Slow start to Lightning Southern Circuit
Published on March 24th, 2018
St. Petersburg, FL (March 24, 2018) – Fifty-one teams descended upon St Petersburg Sailing Center this morning for the start of this year’s ILCA (International Lightning Class Association) Southern Circuit which begins with the Winter Championship.
With light breeze, warm sun, and an AP over 4 to start the day, Nick Turney of Turney Sailing Services seized this opportunity to run an on-land tuning and sail trim clinic for sailors, while others took the time to catch up with their Lightning Class family.
By 4:00pm, the fleet was able to get on the water and sailed out to the course. The conditions were classic St Pete sea breeze, with large oscillations between SSW and SW and velocity around 7-11 knots.
Due to the late start, the fleet was only able to get in one race. The Argentine trio of Javier Conte, Julio Alsogaray, and Paula Salerno had a strong start at the pin and sparred with David Starck up the first beat. These two teams and others were benefactors of a 10 degree left shift on the first beat, and were able to tack, cross, and lead at the mark.
Conte found a notable lead by the leeward mark and would not relinquish this for the rest of the race. Lightning newcomer and former College All-American Steve Kirkpatrick, sailing with 2016 North American Champion Neal Fowler, found his way to second in a boat new to him. Boat builder Tom Allen placed third, with Starck and Mark Allen rounding out the top 5.
Racing tomorrow is scheduled to start at 10:00am ET with three races scheduled. The forecast looks promising with 8-12 knots predicted for the entire day. Racing concludes on March 26.
2018 Lightning Southern Circuit
• March 24-26 – Winter Championship – St Petersburg, FL
• March 28-30 – Midwinter Regatta – Miami, FL