Sunday, May 21, 2017

USA J/24 Class Enabling Young Sailors!

J/24 youth sailing team (St Petersburg, FL)- The US J/24 Class Association has awarded the first-annual “Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Scholarship Boat” to students from the University of South Florida Sailing Team.

The crew members— Brendan Feeney (helm), Sean Cornell (tactician), Mikey Treblecock (primary trimmer/alternate skipper), Scott Ewing (primary trimmer), Orrin Starr (secondary trimmer/pit), Andrew “Ty” Baird (bow) and Alex Smith (bow)—will be campaigning the boat in 2017 through early 2018.

The program is named in honor of Kelly Holmes-Moon, a long-time supporter of the J/24 Class Association who served as US Class President and as the Copyright Holder’s Representative.

The program encourages talented young sailors to gain first-hand experience racing within the J/24 Class of one-design sailboats at virtually no cost. Dave Eggleton donated the first boat, USA 423, to the program, providing the Scholarship Boat recipients with the experience to escalate their level of competitiveness and inspire them to accomplish great things in the sailing world.

This summer, the program recipients will be racing at Cold Spring Harbor Beach Club in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, where they plan to participate in club and fleet events. During the school months, the boat will be located at St. Petersburg Yacht Club in St. Petersburg, FL. They will consistently train during the week, as SPYC is only a few minutes from their USF campus, and they will practice during the Club’s Friday Night Series and local regatta circuit.

Feeney and his crew have an ambitious projected regatta schedule, including the J/24 North American Championship, Mayors Cup/Valcour Race, J/24 Northeast Championship, Marblehead NOOD, CamAm Challenge, East Coast Championship and more in early 2018.

The team is in need of contributions to help fund their campaign. To find out how you can help, e-mail

The application process for the 2018/ 2019 Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Boat Grant Program will begin in February 2018.  Here are the 2017 Scholarship Boat member biographies:

Brendan Feeney- from Jacksonville, FL, is a junior majoring in Finance. He is a starting member of the University of South Florida nationally ranked Coed Sailing Team and a member of the school’s #1 nationally ranked offshore team. Feeney had the honor of representing Team USA last year at the 2016 Western Hemisphere and Orient Championships in Cabo Frio, Brazil. He recently began training in the 470 Olympic Class, placing second at the 2016 470 Nationals, as well as finishing as the third US team at the 2017 ISAF World Sailing Miami (US Sailing Team Sperry Selection Trials).

Sean Cornell- from Centerport, NY, is a sophomore at USF and a member of the Coed Sailing Team. He began sailing Optimists at age seven and also has competitive youth sailing experience in 420s. Cornell later transitioned beyond dinghy sailing into numerous Classes and boats, focusing specifically on small keelboat fleet and match racing. He has experience at the helm, but also excels as tactician. Cornell was elected as an underclassman captain during his freshman year, and this year stepped into a role as the team’s A-Skipper. His college sailing goals include: the All-American award and a Match Racing National Championship.

Mikey Treblecock- from Cleveland, OH, is a senior and co-captain on the USF dinghy and offshore sailing teams. He developed the offshore sailing team in the fall of 2015, which has grown to compete in every collegiate offshore regatta throughout the year. The USF Offshore Team completed the 2016 season by winning the Kennedy Cup, awarded annually to the collegiate keelboat national champions. Treblecock is predominantly at the helm for the college offshore events, however most of his sailing experience has involved crew positions.

Scott Ewing- from Miami, FL, is a member of the USF Sailing team in St. Petersburg, FL. As an engineering major, he regularly finds himself on the USF Tampa Campus. He grew up sailing Optimists out of Coral Reef Yacht Club, one of the top youth teams in the country. After a successful youth career, he transitioned into the Skiff Class. Here he found himself as one of the top 49er sailors in the world, representing the US on a number of occasions. Ewing is a 49er National Champion and North American Champion. This summer, he will be representing Oracle’s Team USA Youth Program at the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.

Orrin Starr- from Block Island, RI, is a sophomore at USF. He sails dinghies most of the time with USF, and has also been a significant part of developing the school’s offshore team into being the current #1 ranked offshore team in the country. Starr has become heavily involved in the J/70 Class, regularly competing as a trimmer on the circuit, including a Worlds campaign as shore crew.

Andrew “Ty” Baird- from St. Petersburg, FL, has been a life-long sailor, involved in the sport on many different levels. Baird has competed in anything from an Optimist to a 49er and many other boats like the Melges 32 or the Navy 44. He looks forward to getting more involved with keelboats.

Alex Smith- from Sayville, NY, started sailing at the age of six pulling in the backstays and barber haulers for his father. He began sailing 420s, Vanguard 15s and Lasers on Long Island’s junior sailing circuit, and soon began running the pit on a Melges 24 when he was 17. Smith has continued to grow in the successful Melges 24 program as the spinnaker trimmer for the previous two seasons. In college, he has been a four-year member of the varsity team competing at venues throughout the eastern seaboard. Smith served as a student-athlete mentor and a two-year co-captain of the team. Add to Flipboard Magazine.