Rocky Mountain Lightning Fleet # 488


Last updated 12/9/2014


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.

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A Summary of the 2014 Season is published

Check out this Summary of the Season PDF document!

DSA End-of-Season Banquet, Saturday, November 8

Twenty four Fleet 488 members joined in on the celebration of the end of the 2014 DSA Sailing season on a warm evening on Saturday, November 8.  Barb Thompson planned and organized the dinner; Curtis Rist and David Thompson planned the annual meeting, and Curtis, Julie, David, and Barb helped set up the banquet room at the Cherry Creek Yacht Club. Francine Hoffman contributed photos for a slide show, and Toby Hamer brought a video projector.

After a most enjoyable dinner, catered by A Perfect Bite, with complimentary dry dock beer and house wines provided by the yacht club, we started the annual meeting and awards ceremony.

Bill Cabrall was presented with the perpetual trophy for the 2014 Captain Hornblower award, and Team Dandy Lion won the Wetback Trophy for the most spectacular capsize of the season.

Bill Cabrall accepting his Captain Hornblower award

The Dandy Lions accept their Wetback Award.

Trophies for first, second, and third place finishes in The Lightning Class DSA Series races were awarded as follows:

  • Bill Cabrall –  Thaw-out Series – 2nd place; Spring Series – 2nd place; Frostbite Series –  1st place
  • Steve Davis – Spring Series – 1st place; Summer Series – 1st place
  • Bob Stoller – Thaw-out Series – 1st place; Frostbite Series –  3rd place
  • David Thompson – Thaw-out Series – 3rd place; Spring Series – 3rd place; Summer Series – 3rd place
  • Jacob Vargish - Summer Series – 2nd place; Frostbite Series –  2nd place

It was a most enjoyable evening.

Read more here.

DSA Fall Frostbite Series # 5, Saturday, October 25

It was yet another beautiful warm and sunny Saturday afternoon, and this time with some nice wind!  Bob Stoller was PRO and did a great job running 4 races. Again, four Lightnings came out: Team Cabrall, with Raeyane Cabrall and Jeff Walsh; Team Thompson, with Norm Jarvis and new crew Catherine Stevens; Team Vargish, with the whole family on board, and the Dandy Lions, with Lucas, Nate, and Carter on board.

Team Cabrall won the day with 4 bullets; Team Vargish was a strong second with 3 seconds and a 3rd; Team Dandy Lion was third with a second and three thirds; and team Thompson brought up the rear with four 4ths.  Team Thompson was breathing down the neck of the Dandy Lions in the finishes for races three and four, crossing the line just two seconds behind in race three.

Read more here.

DSA Fall Frostbite Series # 4, Saturday, October 18

It was yet another beautiful warm and sunny Saturday afternoon with relatively light wind, and this time four Lightnings came out: Team Cabrall, with Raeyane Cabrall and Jeff Walsh; Team Thompson, with Barb Thompson and Norm Jarvis; Team Rist, with Julie Rist and Isaac Hayden, and Team Stoller, with Steve and Jan Davis on board and Bob at the helm. We had four husband-and-wife teams on the water today!

We did have to wait for an hour and a half before any wind came up at all, and even then it never topped 5 MPH.  Still, it was a very enjoyable day.  Not surprisingly, Bob Stoller led the way, with two bullets and a second; The Cabrall boat had two seconds and a first; and team Rist took a fourth and a third in the first two races, with team Thompson breathing down their neck at the finish line of the second race. Team Rist retired after the second race, leaving team Thompson to finish third in that race.

Read more here.

DSA Fall Frostbite Series # 3, Saturday, October 11

It was another beautiful warm and sunny Saturday afternoon with relatively light wind, but no Lightnings came out.  David Thompson was on his way to Chicago for the weekend; Bill and Raeyane went to the Grand Canyon with Raeyane’s father, and Curtis had driven to Kentucky for a fraternity reunion. And possibly the forecast for light winds kept others at home. However, there was racing today.

Read more here.

DSA Fall Frostbite Series # 2, Saturday, October 4

On another beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon with relatively light wind, four Lightnings came out to race. Team Quest, with Bill, Raeyane, and Julie Rist on board sailed well and took a first and two second place (among the Lightnings) finishes.  Team Family Affair, with the whole family on board, was hot and took bullets in the first two races and a second in the third. Team Loucetios, with Curtis and Isaac, double-handing, took two thirds and a fourth, struggling to get out of the no-wind hole in the last upwind leg of the last race. Team Blue Two, with David, Rob Merritt, Allison Merritt,  and Lori England on board, had a poor start in the first race, finishing a distant fourth, and better starts in the last two races, finishing a close fourth in the second race and a solid third in the last race.

