The International Lightning Class will loan two competitive Lightnings to promising young sailors for the 2019 summer sailing season. The grant covers all regatta entry fees, boat insurance, some travel money and we also provide you with a competitive boat, good sails and a mentor to help get you started. You’d be provided with all you’d need to compete at the highest level! The Lightning Class Boat Grant Program provides sailors like yourselves, who maybe can't afford to buy and campaign a competitive 3-person dinghy like the Lightning, with all they need to sail against some of the best racers in the world.
Who should apply?
You should! You and your team must each be at least 19 years old. You should be motivated to try to take on the challenge of competing in one of the most competitive One-Design classes in the US and assemble a team to campaign in a number of highly competitive regattas around the country! You would be selected by a panel of experienced Lightning sailors based on the proposals that each team submits and through an interview process.
What do I get out of the program?
You get to augment your college sailing experience with skills that are not normally associated with college sailing. A strong emphasis on boat speed, rig tuning and sail trim, spinnakers, shifting gears, longer course tactical and strategic decision making are all part of Lightning racing. You get to travel with your team to a number of regattas all over the country. You also get to make friends with a new sphere of sailors and business professionals who might be able to help you in a broad range of ways after college.
How do I apply?
Go to the Boat Grant Website and look at the Boat Grant Program information. The requirements and application are on line. Get your schedule and team organized. Get three recommendations lined up now. And apply before February 4th!
Need More Reasons to Apply?
The Lightning Class is known for its COMPETITION. The Lightning class has some of the top sailors in the world, actively racing in the class.
The wide ‘ideal’ crew weight (430-510 lbs) for the Lightning results in lots of women and kids at major regattas. Many of the top sailors sail with family members. Women are equals in the Lightning and female skippers have won almost every major Championship in the Class.
Lightnings are easy to set up and trailer. Clear tuning guides make setting up the Lightning straightforward to tune for maximum speed. You’ll find that all class champions and leaders share their knowledge with all sailors at regattas.
There are over 100 active fleets worldwide with 80 in the United States and Canada alone. There are at least 10 regattas a year with 40 or more boats in just the Eastern half of the US.
This year, the NA's are at the Buffalo Canoe Club in Ontario, Canada August 10-16 and we are expecting a record attendance with over 100 boats! This is a great year to check out the Lightning Class.
Your friends and coaches have raced the Lightning!
Many former college sailors like yourselves have benefited from all the Lightning Class offers. Sailors like Chris Segerblom, Mitch Hall, Clinton Hayes, Ben Spector, Caroline Patten, Will Brown, Sam Stokes, Gordon Wolcott and Sarah Somes; just to name a handful, have all raced Lightnings as a result of the Boat Grant Program.
Click for a full list of Past Boat Grant Recipients
Have Additional Questions?
Feel free to contact any of the Boat Grant Committee members with any questions you might have! We’d hope you’d join us and see why the Lightning Class still enjoys some of the toughest competition and best camaraderie in one design sailing today!
ILCA Executive Secretary
David Van Cleef