Our Faculty

Offshore Sailing School Faculty Managers and Instructors

From the day Steve Colgate opened his first school in Manhattan in 1964, he has insisted on instructors with true teaching skills, keen sailing knowledge and extensive sailing experience in small and large cruising and racing boats. Offshore Sailing School instructors are men and women chosen for all of the above, plus humility, patience, dedication to you (our clients) and loyalty to Offshore Sailing School (the company). Here are the special people that deliver “exceeded my expectations” comments on almost every evaluation we receive back from our clients. If you would like to join our faculty, please see Employment Opportunities.

 

“Instructors I have encountered in the sailing world have been very good, but those with the Offshore Sailing School have been the best. The curriculum development with Offshore advances their instructors to the highest level. The Offshore instructors are following a well thought-out script.”

John Klebba – Lakewood, CO

 

 

BRIAN VAN LEEUWEN

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Manager

Caribbean

A Florida native, Brian has been a member of the Offshore Sailing School team since 2005. He started racing dinghies at 11 and has enjoyed sailing and power boating in Southwest Florida ever since. Brian graduated from the University of Florida, is a licensed U.S. Coast Guard Captain and certified US Sailing instructor. He teaches all Offshore Sailing School courses – from Learn to Sail, Performance Sailing and Racing, to cruising and passage making courses on monohulls and catamarans. He was manager of Captiva Island and Ft. Myers Beach, Florida campuses prior to moving to the British Virgin Islands, and has taught at all Offshore Sailing School locations.

 

 

 

 

JACEK WIERZBICKI(11a)_6.31_OurFaculty_JacekWierzbicki_465x700

Manager

SW Florida

Jacek started in Optimist prams at age 8, racing at St. Petersburg Sailing Center. In 1998 he competed at High School Nationals in New London, CT in Laser full rigs; then helped Florida Atlantic University’s racing program gain recognition through solid results skippering 420s and FJs. He cruised often with his parents on their 42’ Gulfstar, taught sailing in San Diego, delivered sailboats and worked for 10 years at a Caribbean nautical guide publishing company. Jacek holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100 ton Master Captain’s license and US Sailing instructor certifications. He is fluent in Spanish and Polish.

 

 

 

JIM MOOREJim-Moore-Club-Manager-NY-Harbor-199x300

Colgate Offshore Sailing Club Manager

New York Harbor

Jim joined Offshore in 2015 as one of our  instructors in New York Harbor and Florida.  He grew up canoeing, kayaking, and sailing the lakes and coast of Maine. A long-time New York resident, Jim enjoys teaching adults and children how to sail as well as cruising on his own sailboat.  Recent blue water experience includes deliveries from Hawaii to Guam and Virginia to the British Virgin Islands.  Jim holds a  USCG 50 ton Master License and US Sailing instructor certification.

 

 

 

SAM BOYLE

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Instructor

New York Harbor

Sam grew up outside Chicago, sailing on Lake Michigan at Northwestern Sailing Center where he started working when he was 15. He has been teaching ever since. Sam raced competitively in high school, at Bates College, and went on to coach two Portland high school teams and the Northwestern University sailing team. He has spent his summers teaching sailing for over 12 years, from beginning windsurfing and sailing, to competitive racing. Sam teaches at Offshore Sailing School during summer months and is a US Sailing certified instructor.

 

 

MIKE CONNELL

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Instructor

New York Harbor

Mike connected with Offshore in 1998 when he took the Offshore Performance Sailing Course and then was a winning crew in the Offshore/North U Performance Race Week on Captiva Island, FL. Since 1999 he has raced with the Offshore Sailing Club in NY Harbor and Nyack, NY. He does charter trips and deliveries multiple times each year in the Caribbean, Alaska, Lakes Champlain, Huron and Superior, Newport (RI), Nova Scotia and Tahiti. Mike retired from a communication engineering career in 2012, holds a U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license and US Sailing Instructor certification.

