Rocky Mountain Lightning Fleet # 488
2012 ILCA Fleet of the Year
Last updated 12/04/2013
About the Lightning
The Lightning is a 19 foot trailerable centerboard sloop originally designed by Sparkman and Stephens as an affordable family day-sailor and racing boat. She has evolved into one of the most popular and competitive one design racing classes in the world.
The Lightning’s rig is simple, but offers sophisticated sail shape controls. The hull’s unique hard chine design combines stability and sail-carrying power with flat bottom sections that promote planning. A large spinnaker transforms the boat when the wind picks up. For a crew of 3, the boat presents interesting boat handling challenges in higher wind conditions.
Read more about crewing on a Lightning.
View the ILCA 75th Anniversary Slideshow.
About Fleet 488 In Colorado
The Rocky Mountain Lightning Fleet sails with DSA at Cherry Creek Lake in Denver and at regional regattas throughout Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Fleet 488 members located north of Denver also sail at Union Reservoir. For more information, contact
David Thompson Fleet 488 Fleet Captain
and see recent Fleet 488 Newsletters.
To join Fleet 488, go to the website of the International Lightning Class Association and become a member, either as an Active (boat owner) Member; an Associate Member; or a Crew Member, selecting the US@Large District and Fleet # 488. To join or to renew your membership on line, go here. Here are the current Fleet members. The Class Association provides a valuable service for Lightning skippers and crew, with a wealth of information about Lightning events world-wide. Check out the ILCA website if you have not done so already.
Skippers – need crew?
Try our Crew Coordinator program — send a request to the Fleet Captain on Monday if you need crew for the upcoming Saturday.
Crew – looking for a ride?
Add your name to the Lightning Crew Connection list where we will maintain your contact information.
– Upcoming Events –
- 2014 Lightning Southern Circuit – Miami & St. Pete – March 16 – 22, 2014
- Fleet 488 End-of-Season Banquet — Saturday, January 25 2014, 5:45 – 9:45 PM
- Denver 2014 Boat Show, January 10 – 12
– News –
DSA End of Season Banquet, November 9
Seventeen Fleet 488 Members and friends joined forty eight other DSA members and guests for the 67th annual DSA awards banquet at the Cherry Creek Yacht Club on November 9. Steve Davis was honored with the O. C. Quatelbaum Award for the skipper with the most enthusiasm, participation, and consideration of notable competitive sailing achievements; Lucas Armstrong was honored with the Wetback Award for the most notable capsize during the season, and Christine Merritt was honored with the Ronnie Hegel Memorial Award for the individual named as best crew of the year. Steve Davis, Bill Cabrall, Lucas Armstrong, Jim England, and David Thompson were awarded trophies for their first, second, or third places in the four DSA Series Racing events. Three members of Teams Dandy Lion; Cabrall; Thompson, and two from Teams Morris; Hamer; and one from Team Davis were there, along with Madison and Allison Merritt. Read more here.
Fall Clean-up Day, Saturday November 2
On another autumn Saturday with bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid-60s (the 6th in a row this fall), twelve DSA members came out to clean up and close up the clubhouse, haul out the committee boat and the marks, and get ready for winter. Read more here.
2013 US Sailing Championship of Champions, October 24 – 27, sailed in Lightnings This Year!
DSA Sailors Philip Ryan, David Spira, and Rebecca Bevrit competed in the 2013 US Sailing Championship of Champions Regatta the weekend of October 24 – 27. Read more here.
Fall Frostbite Series # 5, Saturday October 26
It’s hard to believe that this was the last race day of the 2013 sailing season, and even harder to believe that we had sunny and relatively warm days for all five race days of the Frostbite Series! But we did.
Four Lightnings were out — Team Ulatowski, sailing Steve Davis’ boat; Team Cabrall; Team Hamer; and Team Thompson. Winds were in the 3 – 5 MPH range for the two races we completed and the start of the one we abandoned at the end of the day, after the winds died completely.
The Hamer boat, 12015, looked great after her spring and early summer re-painting, and she sailed well, taking a second place in the second race. Team Cabrall showed their magnificent seamanship and coasted to victories in both races, far ahead of the nearest competitors. Team Ulatowski took a second and a third; Team Thompson a third and a fourth. Read more here.
Fall Frostbite Series # 4, Saturday October 19
Four Lightnings came out on a beautiful sunny October Saturday with good breezes and temperatures in the mid 60s. Team Davis, with Steve, Philip Ryan, and Francine Hoffman, won the day, and Team Ulatowski, with Jay Herrmann and Karen Darricau, sailing the CSC Lightning, and Team Cabrall, with Bill, Raeyane, and Bob Stoller battled it out for second place. Team Thompson, with Norm Jarvis and Dylan Maney took fourth. Read more here.
Lightning or Similar Hull Cradle available
Evan Morris has a cradle for a Lightning or similar hull available for anyone that would want to use it. It comes in four pieces, assembles easily, can fit in the back of an SUV with a few feet hanging out the back window. Very sturdy, easy to handle. Pictures show no carpet on supports but will be installed. Will be available in December, 2013 and later. If interested, call Evan at 303 345 3355. Click on each photo to enlarge it.
