2020-2021 Boat Grant

What is the J/24 Boat Grant Program?

The U.S. J/24 Class owns one or more competitive J/24s that we loan to promising young sailors for an entire sailing season.  The Grant Program provides young sailors, students, or those just beginning their working careers an opportunity to race a J/24, and is designed to help young sailors who can't afford to buy and campaign a competitive J/24.  The grantees are provided with a competitive boat, good sails, and a mentor to help get the team started. The U.S. J/24 Class will provide funds to cover general liability insurance that the grantee will secure, and most regatta entry fees will be waived. The boat will require a crew of 5-6 to compete against some of the best racers in the world.  (Weight limit is 882 lbs for the entire crew.)

How did the J/24 Boat Grant Program get started?

As with any program, there needs to be a vision by a leader in order to make things happen. In the case of the J/24 Boat Grant Program, there are two leaders who made this possible, Kelly Holmes-Moon, the namesake of the program, and Dave Eggleton, who donated the first boat, USA 423, to the program.

In 1981, Kelly saw one of the first J/24s that had landed in Texas. It was then that Kelly professed that someday he would own a J/24. In 1998, he began crewing on and competing in the Texas J/24 Circuit, and in 2001, Kelly became the owner and skipper of USA 267, which he named Bad Moon. Kelly served for many years as Governor of District 14, Governor-at-Large, Fleet 163 Captain, and J/24 Class President from 2011 to 2012. In 2013, Kelly was designated the Copyright Holder’s Representative by Rod Johnstone. Kelly’s long term commitment to the J/24 Class extended to college students. Kelly was the coach for the University of North Texas Sailing Team, and he provided one of his J/24s for them to compete. He has always been a proponent of teaching and providing sailing opportunities for youth and college sailors, and of course, a big champion of the J/24. In 2016, at the age of 53, Kelly lost his 16-month battle fighting cancer. Kelly continued racing in the Texas Circuit during his illness and competed less than two weeks prior to his death.

Dave Eggleton from Parkton, MD graciously donated J/24 USA 423 to the U.S. J/24 Class in 2016. The Class thanks him immensely for his generous donation as it allowed us to initiate the new U.S. J/24 Class Boat Grant Program. Dave purchased USA 423 from long-time J/24 racer John Wilsey from Cape May, NJ. USA 423 has a great racing history and continues to perform well, including Dave’s most recent 6th place finish at the 2016 Easter Regatta in Columbia, SC. Even though USA 423 is an earlier built boat, Dave has meticulously maintained and upgraded the boat and today it looks virtually like a brand new 5000 series boat right out of the mold. During the past several years, Dave has replaced all of the running rigging, standing rigging, and deck hardware. Additionally, USA 423 has a brand new Triad dual axle trailer, new gin pole, new mast, and a fantastic new paint job! To protect this fabulous boat it also has a full North Sails deck cover and mast, rudder, and keel covers. Again, we thank Dave for his very generous donation and we invite anyone who qualifies to apply for USA 423 as a part of the U.S. J/24 Boat Grant Program.

Who should apply?

If you are between the ages of 21 and 30, you should. Your team consisting of 4-5 people must each be between the ages of  18 and 30 (with an allowance for one crew member to be over the age of 30.) You should be motivated to try to take on the challenge of competing in one of the most competitive one-design classes in the United States.

What do I get out of the program?

Many of the top one-design sailors in the U.S. have a lot of J/24 experience...Tim Healy, Will Welles, Mike Ingham, John Mollicone, Terry Hutchinson and Ken Read to name a few. Faster boats, sail trim and rig tuning, spinnakers, shifting gears, longer courses, more tactical and strategic decision-making are all part of J/24 racing. You also get to meet a new sphere of sailors who might be able to help you in a broad range.

  • Use of a  competitive, measured, race ready J/24 with trailer, covers and equipment
  • A suit of practice sails
  • A suit of racing sails
  • Insurance reimbursement
  • Entry fees waived by event organizers for most J/24 national and regional regattas
  • An assigned mentor from the J/24 class

What are the Boat Grant Expectations?

