help_outline Skip to main content
Lightning Class Association

News / Articles

Lightning Sailors Recognized at US Sailing Awards

Published on 2/1/2019

US Sailing
Kevin Morin
PYC - Regatta of the Year
Congratulations to many of our Lightning sailors recognized by US Sailing!

Pontiac Yacht Club received the National One-Design Regatta Award for excellence in development, promotion and management of the year’s most outstanding one-design regatta - the 2018 Lightning Women’s, Junior and Master North American Championship!

Kevin Morin, Jim Thompson and Doug Wake received the National One-Design Creativity Award for the development of MarkSetBot. 

Cedar Point Yacht Club (home to Fleet 126) received the National One-Design Club Award recognizing administrative excellence, fleet growth, creative programming, regatta support and member contributions.

Lightning sailors making a difference in the sailing community!!

2018 Lightning Women’s, Junior and Master North American Championship hosted by the Pontiac Yacht Club - National One-Design Regatta Award

The 2018 Lightning Women’s, Junior and Master North American Championship was the largest regatta in class history, with 67 boats. Its goal was to build one-design racing by recruiting new junior and women participants. Pontiac Yacht Club (PYC) recruited a highly professional race management team to ensure top-notch racing. To maximize participation, it provided free lodging, competitive charter boats, a crew brokering service and much more.

The Pontiac Yacht Club sits on tiny Cass Lake in southeast Michigan and boasts the largest Lightning fleet in the world. The founders of the club understood that having multiple fleets of one-design boats, each with marginal participation, was not a winning formula, so they declared that PYC would race only Lightnings.

Compared to typical yacht clubs, PYC is a bare-bones operation. It has no paid staff, kitchen or dining facilities and no bar. Approximately 100 family members run all aspects of the club. It is this kind of outstanding effort that contributes so much to one-design racing.

Kevin Morin, Jim Thompson and Doug Wake - National One-Design Creativity Award

Kevin Morin, Jim Thompson and Doug Wake used creativity to turn a problem into an opportunity. They are the inventors of the MarkSetBot, a revolutionary new race committee tool that increases the accuracy and efficiency of mark setting. MarkSetBot is a self-propelled robotic mark controlled by a mobile device that uses GPS technology to find and hold a location.

Used at the aforementioned Lightning Championships, the battery-powered marks move quickly to their location, directed by a mobile app. They hold position and relocate with incredible ease and the marks are easy to see and handle. The MarkSetBot is described by top race managers as a true game-changer in one-design racing.

Cedar Point Yacht Club National One-Design Club Award

In addition to running weekly racing for eight strong one-design fleets, the Cedar Point Yacht Club (CPYC) supports the development of new classes like the Aero and Waszp. In challenging times for one-design fleet growth, its Flying Scot and V15 fleets have experienced a resurgence.

In 2018, the club hosted eight separate regattas, including a multi-class one-design regatta with 560 sailors, the 66-boat Thistle Nationals and the annual Connecticut Special Olympics. Regatta festivities included a bagpiper for the opening ceremonies, live bands, a lip sync competition, a corn hole tournament, the “Mafia on the Beach” blender party and a lobster clambake.

The club also supports youth sailing. Last year it hosted the 142-boat JSA of Long Island Sound Race Week and a 78-boat Opti Area C Championship.

Learn more about the US Sailing Awards.

US Sailing Communications: Jake Fish,, 401-342-7925

Sponsor Number URL address
Sponsor 1
Sponsor 2
Sponsor 3
Sponsor 4
Sponsor 5
Sponsor 6
Sponsor 7
Sponsor 8
Sponsor 9
Sponsor 10

Lightning Class Supporters