> US SAILING Media > Sailor of the Week > 2009 > Sailor of the Week - September, 2009 > Bill Fastiggi
Sailor of the Week: Sept. 3 - 9
The 2009 Lightning World Championships have returned to the United States for the first time since 2003 (Miami, Fla.). The Mallets Bay Boat Club in Colchester, Vt. will play host to this prestigious championship on Sept. 12-18, preceded by the International Masters Championship on Sept. 9-11. The last time a New England state hosted the Lightning Worlds was the inaugural event in 1961 (Milford, Conn.). Lightning sailor and now regatta chairman, Bill Fastiggi (Winooski, Vt.), made this a reality.
The International Lightning Class Association examines a number of determining factors in selecting a venue for hosting this regatta. Quality of sailing conditions, availability of hotels and accommodations for participants and fans, availability of charter boats, proximity to the airport, tourism opportunities, and the strength of the organizing committee. Bill was confident in their bid to host. The Mallets Bay Boat Club has a track record of playing host to regattas of similar magnitude, including the 2007 Laser National Championship and the 2001 Lightning North American Championship.
“We have a great local fleet, a very supportive club and local sailing community. We also have a large number of people on the organizing committee and a whole slew of volunteers to help run the event,” Bill explained. “We put forth a very strong bid and were fortunate enough to be selected over a few other very good venues. Burlington is a great city and there is a great social scene here for our visitors.”
This year's world championship will feature 63 boats from 11 countries for racing on the spectacular waterfront overlooking Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains.
Bill and his brother, Rick, grew up crewing for his father on his Lightning and sailed Flying Juniors in a junior sailing program at his local yacht club. At the age of 77, his father still competes in the local Lightning fleet races. Ironically, his father grew up on Mamaroneck Harbor in New York, yet never learned to sail until he moved to Vermont. Rick became a professional boat captain.
Bill has always been a racer. “I don't have the patience for day sailing or cruising though,” he added. “I always need to be tinkering when I'm on a boat. If I didn't race, I probably wouldn't sail.”
Bill is a world class sailor having won many accolades, including a Gold medal at the Pan Am Games in 1999, and runner-up at the 2000 Lightning North American Championship. He is an expert sailmaker and rigger for Vermont Sailing Partners. A graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Bill is also a top level tactician, sail trimmer, and sailing coach.