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Lightning Class Association
HomeBoat Grant QA

Boat Grant Program

Questions and Answers:

(submit a question - Q and A will be posted here)

What expenses are covered?

We will provide the boat, competitive sails, insurance, and entry fees for all Lightning Class regattas that you sail. We have also included some money in the program for maintenance so if the boat needs some new line or you need to repair a damaged part, that will be covered as well. We want you to sail a lot of events. In some cases we may help with your travel expenses, depending on the strength of your proposal. Part of the your proposal should include a list of regattas that you want to attend, a budget, and a plan. The funding depends on the strength of your proposal and your need for financial aid. We would strongly recommend that you discuss your job and your ability to incur some of these expenses.

What costs will I incur?

You and your crew will need to join the ILCA, Skipper dues are $55 and Crew dues are $10 each. You will also need to pay the deductible if you damage the boat and need to make an insurance claim. You will need to pay any fees associated with storing the boat at a club or sailing center. You will need to pay travel expenses for going to regattas. Often times regatta hosts will offer free housing to competitors which greatly reduces your expenses.

I am 24, and I am in graduate school full time. Am I eligible for the program?

Yes, Absolutely! The program is geared to help YOUNG people who have a desire to race a boat but do not have the resources to be able to do it. The class wants to do what ever it can to get people like you to start racing boats and enable you to get on the race course.

Are there any regattas I am required to go to?

No, you are not required to go to any specific regattas, but the more realistic your proposed race schedule is, the better chance you have to being granted a boat. The North Americans, ACC’s, Great Lakes Champs and District Championships, are all big events. There are also many local and regional regattas, and some fleets have active local fleet racing schedules. We encourage participation in all types of Lightning racing.

Can I attend the North Americans?

You need to qualify for the North Americans by sailing in your District Championships.

After I sail the boat granted to me for one year, I decide I really love the boat and want to keep it! Will this be possible?

In some cases, the boat will be available to be purchased at the end of the season, and it would be the best thing that we could hope for. We would work with you to figure out the details to help you to purchase the boat and to continue to race with the ILCA.

What/who is the mentor and what will they do for me?

The mentor is the best part of the program. The mentor will be a member from a local fleet with a lot of Lightning knowledge who will be able to help you get started, show you how to rig the boat, tune, boat handling techniques, you name it. They are there to help YOU. They are also there to help watch over the boat and ensure that it is being taken care of and that its being used and cared for. The mentor will be available to answer your questions, help with regatta planning, and help you get the most out of your Lightning. He or she may be able to help coach, assist, and even sail with you from time to time. They are there to make your experience positive and to help you learn as much as possible.

I am putting together a last minute application to the boat grant program. We are collecting several recommendation letters from around the East Coast. With some of the individuals being on vacation, they will be submitting electronic copies to us for incorporation into our application. My question is whether you need signed copies of the recommendation letters sent to you? If yes, what address would you want it sent to?

Your letters of recommendation do not need to be signed. They can be sent via email directly to the class office: That is the same place where you need to send your application. The more effort you put in to the application process and the stronger your recommendations, the better your chances are. A very strong letter of recommendation from a member of a nearby Lightning fleet who knows you well or a sailing coach who knows you well will have far more weight than a letter from a "big name" sailor who barely knows you. We will be contacting them and interviewing them about you.

I am putting together an application to the Lightning Boat Grant Program. I am trying to develop a travel schedule to incorporate in the application. I am having trouble finding the dates for all Lightning regattas. I was wondering if you had a good listing or could point me to the best online source to review?

Many of our Districts are still working out the details of the regatta schedules for next season, so the complete regatta schedule is not on the website as of yet. We realize this makes it more difficult for your proposal, and we will certainly take this into consideration. A good way to handle this is:
  1. Look at the regatta schedule that is currently available on the ILCA website under "Calendar at a Glance".
  2. Look at the results from the previous year and and see what regattas were held (where and when) and incorporate them into your schedule on a "tentative basis."
  3. Talk to some Lightning sailors in your area to see if they can provide any information.
  4. Contact the District Commodore in your area: ILCA District Commodores.

Do the crew members have to be 19 and older by the time of submission of the application?

The skipper must be 19 by the time of the application.  Defined crew must turn 19 during the  summer that applicant will have the boat.

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