Except for the dead zone on the entire western half of the lake in the last race, this was one of the most enjoyable race days of the entire season.

Read more here.

Hailstorm September 29 leaves a foot of hail on the ground at the marina!

A strong hailstorm blanketed parts of Centennial, Greenwood Village, Aurora and Denver around 4 PM on Monday, September 29.  Commodore Curtis Rist was at the marina shortly after, and filed this report:

Hail at the marina! We got a ton of hail this afternoon at the marina. All Lightnings are OK now that all of the hail has been bailed from collapsed covers. The Vargish cover is a bit “ventilated” but all the other boats are no longer weighed down by all the hail and VERY cold water.

The Mako has about 6 inches of hail in it but will thaw very quickly when the sun comes out tomorrow, and the area between our tables and rowers’ concrete pad is a foot deep with muddy brown hail. The biggest chunks were about an inch in diameter.

Thanks, Curtis, for taking care of our Lightnings!

DSA Fall Frostbite Series # 1, Saturday, September 27

On a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon with a light and variable wind that made it a challenge for RC to set courses and run races, three Lightnings came out to race.  Team Quest, with Bill, Raeyane, and Jeff Walsh on board sailed consistently well and took three first place (among the Lightnings) finishes, while Team Loucetios, with Curtis, Isaac and Dylan on board took one solid second and two thirds. Team Blue Two, with Kirill and Lori on board, were a distant third in the first race, a closer second in the second race, and an almost-first in the third race.

Read more here.

DSA Frostbite Regatta, September 20 – 21

On a beautiful weekend for racing we had six Lightnings on the line — Teams Cabrall; Thompson; Rist; Vargish; Davis; and a CSC Junior team sailing Steve and Jan’s other boat.

On Saturday we went into postponement at noon because there was no wind, and at 2 PM RC brought us back to the dock for an on-shore postponement. Winds began to pick up at 3 PM, so everybody came back out, and we got two races in before it was time to call it a day.

On Sunday we went into an on-shore postponement at 10:30, waiting for wind, then headed out to the race course at 11:45 when it seemed like the wind was coming up. However, we had to wait until 1 PM for enough wind to sail, and when it came up, it came up rapidly, a nice southerly breeze at 12 – 14 MPH, with higher gusts.  That provided conditions for some of the most exciting racing — absent a thunderstorm — we have seen on Cherry Creek Lake this year.

Team Cabrall, with Raeyane and new crew Pat Kiehl took first place, with two bullets, a second, and a third.  Team Rist, with crew Isaac Hayden and Dylan Maney, took second place, nice results for a boat that has seen almost no action this summer, due to the need for constant repairs. Team Vargish, with the entire family on board, along with Pete Horsch and son Owen took third, sailing consistently in every race.  Team Thompson, with Norm Jarvis and Kirill Businov on board, took fourth place.  Rounding out the last two places were team Davis, double-handing with Jan on board, and Team Hoogwater, with Chloe Brand and Quinn Donaldson sailing well upwind, but losing places downwind without flying a spinnaker.

Read more here.

DSA Summer Series # 10, Thursday, September 18

It had been been 3 weeks since we last sailed, and tonight we got nice weather for the last race of the series. Four Lightnings were out — Teams Thompson; Cabrall; Davis; and Rist. RC set a 4 – 8 course and started the first sequence on time, but then went into postponement before dropping the P flag to go rescue a Laser that had lost its outhaul and could not make forward progress. After towing him all the way to the dock they came back and resumed the start sequence, but by then there was only time for one race.

Team Thompson sailed with Norm, Rob, and Rob & Christine’s oldest daughter Allison.  Team Cabrall sailed with Raeyane and Jeff Walsh.  Team Davis had the usual crew, with Jan and Francine.  And Curtis sailed double-handed with new crew Issac Hayden.

Read more here.

DSA Summer Series # 9, Thursday, September 11

Three Lightning crews assembled at the marina, but, with chilly rain falling and temperatures headed to the low 40s, none were willing to go out. Teams Cabrall;  Thompson; and Rist instead headed to Darcy’s Irish Pub and stayed out of the rain.  Racing was canceled for the evening, since no other boats wanted to go out.