 

 

CORY CROWNER

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Instructor

Florida and British Virgin Islands

Cory became comfortable on small keelboats at an early age, slowly moving up to cruising class yachts with his father. In 2008 he began working with the American Sail Training Association (ASTA) on Tall Ships on square-riggers and schooners, working his way up from deckhand to officer while studying traditional seamanship, navigation and teambuilding techniques. He has sailed to a dozen countries including an Atlantic crossing, the Panama Canal and all of the Great Lakes. Cory holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100 ton Near Coastal Captain’s license with STCW and Sailing endorsements and US Sailing Keelboat, Cruising, Bareboat and Coastal Navigation instructor certifications.

 

 

MIKE DEWANE(20a)_6.31_OurFaculty_MikeDewane_465x700

Instructor

Florida

Mike began teaching part time at Offshore Sailing School several years ago and quickly moved to full time Senior Instructor at our Captiva Island and Ft. Myers Beach, Florida locations. In July 2015 he moved to New Jersey to manage our Liberty Landing Marina and Pier 25 school and club in New York Harbor. Mike started sailing on Lightning class sailboats on Lake Champlain, raced on several classes on San Francisco Bay, and competed in the 2009 Lightning Class Masters World Championships. He holds a US Coast Guard license, US Sailing instructor certifications, and enjoys cruising Atlantic and Gulf coasts. In 2014 he was voted MVP for his contribution to the success of Offshore Sailing School’s Performance Race Week, held annual with North U. in April.

 

 

NEIL DEVINE

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Instructor

British Virgin Islands

Before joining Offshore in 2013 Neil was senior instructor at UK’s Commodore Yachting, one of the largest sea schools on England’s south coast. He is a qualified Royal Yachting Association Yachtmaster Instructor and has many years’ experience teaching all levels of sailing, including working with private clients on larger yachts in the Mediterranean. He spent over a decade as Navigator in the Royal Air Force flying jets in excess of 500 miles per hour. Neil has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture and when not sailing, he is an avid film enthusiast and spends his spare time writing thrillers.

 

 

 

DON GRAYDon-Gray-web

 

Instructor

Florida

Don has 40 plus years of sailing experience in everything from dinghies to ocean racers. Since 2006 he has concentrated on solo ocean racing with over 10,000 miles under his boat shoes. His favorites include a solo race from San Francisco to Hawaii and three solo races from Newport, Rhode Island to Bermuda. Don holds a USCG license and teaches all levels from Basic Keelboat to Bareboat Cruising.

 

 

RICK HINMAN

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Instructor

Florida

Rick joined Offshore Sailing School in January 2012 and teaches at Offshore’s Southwest Florida campuses. He started sailing at 10 on Lake Michigan. In the early 80’s, Rick lived in Southern California where he raced his J24 up and down the California coast, and 10 years later had the good fortune to race in the North Americas. Rick has three grown children attending college. After owning a wine import and distribution company in Colorado, he relocated to Fort Myers, FL to follow his passion to teach sailing. Rick holds a U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s License and is a US Sailing certified instructor.

 

 

 

 

STEVE HUFF

Instructor

Florida

Steve joined Offshore Sailing School as an instructor in November 2014 after moving from California where he worked as a Sailing Instructor, Charter boat Captain, and manager of a Sailing School and Charter company. He holds a USCG 50GT license including a Sail and Towing license and is a US Sailing certified instructor. Steve has also worked as a Harbor Patrolman on Catalina Island. He sailed Southern California waters for 40 years, living aboard his Beneteau 473.

 

 

 

 

FOLKERT JONGKIND(9a)_6.31_OurFaculty_FolkertJongkind_465x700

Instructor

British Virgin Islands

Born and raised in the Netherlands, sailing was an obvious but casual hobby for Folkert. In 2006 he turned his hobby into a fulltime profession. Teaching on the Solent on England’s south coast. Seasonal work took him all over Europe and the Caribbean; a year in the British Virgin Islands, then back to the Solent for two more years; and deliveries in the Bay of Biscay, English Channel and Atlantic Ocean. The BVI beckoned with sunshine, good wind, great people, and a great opportunity to work with Offshore Sailing School! Folkert holds Royal Yachting Association and US Sailing instructor certifications.

