Rocky Mountain Lightning Fleet # 488


Last updated 04/20/2014


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 –

– News –

DSA Thaw-out Series # 3, Saturday, April 19!

Four lightnings went out: Teams Davis; England; Cabrall; and Thompson, The temperatures were in the mid-sixties under partly sunny skies, and at first the winds were light, so we were warm enough in shorts and light spray tops. Lightnings again sailed in the Portsmouth class that also included David Spira’s Buccaneer and three U-20s — Jim Ulatowski’s, Cliff Begnaud’s  and Brad Lawson’s.  Team Thompson, sailing with Rob at forward and newcomer Jeff Walsh at middle, got a picture-perfect start in the first race and held it all the way to the finish on a short windward-leeward course. Teams England, with Jim and Lori and Bob Stoller on board; Davis, with Jan at Steve and Francine Hoffman on board; and Cabrall, with only Raeyane on board for the first race, finished behind them.   Winds picked up in the second race, and Catherine March, who had been on RC for the first race, hopped on to the Cabrall boat for the remaining races of the day.  Teams Thompson and Davis retired after the second race, and Cabrall after the third.   Read more here.


DSA Thaw-out Series # 2, Saturday, April 12!

Four lightnings went out: Teams Hamer; England; Cabrall; and Thompson, The temperatures were in the low 70s under cloudy skies, and winds were light, so we were warm enough in shorts and light spray tops. Lightnings sailed in the Portsmouth class that also included David Spira’s Buccaneer and two U-20s — Jim Ulatowski’s and Brad Lawson’s.  Team England, with Jim and Lori and Bob Stoller on board, was the top Lightning finisher for the day, followed by Teams Thompson; Cabrall, and Hamer in that order.  Read more here.


DSA Thaw-out Series # 1, Saturday, April 5!

No lightnings went out, But Jim and Lori England served on Race committee, along with PRO Philip Ryan. Team Cabrall was in Houston sailing in the Texas District Championships (where they placed 4th); Team Thompson was unpacking their boat  after returning from Florida the night before; Team Hamer had planned to sail but discovered a need  to repair some delamination in their wooden mast. And Evan Morris was also on site, working on the mast of Lil’ Peppa, the boat he purchased from Norm Jarvis last fall and repainted to a chili pepper red.  There will be more of us on the water next weekend. Read more here.


2014 Lightning Southern Circuit is concluded!

Twelve Fleet 488 members arrived in Florida on March 15 to take part in the 2014 Lightning Southern Circuit.  Teams Cabrall (Bill; Raeyane; and Christine) and Thompson (David, Norm Jarvis, and Lori England) brought their boats; Jim England and Rob Merritt crewed for Bill Mauk of the Coral Reef Yacht club; and Steve Davis helmed a boat brought to Florida by Brian Hayes.  Rebecca Bevrit crewed on Rochester-based Dick Halligan’s boat. Barb Thompson and Jan Davis provided shore support for the Fleet 488 team.

Results are posted here.
In Miami, Team Thompson placed 50th out of 53; in St Pete they placed 55th out of 57; and in the Masters in St. Pete they placed 28th out of 30.  Overall, for Miami and St. Pete combined, they were 45th out of 46.
They were not last!
Bill Cabrall and crew placed 42nd out of 46 overall; Steve Davis placed 17th out of 46 overall; and Bill Mauk placed 20th out of 46.  Dick Halligan placed 25th.
Team Thompson had some bad luck, ripping their chute in Miami and breaking their main halyard in the last trace in St. Pete.  Fortunately they had a spare chute to use for the remainder of the races.
Winds were higher than usual in Miami, in the vicinity of 15 – 20 knots on days 1 and 2, and 20 – 24 knots on day 3, the result of a front passing through just prior to racing that day.  The rock stars at the front of the pack all described their various techniques for gaining speed as they surfed down the front sides of the 4-foot waves; Team Thompson just focused on keeping their boat from capsizing.  They succeeded, even as others went over during downwind gybes.
Winds in St. Pete were as they have been in years past — enough to run the first race on a 10 AM start, then dying off for a few hours before a sea breeze filled in.  There were three races completed on day one, and only one race completed on days 2 and 3.

2014 Lightning Yearbook Report Submitted!

February 24 — the 2014 Lightning Yearbook Report for Fleet 488 has been submitted to the class office.  See it here.

Fleet 488 end-of-season banquet January 25!

Twenty Fleet 488 members and guests met at the Aspen Room of the Heather Gardens clubhouse for a most enjoyable evening of socializing and dining, along with a short business meeting. Thanks much to the potluck contributors, especially the Cabralls, who brought two kinds of Lasagna using Bill’s mother’s favorite recipes, and the Tabers, who brought an exquisite mushroom sauteed chicken main dish.  Thanks much to Evan Morris, who helped us arrange use of the Heather Gardens facility.

At the business meeting, Fleet Captain David Thompson listed the highlights of the 2013 season (see below), and Bill Cabrall won the Fleet 488 Championship perpetual trophy.  David was re-elected to his third year as Fleet Captain and Jan Davis was re-elected as Fleet Secretary.

Cruising News

On January 4, David and Barb Thompson did a Star Clipper cruise in the Caribbean Leeward Islands.  Read about it here.

Not to be outdone, Toby and Mika Hamer, in the way of a honeymoon, flew to Bangkok, Thailand, and did a one-week bare boat charter around the nearby islands.  A story is coming soon.

Time to Renew your ILCA Membership for 2014!

Joining or renewing your ILCA membership automatically makes you a voting member of Fleet 488. Go here to renew or join on line.  Active Membership is for skippers (boat owners); Associate and/or Crew membership is for non-boat owners.  The dues for Active Membership are $45; for crew they are $10.  Please select the US@Large as your District and Fleet 488 as your fleet when filling out the on-line form.

If you helm a boat in ILCA sanctioned regattas you will need an Active Membership;  otherwise you will need an Associate or a Crew membership if you are crewing.

Log of 2013 Season published!

Be the very first to read all 32 pages of our 2013 season log — taken from the entries in this web page. Download it here.

More Fleet 488 News