Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games (Sailing): USA Takes the Lead in Laser and Radial


Pictured: Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), Laser Radial Pan Am Games regatta leader.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Toronto, Canada – Day Three of racing at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games saw American sailors in several classes demonstrate exceptional skill in the light air conditions of Lake Ontario. Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) and Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) took the lead in the Laser Radial and Laser classes, respectively, after posting wins in today’s lone race. Team USA is now in podium position in six of the nine classes it is competing in at Toronto 2015, and is in 4th in two more.

In the Laser Radial, Paige Railey said that the key to today’s racing was to avoid overcomplicating your strategy. “You had to be patient, and not make some kind of attempt to outsmart the fleet,” said the World Champion. “I just stayed relaxed, and realized that the shifts were happening regularly, but the pressure was changing at random. There were storm clouds around today that messed with the breeze. Nobody really knew what is happening on the course, so it didn’t make sense to split far from the fleet. I kept it close, but stayed ahead.” Railey will take a four point lead into Day Four.


Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.), leading race four in the Laser class.

Charlie Buckingham has excelled in light and shifty conditions for much of his career, and used all of that experience today as he won his second Laser race of the event. “I didn’t have a great start, but recovered quickly by being conservative and fast up the first beat,” said Buckingham. “I was helped out a bit when two of my closest competitors were flagged by the judges and had to spin. The other key to the race was my downwind speed, which was solid and helped me solidify a lead on the final run to the finish.”

Hobie 16 multihull sailors Mark Modderman (Long Branch, N.J.) and Grace Modderman (Rumson, N.J.) relinquished the overall lead with a pair of 4th place finishes on Day Three, but remain firmly in the hunt and only trail the Brazilian leaders by a single point. As many have found so far in Toronto, racing on the inner harbor course (there are two other courses farther out into the lake) proved to be tricky and unpredictable. “We were not starting well, but managed to come back a bit in both races,” said Mark Modderman, the skipper. “The comebacks were a testament to our speed. It’s tough in multihulls, because you really need to commit to one side of the racecourse. If you pick the wrong one, there’s really not much you can do other than to grit your teeth, stay with it, and go as fast as you can.”

In the Snipe class, 2011 Pan Am Games silver medalists Augie Diaz (Miami, Fla.) and Kathleen Tocke (Buffalo, N.Y.) two straight races out of the past three, and have vaulted up to 3rd overall after a slow start to the regatta. The veteran pair are no stranger to pressure-packed situations. Diaz won US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award in 2003, is a two-time Snipe World Champion and also was named US College Sailor of the Year. Tocke is a three-time Snipe North American Champion, a five-time US Snipe National Champion, and has made the US Sailing Team Sperry in an impressive three different Olympic classes (49erFX, RS:X, and Europe Dinghy) over the last four Olympic cycles.


Augie Diaz (Miami, Fla.) at the 2015 Pan American Games.

Racing continues on Wednesday, July 15 (Day Four) at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. Heavier wind is forecast for tomorrow.

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 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: 

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


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

Hobie 16: 

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


  • 3rd overall, Justin Coplan (Nyack, N.Y.), Danielle Prior (Mechanicsburg, Penn.) and Caroline Patten (Barnegat Light, N.J.)

49er FX: 

  • 3rd overall (tied for 2nd), Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.)

RS:X Women: 

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


  • 4th overall, Conner Blouin (Tampa, Fla.)

RS:X Men: 

  • 6th overall (tied for 5th), Carson Crain (Houston, Texas)

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:
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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

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