You have heard the phrase a million times: It Takes a Village.
As it relates to the Lightning Class Association, these words are on point. The Class office, Executive Committee, Governing Board members, District Commodores and Fleet Captains certainly keep things moving forward for the betterment of the class and its membership. However, that is not enough. We need more interaction and support from YOU: boat owners, skippers, crew, teammates - the class membership family.
The facts remain: the Lightning is a sensational boat to sail and race. It’s responsive, quick and has all the controls & tuning you could ask for, even compared to a modern one-design boat. And it is an easy boat to sail, although it requires dedication and practice to truly sail it at peak efficiency. On top of that – the Lightning is not a budget-buster. Quite the contrary. You can sail in a local, regional and/or an international fleet without breaking the bank. It’s affordable sailboat racing at its finest.
All that said, to me, across our entire footprint including Europe and South America, we (the collective boat owners) are not doing enough to support our local fleets, regional regattas, and national and international championships. Not Even Close! We all need to hit the ‘restart’ button at its core, decide we need to commit to sailing our boats, traveling to regattas, and help get new blood, new kids, and new owners into the class. Not just a few volunteers doing the heavy lifting; rather, every one of us need to pitch in to make a difference. We need to ‘fall in love again’ with our boats and our fleets. It takes a village.
If you own a 15000 boat (boats built in the last 20+ years) and you have no plans to sail it anytime soon, please consider the following: 1. Sell it 2. Lend or charter it to a club member or friend for the 2023 season 3. Ask the class office, an EC member, or GB member if they know someone looking for a boat.
We need to get newer boats to Europe and Southern America. It’s critical to the health and well-being of our ‘international’ status. This must be a priority for the class. The Class office may help offset shipping costs. Again, it takes a village to make this a reality.
Please consider being part of the solution. The Class needs you to step up, no day better than today.
David Starck, ILCA Treasurer