USA wins Lightning Youth Worlds

Published on July 7th, 2018

Voula, Greece (July 7, 2018) – The final day of racing for the for the coveted “Copa Hermanos Navarro” trophy for the International Lightning Class’ youth world champion began on time, with the fleet eager to get the two scheduled races off to finish the series and crown a winner in this championship’s 40th anniversary.

The first Lightning Youth World Championship took place in 1978 at the Yacht Club Peruano in Peru. Now, 16 teams have competed for three days on the Bay of Voula to contest the trophy once again.

The first of today’s races began with 4-6 knots of breeze and sunny skies. After coming into the day in 5th place, the team of Jeff Hayden, Brian Hayes Jr, and Meredith Ryan (USA) won race one by using speed to work their way up the left side of the course.

Max Balanevsky of Canada could not quite catch the race winners, but both teams surely walked away happy with top finishes. Top American boat Tanner Probst was OCS in this race, and after crossing the line in second, learned that himself and two other teams had been over and not restarted.

Heading into the last race, team Hackerott of Brazil had a 1 point gap over the second place team, Hayden, of the USA. Off the line, Hayden looked strong, and found the early lead at the top of the course.

Hackerott was near the back of the pack, and all other contenders were not in the top 5 at the time. Team Gen 5 increased this lead as the race came to a close, and after the points were tallied, Hayden, Hayes Jr, and Ryan were crowned ILCA Youth World Champions!

This team has assuredly spent hours practicing, honing their Lightning skills, and preparing mentally to claim their eventual victory. For Hayden and Hayes Jr, this was their first ILCA Youth Worlds, with Ryan having competed in Salinas, Ecuador in 2016.

Team Gourgiotis of Greece took a close second, with Hackerott of Brazil in third, Probst of the USA in fourth, and Athanasopoulous of Greece in fifth.

The next ILCA Youth World Championship will take place in North America in 2020.

Racing was held on July 5 to 7.

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Source: Doug Wake

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