Cayman sailor’s debut Pan Am races postponed

Races finally begin Monday afternoon

Cayman’s Jesse Jackson waited for two and a half days to compete in his first sailing race at the Pan Am Games.

Jackson, 20, and his coach Raphael Harvey arrived at the sailing venue in Paracas, around four hours south of the Athletes Village in Lima, on Wednesday. Jackson was scheduled to begin his five-day sailing competition, in his Laser Standard, on Saturday, but weather conditions intervened.

Initially, he was slated  to sail in the Men’s Dinghy races on Saturday and Sunday, followed by a rest day on Monday, and then three more days of sailing on 6‑8 Aug. For this regatta, the top 50% of the fleet will progress to the medal race, originally scheduled for Friday, 9 Aug.

Saturday’s race was postponed due to the lack of wind on the sailing course. The sailors tried again on Sunday. After a two-hour delay, again because of no wind, they were given the green light to launch and proceeded to the sailing course, 3km off the shoreline, only to wait in the water for more than three hours before organisers announced, because of a lack of wind, the race again would not go ahead.

Races on Monday morning were again postponed. The sailors gathered at 12:30pm, and the race finally started mid-afternoon. It was under way at press time but no results were available.

Jackson, who is making his debut Pan Am appearance, is up against 22 athletes from region in the Laser Standard class.

“Being with such a large group of international sailors is always great,” Jackson told Cayman Olympic Committee press attache Jade Webster in an interview. “I get to compare and see where I am currently at, what I have improved on since the last time and what I need to work on to consistently improve, so I can eventually get to the top.”

With only six years under his belt, the Pan American Games will be his largest Games to date.

“Overall, I have set myself some technical sailing goals I want to achieve in each race and by achieving these goals … this will allow me to sail faster and better,” he said.