You will be required to:

  • Maintain the boat and equipment in top condition
  • Secure insurance for the boat for the duration of the year (cost reimbursed by the J/24 Class )
  • Become a member of the J/24 U.S. Class
  • Report to assigned J/24 Class Mentor and the Boat Grant Committee on a BI MONTHLY basis
  • Write articles after each event participated in, the Boat Grant program, and your experience racing the J/24
  • Post videos and updates on the Boat Grant/J/24 Class Facebook page
  • Exhibit a high degree of sportsmanship and responsibility
  • Promptly communicate any boat damage to the Boat Grant Committee
  • Perform minor repairs to boat as needed
  • Provide storage for the boat for the year

How do I apply?

Complete the J/24 Boat Grant Application Form. (It is recommended that your type up applications in a separate document and copy paste them into the form.)

Application deadline is December 15, 2019. You must:

  • Be a between the age of 21 and 30 years old
  • Complete the online application form which includes:
  • A cover letter-addressing:
    • Why you would be an ideal J/24 Boat Grantee
    • Why you would like to get involved in the J/24 class
    • Sailing experience
    • Boat care and trailering experience
  • Provide a sailing resume-including fleet size and finishes
  • Provide a proposed regatta schedule
  • Provide a proposed Boat storage throughout the entire year
  • Provide three (3) references and contact information

Finalists will also be asked to provide a proposed budget for their Boat Grant Program, plan to take possession of boat, and a proposed crew list with brief bios/experience.

*Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

2020-2021 Boat Grant Application Timeline:

October 15th Application opens for 2020-2021 Boat Grant

December 15th Applications for 2020-2021 Boat Grant due at midnight EST

December 20th Boat Grant Finalists are notified

January 6th Crew Plan, Proposed Budget, and Pick Up Plan due for Boat Grant Finalists

Mid-January Finalist Interviews with Boat Grant Committee

February 1st Announce 2020-2021 Boat Grant Recipient

February 26th Boat Grant Boat Inventoried and available for pick up in Melbourne, FL

How does the application process work?

There is a committee of eight (8) J/24 Sailors who will review all the applications. The members of the committee are subject to change, but have included:

Chip Till (SC) -  Immediate Past J/24 Class President- Email

Molly White (ME) – J/24 Class President - Email

Tonja Holmes-Moon (TX) - Southwest District Governor- Email

Will Welles (RI) – Past J/24 Class President - Email

Marcus Rogers (IN) -  J/24 Governor’s Representative - Email

Finn Hadlock (ME) - Northeast District Governor - Email

Dan Busch (NJ) - J/24 Class Vice President- Email

Matt Miranda (NY) - Previous Boat Grant recipient - Email

The importance (weight) of each of the main categories of information is indicated in the “How to Apply” section. Each applicant may submit any additional information they deem necessary to the Selection Committee above and beyond the application.

The Boat Grant Committee reserves the right to contact applicants for a phone interview in order to finalize our selections.

Number of Grants (boats and financial support) will vary from year-to-year based on the pool of applicants, available boats, and class financial condition.

The Class and Boat Grant Committee are open to creative financial proposals or options that will advance the goals of the Class and applicant.  (An example might be the leasing of an unused boat in the district, providing insurance or travel support only, etc.) Applicant should apply for the normal grant boat and then add an optional proposal, if appropriate.

Application Checklist:

  • 10 points Cover letter
  • 10 Strength of resume for applicant
  • 15 points: Three (3) recommendations. No recommendations from relatives will be considered.
  • 10 points: Experience with boat maintenance & trailering
  • 8 points: Plan for boat storage
  • 7 points: Information about your teammates and their sailing resumes.
  • 7 points: Projected Regatta Schedule.
  • 8 points: Projected budget.
  • 5 Points: Proximity to an existing J/24 Fleet.
  • 10 points: Comments from class members

Once the proposals have been scored, the top applicants will be posted for Class member comment and interviewed by the Boat Grant Committee.  Finalists will be expected to submit a proposed crew description and budget and their references will be contacted. The interview will be scored (10 points) and added to the above points to determine the total.

The Grantee will be notified by or before February 1st of the application year. The Boat Grant Program year will begin by the end of February of the application year.

For more information, check out the J/24 website or email the J/24 office by clicking here, or contact any of the Boat Grant Committee members.