Lightning Boat Grant Program

International Lightning Class Association
Accepting Applicants for the
2011 Boat Grant Program

NOVEMBER 16, 2010

The International Lightning Class Association (ILCA) is accepting applications for the fifth year of the Lightning Boat Grant Program. The Boat Grant Program provides race-ready Lightnings for young sailors who might otherwise not have the opportunity to compete in the class. 

The deadline for the 2011 program is December 31, 2010. Applications can be found at
The ILCA class website also has reports and video from past years' grantees as well as additional information about the Lightning Class.

The ILCA Boat Grant Program provides each recipient a top-quality racing Lightning complete with trailer, practice and racing sails, insurance, help with regatta expenses, and support from an established Lightning sailing mentor. The program provides young sailors who 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. Past recipients include students and sailors just beginning their working careers. Boat grant alumni include Will Brown of Franklin Lakes, NJ, and Justin Coplan of West Nyack, NY.

The Boat-Grant program started in 2007, when Lightning Class volunteers Allan Terhune and Bill Fastiggi proposed a bold strategy for attracting and retaining young sailors to the class. Why not, they asked, give a young team of sailors a boat for a season, and let them experience what the Lightning has to offer? Fastiggi and Terhune were awarded U.S. Sailing's One-Design Leadership Award in 2007 for developing and implementing the ILCA's Boat Grant Program.

The program started modestly, with a single boat, but quickly grew to four boats in the first year. By the second year, the Lightning Class funded five racing boats and a "developmental" boat designated for local racing. Lightning builders Nickels Boat Works and Allen Boat Company have provided the use of new boats for the Grant Program. Sail-makers North Sails, Vermont Sailing Partners, Dieball Sails, and Quantum Sails have provided new sails as well as practice sails for the teams. Members of ILCA have generously donated sails, boats, all kinds of gear, as well as cash donations. 

For 2011, Debbie Probst and Bill Fastiggi will continue to administer the program with a fleet of three race-ready Lightnings. According to Debbie, "With three boats, we can provide the level of support that really helps the grantees have a successful summer of racing."

Interested applicants should start on their applications now.  The class typically sees dozens of applications in this very competitive process. "Many past recipients have said it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they were thrilled to have received," says past president Brian Hayes, "and the class is excited to continue to offer this program so more teams can join in the fun and competition of Lightning sailing”.

Additional information on the program can be found on the Lightning Class website:

Contact Information 

Bill Fastiggi:
Debbie Probst:

International Lightning Class Association
Laura Jeffers, Executive Secretary
Phone (303) 325-5886
Fax (727) 942-0173