Find the silver lining >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

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The Tokyo 2020 Olympics were always going to be a search for the US team to find the silver lining. Among the ten events, there were no favorites for medals and a longshot. The six highlights of Rio 2016 now had either aging veterans or new activists. It has been a year of construction… once again.

Completing the Medal Race in just three events, the United States will need continuity and greater depth to improve for Paris 2024, but two bright spots for the United States emerged during the Games of the XXXII Olympiad. :

Windsurf board for men – RS: X:
Pedro Pascual (Miami, FL) won the 2015 RS: ONE European Championship before taking gold at the 2016 RS: X World Championships en route to the 2016 Rio Olympics where he finished in 28th place.

As his second Olympics approached, Pascual had little threat to the United States other than a desire to do better. He did, finishing sixth in his first race for a career Olympic medal and finishing Tokyo 2020 ninth overall. His top 10 ranking is an American surfer’s best Olympic result since Mike Gebhardt’s 1988 and 1992 medal-winning performances.

“I’m really happy with my performance,” said Pascual. “In Rio, I was only 20 years old. I was the youngest of the entire RS: X fleet. In this situation, you feel small compared to the legends you are sailing against. So now I know I’m on the same level as them.

“I was able to handle the pressure this week and everything that comes with the Olympics. It’s just a different event from anything else. I was able to find my speed and gain self-confidence. Of course, it can always be better. Right now I see my mistakes and I certainly could have been higher up there. But overall I’m happy with my performance, happy with the way I sailed and it was a great experience.

© Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17:
The American field had some depth and experience, but when the crews revamped for the Tokyo 2020 quad, it opened the door for newcomers Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, CA) and Anna Weis (Fort Lauderdale, FL) to emerge for their first Olympics. But after finishing 14th (2019) and 17th (2020) at the World Championships, they had yet to master the international standard.

However, having just started their campaign three years ago, they posted an excellent performance in their Olympic medal race to cap a rapid rise through the ranks of the Nacra 17, finishing third in the final to finish ninth overall. in Tokyo 2020.

“I think our strength for the week was our ability to rally and reset after a bad race or mistakes,” said Weis. “Having that in our back pocket, and being able to reset and really move forward and focus on one race at a time has really helped us and allowed us to compete every moment.”

Gibbs was quick to mention that a key part of their ability to become competitive in the international fleet was a strong group of teams returning to the United States. “We had amazing training partners like Bora Gulari, Louisa Chafee, Helena Scutt, Sarah Newberry, David Liebenberg, Ravi Parent and Caroline Atwood. To do the Medal Race here is an accomplishment, and to be able to say that they really helped us, I think, is really special. They should feel connected to it.

Weis also expressed hope that seeing the visually dynamic foiled multihulls on NBC at home would boost the sport in the United States. who, in addition to her multihull credentials, was the 2016 single-handed national champion in Laser Radial.

“I think sometimes girls hesitate to [mixed gender sailing]. But I think the mixed aspect creates a really fun and uplifting dynamic. So I hope this will inspire more women to get involved.

© Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Tokyo 2020 Details – Race Info – Results – How to Watch

The racing program is staggered for the ten sailing events from July 25 to August 4.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s single-seater sailing dinghy – ILCA 7
Women’s single-seater sailing dinghy – ILCA 6
Men’s two-seater sailing dinghy – 470
Women’s two-seater sailing dinghy – 470
Men’s single scull – 49er
Women’s single scull – 49erFx
Single-person heavy dinghy for men – Finn
Windsurfing for men – RS: X
Windsurfing for women – RS: X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Original dates: July 24 to August 9, 2020
Revised dates: July 23 to August 8, 2021

Source: Scuttlebutt, US Sailing


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