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Lettsome sets sail as Malone jumps into Pan Am Games action

Laser Sailor Thad A. Lettsome heading down wind during the first full day of Pan Am Games racing in Paracas, Peru. Photo: Dean H. Greenaway aka 'The Sportsman'
Dean H. Greenaway aka ‘The Sportsman’

LIMA, Peru, SA—Laser Sailor Thad A. Lettsome finally got the wind in his sail and made his debut in the 18th Pan Am Games sailing competition in Paracas, Peru yesterday, August 5, 2019 where he had two races, after the first two days of racing and four races were cancelled.

Lettsome, 17, the youngest in the competition, was 16th in his best race and completed the first series on 37 points.

“The start of the first race was great, 10/10, executed the plan perfectly, exactly what I wanted to do, but a few mistakes and a bit of an unlucky shift, put me way in the back and made it hard to come back up,” he explained. “The breeze got really light and shutting off. For the second race, we got back into it, had another great start—I had two good starts today—then I was in mid fleet for the whole race doing quite well in the new breeze. Then I lost probably three boats in the last leg of the race and that’s how I ended up 16th but I was racing quite well up until the end, so it could only get better now.”

Considering missing the first two days of racing, going out on Sunday and spending hours on the water, Coach Alec Anderson said he though Lettsome did a good job, with his age and experience to stay level headed.

“We did a great job of preparing for that first race and we did a wonderful job and he was right next to the person from Guatemala who ended up winning the race,” Anderson noted. “He had a couple bad breaks. It was a very light and tricky race where one mistake—especially against some of these guys who are the top Laser sailors in the world it costs you a lot—so he paid the price on those small mistakes which we discussed afterwards and let it go.”

Anderson said another good start in the second race, saw him rounding the mark in 12th position which was excellent with this fleet and his second race in the regatta, and lost a few on the final leg of the race.

‘It was a bad moment for his boat speed but ultimately a good rally,” Anderson stated. “We know where he stands, we know there’s a lot of potential and we know he has the ability to climb up the leader board every day, so that’s the plan.”

Chantel E. Malone hits Long Jump runway

Long Jumper Chantel E. Malone will make her 2nd Pan Am Games appearance at 6:30 pm VI time, in the second busiest day for VI athletes in the Games.

Malone finished fourth in 2015.

Tomorrow, Ashley N. Kelly will make her debut at 4:20 pm, followed by Eldred Henry at 7 pm.

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