Fall Frostbite Series # 3, Saturday October 12
Three Lightnings and five other boats were out on another beautiful fall day, under sunny skies with temperatures in the low 60s, and a forecast of winds 5 – 11 MPH: David Spira,sailing Steve Davis’ boat, with Philip Ryan and Rebecca Bevrit on board; Jacob Vargish, with son Andrew, neighbor Rob Bennett, and Rob’s daughter on board 14041, and David Thompson, with Julie Rist and Dylan Maney on board 15228.
Initially the winds were non-existent, but by 1:15 they started blowing from the SSE at up to 12 MPH; subsequently they kicked up to 16 with gusts to 25. Team Spira won the day, and Team Vargish took a respectable second. Team Thompson was learning how to fly a chute in the first race, and decided not to fly one in the second, and came in third in both races — mainly because in the second race, David chose to go right when the rest of the boats stayed left. Those that went left enjoyed brisk winds; on the right was a giant no-wind hole that took 15228 forever to escape it. Read more here.
Fall Frostbite Series # 2, Saturday October 5
On another beautiful fall day, under sunny skies with temperatures in the low 60s, and a forecast of winds 8 – 14 MPH, there were only three boats on the line – 2 Lightnings and a Santana. Winds, however, were much higher than forecasted, and that may have kept other dinghy sailors at home. But for those three who came out, it was an exciting, fun afternoon. Dave Spira, with crew Philip Ryan and Wayne Lemley’s friend Elle sailing Steve Davis’ boat, won the day, with three bullets; David Thompson, with crew Rob Merritt and Dylan Manny, took second; Santana skipper Mike McKeever with crew Dustin Hoffman took third on uncorrected time. Read more here.
Fall Frostbite Series # 1, Saturday, September 28
On a beautiful fall day, under sunny skies with temperatures in the low 70s, and a forecast of winds 4 – 11 MPH, there were only three boats on the line — 2 Lightnings (England and Thompson) and a J/22. What’s up with that? Now Bill and Raeyane had rigged, but then felt too under the weather to go out. So that left just the three of us to race.
And although the winds were light, they were not so light that we couldn’t race.
After an hour and a quarter delay waiting for the winds to come up, we started a race on a W – 7 course. We all met at the windward mark, with Team England rounding first and the J/22 second; unfortunately the wind shifted and died just as Team Thompson attempted to round, and it took them another 5 minutes to get around and get the chute up. By that time the other two boats were well ahead.
But Team Thompson had closed the gap pretty well by the time they rounded the leeward mark, and at the finish line the three boats were all within two boat lengths of each other. The J/22 finished first; Team England second, and Team Thompson, overlapped on Team England at the line, came in 3rd.
At that point the wind seemed to be dying again, so all competitors agreed to call it a day.
2013 Colorado Governor’s Cup Regatta, September 21/22
This was an all-dinghy regatta, as low water in the lake earlier had forced the cancellation of the keelboat portion of the event. But 43 boats were out on the race course, including 24 Lasers, 12 Portsmouth Open Division boats, 3 Optis, and 4 Lightnings.
Four Lightnings were out — Team Davis, with Fred Gohl at the helm; Team Dandy Lion; Team Ulatowski in the CSC Lightning, and Team Thompson.
Team Davis won handily, with 6 bullets, a 3rd, and a thrown-out DNF. Team Dandy Lion was a solid second, with two firsts and five seconds. Team Ulatowski was farther back, in 3rd place, and team Thompson was just one point behind, in 4th place. Team Cabrall had registered for the regatta, but were jet-lagged after returning Friday night from two weeks in England and Wales, and elected to stay ashore.
Winds on Saturday were light, with some large dead spots, but on Saturday the winds were a steady 10 – 12 MPH, making for very enjoyable racing. Read more here.
DSA Summer Series # 10, Thursday September 19
Three Lightnings were out on this the last races of the 2013 series — Steve Davis; Jim Ulatowski; and David Thompson. Winds were light, but not so light that we couldn’t race. But the darkness closed in as we were working our way to the finish line on a 4 – 8 course. Team Davis came in first (no surprises) and team Ulatowski opted to skip the final leeward mark, taking a DNF, leaving Team Thompson to finish the race and take second place. Read more here.
Lightnings Moved to the Upper Parking Lot September 15
The heavy rains during the week of September 9 – 15 brought the lake level up within eight inches of the seawall by 2 PM on Sunday, September 15, suggesting that possibly the lower parking lot could be flooded before the lake starts to drain. Consequently, Steve Davis sent out an email to the Lightning owners that we might want to move the boats to the upper parking lot. Thanks to the good work of Steve and Jan Davis, Jim and Lori England, Evan Morris, and David Thompson, the boats were brought up to the upper parking lot in short order, and for the time being will reside in the New Lightning Row.
2013 DSA Summer Series # 9, Thursday, September 12
After four days of monumental rain, the lake was up by sixteen inches, and as of 5:30 PM on Thursday, the heavy rain continued. Not a soul was at the marina (except for our Lightning Fleet Captain) and consequently, there was no racing. By Friday morning the lake was up another twenty two inches, and was restored to a level higher than we have seen anytime in 2013. Next week, the last of the 2013 DSA Summer Series, should be better.
Bill and Raeyane Tie The Knot On September 7
At 4 PM on a warm, sunny September Saturday, Bill Cabrall and Raeyane Farrell were married at the historic and elegant Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver. After the wedding we enjoyed cocktails, dinner, and dancing before calling it an evening. The happy couple is on their way to a honeymoon in England, sailing a canal barge on a trip up an 18th-century canal. More pictures here.
