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Lightning Class Association
HomeBoat Grant-Somes-2015

Boat Grant Program

2015 Lightning Boat Grant Skipper –Lightning Boat Grant Skipper – Sarah Somes
Crew - Julie Howe and Christy Listwan

Sarah Somes

I started racing when I joined Bayview Yacht Club’s Junior Sailing Summer Program at the age of twelve and have been sailing competitively ever since. I started off skippering FJs right away, and by the end of my second summe,r I was awarded Women’s Skipper of the Year by the Detroit River Yacht Racing Association . I transitioned into the Club 420 class as a crew and, thus, began my journey competing on both a national and international level. BYC junior sailing introduced me to the multitude of opportunities, which I explored. I spent many years match racing, sailed 5 Port Huron to Mackinac Races, and one Chicago to Mackinac Race on the J44 Sagitta. In the past eleven years I have gained experience competing in FJ, 420, Ultimate20, J22, Sonar, J44, J70, J120, Beneteau 36.7, Melges 24, Melges 20, Thistle, and Swedish Match 40. .

“This Boat Grant is my opportunity to brand myself as a skipper and begin my journey as a tough competitor on any racecourse. One of my goals is to become an avenue for success and inspiration to younger female sailors. I feel the experience and concentrated use of resources on my team through this grant is key to empower me to continue skippering and offering opportunities to women sailors beyond this summer and the grant.”

Sarah sailed collegiately at The College of Charleston, where she was team Captain in 2012 and 2013. She will sail her Lightning this Summer, based from The Crescent Sail Yacht Club in Detroit. Her crewmembers will be: Christy Listwan and Julie Howe. Their Lightning mentor is Kevin Morin.

Julie How

I started racing when I joined the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club summer sailing program at the age of 7 and have been sailing competitively ever since.  I started out in optimists and enjoyed them very much but began to realize that I enjoyed sailing much better as a team sport and with others on board with me.  I then began skippering 420's and was awarded skipper of the year in the Detroit River Yacht Racing Association.  My junior sailing success landed me a spot on the varsity sailing team at Boston College.  At BC, I also realized I enjoyed being the eyes and tactician for the boat rather than the driver.  While at BC I was honored All American Crew and won team racing and came in 2nd at the fleet racing national championship with my team.

Post college I was able to keep up with competitive sailing mostly through the Melges 32 class with skipper Jason Carrol (who I had competed against in college).  This took me to national and international regattas.  Since then I have taken a bit of a hiatus, mostly sailing convenient and local regattas due to other professional and career goals.  This grant will be the perfect re entry into the sport I love so much and I couldn't be more excited.  During my sailing career I have had the privilege of sailing the follow boats; FJ's, 420's, Ultimate 20's, J22's, Etchells, Melges 24, Melges 32, and many more.

Christy Listwan

I started sailing at the age of eight at Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, moved to Bayview Yacht Club when I was sixteen, and completed junior sailing at BYC when I was eighteen. As a junior sailor I competed in the US Youth Sailing Championship, in addition to the many other highly competitive national club 420 circuits.

I have continued my sailing via local regattas and recreation in the Great Lakes, such as the BYC Mackinac Race and weekly local race series on a J105 and Ultimate20. 2015 will be my 5th year coaching and 3rd year as program director at North Star Sail Club.

Team Somes Proposed Schedule


  • Pymatuning Spring Regatta
  • BYC One Design Regatta
  • Bay City Regatta
  • Michigan District Championship
  • Great Lakes Championship
  • Women’s, Junior and Master North Americans
  • Crescent Sail Yacht Club Regatta

  • Pontiac Regatta
  • Red Flannel Regatta
  • North American Championship
  • Wild Oyster Regatta
  • 50th Blue Nose Regatta

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