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Games a learning experience for Bermuda pair

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Off the pace: Pimentel

Cameron Pimentel said he has been “off the pace” after another difficult day out on the water in Toronto Habour at the Pan Am Games.

The Laser sailor showed marginal signs of improvement finishing twelfth and fourteenth yesterday, having placed fifteenth in the 16-boat fleet on Sunday’s opening day.

Pimentel, 24, said he had found it difficult adjusting to competing against a small but top-quality field, including Robert Scheidt, a two-times Olympic gold medallist from Brazil, and Guatemala’s Juan Maegli, who won bronze at the previous Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

“I’ve competed in high-level events before but usually there are around 50 boats on the start line and not just 16,” said Pimentel, who is making his Pan Am Games debut.

“These are 16 really, really good sailors and it’s a different style of racing, which I’m still getting used to.

“I didn’t really put it together today, but at least I was happier with my performances.

“Although it’s such a competitive fleet and the racing is so tight, I definitely feel like I’m improving.”

Unfortunately for Pimentel, his most encouraging display came in the second race on day one, which was abandoned because of a lack of wind.

He has identified specific areas for improvement such as maintaining his focus and improving his boat speed.

“You have to work so hard for every inch in this type of boat and all I can do is keep working hard,” said Pimentel, who arrived in Toronto at the start of the month to prepare for the Games.

“I’m trying to improve my boat speed as I’m a little bit off the pace.

“My overall focus throughout the race needs to improve as well. I need to stay really, really sharp because any loss of focus and you will lose places immediately. It’s really that tight out there.”

Also experiencing a baptism of fire in Toronto is Pimentel’s team-mate Cecilia Wollmann in the Laser Radial class.

Wollmann struggled to rediscover her previous day’s form when she was sitting pretty in fourth before being penalised for rocking her boat.

The 17-year-old, who dropped to eleventh, then led the 16-boat fleet in the second race before it was abandoned because of no wind.

Despite following up with a disappointing thirteenth and fourteenth yesterday, Wollmann remains positive and believes she has already learnt some valuable lessons.

“I’m not too disappointed because I did learn some stuff while I was out there,” said the Saltus Grammar School pupil.

“I’m not completely happy like I was yesterday. I need to work on placing my boat in the right place.

“I felt really confident on day one but today didn’t go so well. I still had some good moments and it’s nice to know I can sometimes be up there with them.”

Pimentel and Wollmann both continue racing today.

Learning as she goes: Wollmann