2013 DSA Summer Series # 8, Thursday, September 5
Only one Lightning was out this evening — the CSC Lightning 13859, with Jim Ulatowski, Jay Herrmann, and Karen Darricau on board. Read more here.
2013 DSA Summer Series # 7, Thursday, August 29
Finally — a day where the weather didn’t interfere with our Thursday night racing! On a day without thunderstorms, we had brisk northerly winds in the hour before racing, but they settled down and diminished over the course of the evening. Five Lightnings were out, with three of them double-handled. Teams England (Jim, Lori, and Bob Stoller); Thompson (David, Arek Chucovich, and Doug Work); Davis (Steve and Francine); Ulatowski (Jim and Ryan Fesenmeyer) — sailing the Community Sailing Lightning — and Hamer (Toby and Mika) all came out, although they made it to only the second race. Team Cabrall was understandably absent, having closed on the purchase of their new home in Highlands Ranch only hours earlier. Their new house, incidentally, sports a 3-car garage (or should we say a two-car and one boat garage?) Read more here.
2013 Lightning North American Championships, Westport, CT, August 18 – 23
Bill, Raeyane, and Christine placed 13th out of a fleet of 22 boats in the President’s Cup division, while Rebecca Espinosa and Rob Merritt, sailing on Bill Mauk’s Lightning 14866, placed 36th out of 36 boats in the Championship fleet. President’s Cup Results here. Championship Fleet Results here. More to follow soon.
2013 DSA Summer Series # 6, Thursday, August 22
Teams Thompson, Jarvis, Davis and Ulatowski were on deck at 5 PM, rigging their boats in anticipation of an evening of racing, and Jim England was also on site to catch up with the fleet after his participation in the 2013 North American Masters Championships (see below). Team Cabrall was still at the North American Championships in Connecticut. We welcomed two new crew on the Thompson boat, Doug Work, a DSA member and a Laser sailor, and Arek Chucovich, a recent graduate of the University of Oregon, and a member of the U of O Sailing team. Also, Norm Jarvis was preparing to sail with the purchaser, Evan Morris, of Norm’s boat. And Jim Ulatowski was there to sail the Community Sailing Lightning, with crew Jay Herrmann and Karen Darricau.
But it was not to be. By 5:30 PM we observed two thunderstorm cells headed towards the lake, one coming from eastern Douglas County where a flash flood warning had already been posted, and another coming from Lakewood, where it had already dumped several inches of hail. By 5:45 it had started raining at the lake, with lots of lightning overhead. At 6 PM, RC hoisted the Postponement flag, and at 6:15 PM the Abandon flag, and we called it an evening. Read more here.
2013 North American Masters Championships, Nyack NY, August 14 – 17
Fleet 488 sailors Jim England and Rebecca Espinosa were aboard Bill Mauk’s Lightning 14866 for the 2013 Masters Championships on the Hudson River at Nyack, NY. They placed 21st out of a fleet of 32 boats. We are waiting for Jim and Rebecca to return to fill us in on the details. Results here.
2013 DSA Summer Series # 5, Thursday, August 15
Only one Lightning was out, since Teams Cabrall, England, and Davis were on their way to the North American Championships in Westport, CT, and Team Thompson was in San Francisco. And Norm Jarvis needed crew. That left Team Dandy Lion to represent the DSA Lightning Fleet in tonight’s racing.
An unexpected microburst at the beginning of the second starting sequence of the first race knocked over all the Lasers and caused RC to abandon the race and go into Rescue Mode. Team Dandy Lion’s jib had the window blown out and the leach ripped, and sailed the rest of the evening on main alone.
Lightning Skippers and Crew are Heading for the Lightning North American Championships Next Week!
August 9, 2013
Bill Cabrall will be packing up his boat on Sunday, August 11, and will hit the road later in the week, meeting up with Raeyane in Cleveland, and arriving in Westport on August 16. Christine will fly in on the 17th to complete Bill’s crew. Jim England will be flying to Nyack this weekend to meet up with Bill Mauk to crew on Bill’s boat in the Masters; Rob Merritt likewise will be heading out this weekend to sail as crew on another boat in the Masters, and with Bill Mauk in the North Americans the following week. And Steve Davis will be flying out on the 17th to meet up with Brian Hayes to helm Brian’s boat in the North Americans. David Spira summers in Connecticut, and although he has not yet registered for the NAs, we would expect to see him crewing, if not driving a boat. Exciting news. Stay tuned for more!
2013 DSA Summer Series # 4, Thursday, August 8
Four Lightnings were out – teams Davis; Cabrall; Dandy Lion; and Thompson. Team Davis sailed with Jim Ulatowski, Roy Burley, and Francine on board. Team Cabrall had Bill, Raeyane, and guest Peter Goldstein; Team Dandy Lion sailed with Lucas, Adam, and Andrew Moraski on board. Team Thompson had David, Rob, and Mike Taber along. An unplanned thunderstorm rolled in overhead during the second start of the first race, causing RC and all competitors to abandon racing for the evening. Back on shore we waited for the rain, thunder, and Lightning to stop, but as of 9 PM it hadn’t. Read more here.
