The US J/22 Class Association has awarded the second-annual Scholarship Boat to students from Jacksonville University Sailing Team. The enthusiastic crew members—Alfonso Garcia Bringas, Andre Guaragna, Jack Gower and David Hein—will be campaigning the boat in 2017. Their goal is to become the top youth team at the 2018 J/22 World Championship in Annapolis, MD.
This summer, the Scholarship Boat Program members will be racing the sailboat with J/22 Fleet 20 at Edgewater Yacht Club in Cleveland, OH. During the school year, they will be sailing at Florida Yacht Club in Jacksonville. Helmsman Alfonso Garcia Bringas and crew have an ambitious regatta schedule, including the Annapolis NOOD, Chicago NOOD, Cleveland Race Week, J/22 North American Championship, CanAm Challenge and J/Fest.
The J/22 Youth Scholarship Boat Program encourages talented young sailors to gain first-hand experience racing within the J/22 Class of one-design sailors at virtually no cost. The program provides Scholarship Boat recipients with the experience to escalate their level of competitiveness and inspire them to accomplish great things in the sailing world. We have received generous contributions from members of the J/22 Class Association to make this program possible.
2017 Scholarship Boat Member Biographies:
Alfonso Garcia Bringas, from Mexico City, Mexico, has experience racing as skipper and crew in several sailboat classes throughout the world. Bringas finished in first place in several national championships in Mexico and a regional regatta in Canada. He finished second in numerous regattas throughout North America and participated in the IODA World Championship events in New Zealand and Dominican Republic. Majoring in mechanical engineering, his goal is to gain experience and become a top-ranking international sailor.
Andre Guaragna, from Miami, FL, has diverse crew position and helm experience on a multitude of sailboats. Guaragna won many Snipe regattas throughout the nation and has competed with impressive results in international Snipe events. He also received first place at the 2016 Melges 32 Lauderdale Cup and third in the 2014 LYC Laser Commodores. Guaragna is starting a campaign for the next Red Bull Youth Americas Cup at Lauderdale Yacht Club. He is earning a degree in mechanical engineering.
Jack Gower, from North Fort Myers, FL, was the head instructor for Edison Sailing Center Sailing Summer Camp from 2010 to 2016. In addition, Gower was the green fleet coach for the 2015/2016 school year at Edison Sailing Center. The 2014 winner of Sail Fest Laser radial class, he has sailed Optimis, Laser and 420s. Gower also has several second- and third-place results in radial class Laser regattas. He is currently a freshman at Jacksonville University majoring in business.
David Alan Hein, from South Miami, FL, has been a competitive international sailor since the age of eight. Hein conducted an Olympic sailing campaign from 2011 to 2016 and qualified for the US Olympic Sailing Development Team from 2013 to 2014. In addition to rigorous training on the water and in the gym, Hein promoted and raised funds for his Olympic sailing campaign. He competed in both youth and adult Championships in the F16 and the Olympic NACRA17 classes of sailboats. He has coached youth and adult sailors.
To learn more about the J/22 Scholarship Boat Program, how to donate, or how to apply for the 2018 scholarship, visit www.j22.com/index.php/scholarship.