Lightning Class: It’s a wrap in Columbia
Published on December 2nd, 2023
The Ecuadorian team of Jonathan Martinetti, Moira Padilla, and Allison Haon bested 40 teams from 8 nations to win the Lightning World Championship on November 29-December 2 in Cartagena, Colombia. Conditions ranged from light and shifty in the harbor, to breezy with large swells on the ocean course.
Defending World Champion and Class President David Starck (USA) with crew Tom Starck and Jenna Probst placed second, and Augie Diaz (USA) with crew Kim Couranz and Laura Jeffers placed third.
On November 25-26, Martinetti won the South American Championship over 34 boats with the same crew. Augie Diaz with crew Kim Couranz and Alfonso Garcia Bringas took second and Jody Starck with crew lan Jones and Debbie Probst placed third.
Diaz and team also took home the title of Masters World Champions over 14 teams, with Josh Goldman and crew Jackson Benvenutti and Monica Morgan placing second, and Jody Starck and team placing third.
The focus for the Class on U32 competitors led to many younger teams entering the Worlds, with six placing in the top 14 including the new World Champion.
Also, since implementing the ‘2 female/ 1 male’ crew format for the Lightning in the Pan American Games, the Class has seen an uptick in women sailing the boat. Of the top five boats, there were eight female to seven male sailors, and the current World, South American, and North American Championships were won by boats that sailed in the Pan Am crew configuration.
The next Lightning World Championship is scheduled for 2025 in Athens, Greece.