2013 DSA Summer Series # 3, Thursday, August 1
Five Lightnings were out – teams Davis; Cabrall; England (with Bob Stoller at the helm); Dandy Lion; and Thompson. Team Thompson sailed short one crew but was able to successfully double-hand in the steady and moderate southerly winds. Team Dandy Lion had Jay Leidal and Andrew Moraski on board. In the second race team Thompson got caught below the RC boat, forced up by leeward boats on the line, and had to point up, resulting in a stall, but they were able to then sail backwards for a boat length, pivot, and come across the line slightly behind the other boats. They made it to the windward mark in 4th place, that the held onto for the remainder of the race. Read more here.
Lightning Row at the Marina has grown to 10 boats!
We now have ten Lightnings parked at the marina! The addition of Toby Hamer’s shiny green-hulled boat 12015 with a wooden mast has grown our fleet to 10. The other boats include Community Sailing’s blue-hulled boat; and boats belonging to teams Gawthrop; Thompson; England; Cabrall; Dandy Lion; Jarvis; Davis; and Vargish.
2013 DSA Summer Series # 2, Thursday, July 25
Four Lightnings were out – teams Cabrall; England; Vargish; and Dandy Lion. In the first race, Team Vargish came in 30 seconds ahead of Team Dandy Lion, with Teams Cabrall third and England 4th. In the second race, teams Cabrall and England took first and second, with Team Cabrall just 30 seconds ahead of Team England. Battling out for third place honors were teams Dandy Lion and Vargish, with Dandy Lion coming in ahead by only 9 seconds. This was close racing! Read more here.
2013 DSA Summer Series # 1, Thursday, July 18
This week the wind conditions were similar to last week’s, with a wind forecast of 5 to 9, and actual winds blowing 20 with gusts to 32 between 5 PM and 7 PM. Three Lightnings were out - Teams England; Gawthrop; and Dandy Lion. Read more here.
2013 DSA Spring Series # 10, Thursday, July 11
This week Team Davis was out of commission — Steve had injured his shoulder and couldn’t sail; Team Cabrall couldn’t sail because Bill was stuck in Huntsville AL and couldn’t get back in time; Team Dandy Lion had elected not to sail and to instead pack their boat for the upcoming Aspen Open; and Teams Jarvis, England and Vargish didn’t appear. Team Thompson, with Rob, Kai, and, David, splashed but decided not to race, due to the strength of the wind (20 with gusts to 30). Consequently, only Team Gawthrop went out (but did not fly a chute). They had one good race before RC called it for the evening, due to an approaching thunderstorm. Read more here.
West Meets East Sailing Around Fishers Island Near Mystic, Connecticut!
July 6 — Fleet 488 members David Spira and Rebecca Bevrit sailed with Alister Thomson around Fishers Island Connecticut on Saturday. Here is a photo.
A stunning day, delightful company, and fair winds!
2013 DSA Spring Series # 9, Wednesday, July 3
This week we sailed our Spring Series races on Wednesday, as there was no racing on Thursday, July 4. And by this week we had mostly mastered the art of getting out of the now-very-shallow harbor when winds are blowing straight into the channel — by paddling across to the A dock before attaching the rudder, then attaching the rudder and paddling to the plastic finger dock at the end of the channel, tying up, hoisting sails, and then sailing out. And this week we had the chance to again demonstrate this skill, with wind blowing at 14 MPH from the northeast.
But this week we had the added challenge of sailing back in while facing a direct headwind, after the winds unexpectedly changed direction shortly before the conclusion of racing for the evening, and blew from the west at 14 MPH.
But we are getting ahead of the story. Three Lightnings were out this evening — Teams Cabrall, Vargish, and Thompson — and even though the dinghies started in the second sequence, two of the Lightnings were late to the line — Team Cabrall, about 2 minutes after the starting horn, and Team Thompson, a full ten minutes late.
The first race was on a long 1 – 6 course, and by then the winds had died to a nice, steady 7 MPH, so the race lasted almost an hour. Team Vargish took first place among the Lightnings, Cabrall second, and Thompson third — Thompson finishing the first race while simultaneously starting the second.
In the second race RC set an even longer course – a 1 – 6 – 1 – 6, even though the winds seemed to be dying off. And they were — by the time Team Thompson rounded the first weather mark, the winds were down to 3 MPH. Also, a large dark cloud popped up west of the dam, although it seemed to be moving in a southerly direction, not particularly approaching the lake. Flecks of Lightning were seen at the south edge of the cloud, prompting the skippers to exhibit some nervousness about getting down to the 6 buoy and having an escape route to the harbor if evacuation from the race course was necessary.
And, with a not-yet-spinnaker-trained middle crew on board, Team Thompson elected not to raise a chute, making them incredibly slow on the downwind run, and with every little puff seeming to be weaker than the previous, the possibility seemed real that they would be becalmed somewhere in the middle of the lake, with lightning flashes around.
And, when the Thompson boat was a hundred yards from the 6 buoy, the winds did die completely. At that point, David expressed his agitation with the wind situation and announced that he was abandoning the race and asked the crew to man the paddles. So they started paddling toward the entrance to the channel. In the meantime, teams Cabrall and Vargish had since rounded the leeward mark and headed back up towards the second weather mark.
