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Will Cyr nominated to represent USA in Formula Kites at the Pan American Games

by San Diego Yacht Club 2 Apr 14:42 BST
Will Cyr (USA) will be nominated for the Formula Kite event © Ashurst, VividImagex

Will Cyr (USA) will be nominated for the Formula Kite event at the 2019 Pan American Games this July in Peru. Cyr, along with four other USA competitors, battled it out for the qualifying spot as the top USA finisher in San Diego Yacht Club's Kiteboarding Spring Regatta and USA Pan Am Games Athlete qualifier, on March 29-31, 2019. Selection for the Pan Am Games is processed by the USOC after US Sailing nominates all of the athletes.

The five were joined by competitors representing four other countries. Representing Uruguay (URU), Nico Landauer took first overall in the regatta, followed by Cyr in second and Evan Heffernan in third, only five points below Cyr. Although Landauer won the regatta, Cyr was the top USA competitor, and secured his ride to Peru.

Cyr explained how it feels to be heading to the Pan American Games. "After the countless training hours the last few months, it feels amazing to see a real payoff to the hard work. I was the most clear minded and boatspeed focused for the first six races and it provided me a solid foundation for the rest of the event... By the second and third day, I was no longer focused on racing Nico Landauer, who already claimed a berth for Uruguay. Instead, I match raced Kai Calder and Evan Heffernan who equally deserved a spot in the Games - we pushed each other hard all weekend!"

A spot in the Pan American Games means logging as much training time on the water as possible. Cyr has been training to earn a spot in the Games extensively in 2018, specifically at the Hydofoil Pro Tour regatta venues in Mexico and San Francisco. For the past three months, Cyr has trained every day and logged at least 100 miles per week.

"The hours have certainly helped, but the real success I think is how I've reevaluated how I do a lot of things on the racecourse and reorganized my strategies. My sponsor, FLYSURFER Kiteboarding, also came in huge at the last minute by rush ordering me a new 21m kite just in time for this event," he started. "I plan to chase the wind most weekends to get to the breeziest conditions possible - to replicate the conditions I expect at the Games. It's something I've made a habit of doing for the last couple years as the wind dies down over the summer in San Diego."

The title "Spring Series" was especially accurate in San Diego this weekend. Nine kiteboarders launched off of Crown Cove State Beach in South San Diego Bay in 70 degree weather and perfect breezes averaging 12 kts with clear, sunny skies.

Day one started off with six races. Landauer and Cyr lead the field with a steady top finishes, trading firsts and seconds the majority of the time. Not far behind on day one was Kai Calder (USA), making his way into the top three a handful of times throughout the regatta.

Seven races were held on day two in the windiest conditions of the series with winds averaging 14 kts. Heffernan (USA) took his stand on the top of the scoresheet, pulling ahead of Cyr and Landauer in several races, continuing the trend in day three. Cyr was able to keep his spot in second place, but not without a fight from Heffernan taking three bullets. Landauer, however, finished first in four races on the last day, putting him 11 points in the lead. After six races on day three, 19 races had been sailed overall.

Landauer talks about his win. "Saturday's last set of races were what I needed to seal the first place and match race the second place rider to keep him behind. Sunday was the best day. It was all about having fun and going fast since I had a good lead. I ended up winning four out of five races... To win, I sailed fast and clean with the minimum mistakes. My coach, Artie Means, was a great help with keeping me focused and keeping me up with scores and strategy." Landauer will be heading to Italy at the end of the month for Worlds.

After the races on Saturday, the kiteboarders enjoyed a post-race social at host San Diego Yacht Club. Awards were held at Crown Cove State Beach on Sunday evening following the races.

See the final results here.

Find out more about the 2019 Pan American Games this in Lima, Peru here.

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