Sailing with skipper and crew of two, the Lightning is the place to hone your one design sailing skills instead of flogging your wallet on the latest high tech go-fast gear! As a club racer or as a regatta circuit regular, Lightning racing will provide you and your crew the highest level of one design competition and skill development at minimal cost. Some of the nation's finest sailors race Lightnings, and several have made their home in Fleet 5.
With over 60 years of success, more than 15,000 hulls built for 130 fleets sailing in the United States and 17 different countries, the Lightning class is the longest operating and best organized one design sailing organization in the world. Established in 1940, Fleet 5 is proud to carry on the Lightning tradition as Chicago's longest enduring, most competitive and fun one design sailing class. The 2014 Lightning North Americans, held in Sheboygan, WI attracted 107 boats that included teams from Canada and South America.
The Lightning class is, consistently and by far, the largest multi-crew one design in the world in terms of number of fleets, active class members, and regatta participation. Lightnings are extremely technical and tactical to race due to a hard-chine hull and advanced sail plan.
The Lightning class is one of the strongest levels of competition in all of one design racing, as demonstrated at the 2003 World Championships - Some of the best sailors in the world are sailing the Lightning - Dave Dellenbaugh
Sailing out of Montrose Harbor with CCYC, Fleet 5 is primarily a traveling fleet with regattas almost weekly throughout the Midwest. Nationally, Lightning regattas are held every week of the year Fleet 5 sponsors The Red Flannels Regatta in Chicago the 3 weekend in September, attracting boats from as far away as Thunder Bay Canada.