I spent Saturday sanding the Sled in a classic rock-induced trance, and I learned a little more about the boat's legacy.
It was "double-shot weekend" on 98.5 WNCX, Cleveland's Classic Rock—perfect music for sanding. I turned the Panasonic to loud, grabbed a few sheets of 240 grit and a foam sanding block, slipped on my Musto kneepads, and crawled into the bow of the Sled, my dad's Thistle, which I'm in the process of rehabbing in his garage.
Teams from the United States and Brazil battled in the final race for the gold medal in the J/24 class at the 2011 Pan Am Games. Brazil was able to sneak away on a foul and pass one boat to secure the gold.
The Pan Am Games didn't end exactly the way the author wanted, but it was still an incredible experience
I mentioned in my last post that the points were shaping up such that we could see some interesting scenarios, and that was certainly the case. On Thursday, we went after Brazil in the prestart in race 8. Since we had a better drop race than them, we could extend our lead if we forced them into another bad race. We had a great start to windward of them and were able to pin them out to the un-favored side.
Patrick Rynne coaches sailing at Florida's Lauderdale YC.
Ask yourself these three simple questions. Your answers could lend a new, stress-free focus to your racing.
Everybody called him “Sully.” In retrospect, it wasn't a particularly creative nickname for a Massachusetts sailor, but with him it really fit. Sully raced J/24s at my local club, drank tons of beer, always laughed, and was the coolest sailor I knew. Nearly 20 years later, I can still picture how Floridays, the name on his boat's transom, stood out to me from my Optimist-level vantage point. But Sully's words, passed down to him from his father, struck me the most. I was about 10 years old, had just won one of my first regattas, and he yanked me aside.
It looks like champagne sailing, but it's mighty hot on the water at the Pan Am Games. And the pressure in only increasing as the medal race approaches.
An off day gives the U.S. sailors a chance to spend some time in the one place hotter than a J/24 deck on a light downwind run.
We were rewarded with a day off on Thursday because the regatta is on schedule with six races completed. Wednesday was the lightest breeze of the regatta. The puffs were very narrow, making for some challenging racing. With the breeze so light, the heat felt even more extreme. Puerto Vallarta travel tip: no need to bring sailing gear here. If I wore a spray top, I would be unconscious by the leeward gate. We pulled a horizon job the first race and managed a 3rd in the next race.
The home team heads into the lay day in medal position in five classes.
NUEVO VALLARTA, Mexico (October 19, 2011) – Heading into the scheduled “lay day,” Team USA leads in the Lightning and the J/24 classes and stands in medal position in three others through six races of the Pan American Games sailing regatta at the Vallarta Yacht Club.
In addition to the two leaders, the U.S. stands second in the Snipe and Sunfish classes and third in the RS:X Women’s (Windsurfer) class.
Ruminations on cool-down runs and pin trading from steamy Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
We had a nice cross-class dinner after the first day of sailing with the Lightning team and Clay Johnson. I learned that Farrah Hall, the U.S. boardsailor went for a run while waiting for her redress hearing. Boardsailing must be one of the most intense physical activities on the planet, and Farrah goes for a run to cool down! I explained to Jay Lutz that if I ran from our dinner table to the restaurant door I would probably go into cardiac arrest.
Team USA is on top in the Snipe, Lightning, and Sunfish classes at the 2011 Pan Am Games
NUEVO VALLARTA, Mexico (October 18, 2011) — Racing in light-wind conditions, Team USA enjoyed a successful day two of the Pan American Games sailing regatta Tuesday at the Vallarta Yacht Club. Through four races, the U.S. holds or shares the lead in three classes — Lightning, Snipe and Sunfish. [Ed.'s note: Not sure where the error came in but it appears, according to the results, that the U.S. J/24 team is also tied for first, with 7 points. Brazil has 7 points as well.
Dan Rabin (on the bow) and the rest of Team USA take one of their two wins on Day 1 of the 2011 Pan Am Games Regatta in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
A pair of ones is no fun when you're starting a round of craps. But at the front end of a regatta, nothing looks better than the beginning of a picket fence.
To start, I thought I’d share a couple of things I learned from the USA Daily publication we receive every morning. There are over 6,000 athletes competing from 42 countries in the Pan Am Games – 617 from the US. In 11 of the sports, U.S. athletes are competing for a berth in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Rehabbing my father's wooden Thistle should be a relatively simple task. Or, at least, it would be for anyone but me.
I'm not a handy person. I mean, I'm not totally helpless with a toolbox, but I've never been Mr. Fix It. I just don't have that mechanical ability that comes naturally to some people, like my friend Billy. Recently, a chain saw seized up on me. It had been working fine—I had the right mix of gas and oil in the tank, and the chain was well lubricated. But one day, I went to pull the cord, and it just wouldn't budge.
Before the Pan Am Games regatta starts, the author is racking up new experiences, including a deluge of free swag, and some big cats in cages.
I thought our rendezvous in Houston for “athlete processing” might turn into an extended stay, given Hurricane Jova’s predicted path and force. By the way, “processing” is athlete speak for Christmas in October. We received an absurd amount of gear from Nike and some additional cool stuff from Atlantis.