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Team Hayden wins 2018 Youth World Championship!

 | Published on 7/7/2018

2018 Lightning Youth World Championship
July 3-7, 2018 - NAOV - Voula, Greece

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

The first of the day’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 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.

Link to results:

Link to ILCA website:



Day 2 of the 2018 Lightning Youth World Championship began in postponement with a first warning signal at 1:45 local time. Teams completed 2, and at the end of today’s racing, teams Asanathopoulous and Hackerott are tied on top heading into the final day of racing. With a dropout coming into effect after the next race, however, the top three teams, now including Probst of the USA, will be even on points.

The first race of the day was characterized by fluctuating breeze, and the Brazilian team of Hackerott, van Deursen, and Peek exploited these conditions to take an early win. After a strong start, these three found both speed and smarts to reach the first windward mark in third position, trailing only Tanner Probst of the USA and team Gourgiotis of Greece. The top three stayed in this order, with the Greeks leading the Americans, and the Brazilians in third, until the final leg of the race, where team Hackerott showed downwind speed to pass the other two teams and take the race win.

Next, in race two, Team Asanathopouls of  Greece used their expert gear changing to take advantage of the ever-growing changes in wind speed to get to the front of the fleet. The local team demonstrated not only strong technique, but also stellar tactical wherewithal to claim this victory. After rounding the first mark in second, the Greeks used the run to make their move past team Folds of the USA, and would not relinquish their new lead. 

Racing begins at 12:00 local time tomorrow, with 2 races scheduled for the 16 teams, and no races starting after 16:00. Stay tuned to ILCA media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for more updates!

Daily Report - Race Day 1 - July 5



The 2018 ILCA Youth World Championship opened with light breeze with an eventual build and shift, and the fleet completed 3 races to open the series. The American team of Tanner Probst, Maya Weber and Jenna Probst hit their stride early and jumped to the top of the leaderboard with a scoreline of 2,4,4.

In race one, Gen 5 Sailing (Jeff Hayden, Brian Hayes Jr., and Meredith Ryan), were strong tactically in 5-7 knots of breeze. Team Probst, the eventual regatta leaders, would take second place. The finish, however, was not close, with Hayden building a huge lead in the lighter breeze as the race was shortened to 3 legs with an upwind finish.

As race 2 came around, the breeze built to 10-16 knots from the East/Southeast. The eventual race winners started at the pin end of the line and chose the proper side of the course for the first beat. After rounding the windward mark in 3rd place, the Brazilian team skippered by Jose Hackerott dropped to fifth by the first leward mark, but used the second beat to climb back to the front of the race. They would not relinquish this lead for the rest of the race. Race 1 winners Hayden, Hayes, and Ryan found themselves swimming near the finish of this race, and after this slip up, left teams Probst and Hackerott tied for the regatta lead. This set the stage for the final rotation, and with it, the final race of the day.

The third race of the day was won by Athanasopoulos of Greece. After a strong start, Athanasopoulos found himself 3rd at the first windward mark. On the next leg, the Greek team made quick work passing Americans Colantuono and Hayden to take the lead by the leward gate. The American team skippered by Jeff Hayden took second.

Racing begins at 12:30 local time tomorrow, with 3 races scheduled for the 16 teams.

Stay tuned to ILCA media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for more updates!

Link to results:

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