Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games (Sailing): USA Reaches The Podium In Three Classes On First Medal Race Day


Pictured: Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla., center) won her third career Pan American Games medal in the Laser Radial, and her second gold.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Toronto, Canada – Team USA won a gold medal in the Laser Radial and took home bronze in the RS:X (Women) and 49erFX classes on the first of two days of medal races held at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. Racing was held for Olympic class boats on Saturday, and will continue in the non-Olympic classes on Sunday.

SEE ALSO: USA Takes Home Six Medals at Toronto 2015, Tied for Top Nation (Final Day Report)

Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) has now medaled at three consecutive Pan American Games, having won gold at Rio de Janeiro 2007,  bronze at Guadalajara 2011 and now gold again at Toronto 2015. In addition to being a significant career milestone for the accomplished Olympic athlete, it also represents another step on a long climb back to the top of the fleet. “We’re starting to see the rewards of all the work we’re putting into this campaign. After my training accident a year ago, I had some broken bones and was pretty stitched up,” said Railey. “Some doctors said it would be six months before I could sail again. With their help though, I was back in my boat in six weeks, bandages and all. From that point, I’ve been building my strength back up. It wasn’t until January of this year that I could handle lines effectively.”

Railey also noted that her experiences at the Pan Am Games have provided a significant boost to her sailing career since she began campaigning in the Laser Radial. “This is a meaningful and symbolic event, since its a ‘Games,’ but also because it’s really similar [in format] to the Olympics. Here, you have a small but good fleet. It’s also a great event to practice dealing with the nerves that you feel racing the the Olympics. Winning [in Toronto] was the goal, and we embraced the pressure.”


Pictured: Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.) pause to salute a large and supportive crowd after the medal race on Saturday.

In the 49erFX, Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.) won their first career medal in the women’s skiff, which is one of the newest Olympic classes. The pair have seen a rapid rise through the ranks of the international fleet within the past year, and show no signs of slowing down. “We are really happy with the improvement in all aspects of our light air sailing. We came to Toronto early to really focus on performing well at this event,” said Scutt. “After lots of additional coaching [from regular coach Ramon Oliden] in the recent past, it was great to have an event with [US Sailing Team Sperry Senior Olympic Coach] Luther Carpenter, who coached us at the beginning of our campaign. Luther has watched us grow from the beginning, so for him to see us performing under pressure and make it to the podium here was special.” Henken and Scutt missed a silver medal by just a single boat length at the finish line of the medal race, narrowly losing a close battle with the World Champion team of Martine Soffiati Grael and Kahena Kunze of Brazil.


Pictured: Henken and Scutt with US Sailing Team Sperry Senior Olympic Coach Luther Carpenter (2nd from left) and Josh Adams (right), Managing Director of US Olympic Sailing.

Marion Lepert (Belmont, Calif.) also experienced a thrilling medal race, as she battled with Maria Mackern of Argentina for bronze in a race that saw each athlete take the lead at various stages. “At the first windward mark I was first, but not by much,” said Lepert, who recently finished second in the Under-21 Division of the highly competitive RS:X European Championship. “I missed a lay line and then sailed into a [wind] hole, which allowed the Argentinian sailor to get ahead of me, but I caught her on the second downwind.” Josh Adams, the Managing Director of US Olympic Sailing, was watching from a nearby coach boat. “Marion had excellent speed, and totally nailed her lay line on the second downwind. We had the best breeze today that we’ve had all week, and she got to show her skills.” Lepert said that after a hard week of battling in light air, she was gratified to come away with a medal. “This is the most hard-fought result of my career so far. I’ve never physically worked so hard at a regatta in my life.”


Pictured: Marion Lepert (Belmont, Calif.), RS:X class.

In addition to medal race successes, Team USA also experienced some heartbreak on Saturday, as North American Laser Champion Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.), who had been among the class leaders all week in Toronto, finished 4th overall, just missing the podium. “All of my pre-race homework was telling me that the left side would be way favored in the medal race,” said Buckingham. “I won the pin, and was controlling the left-side pack early in the race. I had to beat Parkhill (Canada) to get bronze, and was able to force him off to the right side of the course. I thought there was no way he’d be able to come back from that, but a pretty big right-side shift came through and he did well. After he got in front of me, he was able to play defense for most of the rest of the race.” Buckingham never dropped below the top five overall in Toronto despite the unpredictable conditions, and said he had few regrets about his regatta. “It’s easy to second guess yourself in the aftermath, but that’s part of sport. Next time we’ll do better.”

Medal racing at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games will continue on Sunday, July 19, in the Lightning, Snipe, Hobie 16, Sunfish and J/24 classes.

Current Standings (Pending Protests): Full Results 

Laser Radial Women: FINAL

  • 1st, Paige Railey, USA, 50 points
  • 2nd, Fernanda Coelho, Brazil, 64 points
  • 3rd, Dolores Moreira, Uruguay, 64 points


  • 1st, Patricia Freitas, Brazil, 15 points
  • 2nd, Demita Vega, Mexico, 20 points
  • 3rd , Marion Lepert, USA, 44 points

49er FX: FINAL

  • 1st, Travascio/Branz, Argentina, 36 points
  • 2nd, Soffiati Grael/Kunze, Brazil, 43 points
  • 3rd, Henken/Scutt, USA, 47 points

Laser Men: FINAL

  • 1st, Juan Maegli, Guatemala, 39 points
  • 2nd, Robert Scheidt, Brazil, 47 points
  • 3rd, Lee Parkhill, Canada, 53 points
  • 4th, Charlie Buckingham, USA, 57 points

Hobie 16: 

  • 1st, Castillo/Van Blerk, Guatemala, 26 points
  • 2nd, Modderman/Modderman, USA, 33 points
  • 3rd, Figueroa/Ortega, Puerto Rico, 42 points


  • 1st, Fracchia/Salerno/Conte, Argentina, 21 points
  • 2nd, Coplan/Prior/Patten, USA, 31 points
  • 3rd, Biekark/Ficker/Hackerott, Brazil, 33 points


  • 1st, Rios/Pacheco, Puerto Rico, 18 points
  • 2nd, Soubie/Lipszyc, Argentina, 30 points
  • 3rd, Diaz/Tocke, USA, 36 points


  • 1st, Luke Ramsay, Canada, 30 points
  • 2nd Jonathan Mawyin, Ecuador, 38 points
  • 3rd, Joao Hackerott, Brazil, 44 points
  • 4th, Andres Sorucco, Chile, 45 points
  • 5th, Conner Blouin, USA, 56 points


  • 1st, Ricardo do Santos, Brazil, 25 points
  • 2nd, David Teran, Mexico, 32 points
  • 3rd, Mariano Reutemann, Argentina, 33 points
  • 4th, Daniel Perez, Venezuela, 49 points
  • 5th, Zac Plavsic, Canada, 59 points
  • 6th, Carson Crain, USA, 70 points

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

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.