AGM Wrap Up & 2018 Season Announcements!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2017 Sailing Season and for everyone who who made the trip to Loudoun County for the AMG. It was a fantastic turnout and a great party. It was especially exciting to see so many of the new members and family at the AGM! Our fleet has some of the best members, if you have not had the change to share a beer and get to know some of our new boat owners, you definitely add that to your list this spring!

Upcoming Events: 

  1. Fleet Tune-Up Day: Saturday March 11:00-2:00pm
    Come down to the marina on Saturday to get your boat cleaned up, tuned up & ready for racing…Several of our local experts have offered to be at the marina and help get masts stepped & be available to help with tuning questions. Special thanks to Aaron, Nabeel, Bobby who have offered to assist our fleet members. I would strongly encourage everybody to print out the North Tuning Guide or have it available on a mobile device. Both the Fisher and the M5 systems are covered in that tuning guide, and it’d be good for folks to be familiar with the basic steps so that we can provide the best advice in the time that we will have. Since it is still early in the season, the marina may not have the water turned on by the 31st, so make sure to bring all of the supplies you need to work on your boat.
  2. First Away Regatta: Moonshine, Smith Mountain Lake, (April 14-15)
    Randy Beauchamp, who will be hosting the Moonshine Regatta this year has coordinated with the UVA Sailing Team and has up to 10 UVA college sailors who would like to sail on Lightnings at the event. If you are are interested in having one of the college sailors on your team, please let me know! This is a great “One More Regatta” to attend. Never traveled, need crew, would like to crew…If you have any questions or reservations, please let me know, there lots of resources available to help you get to this event!
  3. Lighting Fleet 50 will host Dixie Districts / Potomac Cup (Jun 16-17, 2018)
    Due to the limited resources with planning two large regattas within 3 weeks, we are hosting a combined Dixie District/Doc Gilbert Regatta at Leesylvania State Park this year only.

AGM Meeting Highlights
Lightning Fleet 50 had a great racing season, with a total of 61 races completed as part of the scored racing season. We had great participation in 2017. Of the 21 boats on the roster, we would usually have between 5-9 boats out racing on any given Sunday (a max of 11 boats during one Sunday!). We usually have more than 10+ participating in our 2-day regattas. For our annual Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup Regatta, we welcomed boats from around the Dixie District and even had one boat from Florida (Thanks Bill!) to sail at the beautiful Leesylvania State Park. This past year, our attendance was down by 5 boats, as we only had 16 participants compared to 21 boats in 2016. This season, we continued a regular practice of gathering around the BBQ grill after the racing to trade stories about starts, mark roundings, and other tall tales from the racing.

For the 2017 Racing Season…We had 14 boats participate, [14] were active and [10] qualified for the 2017 Championship Series. We had 10 boats travel to at least 1 away regatta in 2017!

The Mantra for 2018: One More Regatta!

And the winner is…Congratulations to the 2017 Fleet 50 Championship Series

Nabeel Alsalam on Shadowfax (15142) for winning the 2017 Fleet 50 Championship Series.
John Van Voorhis on Shamrock (15117) took 2nd place, moving up 2 spots from his 2016 finishing position.
Bobby Astrove (7603) once again held 3rd place overall in 2017.
Lindsay Bach on Lightning Bug (14221) finished 4th moving up 6 spots from 2016 and
Aaron Boesenecker on Beedobeat (14592) finished in fifth place.

