Who Will Win the J/24 Gold Medal?
September 20, 2011
The 2011 Pan Am Games are coming soon on October 16-23 at the Vallarta Yacht Club in the Paradise Village Marina of Nuevo Vallarta , Mexico. This was the site of the 2007 J/24 World Championship and the popular Copa Mexico regatta in 2010. The venue is known for consistent winds and conditions should be perfect.
Once again the J/24 will be part of the Pan Am Games, racing in a modified class legal format. Teams will consist of 4 sailors with a maximum weight of 320kg instead of the usual 400kg class standard. In addition, the J/24 will only carry main, jib and spinnaker – no genoas allowed. This modified set-up tends to reduce the boat speed aspects of the racing and emphasizes the tactical abilities of the teams.
Entry to the event is by qualification only and is limited to only seven countries from the western hemisphere. The countries qualified to compete in the 2011 event have been selected and include: ARG, BRA, CAN, CHI, MEX, PER and USA.
The question now is which team will take home the gold medal? An early favorite is Brazil with 2007 gold medal winner, Mauricio Santa Cruz at the helm. But the USA is represented strongly by John Mollicone who managed to beat Santa Cruz at the recent North American Championship.
The local favorite, Jorge Xavier Murrieta, of Mexico will certainly be a factor having trained at the regatta site several times recently. Or will it be the Canadian National Champion, Rossi Milev, who takes the gold. Or perhaps Luis Alberto Olcese of Peru could be a spoiler and take the victory.
An estimated 5,900 athletes from 42 countries are expected to compete in 36 sports at the 2011 Pan American Games, which will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico from Oct. 13-29. The sailing competition will be held at the Vallarta Yacht Club in the Paradise Village Marina of Nuevo Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta. The Pan American Games are held every four years, historically one year before the Olympic Games. The first Pan American Games were held in 1951 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
For more information on the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, visit the event website: http://www.guadalajara2011.org.mx/eng/03_deportes/deportes_en_guadalajara2011.asp?id_dep=27