As Team Thompson was approaching the entrance to the harbor, a sudden, brisk and gusty, westerly wind started up. David noted that they were now forced to sail a series of very short tacks up the channel, avoiding the A dock on the left and the shallows south of the line of red hippity-hops on the right, in gusty and somewhat shifty winds blowing straight down the channel.
Somehow they made it without getting grounded in the shallow mud and without crashing into the A dock, although with each tack the boat heeled way over before moving forward. They got to about the middle of the row of boats on the A dock where they were able to luff up, grab a finger dock, and pull into the open adjacent slip, drop the main, and exhale. They then attempted a series of maneuvers, throwing a 50-foot line to a crew member across the next slip to the next finger dock, catching the line, and pulling the boat to the next finger dock. This didn’t work very well, but shortly after, the first finishing engine-powered keelboats came streaming by, and Team Thompson caught a tow from one of them and got dropped off at the open deck nearest the marina office. After removing the rudder, they were able to easily paddle to the crane dock and wait their turn for a hoist out.
In the meantime, teams Cabrall and Vargish crossed the finish line of the by-then-shortened course and headed back to the dock. Team Cabrall actually hoisted their chute for the by-then downwind run to the finish line. After heading back to the harbor, they were able to sail in on starboard with some luffing, since by then the winds had calmed down. They tied up at the same spot where the Thompson boat had removed their rudder, and then removed their own rudder and headed for the crane dock under paddle power. Unfortunately, the wind caused them to drift east, and with only one short paddle on board, they made landfall on the east side of the clubhouse dock. Their task then was to work the boat west, from dock to dock, to get back to the crane dock. Rather than throwing a rope like team Thompson had unsuccessfully tried, they (Bill, Christine, and Thompson’s middle crew Michael) just gave the boat a shove from one dock towards the next, while Raeyane, still on board, stood on deck to catch the next dock.
Unfortunately, a wind gust caught the boat while it was between two docks, and it got blown back east, past the exposed mud flats and close to the floating log boom. With that, Bill and Michael, and other spectators, waded into the waist-deep water, with ankle-deep soft mud below, grabbed the boat and hauled it back to the docks. This took some time, but eventually they were successful.
In the meantime, Team Vargish, seeing what was happening, dropped their sails and attempted to paddle from the mouth of the harbor directly to the crane dock, also using just one short paddle. It was exhausting, time-consuming work, but they were able to make it to the crane dock without mishap, although the other four crew on board had by then completely lost their enthusiasm for being on the water!
Finally, after all three Lightnings hauled out, their crews discussed the difficulty of the adventure. Bill Cabrall decided he was going to fabricate a short, shallow-water rudder so that there would be some steering while crew were paddling, and also to purchase two four-foot paddles, that allow paddlers to put some muscle into their paddle strokes. And to purchase, and stow close to the top of his lazerette, a small clamshell anchor that will be good in mud.
It was quite the evening! Read more here.
2013 DSA Spring Series # 8, Thursday, June 27
Four Lightnings were out for Spring Series # 8 — Teams Davis; Cabrall; Dandy Lion, and Thompson, on a warm evening following a very hot day. Team Thompson tried a new approach to getting out of the harbor in ENE winds that were blowing right down the narrow channel leading from the bait shop to the harbor exit — Rob walked the boat around the shoreline over to the A dock, wading in the hip-deep water. There was a bit of a “Two Stooges” moment when Jay Leidal, on shore, and not noticing Rob leading the boat around, thought that she had escaped from the dock unattended and raced in to try to recover her and bring her back to the dock, and Jay and Rob pulled against each other for a couple of minutes before figuring out what was going on. Once that was resolved, Rob tied the boat at the A dock by the bait shop and, when Barb arrived, the three easily paddled to the finger dock at the end of the channel, with Barb at the helm. Once there, they hoisted sails and exited he marina.
Team Dandy Lion was actually able to leave the crane dock on a port tack, round the rightmost red hippity-hop by the A dock, tack, and sail close-hauled straight out the channel, although they needed some paddle strokes when their boat occasionally went head-to-wind.
Out on the race course, the first race was on a short W – L – W – L course, with 17 Lasers going first and all the other boats in an OOAK start going second, with Lasers sailing down towards the leeward mark through the OOAK start line at the time the OOAK class flag came down. Once clear of the line, Teams Davis, Cabrall, and Dandy Lion dominated their group, with team Thompson bringing up the rear, not even close.
In the second race, on a 2 – L – W – L course, Team Thompson was in second place at the first windward mark, the first leeward mark, and the second windward mark, with Team Cabrall in close pursuit, but at the final windward mark, Team Cabrall executed a very nice spinnaker gybe set at the same time that Team Thompson executed a very messy standard spinnaker set, having accidentally gybed while rounding, before their chute went up, and Team Cabrall raced past them, rounded the leeward mark and on to the finish line in second place. Read more here.
2013 DSA Spring Series # 7, Thursday, June 20
This was about as nice an evening as one could want for sailboat racing — temperatures in the low 80s, steady northerly winds between 10 and 15 MPH, and no storms anywhere in the sky. Five Lightnings were out — Teams Davis; Cabrall; Jarvis; Vargish; and Thompson. All Lightnings faced some challenges getting out of the narrowed channel in the marina, but only Team Thompson was late to the start for the first race. More here. Note that Team Vargish suggested an alternate approach for easily exiting the marina — just hook a ride on the tail of a departing motorized Santana!
