North Sails NEWS

March 31, 2017


It was in the early 1990’s when the moniker “King of the South” became attached to Ched Proctor in the Lightning Class. By then Ched had been making waves in the Lightning Class for over a decade and, by 1995 had won the Lightning Southern Circuit four times over a nine year period. Fast forward to 2017, Ched recently secured his 7th Southern Circuit crown, a feat that no one, in the 70 year history of the Southern Circuit has accomplished. This year he and his team also managed to win his 4th Midwinters title (in Miami) and 2nd Winter Championship (in St. Petersburg).

Ched (middle) after winning the North Americans in 1991 for the first time as crew

To say Ched is knowledgeable about making Lightnings go fast is akin to saying “water is wet.” It’s unbelievably obvious that even mentioning it may make someone question your sanity! The fact is, Ched has been trying to help make everyone go as fast as him for decades. A bit of a “speed savant,” he has made a career out of trying to figure out how to make sails (and boats) go faster and has always been quick to share his thoughts and tips with anyone who asks (and sometimes even when they don’t). Ched, while generally a man of few words, has always been the guy in the parking lot, helping a competitor tune his or her boat, explain pre-bend and headstay sag or trying to explain why he trims the sails the way he does. Through his incredible comprehension of sail shapes and tuning details, he has likely helped more people understand how sails and boats work together to maximize efficiency better than anyone over the past 30 years. Ched’s advice spans everything from giving insights on how to trim in big breeze to how to play your backstay, and even providing intel on what cleaning methods he uses on his boat during major events. A legend to the Lightning Class and One Design sailing, his fellow competitors always enjoy competing against him, and if you do manage to beat him, you know you can compete with anyone because you will have managed to beat the best in the class!

Miami 1997

The Lightning resume Ched has produced over the past 30 years shows a consistency and commitment to excellence that is arguably unmatched and clearly locks him in as one of the top Lightning sailors of all time. In addition to his unequalled record on the Southern Circuit, Ched has won 4 North Americans (1993, 1994, 2000 and 2011), the International Masters Championship (2013), North Americans Masters (2013), and the Canadian Open National Championship (2000, 2009). He has also won multiple Atlantic Coast Championships, Districts, regionals and local events all while doing his best to help others in the class learn to get faster and enjoy Lightning sailing that much more. It is fair to say, for decades fellow sailors have looked to him for advice showing their admiration and respect for him. Ched is a role model both on and off the race course. He is an intricate part of the Lightning Class and has been sharing his amazing adventures with sailing enthusiasts over the last 30 years. In November of this year, Ched and his team head off to the World Championships in Salinas, Ecuador to chase down the one title that has eluded him in his illustrious career. We wish him luck and know that he has the skills, experience and talent to get to the top of the podium.

Miami 2017
St. Petersburg at the Winter Championships 2017
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