The opportunity to utilize the grant relates to our Fleet 279, Temple Reef Sailing Club (TRSC), which has continued to grow in size. We have consistently increased the number of boats attending weekly race nights, as well as having bigger turnouts than ever at our local regattas. Not only is the Fleet growing in size, but we have also grown in terms of overall competitiveness. Many skippers have purchased newer boats, newer sails and dedicated more time to racing each season. Our club has also begun travelling more often. Teams have regularly travelled to Midwest district regattas (10–14 hours away), having as many as six boats attending a weekend event.
All the members of the club are improving together. There has never been a better time for me to begin racing my own boat and to learn new skills in a club that is growing and improving. There are also many new young members who are looking for an opportunity to begin crewing on a Lightning. Since our club has become more dedicated, there have been race nights where we have too many extra crew. An extra boat in our club would allow even more people to become involved in our club, dinghy racing and the Lightning Class.
Alex has sailed the last six years with Richard Walsh. He has attended several North American Championships and the 2009 World Championship. He plans to sail his Lightning this Summer at the Temple Reef Sailing Club in Thunder Bay, Ontario. His teammates will be Caleb Vander Ploeg and Marek Dennhardt. Their Lightning mentor is Richard Walsh.