Pascual Remains Top of the Fleet; U.S. Laser sailors

Paige Railey continued to struggle on the second day of racing in Tokyo.

Paige Railey continued to struggle on the second day of racing in Tokyo. (World Sailing/Sail/)

SAILING REPORT FROM WORLD SAILING’S ANDY RICE

The US Sailing Team continued to be paced by Men’s RS:X athlete Pedro Pascual (Miami, Fla.), who retained his top-10 position through six races. Pascual logged scores of 9,5,15 and noted that guessing where the next band of breeze would appear was key to racing near the front of the fleet today. “The conditions were interesting, to say the least,” said Pascual. “There were huge shifts and wind gusts, and it was all about staying in pressure. I managed to do pretty well, especially the first and second races, just [in terms of] the feeling the pressure and playing out in the front of the pack.”

With the wind dropping in the later races of the day, and with ocean swells populating the course, the board athletes found themselves in marginal planing conditions. Pumping became crucial to boatspeed, and the athletic challenge of sailing in an Olympic windsurfing event was on full display. “RS:X racing is one of the most physical events here,” said Pascual. “You get huge speed changes between pumping or not pumping. With the big swells, the goal was to pump as much as possible. We could surf waves today on the upwind legs, and staying on those waves as long as possible through pumping hard was key. On the downwinds, you’re able to go a little lower and faster if you’re pumping. So, it was a pretty physical day and working to manage those loads on the race was very important…

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