Read more here.

DSA Summer Series # 8, Thursday, September 4

Five Lightning crews assembled at the marina, but, after carefully checking the radar images, decided to stay ashore. Teams Davis; Cabrall; Stoller; Thompson; and Rist were ready to splash, but went instead to Darcy’s Irish Pub and stayed out of the rain.

Read more here.

DSA Summer Series # 7, Thursday, August 28

Six Lightnings were out this evening, in light winds, but wind enough to get in two races. Teams Davis; Cabrall; Stoller; Thompson; Rist; and Dandy Lion all splashed and made it out. We welcomed back crew Rebecca Bevrit, who sailed with Bob Stoller; Jeff Walsh, who sailed with the Cabrall team; and Greg cox, who along with son Jon sailed on the Thompson boat.

Read more here.

DSA Summer Series # 6, Thursday, August 21

No Lightnings were out tonight. Loucetios rigged, but was short one crew, and, with flashes of lightning on the horizon, decided to stay ashore.  Ten boats did go out, however.  Read more here.

2014 Lightning North American Championship, August 11 – 15 – Summary Recap

Teams Cabrall (Bill, Raeyane, and local junior sailor Noah Bartelt) and Thompson (David, Norm Jarvis, and Lori England) qualified for and competed in the Governor’s Cup (Yellow Fleet) Division; Jim England crewed for Bill Mauk, with Michele Sumpton, who qualified for and competed in the Championship (Blue Fleet) Division.  Team Cabrall finished in 12th place the Yellow Fleet; Team Mauk 32nd in the Blue Fleet.  Team Thompson, inadvertently setting themselves up strategically for a run at next year’s Most Improved trophy, finished last in every race they sailed, although they got noticeably closer to the boats ahead of them by the last race on Friday. Greg Fisher, sailing with spouse Jo Ann and Zeke Horowitz, won the NA Championship. Results here.

It was an interesting regatta — 107 boats registered, better than any NAs in the last 20 years.  Weather was sometimes challenging, as follows:

Heading Out — Day 1 — photo credit Norm Jarvis

Monday, qualifiers day 1 — two races scheduled, with boats organized into 3 fleets, with assignment of boat-to-fleet by schedule, different assignments for each of the 4 qualifying races.  We waited on the water until 1 PM for wind  to come up, and got the first two fleets started, although with three general recalls for each, it took a while.  After the first general recall for the third fleet (the one Thompson and Cabrall were in), we were all sent back to the dock to wait for a thunderstorm to pass.  It didn’t.  That ended day 1.

Tuesday, qualifiers day 2 — we needed to finish race 1 and then get in three more races for each of the 3 fleets.  But a cold front had gone through in the middle of the night, bringing heavy rain and 20 – 25 kt. winds, with 7-foot waves flooding over the breakwater.  We sat out the morning and early afternoon at the yacht club in an on-shore postponement — finally went out at 3 PM after wind had subsided to 10 – 15 range, but with big, 6-foot rollers on the race course.  Blue Two and Quest checked in with RC, started the mill-around-the-start-line routine, decided that it was too dangerous for us rolling in the waves, and came back in.  Race 1 for fleet 3 was started and completed without us.  Then race 2 was started for each of the 3 fleets, but then the wind died, and all boats were TLE after rolling in the 6-foot waves with no wind for two hours.  We watched from the yacht club bar with Dark & Stormys in hand.

Norm Jarvis at the Yacht Club — Photo Credit Barb Thompson

That was the night of the Yacht Club buffet dinner, and needless to say, most of the competitors were very late for dinner.

Wednesday, qualifiers day 3 (was supposed to be NA races day 1).  A beautiful, sunny day with 10 kt. breezes.  The waves had subsided to almost nothing.  Much better  than Tuesday!  We sailed two qualifier races, then went back to the dock to wait for the results — assignment of competitors to their fleets — and then wait the required 1-hour period for filing of protests and the subsequent one-hour allotted slot for jury hearings.  RC sent us back out after that  to get in the first championship race, but on the way out the wind died.

Thursday, championship series races 1, 2, and 3.  Another beautiful, sunny day with 8 kt. breezes.  Now that’s more like it!  We started at 9 AM instead of 10 to make sure we’d get in 3 races, and we did.  Winds occasionally got lighter, but were very steady in direction.  Our kind of sailing!  We could have done a 4th race — we had time and the wind.