The Crew Coordination program worked well this evening, with three skippers, facing crew shortages, contacted the Crew Coordinator for help, and three crew candidates from the Lightning Crew Connection list volunteered — Pete Horst, who sailed on the Davis boat; James McGorry, who sailed on the Jarvis boat, and Michael Owens, who sailed on the Thompson boat. James McGorry, incidentally, is now a Lightning owner, having purchased 11446 and having started her restoration. Congratulations, James!
2013 Lightning World Championship, Castiglione del Lago, Italy
Steve Davis placed 18th out of a star-studded cast of 46 in the 2013 Lightning World Championships, and David Spira placed 23rd. Steve sailed with Laura Jeffers and Amy Smith Linton; David sailed with Todd Whitman and Randy Shore. Well done, Steve and David! More here. Full Report here.
2013 DSA Spring Series # 6, Thursday, June 13
This was a typical Cherry Creek Lake “light air” evening, with winds in the 0 – 3 range, blowing from multiple different directions, except for a prior-to-the-start blast of 20+ winds resulting from a downdraft provided by a passing cloud mass. Four Lightnings were out, and on a 7 – 3 course with a lot of drifting, Bill Cabrall came in ahead of the other three. After Bill finished, it looked like the Thompson boat, approaching the finish line, on port tack, would inch in ahead of the Vargish boat, but Vargish was on starboard, and at the last moment Thompson had to yield enough room for Vargish, who was just able to sneak in ahead. Team Jarvis crossed the finish line shortly after. Read more here.
2013 Lightning International Masters Championships, Castiglione del Lago, Italy
Congratulations to DSA Lightning skippers Steve Davis and David Spira, who placed 10th and 11th respectively in the 2013 Lightning International Masters Championship Regatta at Castiglione del Lago, Italy! Steve sailed with Laura Jeffers and Amy Linton; David sailed with Todd Whitman and Randy Shore. Full results here. Steve and David are currently sailing in the Lightning World Championships at the same venue, with racing to continue through June 14. Stay tuned for more.
2013 DSA Spring Series # 5, Thursday, June 6
It was a beautiful night for sailing, with steady northeasterly winds at 6 – 8 MPH, and five Lightnings came out — teams Vargish; Jarvis; Dandy Lion; Cabrall; and Thompson. In the first race the Lasers started first and all the other boats — Lightnings, plus two Santanas; two Buccs; and two Swift Solos — in an OOAK class started second. That made for a crowded start line and there was much tacking and shouting of “Starboard” as boats got away, but eventually they got cleared out and worked their way to the # 1 buoy, our windward mark. After rounding, and a nice spinnaker run to the # 7 buoy, boats worked their way to the finish line, with Cabrall in first place; Vargish in second, Thompson in third, with Dandy Lion and Jarvis bringing up the rear.
In the second race, Lightnings got their own start and had an easier time getting away from the line, and in rounding the windward mark, setting chutes, and sailing downwind on a 1 – 7 – 6 course. Team Vargish was way ahead on the downwind trip to the 7 mark, with teams Cabrall, Thompson, and Dandy Lion side-by-side and neck-and neck behind them. However, team Vargish, after rounding the 7 buoy, headed for # 5 (as had all the Lasers); in the meantime, team Thompson, after several gybes, sailed to # 6 and rounded it ahead of Cabrall and Dandy Lion and had clear sailing to the finish. When team Vargish noted their mistake, they came back up to # 6 and rounded, but by then they were too far behind.
On the last tack before the finish line, team Cabrall inched ahead of team Thompson and crossed the line first. This left Thompson in second place and Dandy Lion in third.
What a fun race!
2013 DSA Spring Series # 4, Thursday, May 30
Primarily due to high wind warnings (“gusts above 50 MPH!”) on the news, only two crews showed up to rig and splash — teams Cabrall and Thompson. When RC reported at 5:45 PM that winds on the lake were a sustained 20 with gusts to 26, both teams decided to forgo sailing, and headed instead to the Baker St. Cafe for drinks and dinner. Read more here.
Fleet 488 Crew Coordinator Role in place starting May 27!
Starting May 27, our Fleet captain will fill the role of Crew Coordinator, for the purpose of getting more Lightnings on the line for our 2013 Spring and Summer series races. Crew candidates will be listed on the Lightning Crew Connection page, to serve as a pool from which to draw for crew positions on specific Thursday nights. Here is how it will work:
- Any skipper knowing on Monday that he will need crew for the upcoming Thursday will contact the Crew Coordinator on Monday to explain his needs;
- The Crew Coordinator will canvass the crew pool and work to make a match;
- Skippers who don’t know until Tuesday or later that they will need crew will be on their own to find crew;
- Skippers who know on Monday they will not be sailing will contact the Crew Coordinator on Monday to let him know which of his regular crew will be available to sail on other boats the upcoming Thursday.
Stay tuned. To make this work we will probably need to increase the size of our crew pool. If your name is not in the Lightning Crew Connection list, and you’d like it to be, send an email to the Crew Coordinator stating the same.
2013 DSA Spring Series # 3, Thursday, May 23
Winds were stronger than we had expected, and while five Lightning crews (Jarvis; Gawthrop; Cabrall; Dandy Lion; and Thompson) assembled to prepare and launch their boats, none went out. Read more here.
