North clients sail for speed in Ecuador taking the fleet by storm claiming World title, sweeping the podium
Fifty-six Lightning teams from 13 countries gathered in Salinas, Ecuador for the 2017 World Championship. Javier Conte and his teammates, Julio Alsogaray and Paula Salerno of team Argentina captured the 9 race championship in dominating fashion. Using North Sails M-5 main, 5A+ jib and R-2 spinnaker , Argentina scored six race wins and an overall total of 12 points on the scoresheet to cap an impressive 28-point margin of victory over the young runner-up team from the USA of Nick Sertl, Dylan Farrell and John Mastrandrea.
Salinas provided great breeze for sailing every day. As the breeze built every afternoon, the shifty conditions and variable wind patterns required skippers to concentrate on boat speed. A large hill located on Salinas Point caused confused wind patterns as it funneled down to the bay. Some teams found success extending out to the right as the shifts on the edges of the course were often game changers. Pressure lanes combined with significant shifts, including a distinct shift on the port lay line kept things interesting at the top mark and made finishes just as hard for competitors as it did the race committee scoring team.
Ched Proctor, sailing his aptly named Veggie Sub with son Charlie and Meredith Killion had excellent speed throughout the week. Coming off his win at the International Masters, Proctor, using the North M5 main, new V-17 jib and R2 spinnaker credited his team’s’ ability to focus on their jobs, allowing Ched to focus on driving which became a key sailing upwind in wavy conditions.
“We relied heavily on our middle crew member to make tactical decisions and the forward crew would call the puffs and lulls,” said Ched.
Congratulations to our clients on outstanding results! Seven countries including Argentina, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Chile, Canada, and the United States rounded out the top ten spots. Junior team Freak Gasoline Fight Accident placed 2nd overall, with five race finishes in the top ten. Way to go Nick Sertl and team! Raul Rios and his team Black Beauty representing Puerto Rico, topping the podium off at 3rd place with five top-five race finishes.
Special congrats to team Argentina’s Javier Conte, Julio Alsogaray, and Paula Salerno, who not only won the North Americans earlier this year but took the South American title earlier in the week and finished off by claiming the 2017 Lightning World Champion title!
Impressive sailing by our clients, and great memories for all to take home. Thank you, Salinas Yacht Club for running three fantastic events International Masters, South Americans, Worlds> over the course of nine days, giving sailors an experience of a lifetime.
“It’s hard to think of a better place to hold a Championship Lightning event. The organizers did a fantastic job, and I look forward to returning to Salinas soon”, said Jackson Benvenutti, tactician on Hard Asset.