Friday, championship series races 4, 5, and 6.  Yet another beautiful sunny day with 6 kt. breezes, that died down to 3 – 4 MPH occasionally in the second race.  Then, at 1 PM, the legendary southerly sea breeze kicked it — 12 to 14 kts. — and we got our third race of the day, hiking hard and surfing downwind in the 2 foot waves. What a great way to finish the series!   Competitors, after packing up their boats, headed over to the Blue Harbor destination resort — very elegant — for the awards banquet.

DSA Summer Series # 5, Thursday, August 14

Only one Lightning was out tonight — Curtis Rist on Loucetios.  Teams Thompson, Cabrall, and England were in Sheboygan, WI for the North American Championship.

Read more here.

DSA Summer Series # 4, Thursday, August 7

No Lightnings were out tonight.  Teams Thompson, Cabrall, and England were in Sheboygan, WI for the North American Championship. Team Davis came down to the marina, and decided that they would not be the only Lightning on the lake, and headed back home.

Read more here.

DSA Summer Series # 3, Thursday, July 31

The third race night of the 2014 DSA Summer Series brought 6 Lightnings — Teams Davis, Quest, Blue TwoFamily Affair, Quintissence and Dandy Lion.

The one and only race was on a 4 – 8 course in winds so light there were no ripples on the water. This would have been a good evening to set hippity-hops for a short W – L course.  Unfortunately, we didn’t.

It took more than an hour to sail from the start line up to the windward mark and then back down to the start line.  At that point, RC motored up to the 8 mark and shortened the course there.  Fifteen minutes later, Team Davis crossed the finish line to take first place among the Lightnings.  In the meantime, team Dandy Lion abandoned, catching a tow back to the dock from a motorized Santana, having obligations elsewhere that evening.  A few minutes later, teams Quest, Quintessence, and Blue Two crossed the finish line, and, although RC told them their time limit had expired, in actuality it had not.

Bringing up the rear and a little way farther back, Family Affair finally gave it up and accepted a  tow, from RC,  back to the dock.

This was a sailboat racing evening worthy to be forgotten.

Read more here.

DSA Summer Series # 2, Thursday, July 24

The second race night of the 2014 DSA Summer Series brought 3 Lightnings — Teams LoucetiosBlue Two, and Family AffairLoucetios, named after the Celtic god of wind, is Lightning 11457, formerly named Lil’ Peppa, and still painted a bright florescent fire engine red, purchased by Curtis Rist from Evan Morris and renamed earlier this spring.  This was the first racing night of the year for Loucetios.

The first race was on a 1 – 5 course in nice northeasterly winds.  The first sequence started 9 Lasers; the second was an OOAK sequence, with 3  Lightnings, 4 Santanas, and an AE-20.  Family Affair with crew Pete Horsch in place of the three little Vargishes, had an excellent start and led all the way to the finish line.  Teams Loucetios and Blue Two were way late to the line, with Loucetios about five minutes late, and Blue Two, a minute later.  Loucetios was sailed double-handed, with Curtis at the helm and James McGorry as crew.  Blue Two sailed with David at helm, Julie Rist at forward, and Norm Jarvis at middle.

On the upwind beat, Family Affair rounded the windward mark way ahead of the other two Lightnings, while Loucetios played catch-up mode, gaining ground and passing two Santanas and the AE-20, and Blue Two sailed slower, losing distance to both Loucetios and Family Affair.

Winds got lighter on the downwind run, and actually went to zero as Blue Two rounded the leeward mark.  Then they picked back up, but from the southwest, so Blue Two hoisted her chute for the trip back to the finish line.  Blue Two was however not able to catch Loucetios and finished third among the Lightnings.

In the meantime, Loucetios experienced a seal failure in the transom bailing flaps and started taking on water; she also broke her vang.  Then, when winds picked up, her crew dropped the jib and sailed as best they could, bailing like mad, making it to the shallows north of the entrance to the channel into the marina, where they picked up a tow.

With the sudden increase in wind speed and gustiness at that time, coupled with bright flashes of lightning on the horizon, all competitors headed back to the dock to end racing for the evening.

Read more here.

