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Lightning Class Association

#7603 — Bob Astrove's Nickels & Holman is Still Racing —Pandora II

I had previously owned three Lightnings and actively raced in the Washington DC area (Fleets 50 and 329) for over twenty years. After a five-year hiatus, while lying in bed recovering from a serious accident, I got the bug to return to the Lightning. But it had to be a little different this time. I needed something more than another new or late model "plastic fantastic." The next boat would have to require love. And it had to be something my then thirteen-year-old son and I could do together.
I still haven't figured out the skis!
After about six months of searching, we finally found what we were looking for. We bought the boat in February, 2002, for $100. Upon arriving home, my wife's first comment was, "You overpaid!" A few minutes later, my son's neighbor pay (now my jib man) came by and just shook his head. They saw sawdust—I saw a thing of beauty.
Working a bit almost every day, often as little as just fifteen minutes, by August she was ready.

Three years later we are actively racing with our local fleet. We are reasonably competitive in the lighter winds, often placing and even winning some races in our year-long local fleet series. Occasionally we venture out to other regatta,s such as the Borderline and Dixie Districts. And you wouldn’t believe how cool it feels when the boat behind you sports a number over 15,000.

Among our favorite trips w’ the old boat is our annual pilgrimage to “the Wooden Lightning Get Together” in Syracuse the last weekend of July. A blast, very low key racing, and you can see some beautiful old Lightnings.

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