Category Archives: Lightnings

Leesylvania Volunteers

Eleven Fleet 50 sailors and friends met at Leesylvania State Park last Saturday and spent an easy couple of hours working  and chatting while we worked.

It was really good to see Bob Gotthardt back and looking strong after his health event last year.

Jim and Bob used the small amount of available paint to freshen up the kitchen in the pavilion.  The rest of us traded off the four available rakes to clean the camping area next to the pavilion of gum balls.

In return, the park gives us the pavilion to use free of charge for our regatta (normally $700).

Spring Series So Far

This spring started off with two very heavy wind days, followed by a near zero wind day, and finally a moderate wind day.   Below are the cumulative results so far.

Next weekend is the Potomac Cup and then four more Spring Series  Sundays and the PRSA Spring Regatta on the river.   Nearby on the bay we have the Dixie Districts/No Gas.   Lots of sailing opportunities before the hot summer settles in on us.  Plan to get out as much as you can.  You won’t regret it.

2022 Lightning Cumulative

Doc Gilbert Memorial Potomac Cup

Lightning Fleet 50 invites you to the 36th Annual Doc Gilbert  Potomac Cup Regatta, May 7-8, 2021 on the famous Potomac River at Leesylvania State Park, just outside of Washington DC, where the Potomac is 3 miles wide!

Both Lightnings and I-20s are invited.

NOR, current registrants, and registration at:

Questions?  Contact the regatta chair, Nabeel Alsalam, at

2021 Lightning Fall Series 7

To PRO Bob Astrove’s surprise the wind started off from the SW and he set up the course that way.  But after the I20s were off and just as the Lightnings were to start the wind shifted to the west.

Tom got a good start at the boat closing off Ed Lane but John came in just behind and he and Janine sailed high and fast  to get to the windward mark on a single tack.  By that time, the wind had gone even further right and John simply gybed and headed on a reach back to the leeward mark.  Meanwhile, on Shadowfax we tried to raise the chute and gybe.  It wasn’t pretty.  We fell way behind.

The RC reset the course for race 2 and raised the T2 flag — two triangles.   The reaching legs were quite tight and so flying the chute was not a given.   Frank raised it and passed us on one leg but then foolishly tried to carry it on the next and lost.   Otherwise, we did our best to remember how to make the Lightning go fast on a jib reach — we don’t do it very often.

As always it is great fun being out on the water and doing the best one can with the wind and the waves.

Only one more before the boats need to be stored away for the winter.

Cumulative championship results:


2021 Lightning Fall Series 6

A beautiful fall day for sailing.

We had 8 boats racing a great turnout.  Bobby was back in the saddle with Potomac Red after a required hiatus after surgery. Beppe, age 14, was helming Shadowfax. Despite an OCS he did great.  Kevin’s son was helming 14566.  An Aero sailor was helping Jeff Witten on Mighty Moose.

Only two more Sunday to go.  Then the long-dark winter sets in.  Carpe Diem.

Cumulative Results:


(October 24, races 67-70 of the championship series,  14592 and 14318 sailed with two.)

2021 Lightning Fall Series 5

Winds from from the NW, strong, and gusty.  Only Frank went out with Tom Hutton and Scott Bradford as crew – very experienced crew though.  His competition was Barney in the Albacore but Frank decided not to fly the spinnaker because of the gusts.

Only three more Sunday to race.  Come out to make sure you are over the 50% threshold to qualify.



(October 17, races 64-66 in the championship series)


2021 Lightning Fall Series 4

It was a cloudy day with nice winds were from the NE.  Our course was from near the airport shore to the mouth of the Anacostia, twice around.   The finish line was an obstruction that could not be sailed through which created a strategic question about which way to sail around it.

Frank started off slow but ticked off three bullets after the first race.  He banged the right each time and even though we thought there were some shift worth taking to the left his strategy prevailed.


(October 10th and races 60-63 in the championship series.)