Three DSA Lightnings Travel to the 2014 Aspen Open Regatta July 19 – 20

Three DSA Lightnings — teams Dandy Lion; Dandy Lion 2; and North Star — traveled to Reudi Reservoir, 35 miles up the Frying Pan River from Basalt, to compete in the 2014 Aspen Open Regatta. Team North Star had Bob Stoller at the helm, with Jeff Walsh forward and Curtis Rist at middle.  Team Dandy Lion had Nate Hostetter at helm with Adam Hostetter forward and Zach Hostetter at middle.  Team Dandy Lion 2 (actually Steve Davis’ Lightning 15256) had Lucas Armstrong at helm, with Carter Spenser forward and Garrett Shields at middle.

The Lightnings sailed in the Portsmouth fleet — it took 4 of a class to fleet — along with 3 sunfish and a Mutineer.

Here is Lucas’ report:

 There were 3 races on Saturday, one of which had a reach with a starboard-rounded G mark.  North Star and Dandy Lion 2 fought it out and had a photo finish, however, only Dandy Lion and the Mutineer (pickle) sailed the proper course, going to mark 6.  There was a protest, after which, the Mutineer (who had dropped out of racing and was unaware of the protest) observed all the Sunfish round the improper mark 3 (at the time that the Dandy Lion was making its way out to the correct mark 6).

Needless to say, we had some frustration, but it was good, close racing.  Bob Stoller, with his old crafty ways and sharp crew outsailed the two Dandy Lions.  We had a great last race with a bit of luck and excellent wind reading and calls by my crew on Sunday.

 Bob was 3rd, Sunfish went 1, 2.  The rest of the results haven’t been posted, but Bob should have been 1 or 2 and I think we (Dandy Lion 2) were a close 3rd.

 We had repeated reach legs that were too close to windward where we couldn’t get the chute up and got blown away by Sunfish, who were sailing well above their 100 PS rating to our 87, which we just couldn’t make.

Long story short, we need more of our fleet to make a fun weekend next year!

DSA Summer Series # 1, Thursday, July 17

The first race night of the 2014 DSA Summer Series brought 3 Lightnings — Teams Davis; Blue Two, and Family Affair.  And for the first Thursday in quite a while, there were no storm cells anywhere in Colorado.  Winds were light — under 3 MPH — for the first race, but increased nicely — to 5 to 7 MPH — for the second.

The first race, on a W – L course marked with hippity-hops. was slow going, with Team Davis out in front, Family Affair a close second, and Blue Two, that had a late start, a distant third.

In the second race, on a 2 – L course, all three Lightnings had good starts, with team Davis pulling slowly ahead and rounding the weather mark considerably before other boats.  But on the downwind run, there was confusion on the course when the RC boat left it’s station on the start line and headed up course to check on sail numbers.  Consequently, the Lasers, that had started first, saw the hippity-hop weather mark and thought it was the start pin, and then concluded that the actual start pin was the hippity-hop leeward mark, so they rounded that, came up, and went back to the docks.  Team Davis followed suit, and like the Lasers, was scored DNF.  Family Affair followed in team Davis’ tracks, but when they saw Blue Two headed for the actual leeward mark, they put their chute back up and turned down towards the leeward mark as well.

Family Affair and Blue Two reached the leeward mark together, with Family Affair on the inside of the turn, overlapped, and after rounding, stayed on port tack, while Blue Two tacked immediately over to starboard.  Unfortunately for Blue Two, that was not enough to pick up the lead on the way back to the finish line after Family Affair had tacked, and Blue Two finished second, Family Affair first..

Read more here.

DSA Spring Series # 10, Thursday, July 10

5 Lightnings came out tonight — teams Davis, Family Affair, Quest, Blue Two, and Quintessence (with Bob Stoller at the helm, and Ryan McCauley, Jim England and Elizabeth Lemley  as crew).  While there were forecasts of possible thunderstorms during the evening hours, none materialized, and we had nearly clear skies for the racing.

The first race, in nice winds on a 7 – L course, was uneventful, with Team Davis taking first and Quest taking second.  RC set up a longer course, 7 – 3, for the second race to make it a little longer.

Unfortunately winds got light, and then non-existent during the second race, eventually resulting in an abandonment near the 3 mark after the time limit had expired.  RC organized a tow-in back to the dock from there, and as a nearly-full moon arose to the east, we all complimented them for arranging a nice moonlight cruise on a warm summer evening.

Read more here.

