It is very hard to explain the decline in the number of sailors who get out on the lake for the All Lake Regatta and Saturday and Sunday class racing at Skaneateles Country Club. The All Lake Regatta, reported last week, mustered up 15 paid participants and five that just sailed around. A few years ago, the registered participation was usually between 20 and 40 boats.
The “Lightning Fleet One” one-day regatta was sailed last Saturday at the country club. The goal was to have three to five short races in four hours between noon and 4 p.m. We were successful in getting in all five races and one recall start.
We had eight boats show up from around the Central New York district and three from Skaneateles. Dick Halligan, a world-class Lightning sailor, was there and he was assisted by some of his long time crew.
1st – Dan Pope
2nd – Clay Murphy
3rd - Kirk Reynolds
Three of the boats were wooden Lightnings and small wooden trophies were given to these oldies.
1st – Roger Slade
2nd – Mike Yates
3rd – Jamo Jones
Sue and I ran the races, assisted by Dave Bull, a long time Lightning sailor. It worked out well and he seemed to have an answer for any question we had about the new system of starting. It seems more efficient than the older system. Sue and I were very active in race committee work for about 40 years, from 1965 through 2005. This system came in about the time we decided to let younger people do it.
Dave Bull is also noted for developing a set of plastic cut-out sticky shapes that can be combined to make hull numbers for Lightnings in large regattas such as the anniversary regattas that happen in the years ending in eight. There are in excess of 16,000 Lightning class boats and there can be as many as 200 boats for these anniversary events. Having hull numbers allows us to identify a boat sneaking over early in a close start when all the sail numbers are invisible. Also, it is a lot easier to say boat number 103 rather than 15,103.