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Lightning Class Association
Home2013 Boat Grant Press Release

The ILCA Boat Grant Program Announces 2013 Grantees

TARPON SPRINGS, FLORIDA - February 28, 2013 - The International Lightning Class Association’s Boat Grant program begins its 7th season by announcing the 2013 grant recipients:

Mitch Hall (24) and his team of Ali Blumenthal and Brooks Clark are from Charleston, SC and will be sailing with the Charleston Fleet.  Mitch is in his second year as the Assistant Coach of the College of Charleston Sailing Team.  Mitch grew up sailing Optimists and Lasers in Clearwater, FL until he attended the University of South Florida.  Mitch was a four year member of the sailing team at USF, was captain of the team his senior year, and won the ICSA Sloop National Championships in 2009.  In addition to racing with the Charleston fleet, they will be attending many events along the east coast over the summer.  Their mentor will be veteran Lightning sailor Chris Hamilton.

Colin Smith (22) of Fort Lauderdale, FL and his team of Fred Strammer from Sarasota, FL and Lucas Adams of Middletown, RI are or were all members of the Brown University sailing team.  The team will be based out of Boston, MA and will be racing in most of the east coast regattas this summer.  Colin, a 2012 ICSA Honorable-Mention All-American is excited to get his first taste of the Lightning this summer.  Jay Mueller will be taking on the role of this teams mentor. 

According to Co-Chair William Brown, “It is always difficult to choose between the tremendous applicant pool we receive each year.  That said I couldn’t think of two more qualified applicants than Mitch and Colin.  We are pleased that we will be able to introduce these two teams to the Lightning Class.”

Co-Chair Justin Coplan added: “As a class we are very fortunate to be able to run this program for seven consecutive seasons.  It would not be possible without the support and donation of time, equipment, and money from ILCA members and suppliers.  The Lightning family allows this program to be successful and understands the value of introducing young adults by immersion into the Class.”

More information about the ILCA grant program can be found on the ILCA website, by contacting the ILCA office, or co-chairs Brown and Coplan. Applications are accepted each year from October to December for the following year’s program.

Laura Jeffers –     727-942-7969
William Brown-       201-264-7251
Justin Coplan-      585-752-3276

About the International Lightning Class Association:

The Lightning was designed by Olin Stephens in 1938. 2013 marks 75 years of Lightning sailing! Today there have been over 15510 built. The rig is simple, but offers sophisticated sail shape controls for a crew of three. The hull features a unique hard chine design that combines the stability that provides sail-carrying power, with flat bottom sections that promote planing. It is fast enough to be exciting, slow enough to be very tactical and the boat is very physical to sail in a breeze. In the event of a capsize, she can be righted and sailed dry by her crew. Optimum crew weight is 450 to 500 lbs. The boat weighs 700 pounds and sitting on the trailer with covers, sails and gear the all up weight is about 1100 lbs so it can be safely towed with almost any vehicle.

Many top sailors spent a lot of time racing Lightnings: Betsy Alison, Andy Horton, Jay and Jody Lutz, Greg and Matt Fisher, Tim Healy, Jeff Linton, Cory Sertl, Ken and Brad Read, Jody Swanson Starck, Dave Dellenbaugh, Terry Hutchinson and Ted Turner to name a few. For more information visit,

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