Junior World Lightning Championships - Young Canadian team dominates

First place Canadian Team : Abby Bennett, Sam Jones, Adam MacDonald
Ian Jones
Junior World Lightning Championships - Practice and perseverance paid off for 18-year-old lightning skipper Adam MacDonald and his team of junior lightning sailors this past week near Helsinki,Finland. The trio emerged triumphant at the hotly contested International Lightning Class Youth Worlds on Tuusulanjarvi Lake, Finland on Friday July 27th.

Participants from 8 countries
Ian Jones

MacDonald who is from Carlisle, Ontario, sails and trains out of the Buffalo Canoe Club in Ridgeway, Ontario along with his crew mates, Sam Jones, age 15 and Abby Bennett, age 16 both from Buffalo. After five days of racing in shifty conditions on the narrow lake, MacDonald won by a small margin against Team U.S.A. skipper Timmy Crann and crew, Lauren Jones and Ali Blumenthal. Under the boat rotation system, the sailors were provided with a different boat for each race giving them many challenges on the course.

'Some of the boats were fairly new and some were old, therefore you can't control what's in your boat,' explained MacDonald. 'One of our first races, we got a boat that leaked, putting us at a disadvantage. Fortunately we got redress on that race because of the boat and we were able to remain in good standing'

MacDonald added the boat in question was no longer used in the event.

He and his team have been practicing on Lake Erie most of the summer and although he has not sailed with Bennett in many regattas, he and Sam Jones competed in the Youth Worlds two years ago in Ecuador.

'We set a goal to do our best this year and we achieved it.' said MacDonald.

The Buffalo Canoe Club has made youth sailing a priority for years and has managed to produce some world class lightning sailors, many of whom were part of the mentoring team which helped prepare four BCC teams for this year's Youth Worlds. Adam's father,Larry MacDonald Jr. who is a former World Lightning champion was in Finland helping to coach the team along with BCC racing champions Ian Jones and Peter Jones. It is interesting to note that Adam's grandfather, the late Larry MacDonald Sr. started the Lightning Youth World championships in 1978 as a means of exposing young sailors to the excitement of international sailing. That first event was held in Lima,Peru and has gone on to attract youth sailors every two years from all parts of the world ever since.Sixteen teams from eight countries were competing at the event this past week in Finland.

Busy crossing on the upwind leg
Leppanen Matti


Busy crossing on the upwind leg
Leppanen Matti


The next International Lightning Youth Worlds will be held at the Buffalo Canoe Club in the summer of 2014

Full Results

Team Canada demonstrating great upwind form
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