•  Lightning racers rounding a mark
  •  Lightning upwind race leg
  •  Lightning Racers
  •  Spinnaker
  •  Lightning Crew
  •  Lightning Sail and Spinnaker
  •  Lightning Race Fleet

Lightning Fleet

The Susquehanna Yacht Club is home to Lightning Fleet 253, racing on Lake Clarke every Wednesday evening and during special weekend regattas between mid-May the and the end of October. The 19 ft. Lightning is a recognized international one design racer with 150 fleets worldwide.


Our fleet has been a “charter” member of the International Lightning Class Association (www.lightningclass.org) since 1954 with significant participation in the ‘60’s with 31 Lightnings in the Drysail Area in front of the SYC Clubhouse.  Currently, there are typically 10 owners and crews challenging one another for the Frey Cup each year. Trevor Prior is our 2017 Fleet Champion with crew Daniel Rau and Matt Jay.

Several of our skippers and crew travel and participate in a number of national and regional Lightning regattas starting with the Lightning’s Southern Circuit held in St. Petersburg and Miami. Other popular and well attended regattas include the Doc Gilbert/Potomac Cup; Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis, and Havre de Grace on the upper Chesapeake Bay. SYC has hosted seven Dixie District Championships and our traditional Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup on October 6 and 7, 2018 regularly drawing 20 – 30 competing Lightnings from the mid-Atlantic region.

Our Fleet is very active in supporting prospective sailors by hosting the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary “Sailing Skills and Seamanship” classes on Wednesday evening April 4 – May 23, 2018. It is led by Commodore Star Mikell (contact Star at star@admail.com) with several nights of on the water sailing experiences with racers/skippers on board to provide instruction and support. 

The International Lightning Class website (www.lightningclass.org) offers articles, videos, and more to support racers. On Saturday, June 9 our Fleet has scheduled a “Lightning Lab and Fleet Building” event to share Lightning skills for skippers and crew. Lightning sailors will assist in hosting the Club’s Steak Roast at the end of the day. 

Social events (wings and apps shared) are hosted by the Lightning, Flying Scot and Comet racers after each Wednesday event. Once a month, a Pot Luck is planned in the Club’s pavilion. Many racing stories are shared with fun times had by all.  In the off season, social events (group breakfast, hikes, ice skating, and more) are planned. 

Each skipper (with crew) serves as race committee chair to support our racing throughout the season. The Club maintains a race committee boat along with racing marks, gear, and safety equipment/protocols. Race management training is provided.  

Interested in learning more about the Lightning Fleet 253, contact Kevin Smith smithkja@embarqmail.com