The International Lightning Class Association's Boat Grant program begins its seventh season by announcing the 2013 grant recipients.
Mitch Hall (24) and his team of Ali Blumenthal and Brooks Clark are from Charleston, SC and will be sailing with the Charleston Fleet. Mitch is in his second year as the Assistant Coach of the College of Charleston Sailing Team. Mitch grew up sailing Optimists and Lasers in Clearwater, FL until he attended the University of South Florida.
Mitch was a four year member of the sailing team at USF, was captain of the team his senior year, and won the ICSA Sloop National Championships in 2009. In addition to racing with the Charleston fleet, they will be attending many events along the east coast over the summer. Their mentor will be veteran Lightning sailor Chris Hamilton.
Colin Smith (22) of Fort Lauderdale, FL and his team of Fred Strammer from Sarasota, FL and Lucas Adams of Middletown, RI are or were all members of the Brown University sailing team. The team will be based out of Boston, MA and will be racing in most of the east coast regattas this summer. Colin, a 2012 ICSA Honorable-Mention All-American is excited to get his first taste of the Lightning this summer. Jay Mueller will be taking on the role of this teams mentor.
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 Mitch and Colin. We are pleased that we will be able to introduce these two teams to the Lightning Class.'
Co-Chair Justin Coplan added: 'As a class we are very fortunate to be able to run this program for seven consecutive seasons. It would not be possible without the support and donation of time, equipment, and money from ILCA members and suppliers. The Lightning family allows this program to be successful and understands the value of introducing young adults by immersion into the Class.'
More information about the ILCA grant program can be found on the ILCA website Lightning Class by contacting the ILCA office, or co-chairs Brown and Coplan. Applications are accepted each year from October to December for the following year's program.