Pleon's Pearse Dowd & Dylan Balunas Make USA Team
December 4, 2018
GO TEAM USA – Pleon's Pearse Dowd & Dylan Balunas Make Spring International Team
While most of us were enjoying turkey-day in the comfort of home, Pleon's Pearse Dowd and Dylan Balunas were tearing it up on Lake Pontchartrain during the Optimist Mid-Winter Championship hosted by Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans. The winds were fluky and challenging during the four-day event, and the boys had their hands full racing in the super competitive 78-boat Gold Fleet. Pearse sailed to 7th place in his age group (Blue Fleet) despite a black-flag DSQ in race 2, and Dylan had two top-five finishes out of six races. Their stand-out performances earned them invitations to sail with Team USA at international regattas this spring. Dylan was invited to represent the USA at the largest Optimist regatta in the world, the 37th Lake Garda Optimist Meeting in Riva del Garda, Italy. Pearse, having also made the team last year, earned an invitation to sail at the 2019 IODA South American Championship in Algarrobo, Chile.
Pearse and Dylan are no strangers to pulling out the passports for sailing events. Earlier in November, they competed at the Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association Nationals at Sandys Boat Club, racing three days of 15-20 knot winds on Great Sound, site of the last America's Cup. Pleon's Leopold Seuss was also there representing Team USA, having first been named to the Team in 2017. All three made Pleon proud with Pearse finishing 10th, Leopold in 11th, and Dylan in 27th out of a highly competitive and international field of 62 boats.