>We are here in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with 16 athletes and 4 staff making up the USA Pan American Sailing Team. Diversity of the classes sailing is refreshing with the strong one-design classes of the Lightning, Hobie 16, J/24, Snipe and Sunfish accompanied by the Olympic Class Laser, Radial and RS:X. The team gathered in Houston for team processing on Tuesday and met other USA athletes going to Guadalajara. We were fortunate to arrive on time to Mexico, after Hurricane Jova dissipated as it hit land. Needless to say, we were extra cautious with our travel plans, as the concept of flying into a hurricane isn’t top priority unless you are a storm chaser.
|John Williams and Greg Thomas
It is great to see all of our sailors preparing for these Games in the trying temperatures. Lots of fluids, sunscreen and shade are essentials for everyone as they get through measurement, registration and go sailing. Vallarta Yacht Club and Paradise Village are great venue hosts for this event and are treating everyone very well.
A few members of our team traveled to opening ceremonies where Mexico put on quite an event. It was broadcast at Club Nitro in the PV village. We were able to see our sailors in the parade of athletes and for many, that brought the Games into perspective. Even though all of our sailors couldn’t participate because of the distance from Guadalajara, there were smiles and cheers for USA as they entered the stadium under “E” for Estados Unidos. It was energizing and we tip our hat to Mexico for putting on a great event.
Today should be the first solid day for sailing as both tropical storms have left the immediate area. We have a great team and will be sending updates throughout the competition.
Hasta luego y feliz navegación,
USA Team Manager
2011 Pan Am Games