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North Sails NEWS

Story Contributors: Brian Hayes
Images © Art Petrosemolo


North Powers Rob Crane to Win and All Top 10 Boats


The month of July features a packed schedule of events for the Lightning class this year and the Atlantic Coast Championship, held at Nyack Boat Club, Nyack NY this past weekend, were the featured “mid-point” event. Twenty-three teams found there way to the Hudson River venue sailing just underneath the newly constructed Tappan Zee Bridge. Olympian Rob Crane, with his sister Kelly and Andrea Fisher, mastered the challenging currents and wind shifts that the river brought and posted a 1,1,5,2,1 scorecard over the 5-race series to bring home the title.

Saturday brought warm weather, plenty of sun and pleasant 5-9 mph southwesterly breezes which allowed the race committee to press on and provide  four fair and challenging races. The teams that stayed patient and found the stronger velocities were rewarded with consistent finishes while those who “chased” the puffs often times found themselves arriving to late to catch the breeze that those ahead had found.

Sunday morning dawned with far less promise of sailable breeze to get the final scheduled race completed. Undeterred, the fleet “sailed” to the middle of the river and, after a 45 minute postponement, a light southwesterly filled and the fleet headed off on a 5-leg WL race. Bucking a strong incoming tide the balance was between finding wind and getting towards the shallower water near the west side of the river. Rob Crane and his team found some great lanes in the middle of the course which got them to the weather mark with a nice lead which they held to the finish.

Congratulations also to Bob Sengstacken and his crew, wife Penny and Maud Lindsay (and Dan Zitin as a Sunday fill in) who won the Met Districts that were held in conjunction with the ACCs.

The big takeaways from the weekend were to stay patient and keep your head out of the boat. The importance of teamwork really played out as the skipper needed to constantly work on boat speed in the ever changing velocities and shifts while the crew worked on finding wind and the best path to the next pressure while monitoring the current.

Learn more about North fast Lightning sails.

2018 Lightning Atlantic Coast Championship
1 Rob Crane /  M5, 5A+, R2
2 Justin Coplan / M5, 5A+, R2
3 Stephen Constants* / North R75 jib
4 Doug Clark / MF2, JF2, R2
5 Jim Crane / M5, 5A+, R2
6 Bill Bogardus* / MF2, JF2
7 Eric Heller / MF2, JF2, R2
8 Bob Sengstacken / MF2, JF2, R2
9 Brian Hayes, Jr / MF2, JF2, R2
10 Hugh Hutchison* / MF2, JF2
* Denotes Partial North Sails Inventory


Story Contributors

Lightning Atlantic Coast Championship headshot
Brian Hayes

One Design Expert — Milford, Connecticut

Brian has been a sailmaker at North for over 30 years. Starting out in handwork and layout he spent his early career in the Big Boat area sailing One Tonners and J35's amongst other offshore boats. In 1993 he transitioned...