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Lightning Class Association
Home2016 Boat Grant Press Release

The ILCA Boat Grant Program Announces 2016 Grantees


Affordable Opportunity for Young Sailors to Experience One Design Sailing at its Best

10th Anniversary of ILCA Boat Grant Program: 2016 North American Recipients and Expansion of the Program to South America/Peru.

Tarpon Springs, FL MAY 12, 2016 - The International Lightning Class is proud to announce 2016 marks the 10th Anniversary of the Boat Grant Program! To date 29 teams/90+ participants have been introduced to the Lightning Class through the Program. Many are still actively involved in the Class and 8 recipients have purchased their own Lightning. These numbers will continue to grow as these young teams get older.

In North America, 2016 recipients of the ILCA Boat Grant Program are Gordon Wolcott of Virginia Beach, VA/University of VA Alumni and Andreas Adam of Annapolis, MD/SUNY Maritime. Both will represent the Boat Grant Program on the National circuit this summer.  Co-chair of the Program, Matthew Schon says, "I am excited to work with Gordon and Andreas this summer and introduce them everything the Lightning Class has to offer."  Gordon and Andreas both got a taste of sailing Lightnings last summer and revealed that the competitive fleets and camaraderie is what led them to apply for the program.

Team Wolcott will include crew Elizabeth "Lizzie" Chambers (Mooresville, NC/College of Charleston Alumn) and Chris Stessing (Buffalo, NY/University of VA Alumn). "After two years of being away from a structured sailing program and being on the water almost every day, I have been exploring ways of getting back into competitive sailing in a way that it affordable." explains Wolcott. "This past fall I sailed my first ever lightning event...After two days of great sailing in various breeze conditions, I knew that I wanted to apply. The International Lightning Class Association's Boat Grant Program is the ideal way for me to continue sailing against some of our sport's most talented sailors."

Team Adam includes Zach Hill (Annapolis, MD/SUNY Maritime) and Alex Ramos (Arnold, MD/University of MI Alumn). Adam states, "Having a chance to be able to compete during the summer in a strong one-design class would be a huge asset for not only college sailing but my entire sailing career."

Both Teams have a tremendous amount of sailing experience from every facet of the sport. Their collective achievements include sailing at youth, high school, and college national championships, honors and awards for sailing abilities, leadership and sportsmanship, coaching, all American honors, multiple national championships and even a world championship.

The Boat Grant Committee will host a 10th Anniversary party at the 2016 Samson North American Championships in Rochester, NY - August 13-19. We invite all Boat Grant alumni and mentors to attend.

In our 10th Anniversary year we are expanding this program outside of North America!

Daniel Mendoza and his crew from Peru have been awarded the first Boat Grant outside North America. The grant includes the shipment of a Lightning sailboat ready to race from the US to Peru for the duration of 1 year. In order to become eligible for this program, Daniel and his crew had to provide the ILCA their sailing backgrounds and a sailing plan that includes not only local regattas but also participation in the 2016 South American Championship. 

Daniel is a very experienced sailor, with participation in South American's, World Championships and Pan Am games sailing in the J24 Class. His front crew will be Jimena Gaviño, also an avid sailor with lots of experience in the J24 class and IRC. His middle crew will be Augusto Lafosse, bringing years of racing experience in the J24 Class, and Runner Up at the 1996 Opti World and South American Championships.

The ILCA is proud to have them join the Class and is looking forward to having them participate in our regattas.

Team Somes - 2015 Recipients

About the Lightning Boat Grant Program

In 2007 ILCA Class members Bill Fastiggi and Allan Terhune brought an out of the box concept to conception. They were awarded the 2007 US Sailing Leadership Award for their efforts in launching what would become a benchmark program across the sailing community. The Program gives selected young sailors an opportunity to experience Lightning racing at its best. In the US/Canada, the ILCA provides a competitive boat, insurance and substantial regatta expense reimbursement. The grant applications are reviewed and critiqued to listed selection criteria. The Class typically grants two boats each season but has granted up to five in one season.

Each applicant is expected to sail in a predetermined number of races, maintain the boat and equipment and exhibit the highest level of sportsmanship. The grant is for use of the boat and equipment for one season. At the end of the season the boat may be available for purchase, depending on the situation. Each recipient is assigned a "mentor" for the season.

By providing opportunities for young adult sailors to experience the Lightning we are helping to ensure the ILCA will be strong for many more years to come.

In 2016 we are pleased to grow this program to include areas outside of North America.

This program is funded by the ILCA Fund and annual donations from members.

Media Contact

More information on the Program:
Boat Grant Information

Full List of Past Recipients:
Boat Grant Recipients

Informational Flyer to post at your Club:
Boat Grant Flyer

Laura Jeffers

ILCA Executive Secretary

William Brown
CO-Chair Boat Grant Program

Matthew Schon
CO-Chair Boat Grant Program

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