Complete 2017 season results:

Other Fleet Awards:
Best New Crew: Gigi & Quinton Bishop

Most Improved Crew: [No one was nominated]

High Impact Crew: Jess Harrington

Team Spirit Skipper: Frank Gallagher

Congeniality Award: Geoff Fuller

Most Improved Skipper: Lindsay Bach

Skipper of the Year: Aaron Boesenecker

Fleet 50 Helper Award: Red Fehrle & Suz Humphrey

Bungle Bucket: Tie, Will Summers & Jeff Whiten

Bloody Rudder Award: Lisa-Marie Lane

All Weather Sailor Award: Lisa-Marie Lane

Iron Skipper Award: Bobby Astrove

Fleet 50 welcomed 5 new members (to make 21 boats listed on the roster)

We were excited to see new boats on the water in 2017, and look forward to building on this momentum in 2018. This year we welcomed 5 new boats to our fleet:

#12416 Marcols Ilosa & Joe Ament
#14318 Jeff Witten
#14187 Geof Bishop, who bought Bobby’s old boat,
who sails with his kids Quinton & Gigi
#14532 Will Summers, Thanks to Frank Galagher the Lightning whisper
who is rescued Boonoonoonos in the Fall of 2016
#14566 Kevin Wagerson, who bought Frank’s old boat and co-skippers with his son Karl

Sadly, we will be losing a boat (not members)
#14100 Red & Suz Fehrle who are selling their boat.

“Just Launched…”
Fleet 50 is continuing the Lightning tradition of family sailors. We are so happy to welcome two of our newest members:

Will & Megan Summers welcomed Charlie Summers born on November 13th, 2017.

Brian & Megan Lawrence would like to introduce Theodore “Theo” Samuel Lawrence born on December 22nd, 2017

Rocking the Boat…Fleet 50 donated $175 to the Hadley Green Rock the Boat in 2018 ($100 contribution from Fleet 50 and $75 in member contributions)

Many thanks to the Officers who served Fleet 50 in 2017:
Fleet Captain: Lisa-Marie Lane
Lieutenant for Racing: John Van Voorhis
Treasurer: Bob Gotthardt
Secretary: Geof Fuller
Scorer: Will Summers
Webmaster: pending (may reorganize w/ PRSA website)
Potomac Cup Regatta Chair: Jon Van Voorhis
Special Olympics Coordinator: Vacant / handled by Lieutenant for Racing
Training & Development Coord: Vacant / handled by Lieutenant for Racing

2018 Fleet 50 Slate of Officers:
Fleet Captain: Lisa-Marie Lane
Lieutenant for Racing: Jon Van Voorhis
Treasurer: Bob Gotthardt
Secretary & Scorer: Geoff Bishop
Webmaster: Jim Lane
Potomac Cup Regatta Chair: Aaron Boesenecker
Special Olympics Coordinator: Vacant / handled by Lieutenant for Racing
Training & Development Coord: Vacant / handled by Lieutenant for Racing

I am looking forward to serving as your Fleet Captain in 2018 & seeing everyone on the water for the Spring Season!

Sail Fast!

Lisa-Marie Lane
Fleet Captain, Lightning Fleet 50

Nominate Sailors for Fleet 50 Awards!

Before the 2017 sailing season fades from memory altogether, take a moment to nominate skippers and crews for our Fleet 50 Awards.  These awards are a great way to recognize our own sailors, and this is always a fun part of the Fleet 50 Annual General Meeting & Awards Banquet (Spring 2018, date TBA).  Use this link to access the nomination form:

The criteria for each award are spelled out on the nomination form.  You may submit as many nominations as you would like — the more the better!

Fall Series #8 and PRSA Annual General Meeting

Greetings Sailors,

Mark your calendars! 

This coming Sunday is the last day of racing for the fall series.  The forecast is for partly cloudy skies with a high of 52 and moderate winds from the south.  It it holds true, this should be a great day to end the season!  Then next Saturday is the PRSA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet.  Visit the PRSA website for details and to sign up!

