Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games (Sailing): Buckingham (USA) Strikes Back, One Day Left Before Medal Races


Pictured: Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.), scored a win and two seconds in the Laser on Day Five at Toronto 2015.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Toronto, Canada – After five days of full-fleet racing at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, Team USA is battling for the lead in the Laser Radial, Laser, Lightning and Hobie 16, and is in podium position in the Snipe, RS:X (Women) and 49erFX. Tomorrow will be the final day of regular competition before medal racing takes place on Saturday and Sunday in front of fans and spectators on the city harbor front.

Regatta leader Paige Railey had some stressful moments in the Laser Radial fleet on Day Five, and at times found herself near the back of the pack. However, her extensive experience prevailed, and she fought to earn a 2,4,6 scoreline. This kept her overall points lead intact. “Today was tough, but I hung on,” said the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year. “It was choppy, but with consistent pressure and current across the course. This caused the whole fleet to arrive at marks at almost the same time. It’s been a long time since I’ve been part of races like that. I’m sure my coach was pretty stressed, but I was happy to survive. It’s also great to see our team doing well so far this week.” Railey leads Delores Moreira (Uruguay) by eight points in the standings.

Laser athlete Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) rebounded after a tough series yesterday. The two-time College Sailor of the Year scored 1,2,2 in three races to jump up into the top three overall. “Yesterday was tough, but I ingested some information about the venue. Today was much better. It’s good to rely on your instincts, but you also need to know the facts,” said Buckingham. When asked about his personal expectations for this event, he noted that big goals are achieved by accomplishing smaller ones on a daily basis. “At any Games like this, the goal is a medal. But I can’t think too much about that yet. I need to focus on sailing well, and pushing myself hard until the end of the event. The competition here is tough.” Buckingham is now in 2nd overall, and tied with Brazilian Olympic legend Robert Scheidt, who owns five Olympic medals and nine Laser World Championship titles. Leading the fleet by seven points is the Guatemalan London 2012 Olympian Juan Maegli.


Pictured: Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.), 49erFX class.

49erFX athletes Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.) won the day’s final race, and are currently in 3rd overall. “Every single point counts at this event, and so you need to stay in touch with your competitors,” said Scutt, a First Team Academic All-American and Sailing Team Captain while at Stanford University. “Today we were happy to have some more breeze. We were able to figure out the conditions, and are continually improving our small-fleet tactics.”

There was a shakeup in the standings in the Hobie 16 multihull fleet, but the father-daughter combination of Mark Modderman (Long Branch, N.J.) and Grace Modderman (Rumson, N.J.) remained in 2nd overall despite the unpredictably light conditions. “We had a consistent day,” said Mark Modderman, the skipper. “The leaders dropped down, and now we have new ones, but we stayed where we were. The US Sailing-provided coaching has been a main reason for our competitiveness at this event. Luther [Carpenter] and Mark [Littlejohn] have given us a lot, and elevated our game. Additionally, they have made us feel like part of the team with the Olympic-class athletes they are coaching.” Carpenter is a four-time Olympic medal winning coach for the USA, while Littlejohn has coached British and Dutch sailors to medals. Both currently work as coaches for the US Sailing Team Sperry, the national team.


Pictured: Mark Modderman (Long Branch, N.J.) and Grace Modderman (Rumson, N.J.), Hobie 16 class.

In the Snipe, two-time World Champion Augie Diaz (Miami, Fla.) and Kathleen Tocke (Buffalo, N.Y.) remained in 3rd after scores of 2,7,2. “In the 2nd race we saw the individual recall flag go up, and incorrectly believed it was for us, so we re-started,” said Diaz. “So that was unfortunate. But other than that I was happy with our day. We usually sail our best in stronger breeze, and at venues that aren’t as shifty. So considering all of that, we are doing pretty well I think.”


Pictured: Augie Diaz (Miami, Fla.) and Kathleen Tocke (Buffalo, N.Y.), currently 3rd overall in the Snipe Class at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.

The American lightning also had a consistent day, with a 2,2,2 scoreline. The team of Justin Coplan (Nyack, N.Y.), Danielle Prior (Mechanicsburg, Penn.) and Caroline Patten (Barnegat Light, N.J.) is now just four points out of the lead. “We sailed on the inner harbor course today, and were happy with how it went. Sometimes on that course, you had to sail through a header to get in position for the next pressure increase. We are working well together as a team.”

Racing continues on Friday, July 17 (Day Six) at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. The first races of the day are scheduled to start at 11:30AM local time. A medal race will be held at the end of the regatta for each class, which will count for double points.

Results: U.S. Pan American Sailing Team

Full results (pending protests)

Laser Radial Women: 

  • 1st overall, Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)

Laser Men: 

  • 2nd overall (tied with BRA), Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.)

Hobie 16: 

  • 2nd overall, Mark Modderman (Long Branch, N.J.) and Grace Modderman (Rumson, N.J.)


  • 2nd overall, Justin Coplan (Nyack, N.Y.), Danielle Prior (Mechanicsburg, Penn.) and Caroline Patten (Barnegat Light, N.J.)

49er FX: 

  • 3rd overall Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.)


  • 3rd overall, Augie Diaz (Miami, Fla.) and Kathleen Tocke (Buffalo, N.Y.)

RS:X Women: 

  • 3rd overall , Marion Lepert (Belmont, Calif.)

RS:X Men: 

  • 6th overall, Carson Crain (Houston, Texas)


  • 7th overall, Conner Blouin (Tampa, Fla.)

Athletes must be American citizens to qualify for the US Pan American Sailing Team. Since sailing was included in the Pan American Games in 1955, the United States has won 78 medals in sailing: 33 gold, 27 silver and 18 bronze.

Event Reports:


  • Saturday, July 11: Practices Races
  • July 12-17: Qualifying Races
  • July 18-19: Medal Races
  • July 20: Reserve Day

ESPN Broadcast:

ESPN and ESPN Deportes will offer an Olympic-style TV production and complete multi-platform coverage of the 2015 Pan American Games from Toronto, starting Friday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET with the Opening Ceremony live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and with replays available on ESPN3.

ESPN3 will carry 580 hours of Pan American Games programming, with live access to almost every competition in more than 15 different sports. While sailing will not be covered live, regatta updates will appear in event highlight reels during the broadcast.

See Also: More than Ten Ways to Follow the Pan American Games Toronto 2015 on ESPN and ESPN Deportes Platforms

Pan Am Games Media Guide:

Team USA (All Sports) Microsite:
US Pan American Sailing Team Daily Updates:
Sign Up for Updates: 
US Pan American Sailing Team Media Hub:
Photos (Daily):

About the Pan American Games

Held every four years in the year before the Olympic Games, the Pan American Games are the third largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games. The history of the Pan American Games dates back to 1951 when the Games were first hosted by Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 2015 Pan American Games mark the 17th celebration of the Pan American Sports Organization event. The U.S. has hosted the event twice, in Indianapolis in 1987 and Chicago in 1959.

About US Sailing

The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry. For more information, please visit

– end –

Press Contact: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager, US Sailing., +1 (978) 697-2384.