DSA Spring Series # 9, Thursday, July 3

Only 3 Lightnings came out tonight — teams Quest, Blue Two, and Quintessence. Team Davis was in Caliifornia enjoying Disneyland, and the remaining regular Thursday night crews were elsewhere. We welcomed new crew Dylan Maney, sailing on Quest, Kirill Busenov, sailing on Blue Two, and Ryan McCauley sailing on Qiintessence, with Bob Stoller at helm. Junior sailor Elizabeth Lemley also hopped aboard Blue Two as she sought to get some Lightning experience.

The first race, in very light winds, was uneventful, with Quest taking first, Quintessence taking second, and Blue Two third.

Big winds kicked in during the second race, making for an exciting, but fast finish, and then it was back to the dock, where Jim and Lori England, Ryan McCauley, and David Thompson hosted the grill night festivities.

Read more here.

DSA Spring Series # 8, Thursday, June 26

Six Lightnings came out again this week — Teams Quest; Blue Two; Dandy Lion; Quintessence, Family Affair, and Davis — and enjoyed another Thursday evening of racing.  This evening, however, there were storm cells all around and we were worried about getting caught up in one of them before the evening was over.

But that was not the case. On the way out to the race course the easterly winds were blowing around 15 MPH, most likely influenced by one of the storm cells. However, at the time of the first starts, the winds had settled down to the 8 – 10 MPH range.  The first race was on a W – L – W – L course, and quickly team Davis took the lead, followed in turn by Quest; Family Affair; Dandy Lion; Quintessence; and Blue Two.  Winds died down to nothing at the rounding of the second leeward mark, then picked up a bit in the beat to the finish line.

In the second race, we were on a 3 – F course, with a start line not at all square to the direction of the wind, requiring us all to cross the start line on port tack.  Teams Davis, Quest and Dandy Lion had the best starts, and Team Davis rounded the # 3 mark first with quite a lead.  Team Blue Two found a good wind line and stayed in it, all the way to the mark on port tack, and rounded second, with team Quest in hot pursuit just seconds behind.  Blue Two set their chute and stayed in the same wind line that had brought them to the windward mark, and that allowed them to close in on Team Davis and stay ahead of Quest all the way to the finish line, to take second place.  This was a race with unusually steady winds in both strength and direction, unusual considering the shiftiness and variation of the winds in the first race and during the postponement between races.

Back at the dock, Team Dandy Lion, fired up the grill and cooked burgers and brats for the third burger night of the season.

Read more here.

Electric outboard motor for sale

Evan Morris is selling a Torqueedo 1003 S/L Outboard Motor — just right for a Lightning — for $1,500.  It’s like new, used only 3 times, German designed and built. Send him an email if you are interested.

DSA Spring Series # 7, Thursday, June 19

Six Lightnings came out for the first time this year — Teams Quest; Blue Two; Dandy Lion; Quintessence, Family Affair, and Davis — and enjoyed another excellent Thursday evening of racing.  With the first warning at exactly 6:20 PM and the Lightnings in the first sequence, teams Blue Two and Family Affair were late to the line and struggled to catch up. On the 1 – L course, Team Blue Two, with Norm Jarvis and Lori England as crew, were able to maintain their lead over Family Affair and to catch up at the leeward mark with Quintessence, that was sailing sans spinnaker.  In the final beat to the finish line, Blue Two called “Starboard!” on Quintessence, requiring them to tack and to stay just to the leeward of Blue Two, and one second behind, as they crossed the finish line.  Teams Davis, Quest, and Dandy Lion finished in the first three spots respectively.

In the second race, started while the Lasers were still finishing, with a confusing array of horn sounds, Team Blue Two was again late to the line and, while catching up to Family Affair at the # 1 mark, never was able to overtake them in the subsequent legs, and finished last.

Back at the dock, Team Quest —  Bill, Rayane, and Christine, fired up the grill and cooked burgers and brats for the second burger night of the season. Competitors stayed at the clubhouse until 9:30 PM to enjoy the camaraderie in the warm evening.

Read more here.

DSA Spring Series # 6, Thursday, June 12

Four Lightnings came out — Teams Quest; Blue Two; Dandy Lion; and Davis — and enjoyed the best Thursday evening of racing this season. Team Davis, sailing short-handed, missed the first race, but dominated the second; team Quest took first in the first race and third in the second race, and team Blue Two, with David, Norm, and Rob on board, took a surprising second in the second race.

