Lightning Class tackles gender issue for Pan Am Games

Published on February 10th, 2021

Planning is underway for the 2023 Pan Am Games which are set to take place October 20 to November 5 in Chile’s capital and largest city, Santiago.

The competition, for athletes from nations of the Americas, is held every four years, just one year before the Olympic Games. With 38 sports expected for the 19th edition, Sailing has been in all but one.

Panam Sailing and the International Lightning Class Association have confirmed the Lightning will once again be included in the Sailing Program at Santiago 2023 Panam Games as a mixed gender dinghy event.

Additionally, Panam Sailing has accepted the recommendation by the Class Association for the mixed crews in this event to be comprised of two women and one man, with the roles in the boat to be at the discretion of each team.

This changes the format used at the 2019 Games when the 3-person Lightning crew had to have a minimum of one male and a minimum of one female.

This decision ensures that the sport of Sailing will meet or exceed the recommendations for gender equity by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), while enabling a 3-person boat to remain in the Panam Sailing Program.

“It is clear from recent actions of the IOC and World Sailing that equity in sailing is a prime objective going forward,” said Class President Hugh Hutchison. “We indicated that the Lightning Class was willing to take concrete steps to address this goal.”

Fred Hagedorn, Acting President of Panam Sailing added, “The Lightning Class Association’s leadership on this issue will help grow participation in our sport for girls and women throughout Panamerica, and in so doing increases the relevance of Sailing in the Panam Sports family.”

The Mixed 3-Person Dinghy (Lightning) joins the five events that were previously confirmed: 1-Person Men’s Dinghy (ILCA Standard), 1-person Women’s Dinghy (ILCA Radial), Men’s and Women’s Windsurfing (iQFoil), and Mixed Kite Relay (Formula Kite).

Event selection for the Pan Am Games considers IOC athlete objectives, the 2024 Olympic Sailing Program, and one design classes that have a strong regional presence. With six events finalized, there are five remaining to be announced in the coming weeks along with the planned number of competitors per event for all of the Sailing Medal Events.

Possible events under consideration from the 2019 Pan Am Games would be the Men’s Skiff (49er), Women’s Skiff (49erFX), Mixed Multihull (Nacra 17), Open Dinghy (Sunfish), and Mixed 2-Person Dinghy (Snipe).

Event details:

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