New leader at Lightning Worlds

Published on July 24th, 2015

Ridgeway, Ontario (July 24, 2015) – Geoff Becker (Annapolis, MD) and his team of Jimmy Barnash and Laura Beigel replaced Jody Starck (Amherst, NY) and her team of Ian Jones and Skip Dieball as the top team in the Lightning World Championship standings after 8 races. Team Becker posted a 10-4 today and sit on top with 50 points.

“We have been working hard all regatta,” explains Becker, “we have great speed but feel like we have been playing catch up all week. In this fleet it is hard to make your own decisions when you get in traffic. We just wanted to get clear so we could make our own decisions and manage our position within the fleet.”

Team Becker went from 28th at the windward mark to finish 10th in the first race today and went from 8 to 5 to 4 in Race 8.

Team Starck slides to second with 55 points after a tough 17-27 today. “We had a tough day, but we can put that behind us. We are ready for tomorrow!” remarked Skip Dieball.

Allan Terhune, Jr. (Annapolis, MD) sailing with his wife Katie and Marcus Eagan posted a 6-14 today to take the third sport with 56 points. Terhune remarked, “Today was a very hard day of sailing. I am fortunate to have a good team. We never quit, we had to work hard for our finishes. We have a chance to win with one race to go, that is all we can ask for.” Terhune rounded in 15th at the first windward mark and finished 6th in Race 7. In Race 8 he went from 19th to 20th and then finished 14th.

The Race Committee postponed the start of Race 7 on shore this morning several times. The breeze was taking a little while to fill in out on the race course. Just before noon, competitors got the word of a 1pm warning signal. Race 7 began in a light 7-8 knot breeze from 280. Course 4 – 1.2 nautical miles. 1 boat was OCS. There was a small left shift at the start which allowed for a few boats to tack and cross the fleet. Team Wake was one of them.

Team Gonzalez, did not tack and headed out course left. Team Wake went all the way to the right and took advantage of a shift to the right. They tacked to leeward and ahead of Team Proctor on a line they thought was close to the layline. Many others went further right and overstood the mark. Team Wake rounded the top mark in first with Teams Dodge and Zonnenberg just behind them. Nearly the entire fleet jibed around the gate to head course right. At the bottom mark, RC called for a course change to 290 and a shorter leg length. Team Wake was dialed in to the shift and extended their overall lead. Team Zonnenberg swapped places with Team Dodge.

On the final run, the top 4 didn’t change positions. Wake extended their lead from 35 seconds to a full 1:10 over second place Zonnenberg. Who was followed by Dodge and Greg. Fisher. Terhune closed distance with Rob Crane, but Crane was able to hold him off at a very close finish for 5th place. “Yesterday and today we were able to get a little bit of a break or luck, at key points of the race. Earlier in the week we didn’t have that explains Todd Wake. Team Wake has easily been the most consistent over the last 4 races, posting a 4, 3, 1, 2.

Race 8 started at 2:50pm this afternoon. Course 5 at 290, breeze about 10 knots. The pin end was very crowded, there was a left shift just before the start and as we have seen all week, this fleet doesn’t miss something like that. There were a few who were over early and a few penalty turns done, but when the boats settled many that started mid-line to the pin tacked to head towards course middle/right.

Team Martin picked the right lanes and rounded the top mark in first. Followed by Dieball, Robles, David Starck and Wake. There was a pile of boats on the starboard layline and Teams Starck and Becker were just able to come in from port tack around the windward mark in two small holes – this was a lucky break. It easily could have been 15-20 place difference – the fleet was compacted from 5th to 25th.

At the leeward gate a change of course was posted to 285 and shorter leg in length. Many teams continued to play course right. Wind velocity slightly increased to 8-10. Team Dieball (Ernie Dieball, Jim Allen and Meredith Ryan) managed the fleet well and took over the lead by the second windward mark, just ahead of Team Starck. Wake, Robles and Becker rounded out the top 5. Team Martin lost ground on the middle/left side of the course. Team Dieball continued to sail smart and got the race win. Team Wake finished in second followed by Teams Robles, Becker and David Starck.

The final race of the 9 race series is scheduled to begin at 1000 tomorrow (Saturday). Geoff Becker, Jody Starck and Allan Terhune are all in very close range. None have captured a Lightning World Championship at the helm. Billy Martin sailing in his first Lightning Worlds is not far behind. Greg Fisher is also present. None of the top five helmsmen have won a Lightning World Championship yet… we all know a lot can happen in one race. Stay tuned to see who will come out on top.

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