PARACAS Peru—Laser Sailor Thad Lettsome is having a tough time making his debut in the 18th Pan Am Games Laser sailing competition in Paracas, Peru.
After races were cancelled on Saturday because of a lack of consistent breeze, Sunday’s first of two races was cancelled for the same reason.
“At least they’re waiting for consistent breeze to sail,” Lettsome said after the Sunday morning cancellation was announced. “The worst is to sail in shifty breeze. It’s up and down, you’re waiting out there in the cold or the heat, so this is the best that they can do. I was ready to go, same as yesterday, same time and we figured the same thing would happen today, but we still wanted to stick to the same schedule. I’ve never had it where I’ve not sailed the first day, I’ve had it happened on other days, but this is something new.”
The cancellation of the first three races Lettsome said, doesn’t change the dynamics of the event.
‘You just need to make sure you’re not getting too anxious or too nervous or anything like that,” he noted. “Besides that, it doesn’t change much.”
Then about 1:25 p.m., word came from the Race Committee that there would be a race and a buzz was in the air as the various classes of boats were launched, riggings fixed, life jackets were strapped on and everyone was on their way to the course.
As he headed to the dock, Coach Alec Anderson said he hoped there would be a race.
“They could be sending us out just to try to they don’t get complaints,” he said. “Yesterday we didn’t (have a race) it could go either way right now, but at least we’re trying and we’ll see what happens.”
All 22 countries—some with boats in the three classes on this particular course—hitched their crafts and headed out to the course just before 2:00 p.m. They patiently waited, the Race Committee shifted further south hoping for the breeze to fill in but none came and at 4:55 p.m., the second race on the second day was called off and sailors headed back to the Paracas shore, to park and dismantle their boats and hit the gym.
“As the Race Committee, it’s pretty hard to please everyone and a day like today, you’re gonna hear feedback, either which way we go about things,” Anderson said. “If we stayed on shore, you would have had coaches complaining that we didn’t try and go out and if you go out and don’t have racing, you’ll have coaches complaining that you went out. Either way you skin the Cat, the Race Committee going to hear something about it. I think they at least had to try. We were on the verge of getting a race off but there weren’t stable conditions. It was pretty light and just wasn’t good enough for us.”