Boat Grant Program

What is the J/24 Boat Grant Program?

The 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 money to cover general liability insurance that the grantee will secure, and 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 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 allows 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 US J/24 Class Program.

Who should apply?

If you are between the ages of 21 and 29, you should. Your team consisting of 4-5 people must each be at least 18 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 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 of ways after high school or college.  

How do I apply?

Go to form by CLICKING HERE Application deadline is February 1, 2018.

For more information, check out the J/24 website: Contact the J/24 office at director@j24class.org, or contact any of the following committee members:

Chip Till - chiptill5351@gmail.com
Molly White - mollyfrommaine@gmail.com
Tonja Holmes-Moon - sailboats4sanity@yahoo.com
Will Welles - will.welles@northsails.com
Marcus Rogers - mrogers35@att.net