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This is biggest moment of my career, says Pimentel

Testing the waters: Pimentel has been coming to terms with the conditions in Toronto Harbour

Cameron Pimentel will be racing against some of the world’s most accomplished sailors on the biggest stage of his career tomorrow.

Pimentel, 24, is no stranger to top-level competition, having sailed at the World Championships, but admits he has never experienced an international event on such a grand scale as the Pan Am Games.

“It’s a fantastic feeling being able to represent my country at such a major event,” said Pimentel, who begins racing in the Laser class this weekend. “I love having the Bermuda flag on my sail and gear.

“Last summer I competed at the World Championships [in Santander, Spain], which was the largest-scale event I’ve ever done. That being said, with so many athletes, the opening ceremony, television coverage, the whole aura — it’s definitely bigger than any other event I’ve experienced.”

Up against top-class sailors from countries such as Brazil, United States and Guatemala, Pimentel said he has had to be realistic in the scope of his ambitions.

“I’m managing my expectations just because of the sheer quality of my competitors,” said Pimentel, whose fleet includes Brazil’s Robert Sheidt, the winner of two Olympic gold medals.

“They are some of the best sailors in the world with most of them having already competed at the Olympics. It’s a really deep fleet and hopefully I can qualify for the medal race.”

Pimentel, who has ambitions of reaching the Rio Olympics, has spent the past month competing in the area, and familiarising himself with the conditions in Toronto Harbour.

Prior to the Games he competed at the Laser World Championships in Kingston, Ontario, finishing 147th.

“I didn’t perform how I wanted, so I’ve been training really hard the past few months,” Pimentel said. “I’m ready to compete and expect to be in good form for the start of the Games.”