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Lightning Class Association
HomeBoat Grant-Cox-2015

Boat Grant Program

Lightning Boat Grant Skipper – Alex Cox
Crew - Caleb Vander Ploeg and Marek Dennhardt
Fleet 335

Alex Cox

The opportunity to utilize the grant relates to our Fleet 279, Temple Reef Sailing Club (TRSC), which has continued to grow in size. We have consistently increased the number of boats attending weekly race nights, as well as having bigger turnouts than ever at our local regattas. Not only is the Fleet growing in size, but we have also grown in terms of overall competitiveness. Many skippers have purchased newer boats, newer sails and dedicated more time to racing each season. Our club has also begun travelling more often. Teams have regularly travelled to Midwest district regattas (10–14 hours away), having as many as six boats attending a weekend event.

All the members of the club are improving together. There has never been a better time for me to begin racing my own boat and to learn new skills in a club that is growing and improving. There are also many new young members who are looking for an opportunity to begin crewing on a Lightning. Since our club has become more dedicated, there have been race nights where we have too many extra crew. An extra boat in our club would allow even more people to become involved in our club, dinghy racing and the Lightning Class.

Alex has sailed the last six years with Richard Walsh. He has attended several North American Championships and the 2009 World Championship. He plans to sail his Lightning this Summer at the Temple Reef Sailing Club in Thunder Bay, Ontario. His teammates will be Caleb Vander Ploeg and Marek Dennhardt. Their Lightning mentor is Richard Walsh.
Caleb Vander Ploeg

Caleb grew up cruising and eventually racing on his father’s keelboats, a Sirius 28 and, later, a J35. At age nine he started taking sailing lessons at Sail Thunder Bay and got hooked on sailing dinghies. He eventually wanted to further his sailing experience and purchased a Laser and a Laser 2. After becoming a sailing instructor in 2013, he became involved in the Lightning fleet in Thunder Bay and fell in love with the boat. Over the past two years he has participated in various fun and competitive races and regattas in Thunder Bay.
Marek Dennhardt

Sailing is a personal passion. It has been a major part of my life since I was born. A four-week family sailing trip on Lake Superior ignited a flame for sailing in me that cannot be extinguished. The passion for sailing is so intense that when my family stopped sailing, I needed to find another way to fulfill my cravings. This was achieved through local keelboat racing.

Team Cox Proposed Schedule

  • 21       First Local Thursday Night Race, Thunder Bay, ON
  • 24       Slush Cup, Thunder Bay, ON
  • 6–7      Lighthouse Regatta, Fond du Lac, WI
  • End of June – date unknown — Midwest Districts, WI
  • 27-28   Canadian Open, Buffalo Canoe Club, ON
  • Early July – date unknown — Evans Regatta, Green Bay, WI
  • 11–12  Central Canadian Districts, Thunder Bay, ON
  • Middle of July – date unknown — Great Lakes Championships, LaSalle, MI
  • 15-16  Amethyst Regatta, Thunder Bay, ON
  • 22-23  Loon Lake Regatta, Thunder Bay, ON
  • 29–30  Brotz Regatta, Sheboygan, WI (date unconfirmed)
  • 22       Frostbite Regatta, Thunder Bay, ON
  • 29–30 Red Flannels, Chicago, IL (date unconfirmed)
  • 1       Last Scheduled Local Thursday Night Race, Thunder Bay, ON

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