Lightning WJM North American Championship

Published on August 4th, 2017

The 2017 Lightning Womens, Juniors, and Masters North American Championships were held August 2 to 4 at Metedeconk River Yacht Club in Brick, NJ.

MRYC, a club with a deep history surrounding the Lightning Junior championship, put on a flawless regatta, which outside of sailing included a 36 team cornhole tournament, delicious steak dinner, cold beer on tap, and all the fun that one would expect from a regatta run by co-chairs Jody Lutz and Russ Schon.

Racing began Wednesday (Aug 2) with a short postponement followed by two races in a gradually building Barnegat Bay sea breeze. The day was cut short by storms and the fleet hurried back to shore to enjoy some pizza, and for Masters’ competitor Ched Proctor, hummus.

Thursday started light with an hour postponement on the water after the tow to the racecourse. Nearly the whole Junior fleet rafted up and enjoyed their friendship while the hardened masters practiced upwind tuning and light air maneuvers. Eventually, the breeze did fill, allowing for three beautiful races to be completed. After the penultimate day of racing, Jeff Hayden had a controlling 7-point lead on the Juniors fleet, Ched Proctor lead the Masters, and Laura Jeffers pulled out some tight finishes to lead the Women.

The breeze filled earlier on Friday than it had on Wednesday or Thursday, and all three fleets got off to on-time starts. There were battles at the top and results shifted, and after two races, the fleets were sent in and results tallied.

When all was said and done, Tanner Probst and his team of Maya Weber and sister Jenna Probst came from behind to take the Junior championship for the third time in four years. Marvin Beckmann sailing with Monica Morgan and Jimmy Barnash won more races than they lost and won the Masters division in commanding fashion. Laura Jeffers with crew Johanna Schon and Theresa Colantuono put the hammer down and won the most competitive Womens fleet that the Lightning Class had seen in years.

Aside from determining North American Champions, this regatta served as a qualifier for the 2018 Lightning Youth Worlds, which will be held in Greece next summer. Tanner Probst and Jeff Hayden earned the two guaranteed U.S. berths to this regatta. The top boat in each fleet also earned a highly sought after bid to the 2017 Lightning North American Championship which will be held at the Carolina Yacht Club in Wrightsville in September, 2017.

Next year’s Lightning WJMs will be held at Pontiac Yacht Club on August 2-5, 2018.

Event detailsPhotos

Source: Doug Wake

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