The International Lightning Class Association's Boat Grant program begins its eighth season by announcing the 2014 grant recipients.
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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 two 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 fifth 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!
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, by contacting the ILCA office, or co-chairs Brown and Schon. Applications are accepted each year from October to December for the following year's program.