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US Sailing Team at the Pan American Games - Overall

by US Sailing Team 5 Nov 2023 02:10 GMT October 28 - November 5, 2023
US Sailing Team - Santiago 2023 - Pan American © US Sailing Team

As the final day of the Pan Am Games sailing event comes to a close with medal races in seven classes, Team USA continues their success with four more medals. This brings the total US Sailing Team medal count to nine: four gold, three silver, and two bronze. Team USA is also leaving Algarrobo with the most medals and the most Gold medals of the 27 participating countries.

In the ILCA 6 and Lightning, athletes were able to sail today's medal races with peace of mind knowing they had already clinched gold on points alone. Throughout the event, Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) outpaced the competition in the ILCA 6, winning seven of the ten series races as well as the medal race. Reineke has been putting in the work at the gym and in physical therapy as she mends from an injury early this year, preparing for her Olympic circuit regattas and upcoming Trials.

"It feels great to win gold for Team USA. With the team here, the vibes have been amazing. I'm just happy to be here and compete!" said Reineke, who also celebrated her 30th birthday as she accepted the ILCA 6 gold. "I want to give a big thanks to my coach Eric back home. We've been working together since I got back in the ILCA 6. This result is proof we're going in the right direction."

Allan Terhune Jr. (Annapolis, MD), Sarah Chin (Harvey Cedars, NJ), and Madeline Baldridge (Charleston, SC) brought home Gold in the Lightning, ending a 24-year drought for the US Lightning discipline at Pan Ams. While this is Terhune's first appearance at the Pan Am games, he has come runner-up at the US Pan Am Trials four times.

"The three of us put together a plan last fall, executed, and got the best possible result," said Terhune. "I feel really lucky to have partnered with this crew."

"There are times in the sport when things just come together, and since we've started sailing together, we've seen more and more of these moments," continued crew Sarah Chin. "Being able to say we performed at our very best here is a huge accomplishment for us and I feel really proud of our team and what we've been able to do. This is where sailing is really a team sport and it's been awesome to get the energy from the rest of the US team. Honestly, this has been the best regatta of my entire life!"

The Snipe and Nacra 17 classes round out today's medals, with both classes achieving silver after their respective medal races. Sarah Newberry-Moore (Miami, FL) and David Liebenberg (Richmond, Calif.) locked in a medal on points after day six of racing, but their second-place finish in the medal race solidified their silver medal position. By finishing as the top North American country, Newberry-Moore and Liebenberg qualified the country in the Nacra 17 at the 2024 Olympics.

"Getting to represent the US is what we've been working toward basically our entire adult lives," said Liebenberg about the prospect of winning selection and racing in Marseille next year. "Both of us started campaigning right out of college so it's been almost a ten year journey, so that's the goal."

The Pan Am games were full of ups and downs for the Snipe team of Ernesto Rodriguez (Miami, FL) and Kathleen Tocke (Buffalo, NY). Rodriguez, who won gold at the 2019 Pan Am Games, got off to a rough start with an OCS in race three. However, the duo was able to climb back up the scoreboard, culminating with a win in the medal race.

"We didn't start the championship well, but we did the best we could. We fought hard in the last four races, and then winning the medal race was a bit of a consolation," said Rogriguez. "Thanks to my super crew Kathleen: it was a tough week, and we weren't sailing exactly the way we wanted, but it worked out - second is pretty good!"

"The points were so close in our fleet today it was anyone's game. Everyone who made it to the medal race had won a race this week so it was really the best of the best," added crew Kathleen Tocke.

Next, athletes in Olympic classes will turn their attention to finishing up outstanding country qualifications to get a full slate of USA berths in Paris. For all classes except Women's Formula Kite, athletes will also enter final preparations for domestic trials and international selection.

Highlights:

  • Alan Terhune, Madeline Baldridge, and Sarah Chin win Gold in the Lightning - This marks the first time the USA has won gold in the Lightning class in 24 years
  • Erika Reineke wins gold in the ILCA 6
  • Ernesto Rodriguez and Kathleen Tocke win silver in the Snipe class
  • Sarah Newberry-Moore and David Liebenberg win silver in the Nacra 17 and qualify the US for the 2024 Olympics in the Nacra 17
  • Connor Blouin finishes 5th overall in the Men's Sunfish after placing 5th in the medal race
  • Chapman Petersen finishes 13th overall in the ILCA 7
  • Amanda Callahan finishes 8th overall in the Women's Sunfish
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