Welcome to my new blog for the Lightning Class site. We will over the next months follow the history of the Lightning and the ILCA in roughly chronological order. It will be comments on a mix of photos, videos, clippings from our Class materials and periodicals. I will use a little music from the period under discussion to take you back in time. Occasionally I will toss in something interesting that crosses my desk.
The idea of the Lightning was born in conversation at the Skaneateles County Club in 1938. Lead by Comet sailors Linzey Nickolson and Gordon Cronk the parameters were set for 20'ish sloop for racing and daysailing. Two members of the group, boatbuilders John and George Barnes, recommended 19 feet for best use of standard 20 pieces of lumber. John Barnes would suggest they use a the hottest new design team to draw the boat. That would be the new firm of Sparkman & Stephens in NYC. A deal was struck with S&S do the boat and sell enough sets of plans to satisfy the fee. Then they would sign rights to the design over to a new class association. And the name? Why not the fast old clipper ship Lightning.
Here are the young gentlemen that gave us our boat. Over the next months lets get to know them better.