The International Lightning Class Association (ILCA) has announced an innovative boat-grant program aimed at attracting and retaining young sailors. Under the program, the Class will award two young teams with a competitive boat, substantial regatta subsidies for a season of racing, as well as mentoring and coaching."The Lightning has everything to offer young sailors: great competition, a three-person crew, and an easy-to-transport performance boat," said class president Steve Davis. "The only drawback is that it can be a challenge to campaign a competitive boat when you're just starting a job out of college. That's where this program comes in, helping bridge that gap."The program is the brainchild of, among others, 2003 Lightning North American Champion Allan Terhune. "When you have bills to pay, and a limited amount of vacation-time, it's a hard choice to commit to racing a sailboat," said Terhune, who helped convince the ILCA leadership that the program's fleet-building benefits far outweighed its costs. For more information, or to apply for the program, click here.