1-3; 4
3. C. Walther, ARG, 5-2; 7
Snipe Open (8 boats)
1. N. Manso, CUB, 3-1; 4
2. B. Amorim, BRA, 1-3; 4
3. S. Silveira, URU, 2-4; 6
Sunfish Open (11 boats)
1. M.H. Smith, BER, 2-3, 5
2. E. Cordero, VEN, 1-5; 6
3. P. Stanton, ISV, 4-4, 8