Winners Debrief: Lightning North Americans

Published on October 5th, 2017

Javier Conte

When Javier Conte won the 2017 Lightning North American Championship, he became the first South American to ever claim the title. But the Argentine is not without credentials, as he holds a bronze Olympic medal from the 470 at the Sydney 2000 Games and was the 2015 Pan-American Games gold medalist in the Lightning.

Conte, who conquered the North Americans along with his crew of Julio Alsogaray (2011 Pan-Am Laser gold medalist, 3-time Olympian) and Paula Salerno, shares some insight in this interview with Doug Wake:

How did sailing in other classes help in the Lightning?
What we undoubtedly bring to the Lightning is the ability to distinguish what is important to improve our team and not get distracted by other superficial things.

What sort of training had you done in advance of the championship?
We sailed for a few days in Buenos Aires and then arrived at the venue for the North Americans a few days in advance of the event to train there.

You crewed for Nico Fracchia when you won the 2015 Pan Am Games. What was it like switching from crew to skipper?
I have always been a helmsman and tactician in all the classes I have campaigned in. For Nico I was in the middle doing tactics but this was a good opportunity for me to take part in one at the helm.

Do you think your success will get more people sailing Lightning in the Southern Hemisphere?
I hope that our results serve as incentive so that every time, more people are sailing.

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