Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games (Sailing): USA Leads Three Classes After Day One


Pictured: Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.), Laser class.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Toronto, Canada – The first races of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games have been completed on Lake Ontario. One race was finished for each class in light and variable conditions, and the US Pan American Sailing Team has taken the lead in the Laser, Lightning and Hobie 16 classes.

In the Laser, Rio 2016 hopeful and US Sailing Team Sperry (national team) athlete Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) started in a tight pack towards the pin end of the starting line in the first race, but an early escape onto port tack gave him a clear lane and room to carve out an early lead. “After a good start, I was able to sail my own race, and take a first [place],” said Buckingham. The two-time College Sailor of the Year and North American Champion added that he was enjoying hist first immersion in a “Games” atmosphere as an athlete. “It’s cool to meet athletes in other sports, hear their stories and learn from each other. But the best part is representing Team USA.”


The USA Lightning team pre-race on Day One of Toronto 2015.

In the Lightning and Hobie 16 classes, US sailors also succeeded in posting wins in the opening races. Both teams are new to the Pan Am Games, and expressed satisfaction at performing well despite a long wind delay. “We had to do a lot of waiting on shore and on the water, but we had a patient race committee, and it paid off,” said Lightning skipper Justin Coplan (Nyack, N.Y.). “We had a good start and kept good position.” Coplan’s teammates for the event are Danielle Prior (Mechanicsburg, Penn.) and Caroline Patten (Barnegat Light, N.J.). The Hobie 16 team of Mark Modderman (Long Branch, N.J.) and Grace Modderman (Rumson, N.J.) noted that their focus is already on Day Two, despite today’s successes. “We’ve got to keep cool, and keep our heads together tomorrow,” said Mark Modderman, the skipper.


USA Hobie 16 team takes the win in light air on Day One of Toronto 2015.

Two-time Pan Am Games medalist Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) took 3rd in her only race. “I’m trying to get good scores early and sail a consistent event from start to finish,” said the Laser Radial World Champion. “Our second race was abandoned, and I was battling for first in that, so I feel good so far.”

Racing continues on Monday, July 13 (Day Two) at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. Two races are scheduled to be held each day in the Laser, Laser Radial, Sunfish, Snipe, Lightning and Hobie 16 classes. Three races per day will be held in RS:X Men, RS:X Women and 49erFX classes. The first races of the day are scheduled to start at 11:30AM local time. A medal race will be held for each class, which will count for double points.

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

Results: Toronto 2015 U.S. Pan American Sailing Team:

Full results

Laser Men: 

  • 1st overall, Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.)

Hobie 16: 

  • 1st overall, Mark Modderman (Long Branch, N.J.) and Grace Modderman (Rumson, N.J.)


  • 1st overall, Justin Coplan (Nyack, N.Y.), Danielle Prior (Mechanicsburg, Penn.) and Caroline Patten (Barnegat Light, N.J.)

49er FX: 

  • 2nd overall, Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.)

Laser Radial Women: 

  • 3rd overall, Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)

RS:X Women: 

  • 4th overall, Marion Lepert (Belmont, Calif.)

RS:X Men:

  • 5th overall, Carson Crain (Houston, Texas)


  • 7th overall, Augie Diaz (Miami, Fla.) and Kathleen Tocke (Buffalo, N.Y.)


  • 8th 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.

Pan Am Games Media Guide:

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

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