Back at the dock, Team Davis — Steve and Jan, with help from Ryan Fesenmeyer, fired up the grill and cooked burgers and brats for the first burger night of the season.  Competitors stayed at the clubhouse until 9:30 PM to enjoy the camaraderie in the warm evening.

Read more here.

DSA Spring Series # 5, Thursday, June 5

Teams Quest, Blue Two, and Davis (with ILCA President and Lightning rock star John Faus in place of Jan Davis) were at the marina, all with full crew, but were keeping a close eye on weather radar, tracking a storm cell with lightning and heavy rain that at 5:00 PM was over Lakewood moving southeast. The storm hit the lake at 6 PM, with heavy rain, and all participants took shelter under the yacht club deck. After the storm passed, RC left the dock at 6:30 PM, but the Lightning crews had decided to stay ashore (or actually the remaining two Lightning crews, as John Faus had an 8 PM event he needed to be at, and it was by then too late for team Davis to splash and sail).

But there actually was good sailing, although only two Lasers and a Swift Solo went out to enjoy it.

Read more here.

DSA Spring Series # 4, Thursday, May 29

Teams Quest, Blue Two, and Davis were at the marina, all with full crew, but were keeping a close eye on weather radar, tracking a storm cell with lightning and heavy rain that at 4:30 PM was over Highlands Ranch moving north northeast. At 6 PM they made the decision not to go out, based primarily on the radar display at that time. So they packed up and went home.

But there actually was good racing, because unknown to these Lightning skippers, the storm cell dissipated before it got to the lake.  As we have said before, you never really know what the weather will be like until you get out on the lake and see.

Seven Lasers and a Swift Solo enjoyed racing while three Lightning crews reiterated the mantra, “it is better to be on shore wishing you were on the water than it is to be on the water (or in the water) wishing you were on shore.”

Read more here.

DSA Spring Series # 3, Thursday, May 22

Today was the third day in a row with heavy thunderstorm activity bringing hail, lightning, and tornadoes to the Denver area, keeping almost all skippers home on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  Bill Cabrall had acquired a head cold and elected not to come down; the Dandy Lions were still drying out after their dunking at the Shootout/Hornblower on Sunday.  Steve Davis elected a “wait and see” approach, waited, saw, and elected not to come down.  But Blue Two was there, went out, and enjoyed 3 very nice races under overcast skies in 60-degree temperatures. Read more here.


Shootout/Hornblower Regatta May 17-18

Five Lightnings came out for the regatta and thus were able to fleet.  Teams Quest; Blue Two; Dandy Lion; and Davis were joined by Bob Stoller’s North Star to make the five. Team Quest sailed with Bill and Raeyanne, and Keith  Martenez on Saturday, and with Christine on Sunday; Team Dandy Lion sailed with Lucas and Carter, and with Nate on Saturday and Garrett on Sunday; Team Blue Two sailed with David and Norm, and with Rob on Saturday and Kai Thompson on Sunday.  Team North Star sailed with Bob, Brenna Copeland, and Jeff Walsh on  both days, and likewise, team Davis sailed with Steve, Jan, and Francine on both days.

The light winds on Saturday made for enjoyable sailing although the challenge in getting to the front of the pack was in finding a wind line and staying in it all the way to the next mark.  That was especially evident in the last race of the day, when Blue Two stayed left on the final run to the 7 mark and kept in the wind, whereas the other Lightnings stayed in the middle of the course and fell into a no-wind hole fully occupied by 7 Buccs.  While all boats arrived at the 7 mark at about the same time, Blue Two was able to sneak in ahead of Quest, round, and get to the finish line ahead of Quest, who unfortunately hit the mark as they tried to squeeze in between Blue Two and he mark (they did not have overlap going in and thus could not request mark room), and had to do a penalty turn, putting them in last place for that race.

On Sunday the winds were stronger than forecasted in the morning; consequently team Blue Two returned to the dock before the start of the first race, where they joined Team Quest who was waiting for their third crew to arrive.  Once the missing crew arrived, both boats headed back out to the race course, and on the way out saw Team Davis drop Jan at the end of the main dock, then head back out to continue the first race, sailing double handed.    In the meantime, Teams Dandy Lion and North Star were racing, but unfortunately the Dandy Lions broached in a gybe with chute up and capsized, turning turtle, to end their first race in the first downwind leg.  They struggled to get the boat back up, and when it did they saw their chute had torn a large hole near the top during the recovery.  So the first race ended with North Star in first place, Davis in second, with the other three scored as DNC.

