Raul Rios leads Lightning Worlds

Published on November 22nd, 2017

Salinas, Ecuador (November 22, 2017) – “Groundhog day” overcast skies and 10-12 knot winds greeted the 56-boat fleet on the opening day of the 2017 Lightning World Championship. Puerto Rico’s Raul Rios, sailing with Sebastian Higuera and Nicolas Deeb, mastered consistency and speed to score a 2,2 to take the lead over Chile’s Cristobal Perez with Alfred Sherman and Alejandro Bacot.

In race one, the young team of Nick Sertl with John Mastrandrea and Farrell used conservative tactics to play the middle-left and take a lead at the top mark, which they would not relinquish the rest of the way around the course. Rios and team clawed at Sertl but could not get around him. South American Champion Javier Conte had a strong finish, but had his score wiped out due to an OCS.

Conte took race two, however, after passing Rios on the second beat. The pair started next to each other, with Rios slightly bow out and fast enough to force Conte to tack early. Rios followed to the right and ended up with a lead at the top mark and held steady through the run, but the experience of Conte and his team lead to a pass. While Rios could not stay ahead of the Argentines, he held on to take a second, completing the top scoreline of the day.

Cristobal Perez and team closely followed Rios, as the Chileans scored a 3,3 to be in a tight second. Nick Sertl finished tenth in the second race, and with eleven points on the day, rounds out the top three.

Racing will continue at 1:30 EST tomorrow with races 3 and 4 scheduled.

The Lightning World Championship are scheduled for November 22-25.

Day One Results (Top 10 of 56; 2 races)
1. Black Beauty, PUR14677, Raul Rios / Sebastian Higuera / Nicolas Deeb – 2 -2 ; 4
2. No DesesPerez, CHI15355, Cristobal Perez / Alfred Sherman / Alejandro Bacot – 3 -3 ; 6
3. Freak Gasoline Fight Accident, USA14298, Nick Sertl / Dylan Farrell / John Mastrandrea – 1 -10 ; 11
4. Ojo de Lince, CHI11011, Alberto Gonzalez / Alberto Gonzalez / Cristian Herman – 7 -4 ; 11
5. Veggie Sub, USA15507, Ched Proctor / Meredith Killion / Charlie Proctor – 9 -5 ; 14
6. The Cat, USA15496, Marvin Beckmann / James Barnash / Monica Morgan – 5 -11 ; 16
7. Team PatStrong, USA15577, David Starck / Jody Starck / Ian Jones – 8 -8 ; 16
8. Julio Velez, ECU14163, Julio Velez / Eduardo Viteri / Irene Suarez – 13 -6 ; 19
9. Fly Volatore, ECU14673, Juan Santos / Leonardo Santos / Juan Jose Ferretti – 4 -20 ; 24
10. Hard Asset, USA15595, Josh Goldman / Laura Jeffers / Jackson Benvenutti – 19 -9 ; 28

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Source: Doug Wake

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