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2020 Boat Grant Recipients Announced!

Laura Jeffers | Published on 3/19/2020
The International Lightning Class Association’s Boat Grant program begins its 14th season by announcing three 2020 grant recipient teams.

All 2020 recipients are members of strong collegiate sailing teams, underscoring the class’s focus on encouraging young sailors to continue their involvement in one design racing. 2020 provides an especially exciting opportunity for the three grant teams with the North American Championship in Cleveland, OH Aug 9-15 which serves as the US qualifier for the 2021 World Championships in Wrightsville Beach, NC.

Team Vasilion
Lolly Vasilion and her teammates Gabby Myers and Helen Field are all members of the Vermont Catamounts team. They will be based out of Malletts Bay, Vermont and will be mentored by their Catamount coach, Caroline Patten, a former boat grant recipient herself. Vasilion shares: “We are excited to experience this level of competition outside of collegiate racing, especially with the cancellation the remainder of our spring college sailing season. I feel incredibly lucky to have assembled a team of competitive women who are eager to get on the water and can’t wait to see what the Lightning Class has in store for us!” 

Jack Murphy, Emma Montgomery, both from the powerhouse Brown University sailing team will pair up with Tommy Szymanski from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Jack’s team will sail primarily in the New England area and be mentored by college all-star and Lightning talent Michael Zonnenberg. “Everyone who’s had the chance to a part of the Lightning Class as a boat grant recipient has had an incredibly positive experience and we just can’t wait to get out and race this summer!” says Jack.
2020 Jack Murphy 2020 Emma Montgomery 2020 Tommy Szymanski 

Julian Fraize sails at Stevens Institute of Technology and with his team of Colin McDowell from Baldwin Wallace University and Connor Sawyers, a Hoofer from University of Wisconsin, will primarily be based in the Ohio area but look forward to competing on the midwestern regatta circuit. Julian is excited about this summer: “Our team is incredibly grateful and excited to have been awarded the grant during a season where our home club will be hosting the North Americans! Colin, Connor and I are eager to learn from this new community and from our experiences this coming season! We can’t wait to grow with the class and share our amazing sailing venue here at Edgewater YC!” 
2020 Julian Fraize 2020 Colin McDowell 2020 Connor Sawyers

Boat Grant Program Co-Chair, Matthew Schon said that “2020 is an exciting time for the Lightning Boat Grant Program. The incredible enthusiasm from these talented college sailors shows we are reaching exactly the young sailors we want to expose to the boat and class. We are hopeful they’ll love the Lightning experience as we all do and become long time members moving forward. We are excited to have these three talented teams sailing with us!” 

More information about the 2020 ILCA Boat Grant Program can be found on the ILCA website or by contacting the Class Office at or 727-942-7969.

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