2013 Shootout/Hornblower Regatta, May 18-19
We had light and variable winds on both days, but not so light that we couldn’t race, and occasionally strong enough in the gusts to cause us to get up on the deck and hike. Sailing on the dinghy course at the southeast end of the lake we got in three races on Saturday and four on Sunday, all on windward-leeward courses marked by yellow buoys, except for the last race on Sunday, when we sailed a 4 – 2 course.
Five Lightnings were out: teams Davis; Cabrall; Dandy Lion; Stoller; and Thompson. Finishes were in the order you would expect, except for the last race on Sunday, when the Dandy Lions found their secret inboard engine and flashed by all four other Lightings on the final leg to take first place. Way to go, Dandy Lions! In that race, team Thompson was second around the windward mark and also at the leeward mark, and had expectations of a second or third place finish (behind Dandy Lion and Davis), but in the 20 seconds or so before the finish line, teams Cabrall and Stoller both inched past Thompson on their windward side. As they say in France, “desolé!” Read more here.
2013 DSA Spring Series # 2, Thursday, May 16
Five Lightnings were out on a beautiful evening for sailing – Teams Davis; Cabrall; Stoller; Dandy Lion, and Thompson. Winds were from the ENE in the range of 5 – 10 MPH with occasional higher gusts, and the air was comfortable warm. The first race was on a short windward-leeward course with ten boats in an OOAK start on a relatively narrow start line. The second race gave Lightnings their own start on a 1 – L course, and the third race also gave Lightnings their own start on a 1 – 7 course. The top two finishers in each race were, as we might expect, teams Davis and Cabrall. Third place swapped between Teams Stoller and Thompson.
In the third race, Team Thompson did a disaster recovery drill when the spin halyard slipped out of the cleat during a gybe and the chute fell below the boat. Quick work by forward and middle crew recovered the chute, untangled the sheets, and got the chute up and drawing again in fairly short order; unfortunately the team thought the course was still 1 – L and sailed for the hippity-hop that was the leeward mark for the previous race. When they saw the other four boats sailing towards the marina, they thought at first that they had already finished and were heading home, but when they saw the boats rounding mark # 7, it dawned on them that the course was different from what they thought! So they executed a mid-course correction, but alas were too far back to regain their position, and finished last.
In the “battle of the foredeck crews,” suffice it to say that the score went to Christine, 3 – 0.
Lightning 11446 is for sale! $1,000 OBO.
2013 DSA Spring Series # 1, Thursday, May 9
After a second day of heavy rain with thunder and lightning, it was not surprising that only two teams showed up to race — one Santana team and one Lightning team. And it was no surprise that the one Lightning team was team Quest — Bill, Raeyane, and Christine. However, RC (Norm Jarvis, David Thompson, Rob Merritt) discussed the situation with team Quest, who decided not to sail, and so canceled racing for the evening. Read more here.
2013 DSA Thaw-out Series # 5, Saturday, May 4
Finally we got a Thaw-out Series race day with wind! granted, it was puffy, with winds in the range of 5 – 10 MPH, and occasional gusts to 15, along with a few no-wind holes, but still, much better than the previous 4 race days in the series. Three Lightnings were out — Teams Spira, Cabrall, and Thompson, with Dave Spira again sailing Steve Davis’ boat, with Philip Ryan and Dawn Darling on board. We had a repeat of “the battle of the foredeck crews,” with Christine Merritt on board the Cabrall boat (with Raeyane as third) and Rob Merritt on board the Thompson boat (with Mike Taber as third), and this time the Cabrall boat beat the Thompson boat in all three races, although it was neck-and-neck racing in the final leg of race 1, with the Cabrall boat sneaking ahead for good halfway to the finish line. Dave Spira, as usual was way ahead in all three races. Read more here.
2013 DSA Thaw-out Series # 4, Saturday, April 27
Lightnings again comprised half the turnout on yet another light air day in the Thawout series. David Spira was again there, sailing Steve Davis’ boat, with Bill Darling and Bill’s son as crew; and Al Gawthrop made his first appearance in the Thawout series, sailing with son Jordan and brother-in-law Craig Bouck. Teams Thompson and Cabrall rounded out the foursome, with Raeyanne Farrell and Christine Merrit on board Quest, and Rebecca Bevrit and Rob Merritt on board Blue Two, setting up a historic competition, between foredeck sailors, of Merritt vs. Merritt. The final score on that one was Quest 2, Blue Two 1, but David Spira won the day on standings.
Toby Hamer Flips His Lightning!
No, not on the water — in the back yard of Toby and Mika’s new home near 9th and Pontiac in east Denver. Toby and his father David purchased wooden Lightning 12015 from Bill Cabrall earlier this spring, with the intention of filling in the minor cracks in the bottom and on the transom before splashing the boat for the upcoming DSA Spring series. So they hauled it on the trailer to the back yard of the new house, knowing that they would need to recruit a crew of at least 7 DSA members to remove the boat from the trailer and place it upside down on sawhorses so that the bottom was easily accessible for the crack patching.
