Here's a general question for the Laser forum community. What experiences have you had with lightning while sailing? I'll share mine from a regatta this weekend. As I approached the finish line for one race, I noticed a cloud off in the distance that I thought looked a little dark. About the time I tacked for the finish, I saw a flash of lightning about a half mile away. There had been no predictions of thunderstorms in the weather report. This was a localized "pop up" storm that will frequently occur in the summer. Not really sure what to do, I go ahead and finish before heading back to where I launched. It was a 20-30 minute sail back to the launch point, and there was nowhere nearby that I could pull out. It was pretty clear that I was going to be stuck out on the water when the storm hit. I got about halfway in when the storm lets loose. It started raining so heavily that I lost sight of shore. The wind had picked up, and I was sailing on a beam reach with the sail luffing (still making a pretty good clip). Soon there was a microburst that completely knocked me over. At this point my boat is on its side, and I'm on the centerboard. I decided this was a pretty good way to ride out the storm. The rain lets up after about five minutes, so I right the boat and continue to head in. The storm had largely gone by, but the lightning stayed behind. One bolt of lightning struck the water about 50-75 yards away from me, and I felt static electricity through my body and ironically through the mainsheet. The whole thing had passed by the time I got the boat out of the water and the sail down. All racing was cancelled for the rest of the day. This storm pretty much caught the entire fleet flat-footed. A couple of sailors headed off in the opposite direction from the storm and avoided the worst of it. In retrospect that was the best thing to do. At the time I just wanted to get off the water, and that mean sailing back to the launch area through the middle of the storm. This is the worst experience I have had with lightning in almost 20 years of sailing, and I'm not eager to repeat it.