Friday, October 14, 2011

J/24 Pan Am Games

J/24 one-design sailboats- so illegally supersonically fast, needs military escort! (Guadalajara, Mexico)- One week from today, hundreds of American athletes across the country will assemble in Houston en-route to the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Dan Rabin is a member of the US J/24 Team and had this early commentary before the event gets rolling:  "Sailing World is providing me with this forum to share my experience of being part of the U.S. Team as we compete in the J/24 Class in Puerto Vallarta.

It seems like ages ago that we won the U.S. Pan Am Games Trials at Davis Island YC last February. Our team for that regatta on Tampa Bay consisted of John Mollicone on the tiller, Tim Healy on tactics, Geoff Becker trimming, and me on the bow.

The Pan Am format for the J/24 is unique: the crew weight limit is trimmed from 882 pounds to 705 pounds, and the genoa is eliminated. The boat does feel remarkably better with the extra space on deck. As far as sailing with only a blade, the boat has plenty of power as soon as the breeze gets up to 8 knots or so.

The Trials was a battle between a group of class veterans including Robby Brown, Charlie Enright, Will Welles, and Flip Wehrheim. We were very fortunate to come out on top.  The imminence of the Games hit me one evening in mid-September when I found two representatives of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency standing on my porch. We've been subject to random drug testing since April 1, and sure enough, they finally paid each of us a visit in the span of a week. To the athletes who have to go through this ordeal on a regular basis, I salute you.

FORECAST: We recall it being a challenge to get updates from the 2007 Pan Am Games in Brazil. And it is always a challenge to get updates from Mexican regattas. Putting the two together and we could be in for some serious online silence. The Pan Am Games sailing events, which will include Men's Laser, Men's Windsurf, Women's Laser Radial, Women's Windsurf, Mixed Hobie 16, and Open J/24, Sunfish, Snipe, and Lightning, are scheduled for October 17-23."  Thanks for contributions from Dan Rabin/ Sailing World
For more Pan Am Sailing Games J/24 sailing information.   Sailing Photo Credits- Tim