What is the J/24 Youth Program?

The U.S. J/24 Class is looking to help a young sailing team for an entire sailing season.  The Youth 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 campaign a competitive J/24.  The grantees are provided with good sails, and a mentor to help get the team started. The U.S. J/24 Class will work to ensure 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 Youth 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 Youth 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.  With this boat donation, we were able to get this program up and running.

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.

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.  We would prefer that you already have a boat.   If you do not, we will work to help you find a competitive J/24 Boat to purchase.

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…Carter White, Will Welles, Mike Ingham, John Mollicone, Terry Hutchinson and Tony Parker 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.

  • A suit of practice sails
  • A suit of racing sails
  • 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:

  • Become a member of the J/24 U.S. Class
  • Report to an assigned J/24 Class Mentor and the Youth Committee on a BI MONTHLY basis
  • Write articles after each event participated in, the Youth Program, and your experience racing the J/24
  • Post videos and updates on the Youth J/24 Class Facebook page
  • Exhibit a high degree of sportsmanship and responsibility
  • As a Youth Program Recipient, you are not allowed to have a Go Fund Me program.

How do I apply?

Complete the J/24 Youth 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 23, 2021. 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 Youth Program Grantee
    • Why you would like to get involved in the J/24 class
    • Sailing experience
    • Boat care experience
  • Provide a sailing resume-including fleet size and finishes
  • Provide a proposed regatta schedule
  • Provide three (3) references and contact information

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

*Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

2021-2022 Youth Application Timeline:

November 15th Application opens for 2021-2022 Youth Grant

December 23th Applications for 2021-2022 Youth Grant due at midnight EST

January 5th Youth Grant Finalists are notified

Mid-January Finalist Interviews with Youth Grant Committee

February 1st Announce 2021-2022 Boat Grant Recipient

How does the application process work?

There is a committee of seven (7) J/24 Sailors who will review all the applications. The members of the committee are subject to change, but have included:

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

Tonja Holmes-Moon (TX) – J/24 Governor’s Representative- Email

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

Marcus Rogers (IN) –  J/24 Class Vice President – Email

Finn Hadlock (ME) – Northeast District Governor – Email

Dan Busch (NJ) – J/24 Class 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 Youth Committee reserves the right to contact applicants for a phone interview in order to finalize our selections.

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

The Class and Youth 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
  • 25 Strength of resume for applicant
  • 15 points: Three (3) recommendations. No recommendations from relatives will be considered.
  • 10 points: Information about your teammates and their sailing resumes.
  • 15 points: Projected Regatta Schedule.
  • 10 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 Youth 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 Youth Committee members.