And recruit successfully they did, with Roy Burley, Richard Allen, David Thompson, Brandon Kass, Jim England, Toby and David Hamer on hand to perform the flip. They slid the boat to the left, sideways, on the trailer until the starboard chine was aligned with the center-line of the trailer, then lifted the boat up so that the starboard topside and then the starboard gunwale were on the right side of the trailer, resting on the trailer bunks. Then all but two of the lifters moved from the left side to the right side of the trailer to catch the boat as it the continued its clockwise roll.
Once the boat was upside down, they lifted it off the trailer bunks and onto a set of sawhorses placed strategically alongside the trailer. The whole process took less than 15 minutes. Bill Cabrall arrived a few moments later, happy to see the result. Photos coming soon.
2013 DSA Thaw-out Series # 3, Saturday, April 20
Lightnings comprised more than half the turnout on another light air day in the Thawout series. David Spira, sailing with Philip Ryan and guest Nicholas Hayes sailed on 15265, Steve Davis’ boat; Teams Quest; Evenstar; and Dandy Lion were also on the water, and we had an all-Lightning RC (David Thompson and Pete Horsch) to boot. Also on the water were one Santana, one U-20, and a JY. Unfortunately Dandy Lion missed the start of the first and only race, and Team Evenstar crossed the finish line more than 30 minutes after the first boat crossed. Team Quest stayed on the course after the race and got in some spinnaker practice.
2013 DSA Thaw-out Series # 2, Saturday, April 13
Only one Lightning raced on April 13, one of three dinghies and three keelboats out on a comfortable-temperature, mostly light air day, but four Lightning skippers and three crew were involved. Skipper David Thompson was at the helm of 15228, with Skipper Norm Jarvis on board; Skippers Bill Cabrall and Jacob Vargish were on the Committee Boat, along with crew Raeyane Farrell and Andrew Vargish. Kai Thompson, on board 15228, was the third crew on the water. Read more here.
2013 DSA Thaw-out Series # 1, Saturday, April 6
We had partly sunny skies with a high overcast and pleasant temperatures in the mid 60s, with light and variable winds, for the first race day of the 2013 DSA racing season. PRO Darek Buczynski and assistant Philip Ryan set a 1 – 5 course and got off three races for the dinghies and four for the keelboats in winds that changed direction, sometimes as much as 180 degrees, frequently. Three U-20s, one Santana, two Lightnings, one 420, and seven Lasers were out. In the Lightning division, Bill Cabrall, sailing with Raeyane and Christine Merritt took a first and two seconds, while Team Davis — Steve, Jan, and Francine Hoffman — took two firsts and a second. Skippers England, Jarvis, and Thompson were on site setting up their boats, but elected not to sail.
Saint Pete Plus 7 – a Post-Circuit Lament – by Bill Cabrall
Bill Cabrall published this poem in the April 1 edition of the ILCA Flash Blast emailed newsletter. Well done. Bill! We nominate you to be Poet Laureate for ILCA!
2013 Southern Circuit Results
Teams Davis, Cabrall, and Thompson sailed the 2013 Lightning Southern Circuit the week of March 9 – 17. Steve and Jan Davis flew into Savannah and chartered a boat from Laura Jeffers, and sailed with Laura and Brian Hayes. Bill Cabrall drove the northern route and picked up Raeyane at the Nashville airport and picked up Jim England at the Savannah airport. Teams Davis and Cabrall sailed the entire circuit. Barb and David Thompson drove to St. Pete the last week in February where they stayed for an entire month in a rental condo. They headed down to Miami on March 11 to meet up with Rob Merritt who had flown in from Denver the night before. Team Thompson sailed Miami (but only one race there) and all races in St. Pete.
Results: Team Davis placed 9th out of 26 boats sailing the entire circuit, and Team Cabrall placed 22nd. In Savannah, Team Davis placed 5th and team Cabrall placed 35th out of 41 boats. In Miami, Team Davis placed 20th; team Cabrall 32nd, and team Thompson 44th out of 44 boats. In St. Pete, team Davis placed 16th; team Cabrall 36th; and Thompson 50th out of 51 boats. In the St. Pete Masters, team Davis placed 3rd; team Cabrall 14th; and team Thompson 22nd out of 23 boats. Here are complete results.
2012 ILCA Yearbook (covering the 2011 sailing season) Has Arrived!
It’s here! The 2012 ILCA Yearbook, covering the 2011 season, arrived in our mailbox today – the CD version – and it brilliantly highlights the season. You’ll enjoy Bill Cabrall’s humorous and complete Fleet 488 Report - read it here!
Fleet 488 End-of-Season Banquet — Saturday, January 19, 2013
At the home of Steve and Jan Davis. All Fleet 488 members and guests were invited, as were all current and prospective Colorado Lightning sailors — skippers and crew — interested in joining the fleet. The party was from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM, with dinner, drinks, and social activities, followed by a short business meeting. The main course for dinner was provided by our hosts; the attendees were asked to bring either beer & wine or salads or desserts, as determined subsequently by a poll of the respondents.
Twenty Fleet members and friends had a most enjoyable evening, and lingered well past the scheduled ending time to socialize with members they had not seen since the end of sailing season in October. At the business meeting, David Thompson was re-elected to the post of Fleet Captain and Jan Davis was elected to the post of Fleet Secretary. Fleet Captain David Thompson reviewed the highlights of the 2012 season, including the awards given at the 2012 DSA End-of-Season Banquet.
Fleet 488 2013 ILCA Yearbook Report Draft is posted!