Next October, Augie Diaz and Kathleen Tocke will represent their country. In a Snipe.
No, this isn’t a late April Fool’s joke about the Olympics coming nine months ahead of schedule. Augie and Kathleen will be participating in the Pan American Games, which have taken place every four years since 1951 as Olympic practice games for athletes from the Americas. Guadalajara, Mexico will be the host city this year, and 36 sports will be represented.
The Pan Am Games include a few sports that don't make the Olympic cut: baseball, softball, team handball, and water skiing, for example. Only four of the nine sailing disciplines (men’s/women’s windsurfing and Laser/Radial) will be held in current Olympic equipment. The other five represent a smattering of one design classics: Sunfish, Snipe, Lightning, Hobie 16, and J/24.
Lauderdale Yacht Club hosted the Snipe Pan Am Trials last weekend, and they ran a fantastic event. Great racing in a range of conditions combined with relaxing social events every evening, raising the bar for future regattas. Longtime Snipe class members (and 1996 National Champions) Peter and Connie Commette co-chaired the event, though Peter bowed out of any organizational role over the weekend so he could compete without distraction. Sailing with Nikki Medley, he finished 5th overall and won race two.
As for winning skipper Augie Diaz, you might call him the defending champion; he went to the 2007 Pan Am Games with Tracy Smith, but they finished out of the medal hunt. “I didn’t prepare enough,” he said. “This time I will do all I can. It’s an honor to represent my country.”
2011 Snipe Pan Am Trials results
Photos courtesy John Payne Photography
For results from other Pan Am Trials, visit the USSailing Pan American Games web page.