Jody Starck leads Lightning Worlds

Published on July 21st, 2015

Ridgeway, Ontario (July 21, 2015) – The Lightning World Championship got underway today for 63 teams, beginning the five day (July 21-25), nine-race regatta on Lake Erie. After two races, Jody Starck with crew Ian Jones and Skip Dieball (USA) lead with a 4-2, holding a six point lead over Michael Zonnenberg/ Michael Booker/ Adam Ceely (USA) who posted a 2-10.

Note: Information has been updated after a protest in race one was upheld against Rob Crane.

Full report from Lightning class:
The 2015 Lightning World Championship began today with a hard day on the water. As the fleet was sailing out at 0900 a rain cell came through that completely drenched the fleet. As the storm cleared it also sucked the breeze with it and left very unstable wind conditions. The Race Committee was forced to postpone for about an hour. A sequence was started and then abandoned just before the start due to a wind shift. Then another long delay waiting for the breeze to settle in.

When Race 1 actually started there were about 10 boats over early that had to go back and restart. The breeze was continually building to about 15 knots in this race which meant careful driving upwind and great waves for surfing downwind!

Matt Fisher’s team just saw similar conditions during the International Masters’ Championship just two days ago and again showed that their downwind speed was fast. Fisher sailing with the same Masters team of Dan and Tobi Moriarty took the first race win of the Championship. (photo below)

The RC made several attempts to get Race 2 started. A starting sequence would begin, there would be a wind shift mid sequence resulting in the high potential for a lot of OCS’s. With a minute or two to the start, racing was abandoned. This happened several times and some starts were under a Z Flag. It also didn’t help that as the day went on the breeze began to get softer with larger shifts.

Rob Crane and his family team of sister Kelly and mom Brenda had a great start and rounded the top mark in 1st. They did a good job of managing boats behind them and were able to keep the lead for the gun at the end but an altercation during the race lead to a DSQ. Jody Starck and her team of Ian Jones and Skip Dieball ended up with the race win. Dieball commented, “that driving through the waves in the dying breeze was key and Jody did a great job. Wide lanes were necessary in order to keep the boat going forward in very difficult conditions. Large shifts allowed for some the opportunity to make large gains. But really the key was boat speed through the tough conditions.”

Greg Fisher made a great observation at the end of the day, “With a super aggressive fleet of this caliber, even when you have a small shift at the start, everyone gets it and with a long line it creates a tough job for the race committee to pull off a start without a lot of recalls. PRO Jeff Borland and his committee did a great job today. When you know the line has fallen apart it is a creative and effective approach to postpone the race before even getting to a point where you have to start calling boats over.”


Worlds leaders Jody Starck, Skip Dieball and Ian Jones

It was a long day on the water for all, most of the fleet left the dock at 0900 and didn’t return until just after 1800. Jody Stark and her team are on top with an impressive 4, 2 today. Michael Zonnenberg, Michael Booker and Adam Ceely from Burlington, VT are in second with 12 points followed by Matt Fisher and his team with 15 points. Allan Terhune, Jr. sailing with his wife Katie and Marcus Eagan are in 4th with 16 points.

Racing continues Tuesday morning at 1000 with Race 3 and 4 scheduled.

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