After a closely fought series, Mal Hartland clinched the Lightning national championship title from Hugh Spencer
A total of 24 Lightning dinghies competed in the 2002 national championship held at Grafham Water, a joint meeting held with the Supernova and Byte classes, on the 31 August and 1 September.
Saturday saw brisk winds with plenty of shifts to keep the fleet on their toes. Hugh Spencer won the first two races, showing that his qualification for the Veteran Trophy was not a handicap. Close at his heels was Mal Hartland who came second in both races. Behind there was much place changing with Ben Harris crossing the line in front of Ian Gore to take third place in the first race. In the second race, Adrien Hollier came through the fleet to take third place, with Penny Yarwood finishing fourth. Mal Hartland took a clear lead in the third race to take a deserved victory, with David Tinby in second and Adrien Hollier in third.
Saturday evening was enjoyed by all with a meal that was layed on by Grafham Sailing Club and entertainment in the form of a quiz night.
Sunday dawned with completely different conditions -sunny but with very light and patchy winds.
Race four started in almost no wind, with Mal Hartland slowly taking the lead while there was much place changing in the fleet behind him. However, these conditions proved that no position was safe, as the fleet caught up Mal on the final leg. However, Mal kept his cool to take the bullet, with Richard Watts taking a sneaky second place and Ian Gore third.
Race five was postponed until after lunch, but unfortunately the wind didn’t materialise. After changing the course several times, chasing the wind, the race was started with the Up River YC trio of Penny Yarwood, Ben Harris and Alex Gore taking an early lead. The wind filled in from behind to let Ian Gore take the lead to take victory in the oldest boat in the fleet. Mal Hartland took second place to clinch the title of national champion and R. Simmonds finished in third.
The final race was cancelled due to the wind dying completely and everyone sailed ashore, praying for some more wind next year.
1st Mal Hartland Bolton Sailing Club
2nd Hugh Spencer Royal Plymouth Yacht Club
3rd Ian Gore Up River Yacht Club
4th Adrien Hollier West Oxfordshire Sailing Club