Two SoCal sailors win medals at PanAm Games

Riley Gibbs wins gold with Anna Weis in Mixed Nacra 17, while Charlie Buckingham earns bronze in Men’s Laser.

LIMA, Peru—United States sailors won seven medals at the PanAm Games, which was held in Lima, Peru through Aug. 11. Two of the seven medalists were sailors from Southern California: Riley Gibbs (Long Beach) and Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach). Gibbs won gold in the Mixed Nacra 17 class with her teammate, Anna Weis (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida). Buckingham, meanwhile, earned a bronze medal in the Men’s Laser class.

Gibbs and Weis earned a country qualification for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Competition was cutthroat, as the number of countries seeking a spot for sailing events at the 2020 Games exceeds the number of slots available to compete for a medal.

“There are far more countries competing in Olympic class boats than there are available spots at the Games,” U.S. Sailing staff said in a released statement. “Therefore, athletes must first secure a berth for the United States in their chosen class before they are eligible to qualify as individuals to Team USA. The four athletes representing Team USA at the Pan Am Games qualified the U.S. for representation in Tokyo by securing their place as the top North American boat.”

Other winners at the PanAm Games were:

  • Ernesto Rodriguez & Hallie Schiffman, Mixed Snipe, Gold
  • Stephanie Roble & Maggie Shea, Women’s 49erFX, Silver
  • Charlotte Rose, Women’s Laser Radial, Silver
  • Pedro Pascual, Men’s RS:X, Silver
  • Will Cyr, Open Formula Kite, Bronze
  • Conner Blouin, Open Sunfish, Fourth
  • Andrew Mollerus & Ian MacDiarmid, Men’s 49er, Fourth
  • Farrah Hall, Women’s RS:X, Fourth
  • Jody Starck, Skip Dieball, & Ian Jones, Mixed Lightning, Fifth.

The PanAm Games kicked off on July 26 and continued through Aug. 11. The competition is similar to an Olympic Games. There were 41 nations participating – all from North, Central and South America. The international sporting competition featured 39 sports and 419 events, including artistic swimming, basketball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, gymnastics, modern pentathlon, rowing, rugby, sailing, surfing, tennis, triathlon, volleyball and wrestling.

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