2014 recipients of Lightning class boat grant program

Published on May 12th, 2014

(May 12, 2014) – The International Lightning Class Association’s Boat Grant program begins its 8th season by announcing the 2014 grant recipients:

Ben Spector (22) and his team of Jeff Aschieris (23) and Sam Stokes (24) are from Charleston, SC and will be sailing with the Charleston Fleet. Ben is a recent graduate from the College of Charleston. He sailed on the College of Charleston Sailing Team for four years and teamed up with both Jeff and Sam to win 2 College Sailing National Championships. Ben was named a 2012 ICSA College Sailing All-American. Their mentor will be veteran Lightning sailor Lenny Krawcheck.

Whitney Kent (21) and her crew of Ian Walter (20), Megan McMahon (19), and Katie Hall (20) will be based out of Milwaukee, WI. All four are students at the University of Wisconsin, where they are active members of the UW Sailing Team. Whitney, Ian, and Megan were part of the match racing team that placed 5th at the 2013 ICSA National Championship. Whitney and Megan both grew up sailing in Milwaukee on mostly Lasers and keelboats, including both inshore and offshore racing. Ian grew up in Madison, learned to sail at Hoofers, and races J24s on Lake Mendota. Katie began sailing in high school in Lake Forest, where she raced 420s in the high school and junior sailing circuits. Their mentors for the summer are Bill Faude and Todd Wake, and they are looking forward to a summer packed with Lightning sailing across the country!

The program is designed to fund young sailors who want to experience the high level of competition offered by the Lightning class. The grant program awards at least two young teams a competitive boat plus substantial regatta expenses for one season of racing. Additionally, mentoring is provided with the goal to expose more youth racers to the class circuit.

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 Ben and Whitney. We are pleased that we will be able to introduce these two teams to the Lightning Class.”

Co-Chair Matthew Schon added, “As a class we are very fortunate to be able to run this program for eight consecutive seasons. The boat grant program would not be possible if not for the support and donation of time, equipment, and money from ILCA members and suppliers. The Lightning family allows this program to be successful and is one of the reasons we see such tremendous applicants each year.”

More information about the ILCA grant program can be found on the ILCA website: www.lightningclass.org/racing/boatGrant/index.asp

About the International Lightning Class Association:

The Lightning, a 19-foot trailerable centerboard sloop, was originally designed by Sparkman & Stephens as an affordable family day-sailor and racing boat. She has evolved into one of the most popular and competitive one-design racing classes in the world. Awarded ISAF International Class status, the Lightning is sailed in more than 13 countries and in the Pan American Games, and the class provides a professionally-managed association that is among the largest in all of one-design sailing. The Lightning’s rig is simple, but offers sophisticated sail shape controls. The hull features a unique hard chine design that combines the stability that provides sail-carrying power, with flat bottom sections that promote planing. The International Lightning Class Association protects the boat’s design and licenses custom and private builders to build boats under its administration. A list of Lightning builders is available from the ILCA upon request.

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, http://www.lightningclass.org

Source: Class media

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