Racing Highlights…

Last weekend, team As You Wish…was in Hampton VA for the Fall Fling.  It was a great event with 2 days of racing and one of the highest turnouts in many years.  There were 7 Lightnings, and would have been 8, except 2 boats needed crew and had to combine boats.  Sat we had 5 hard races, the wind was predominately steady from the north winds from 15-20.  The steady breeze made the 5 races races very lively and tiring but never out of control or too much to handle.  Saturday night the Hampton Yacht Club members hosted an awesome Pot Luck/Oyster Roast at one of the member’s homes a few blocks away from the club.  By Sunday, the breeze was predicted to die all day following the front that came thru but it stayed in the 5-6 range and the RC was able to get in 2 additional races.  This was the prefect way to end the regatta, the temps were in the 70’s, most of us were wearing shorts and although the winds were light, no paddling was required!  Congrats again to the winners, Trevor Prior, Hans & Gary sailed well and placed 1st; Joe Bukowski, Ed Lane & Zack Bukowski came in 2nd and Team Hurban, Joan, Gary and Paulie Kaiser were a very close 3rd. (See the pics below).

Some winter thoughts…If you have not considered traveling to away regattas, please reconsider.  When Jim and I first joined Fleet 50 and were trying to “get the basics” of this incredibly humbling boat down, the number one recommendation to getting more experience by traveling to away regattas.  Although when we first considered traveling it was quite overwhelming, it has been the best thing we have done to gain experience.  If you have questions, just ask! There are many folks who will help with recommendations and procedures on traveling, stepping your mast, setting up your boat and all around cheerleads for new teams.  And most importantly, the host clubs are so excited to get more boats on the line!  You will find new friendships, lots of great sailing stories and invaluable knowledge.  Lightning sailors are a tight knit group that will go out of their way to support each other! 

Hope to see everyone Sunday!

Poquoson Challenge & Crab Kill: Rescheduled for August 19!

Fleet 518 will be holding the Poquosen Challenge & Crabkill, sponsored by Yuengling, on August 19 if there is enough interest.  Please let Jim Dillard know if you can attend, along with the following information:

  1. I’ll be there with ____ others
  2.  Would you like a bed? (bring sheets and towels, 1st come…)
  3. How many w/ eat crab? Need to know as they are the big cost

Registration is $5, dinner is $20/ person.  Remember we usually sail w/ 2 but more are OK too.. So if you wo/ like to join us please let Jim know. We need at least 7 boats.

Notice of Regatta

The Poquoson Challenge is a one-day event sponsored by Fleet 518 and will be held on the beautiful Poquoson River just south of the York River on Saturday, July 29, 2017.  This is strictly a fun regatta. You can sail with one person or as many as you like. There will be no on shore skippers meeting. Check in at 38 foot white sailboat. The first race will start at 1:00. There will be 4 or 5 short windward /leeward races finishing to windward. One line at committee boat for start and finish. These races will be governed by the “Racing Rules of Sailing.”  No protests, please.

Racing will be followed by a crab and beer feast (barbecue will be available) at Jack  & Lynn Shepherd’s  — 218 Kings Grant Dr.. PLEASE LET JIM KNOW HOW MANY IN YOUR GROUP WOULD LIKE CRAB OR BARBQUE!  Yuengling will be the beer!

The after race party will be   Entrance fee: $5.00. Dinner $20.00/ person.  Public launching is available on the Poquoson with a tow available if needed. Please see the NOR for directions and additional details.

Dixie District Championships: June 24-25

The Dixie District Championship Regatta, hosted by Fleet 329 at SSA, is just around the corner.  Let’s aim for a great Fleet 50 turnout!  The NOR and registration links are posted to our Dixie District website.  Make sure to sign up on the ILCA Who’s Coming List and then register by June 15 to receive the early registration discount!

2017 Potomac Cup Results

What a great weekend!  With 6 great races in breezy conditions, a fantastic BBQ, great camping, and good fun all around, the 2017 Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup is in the books.  Congratulations to all the competitors and many, many thanks to all of the volunteers who helped make the regatta such a success.  Complete results are posted here and more photos will be posted soon.

A Message from Your New Fleet Captain: Spring Sailing Is Here!

The following note is from Lisa-Marie Lane, Lightning Fleet 50 Fleet Captain:

Greeting Fleet 50 Sailors!

Spring is here and sailing season is right around the corner.  Our 1st Spring Series starts on April 2 so it is time to start thinking finding your sailing gear & getting ready for racing.  

