The US Sailing Match Racing Committee is thrilled to offer a competitive grant program for teams that want to take their game to the next level. The program provides reimbursement up to $5,000 per team to pay for expenses such as entry fees, travel expenses and lodging for one full calendar year. 1 male skipper and 1 female skipper will be selected, but applicants are encouraged to apply with a team in mind.

1. Introduction

In 2019, one of the greats of Match Racing, David Storrs (pictured above), passed on to calm seas and fair weather. David was not only a solid match racing competitor, he became a champion. He climbed to the position of #1 American and #13 in the World on the World Sailing Match Racing Ranking. He was on the podium often but was happiest in October of 2017 when, at age 73 years, he won the final match in the U.S. Match Racing Championship to claim the Prince of Wales Bowl. In his will, David left a generous gift to the US Sailing Match Racing Committee that has made this grant program possible.

The US Sailing Match Racing Committee is thrilled to offer a competitive grant program for teams who have a demonstrated interest in match racing with prior match racing experience and want to take their game to the next level. The program provides reimbursement up to $5,000 per team to pay for expenses such as entry fees, travel expenses and lodging for one full calendar year. 1 male skipper and 1 female skipper will be selected, but applicants are encouraged to apply with a team in mind. In addition, the grant program provides a mentor who will be available as needed to share veteran advice to ensure a successful match racing campaign.

2. Who Should Apply?
You! You should apply! Anyone between the ages of 19 and 29 before Jan 1st of the

grant year with a sincere interest in putting together a match racing team and racing at a higher level is encouraged to apply! This program is geared towards young adult sailors with some

experience in match racing and a strong desire to take their game to a high level and to continue to match race for years to come.

3. Required Events & Collaboration with Oakcliff
Applicants are expected to attend the following events. Remember though, more events are always encouraged.

  • ●  At least 1 match racing clinic
  • ●  At least 3 graded events, one of which must be a U.S. Match Racing Championship Qualifier

4. How to apply
You must submit a letter of application, containing the information requested below, to the US Sailing Match Racing Committee. Please fill out the jotform on the US Sailing match racing page with all of your information and upload all of your materials as a single PDF.

To apply, visit

Your application must be a single PDF. Your application must include:

  • ●  Your sailing resume (past match racing experience, current ranking, major sailing accomplishments).
  • ●  Information about your teammates and some of their sailing resumes. Please also designate a team captain who will serve as the primary contact, if not yourself.
  • ●  Letters of recommendation and contact information from two sailing references. They can be a current or former coach, a competitor, a member of your yacht club or sailing organization, or any other sailing reference who knows you well. No recommendations from relatives please.
  • ●  A schedule with each event’s match racing grading level. Feel free to use the template provided on the US Sailing match racing web page.
  • ●  Detailed budget for your proposed campaign for the year.
  • ●  A personal letter outlining why you are applying to the grant, what the grant would mean to you, financial need, and why you are a qualified candidate. Be sure to address all of the selection criteria.

5. Selection Criteria
The US Sailing Match Racing technical committee will evaluate applicants based on the following criteria in no particular order:

Interest in Match RacingWhat excites you about match racing and how will that impact your future sailing plans?
Sailing BackgroundWhat is your skipper’s sailing background? What about the crew’s sailing background? What are your proudest sailing accomplishments?
ProposedHow difficult are the events you propose to do? How many events will you compete in?
SchedulePreference will be given to events physically located in the U.S.
Financial NeedDo you need the money to compete? What will the money allow your team to do?

6. Application Process & Key Dates
Reimbursements for successful grant awardees will be available for a full calendar year,

  • ●  January 15th: Applications Open
  • ●  April 1st: Applications Close
  • ●  April 1st-15th: Reference checks and team interviews as needed
  • ●  April 15th: Grant awardees announced
© Oakcliff Sailing/Lexi Pline

7. FAQ

What expenses are covered? Does the program cover accommodation and lodging?

In general, the $5,000 covers expenses such as travel expenses, entry fees and lodging. Expenses outside of these categories should be confirmed with the grant’s mentors for approval. Grant recipients should submit gas receipts rather than mileage. It is very important that grant recipients save all of their receipts for reimbursement! Teams are encouraged to stretch their dollars as much as possible! This is match racing and teams should try to stay with hosts to meet fellow match racers!

