Lightning Boat Grant Program

International Lightning Class Announces 2011 Boat Grant Recipients

April 13, 2011

TARPON SPRINGS, FLORIDA –– The International Lightning Class Association is pleased to announce the 2011 Boat Grant Teams. Going into its fifth season, the innovative Boat Grant Program puts race-ready Lightnings into the hands of young teams who might otherwise not be able to campaign a Lightning.

Skipper Caroline Patten is a senior at Hobart/William Smith College who lives in Barnegat Light, New Jersey. “We really like her enthusiasm,” says Co-Chair Debbie Probst. “Last year after she just missed receiving a grant, she found a boat to borrow and experienced Lightning sailing. We were very pleased when Caroline applied again. And we think we'll really capture her interest in the Lightning Class after she is completely immersed this summer. Her successful application this year might serve as an example to other teams who we encourage to reapply next year. Don't give up.” Patten’s team includes Tyler Menninger of Langhorne, Pennsylvania and Michael Crann of Brick, New Jersey. Local Lightning sailor, Jarrett Lynn will be assisting the team as their mentor.

While the Boat Grant Program has introduced many new young sailors to the class, the other 2011 Boat Grant team includes some familiar faces. Skipper Will Tyner of the Charleston area, was an “especially gratifying” selection, according to ILCA President Rob Ruhlman, partly because Tyner represents the younger end of the growing Lightning scene in the Charleston area, and also because this 20-year-old has been campaigning a 45-year-old Lightning at national events for several years. Tyner will be joined by teammates Reese Wilkins and Conner Brady. Greg Fisher, a longtime Lightning supporter who recently moved to the Charleston Area to take on the position as the Director of Sailing at the College of Charleston, will be serving as the team’s mentor.

Through the generosity of the members of the ILCA, the program was able to purchase a second boat for the program this year. Both of these teams will be sailing nearly new boats that are owned by the ILCA.

As the program continues to foster young teams into world-class one-design racing, we have just gotten word that another Boat Grant Alumni will be purchasing a Lightning this year. This makes at least four new teams on the water as a direct result of the Boat Grant Program, and several other alumni are looking at getting a Lightning. What a testament to the competition and camaraderie of the Lightning Class!

More information about the ILCA Boat Grant Program can be found on the Lightning Class website:, or by contacting the ILCA office, Co-Chairs Debbie Probst or Bill Fastiggi.

Contact Information

Bill Fastiggi –                  802-655-7245
Debbie Probst –          260-417-2363

International Lightning Class Association
Laura Jeffers, Executive Secretary
Phone (727) 942-7969
Fax (727) 942-0173