Malletts Bay. “The guy was right there
building the things specifically for our
boat, and giving us a good deal. It wasn’t
like we paid gobs more for it,” he says.
Local sailors like McClellan are the core
clientele for the company, which generates between $350,000 and $400,000 in
annual sales revenue.
Beyond his business, Fastiggi is a
prominent figure on the local sailing
scene. He still races Lightnings on
Malletts Bay, now with his wife, Suzy
Coburn, and also acts as a youth coach
and racing guru. A few years ago, he
was instrumental in luring two major
Lightning events to Malletts Bay — the
North American championships in 2001
and the world championships in 2009.
(His racing bona fides are considerable:
in addition to the collegiate success, he
won a gold medal at the 1999 Pan American Games and has raced at events in
Chile, Ecuador, Italy and throughout
To be sure, Fastiggi could have
worked places with more traffic and bigger yachts, but like many who put down
roots in Vermont, the decision to be
here wasn’t based purely on economics.
Fastiggi was drawn by the combination
of family ties and the relatively unsung
125-mile-long body of water that offers
world-class boating and can kick up
conditions worthy of a permanent U.S.
Coast Guard presence.
“Lake Champlain is a phenomenal
place to sail,” he says. “Certainly sailing
conditions-wise, it’s better than Long
Island Sound; it’s better sailing conditions than Chesapeake Bay, which are
well-thought-of sailing areas. The wind
conditions are just a lot better. The coast
of Maine is probably the best place in
the country, one of the best places in the
world, in terms of cruising areas, in terms
of places to go, things to see, but they’ve
got fog and a lot of lobster pots and other
stuff too. So places have their advantages
and disadvantages. In general, this is one
of the best places to sail.” A
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