Greetings and Happy New Year!
I don't know about you, but I am really excited for 2024. Lots of great things are going on right now in the Lightning Class. From South America, to Europe, to here in North America, 2024 is shaping up to be the best ever.
Planning is always key to everything we do in life. This coming sailing season is no different. The planning begins now. Yes today! Get your 2024 calendar out, visit the Lightning Class website and search regattas. If you know of a regatta that is not on the event calendar please email the Class Office. Just a quick heads up, 6 weeks from Friday is the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta at St. Pete. With multiple fleets, it is a ton of fun mingling with literally hundreds of sailors. And the Lightning fleet will be well-represented with 20+ Boats this Feb 16-18, 2024. Come sail the regatta then leave your boat and return in March for the St. Pete Winter Championship.
2024 will be the year we introduce U32 (under 32 years old) Regattas. The idea is to have two or three U32 Regattas in North America and possibly South America (Ecuador). More to come, but know that the class is laser focused on our future - youth and young adults sailors.
Speaking of young adult sailors... the Boat Grant Program Application Deadline is January 15th. Please be sure to encourage local fleet candidates to apply. If you have any questions please reach out to Ryan Davidson or Greg Fisher the Boat Grant Co-Chairs.
The Lightning Class NEEDS YOU as much as you need the Class. Yes, that is right. We need you to RENEW MEMBERSHIPS and FLEET DUES on time and DONATE to one of the several funds we use to grow and expand the class. Whether it is shipping boats overseas to strengthen our International Fleets, subsidizing Junior sailor registration fees, the Boat Grant program, or anything else you can think of which promotes the class, your donations are critical and we put them to good use. Donate Here
Back to the 2024 calendar as you plot your sailing plans. Support your local and regional fleets and regattas. This is mission critical to the class. Make it a point to travel to at least 1 regional regatta. How about setting up a Lightning Lab? We can make that happen. Contact Lisa-Marie Lane or Jeff Hayden Lightning Lab Co-Chairs.
Last but not least. I challenge EVERY Fleet and District out there to send at least 1-2 Junior Teams, 1 Masters Team, and 1 Women's Team to the WJM NA's. That is 4-5 boats from your area going to the Buffalo Canoe Club in early August. Please think outside the box, lend a boat, lend sails, do a fundraiser, etc. Help make this happen. The 2024 WJM NA's and NA's are MUST ATTEND events this year.
Questions? Comments? contact me directly. I will help.
Hope to see you on the water soon,