Examples of expenses that are not covered

* Food and drink.
* The cost of damage repairs or deductions from the damage deposit * Team clothing or other sailing gear.

What costs will I incur?

You and your crew will need to join US Sailing if you haven’t already.

How often should I submit expenses for reimbursement?

Expenses will be reimbursed on an as needed basis. Fewer and larger reimbursement requests are preferable by U.S. Sailing, but grant recipients will be reimbursed when they need to be. Requests for reimbursement should be for at least $1,000 in expenses, accompanied by receipts.

What period of time are expenses eligible for reimbursement?

Grant recipients can submit for reimbursement for any expense from April 15 to April 15 of the following year. Receipts must be submitted with each reimbursement requests.

How large should my team be?

As umpires like to say, it depends! This will be determined by the events you are sailing. Teams who target events in Sonars will surely be smaller than teams who only sail Match 40 boats. In short, it’s up to you! Be sure to consider the weight limits for each type of boat you plan to sail. Below is a quick guide to help you, but be sure to read the NoR for each event!

Boat # of Crew Open Event Weight Limit Women’s Event Weight Limit
Match 405 or 6964.5 lbs.750 lbs.
Sonar3 or 4579 lbs.450 lbs.
J223 or 4579 lbs.450 lbs.
Catalina 376 or 71157 lbs.900 lbs.

What team members are required to attend events? Can I change the crew halfway through the season?
At a minimum, the skipper is expected to attend all events. Teams should attempt to keep the same members throughout the season, to the extent possible, recognizing that specific boats may require the team to size up or down.

What events should I target? Domestic or International Events?

Preference will be given to events that are physically located in the U.S. More events in the U.S. are always preferred to fewer events outside the U.S. However, events overseas will be considered.

I am 24, and I am in graduate school full time, or I have a full time job. Am I eligible for the program?
Yes, Absolutely! The program is geared to help YOUNG people who have a desire to match race but do not have the resources to be able to do it. The program wants to do whatever it can to get people like you to start match racing and enable you to get on the race course.

Are there any specific regattas I am required to go to?

Yes, you are required to attend at least 1 match racing clinic and at least 3 graded events, one of which must be a U.S. Match Racing Championship Qualifier. If you are looking for inspiration for which events to attend, you can find the full match race schedule here.

One particular noteworthy event is the World Match Racing Tour Academy at Oakcliff. The 2024 program is a two-week long intensive program, July 3-16, 2024. The program gives trainees an in-depth education in one of the most exciting disciplines of sailing. Academy trainees will form teams and compete in Oakcliff hosted Grade 5 and Grade 3 regattas, giving multiple chances for racing experience on the course in addition to drills, two-boat testing, classroom sessions, debriefs, and boat shop lessons. For more information, please click here.

Recommended events to keep in mind are the U.S. “Grand Slam” Series and the California Dreamin’ Series. The U.S. “Grand Slam” series is a highly competitive series of 4 grade 2 events. The series attracts the top talent from around the world. The winner of the series is

invited to the granddaddy of match racing: The Congressional Cup in Long Beach, CA. The California Dreamin’ Series is a competitive series of 3 grade 3 events on the west coast of the U.S. The series’ winner qualifies for the Ficker Cup in Long Beach, CA which is a precursor and a qualifier for the Congressional Cup.

What/who is the mentor and what will they do for me?

The mentor is the best part of the program. The mentor will be an experienced match racer who will help you with logistics, crew selection, tactics, you name it. They are there to help YOU. The mentor will be available to answer your questions, help with regatta planning, and help you get the most out of your grant. He or she may be able to help coach, assist, and even sail with you from time to time. They are there to make your experience positive and to help you learn as much as possible.

Who should I get to write letters of recommendation?

The more effort you put into the application process and the stronger your recommendations, the better your chances are. A very strong letter of recommendation from someone who knows you well or a sailing coach who knows you well will have far more weight than a letter from a “big name” sailor who barely knows you.