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Reflection on the summer of 2022 - By Emma Hawko
By Greg Fisher
Posted: 2022-08-31T21:17:06Z

Emma Hawko, Charlie Morris and Calvin Lamosse

I have been sailing Lightnings for 10 years. I regularly sailed on Lightning 14640 (Wild Goose) with Don Brush. This summer I was fortunate enough to receive a grant from ILCA which included a boat and travel/regatta expenses and made it possible for me to begin to learn how to run a campaign and race as a boat owner. 

For most of my selected events I have been sailing with two sailors from UVM, Charlie Morris and Calvin Lamosse. We have taught each other important lessons and have pushed ourselves to be better. Part of why I applied for the grant was to introduce new people to the Lightning and I have been able to pull in and hook at least two new class members and have intrigued a few others. I’ve used some of the racing opportunities at Squam to start expanding my circle of crew by inviting my teammates from McGill to sail. One of the events I was most looking forward to was the Women’s North Americans, where I sailed with Julia Shannon-Grillo and Annie Tims. I was also able to rope my younger brother into sailing the Canadian Open Championship with Calvin and I in Ontario, Canada. 

As long as I have been a member of the Lightning Class I have always been impressed with the level of camaraderie and competition within the community. My experience with the grant has only enhanced my opinion of the class. As a 5’2” person I struggle with tasks like stepping and de stepping the mast at regattas. Even so, I have never found myself stuck! Every event I go to, whether it be a big event like ACCs or a local event like the weekly racing at Squam, I have had members of multiple teams helping to step the mast and assist in putting the covers on. And this is not an experience isolated to grant recipients, I find myself helping other teams with their boats and covers alongside my friends.

In addition to pure boat help I have been fortunate enough to have been billeted with my teams by members living near each regatta venue. Off the water during events our hosts have helped us to think through our day and offer advice for the rest of the event, for future regattas and general life advice too.

This summer I went from viewing the class as a collection of individuals with a passion for sailing to viewing it as a community of people who love to sail and improve and who love to help others sail and improve. My team would not have been able to sail on the last day of the Women’s North American Championship had it not been for the help from the fleet in finding a substitute team member to sail. 

The Lightning Class and the Grant Program has helped me with many things this summer. Thanks to this program I am a better sailor, a better person, a better teammate, and a better leader. It has helped me redefine what it means to have a successful regatta and what it will mean to be successful in life. I am so grateful to have been able to participate in this program and I would highly recommend and encourage future young sailors to apply for and participate in the program. 

Women's NAs Team: Emma Hawko, Julia Shannon-Grillo, Annie Tims with alt crew

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