Fleet Tuning Day–Sat April1st we will host a Fleet Tuning Day from 9-Noon (Please reply to Lisa-Marie at if you are interested in attending)

Our first Spring Series Race is Sunday 4/2.  In order to help get you get your boats ready for the racing season, several of our members will be at the marina and we will help get masts stepped & be available to take a look at your tuning.  Special thanks to Aaron, Nabeel & Bob Astrove who offered to be available to ask questions and assist anyone who may need help tuning their boats.

33rd Annual Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup, May 13-14th, Leesylvania State Park—Volunteers Needed

We still need some key volunteers, including Regatta Chair and someone to organize the menu/meals.  In addition, we can use as much help as possible on Saturday, May 6th from 9am-Noon for the Leesylvania Park Clean-Up.  Please look at your calendar and let me know if you can help out.  More details will follow.

Challenge from the Dixie District Annual Meeting—One More Regatta!

We had a great meeting this past February in Annapolis followed by a Social, with a very informative overview of the “significant changes for the 2017-2020 Racing Rules of Sailing by Geof Becker.  I am very excited to share that Fleet 50 has added a few boats to come out with a small gain in membership!  We have been one of the most active fleets in our district and currently has 18 active skippers and last year scored 54 races over the season in 2016!

Now is the time to start getting your sailing calendars organized & crew set.  All of the Dixie District Racing Calendar dates have been set and you can find the 2017 calendar at:

My challenge to each of you is to commit to participate in one more away regatta this season.  If there is anything I can do to help make that happen, please let me know!  

Upcoming Regattas

The 6th Annual Moonshine Regatta is the first Dixie District Regatta on April 8-9th.  So far, we will have 3 boats from Fleet 50 attending (Lisa-Marie & Jim Lane, Alex Thomson & Will Phillippe & Frank Gallagher).  This a great regatta to start the season.  If you are coming, please be sure to sign up on the “Who’s Coming” list to help with event planning!   

Make sure to visit the ILCA racing calendar for details on all upcoming events:

Make Note…the WJMs & North American’s are split this year & limited space for the NAs:

● 2017 – WJM‟s Metedeconk River YC (Aug 1-4) 

Lightning North Americans—If you are planning to attend, sign up early; Due to the size of the facility in NC this year, there will only be 70 slots available–registration opens June 15th.

● 2017 – CYC, Wrightsville Beach (Sept 21-24) 

● 2017 – CYC, Wrightsville Beach (Sept 21-24) 

On a personal note…Tales from the Dark & Stormy Side

I just returned from my first experience at the 70th Annual Winter Championship in St. Petersburg/Southern Circuit.  Due to a last minute cancellation, I had the opportunity to crew for a SSA skipper & it was an amazing experience!  For me, the most interesting part of the event was the Lightning Mentor Program.  This including being assigned a “coach” for the event. Pre-race meetings to discuss the weather forecast/local knowledge reports & racing game plan.  The de-briefings after racing, including comments from the coach boat for feedback of what happened during the event and video of the racing.  This was extremely helpful, as the coach would point out something that was an issue, then go to your boat to identify the problem & help you correct it!  Our boat had a problem with the “Cunningham Trim” which he pointed out on the de-briefing video.  After the meeting, our coach stopped by the boat & helped make some tuning & sail adjustments correct the problem.  This was a great learning experience both on & off the water!   Unfortunately, I was only able to participate in the first half of the Southern Circuit this year, but this event is definitely on my bucket list of regattas to attend!  



Hampton Fall Fling Nov. 5-6

Fleet 50 Sailors — we have the Hampton Fall Fling coming up this weekend (Nov. 5-6). Click here to read the NOR and please sign up on the ILCA Who’s Coming?” list:  This is always a fun regatta sailing on the historic waters of the Hampton Flats and of course there will be the traditional Oyster Roast hosted at a member’s house on Sat night. Joe B down in Hampton says that If there is anything that they can do to help someone make it down just let them know!