For the remaining two races the finishes were predictably Team Davis in first place, with teams North Star, Quest, and Blue Two in hot pursuit, with Dandy Lion, sailing without chute, trailing behind.

For the regatta, Team Davis had six bullets and a throw-out for first place; North Star a well-deserved second place; Quest in third place, Blue Two in fourth place; and Dandy Lion last. Read more here.

DSA Spring Series # 2, Thursday, May 15

Four Lightnings were out: teams Dandy Lion; Quest; Blue Two; and Davis.  Winds were light, but not so light that we couldn’t race, and RC ran two races, finishing the second race on a course shortened at the #7 mark.  Predictably Teams Davis and Quest finished 1 & 2, and also predictably, Teams Dandy Lion and Blue Two traded 3rd and 4th positions between the first and second races.  Read more here.

DSA Spring Series # 1, Thursday, May 8

The weather forecast for Thursday evening was for showers and a possible thunderstorm, with an air temperature of 45 degrees, and at 5 PM a cold,light rain was falling, and weather radar showed storm cells moving west-to-east coming down out of the mountains.

Three Lightning teams were at the marina: Dandy Lion; Quest; and Blue Two,  The Dandy Lions were going to go out no matter what the weather did; Teams Quest and Blue Two said if the PRO wanted to cancel racing for bad weather, they would not object.  Teams for two other boats — a Santana and a Laser-2 — were also there; and the Santana skipper, Will Cook, had the same thoughts as two of the Lightnings.  That left just two boats wanting to go out, and PRO Jim Ulatowski said that was not enough to hold races. So racing was canceled for the evening.

As it turned out, the storm cells coming down from the mountains dissipated as they hit the plain, and there was no more rain on the lake.  Dandy Lion had in the meantime splashed to go out on a training cruise, and were enjoying light winds for the remainder of their evening. Here is their report:

The Dandy Lion sailed from 6 to 7:15 under grey skies with 10-15 MPH winds which pushed to 20-ish a few times.  We saw no lightning and heard no thunder. We had a great time teaching Carter Spenser more of the ropes, and the evening would have been excellent for racing our keelboat-like dinghy.  We were briefly spit on a few times but no rain.

Stay tuned for next week’s adventure.

DSA Thaw-out Series # 5, Saturday, May 3

With a forecast of a really nice day on the water (high 82 degrees, westerly winds at 8 MPH with gusts to  11) we got 4 Lightnings out — Teams Quest (with Bill, Raeyane, and Christine); Blue Two (with David, Norm Jarvis, and Jeff Walsh); Dandy Lion (with Lucas, Nate, and Andy); and Quintessence (with Jim and Lori, double-handling). While the wind was good for the first race, it petered out during the second, so we only got in two races.

In the first race, we caught a gust on the start line with 30 seconds to go, blowing Dandy Lion over the line, so they had to turn around and come back, relegating them to a fourth-out-of-the start position.  Team Quest was first to the windward mark (#7), and led all the way to the leeward mark (#3), with teams Blue Two, Dandy Lion, and Quintessence in pursuit.  Jim and Lori did not fly a chute, and were overtaken on the downwind leg by the Dandy Lions, who did.

After rounding, Blue Two nearly caught up to Quest on the upwind leg to the finish mark, and so took second place, with Dandy Lion in third. Jim and Lori then got caught in a big lull, and we all waited for them to finish 4th.

Winds died during the second race, so it was a painful experience for the back three competitors.  After rounding the windward mark, teams Blue Two and Quest were neck-and-neck, side-by-side, in first and second places on starboard tack heading toward the finish line; but when Blue Two tacked away to get better air she fell into a no-wind hole, giving Quest the lead and the first place finish.

Worse for Blue Two, while on port tack, she was overtaken by both Dandy Lion and Quintessence on starboard, and she struggled in the dead air to even make it to the finish line, ending the race in 4th place.  Read more here.

DSA Thaw-out Series # 4, Saturday, April 26!

Three Lightnings splashed – teams Cabrall; England; and Thompson, and a fourth team, Dandy Lion, was at the marina finishing their rigging that started the evening before, and did not splash.  Winds were gusty, and the lake water was only 40 degrees F, so it is not surprising that no Lightnings raced.  Read more here.

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 and England 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