In the United States only two approved builders are producing the fiberglass Lightning. Any amateur can still obtain the construction plans from the class association and build a wooden lightning. In the 1987 World Championship in Cartagena, Colombia, one such lightning won the regatta racing against a fleet of more that 50 newer fiberglass boats.
Cazenovia's local fleet 164 has hosted several Central New York District Championships and every summer invites Lightning sailors from the area and other districts to race in the popular Caz Flash Bash and the One Day Invitational Regattas.
This year we expect to see more than 20 Lightnings during the Central New York Sailing Association Annual Regatta. With their multicolored spinnakers, this will be a sight not to be missed on beautiful Cazenovia Lake.
Above all, the Lightning is a family boat. Many sailors learned how to sail on a Lightning starting as a crew on a family boat. It is not uncommon today to see three generations of the same family racing a lightning at a regatta, or just going out for an easy cruise to have fun on a breezy summer day.
Remember to look for a sail with an upside down lightning bolt at the top of the mainsail to recognise the Lightning class boats sailing on Cazenovia Lake.