Miami sailor Pedro Pascual got off to a promising start at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, coming in ninth place overall through the first three of 12 races in the RS:X sail board class.
Pascual had a career-best day of Olympic racing, finishing sixth, 12th and seventh in his three races. He finished 28th in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and said he learned from the experience.
“Well, being transparent, at my first Olympics I wasn’t sleeping. I was too excited,” Pascual, 25, said. “I was 20 years old. And that definitely took a toll on me. This time around, I know what to expect. I’ve experienced these feelings before and I’m just looking forward to racing.”
The Olympic sailing events are taking place in the Enoshima Yacht Harbor, off the historic island of Enoshima, with views of Mt. Fuji as a backdrop.
“I got off the (starting) line pretty well in the first and third races,” said Pascual, the 2019 Pan Am Games silver medalist and 2020 Sailing World Cup Miami winner. “Tactically, the shifts and the puffs were super small. So, staying in pressure was key to me. I was a lot more confident, especially in the last race with a bit more breeze. I’m happy with my first day and looking forward to improving in the next.”
Pascual spent his early childhood in Spain, where his father taught him to sail. He moved to Saudi Arabia as a teenager when his father, an industrial engineer, was transferred there. He then moved to Miami and studied mechanical engineering at Florida Atlantic University.
If Pascual makes the medal race, his final race will be July 31. If not, his final race will be July 30.