2019 Steketee Trophy Awarded to Fleet 253, Susquehanna Yacht Club
One of the many factors supporting the success of the Lightning Class is the contributions of its individual fleets. This fact was formally recognized in 1969 by Neal Steketee who donated a trophy to be awarded annually to the “North American Lightning Fleet which has been outstanding in the furthering the purpose of the ILCA in promoting and developing racing.” The Steketee Trophy is awarded based on the judgment of the Executive Committee.
This year the Steketee Trophy has been awarded to Fleet 253, Susquehanna Yacht Club. The trophy was presented by President Hugh Hutchison to Fleet Captain Kevin Smith at the Saturday dinner during the Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup, hosted by the Susquehanna Yacht Club.
Susquehanna was recognized for it’s efforts in hosting the 2019 Atlantic Coast Championship. Susquehanna had not previously hosted a sanctioned Lightning Regatta and when approached about the prospect of holding the regatta, enthusiastically stepped up to the plate. The result was a spectacular success, from the overall organization, to race management and the social events.
The regatta drew 29 boats but perhaps what was the most striking characteristic of the fleet was its diversity. There were 14 first-time ACC participants. Six boats were under-30 sailors and six boats had women skippers, including three all-female boats.
One of the under-30 skippers was attending his first Lightning regatta in a borrowed boat and came away in awe of how much fun a Lightning regatta could be. As a result, he sailed every other Lightning regatta he could get to for the balance of the season and has now decided to purchase a boat for himself. That is the epitome of how a fleet can help the Lightning Class flourish and grow. That is the epitome of what Neal Steketee envisioned when he established the trophy.
Well done Fleet 253. The recognition is clearly well deserved.