 

 

PAUL LEEPaulLee-web

Instructor

New York Harbor

Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Paul was introduced to sailing in high school and is an alumni of Offshore Sailing School programs dating back to the early nineties. A career EMS-Paramedic and instructor, Paul has raced on Twelve Metres in the States, has sailed across the Pacific Ocean to many EU and Asian ports, and is an offshore delivery skipper on monohulls and multihulls. He holds many licenses and certifications including US Sailing certifications, British MCA (“Master of Yacht”) with 200 ton commercial endorsement, RYA Yachtmaster Offshore with sail endorsement, STCW, Radar and Power Boat Level II. Paul teaches part time at our New York locations.

 

 

JIM MARVIN(13a)_6.31_OurFaculty_JimMarvin_465x700

Instructor

Florida

Jim came to St. Petersburg, Florida after finishing college in Maryland and graduating from Offshore Sailing School with Basic Keelboat and Bareboat Cruising certification. He spent the following 15 years racing on Tampa Bay on Morgan yachts, J24s, Sonar class boats, and a variety of other PHRF vessels. He also worked for the St. Petersburg Sailing Center as Assistant Sailing Master for several years. Jim holds a U.S. Coast Guard license and a US Sailing instructor certification. He is currently teaching at Offshore’s St. Petersburg, FL location.

 

 

 

CHARLOTTE MATTHEWSCharlotte_Matthews

 

Instructor

British Virgin Islands

Charlotte grew up in New York City sailing on her family’s Seafarer 31, then dinghies and PHRF regattas at the national level at her yacht club. She began as a volunteer sailing instructor at age 14, ran a junior sailing program at 17, and during college taught in youth and adult sailing programs. Charlotte has captained day charter boats, and delivered yachts between the BVI and Newport, Rhode Island. She holds a USCG 100 GT license with sail endorsement, as well as US Sailing instructor certifications from Small boat to Coastal Navigation.

 

 

 

MARK MONGOLD(17a)_6.31_OurFaculty_MarkMongold_465x700

Instructor

New York Harbor

Mark came to sailing through scuba diving, when a dive buddy invited him on a sailboat trip in the British Virgin Islands. Hooked on sailing from then on, Mark has sailed and raced extensively, in the New York Harbor area and in Nyack with Colgate Fleet #2. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 50 ton Master’s License and a US Sailing Instructor certification. He has cruised extensively in the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Great Lakes, Chesapeake, French Polynesia, and has delivered boats on the East Coast. Mark has been teaching part time with Offshore in New York Harbor since 2000. When not sailing, he works in Technical Theater, managing the lighting, rigging, and scenery for live theater productions in New York City.

 

 

JOELLE PETERSEN(14a)_6.31_OurFaculty_JoellePetersen_465x700

Assistant Manager

Captiva Island and Ft. Myers Beach, FL

Originally from Minnesota, Joelle spent 16 years of her adult life in Europe. An avid world traveler, she has raced and cruised the North Sea, Baltic, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Sydney Harbor, Whitsundays, Lake Superior and San Francisco Bay. In Brussels, she was Commodore of the Brussels International Sailing Club. She holds US Sailing instructor certification, RYA Yachtmaster, RYA Cruising Instructor, STCW95 and U.S. Coast Guard credentials and a Private Pilot Certificate. At Offshore, Joelle speaks German as a second language. In her free time she enjoys sailing her Laser, flying, playing the violin and SCUBA diving.

 

 

MAX REOMax-Reo-Offshore-Sailing-School-Instructor-2-web

Instructor

New York Harbor

Max began sailing his freshman year at Rutgers University for the Rutgers University Sailing Team, where he gained the foundation of his experience and love for sailing. He has competed in many collegiate regattas along the East Coast through the Inter Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) in the Mid Atlantic Division (MAISA). Max has raced as both crew and skipper in Flying Juniors and 420s and was captain of the Rutgers Sailing Team from 2013 to 2014. He has been an Offshore Sailing School instructor since June 2014.

 

 

 

ANDY RYNER

Fleet Maintenance TechnicianAndy-Ryner_199x300

Florida

Andy sailed for more than forty years on the great lakes, and has sailed in Florida since moving there in 2012. He has raced on various sailboats in a variety of races including several Port Huron to Mackinac Races and Chicago to Mackinac Races, as well as weekly sail club races. Andy has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and holds Marine Mechanic Certification.

 

 

 

 

BARBARA STETSON(4a)_6.31_OurFaculty_BarbaraStetson_465x700

Instructor

New York Harbor

Barbara raced in the Junior Yacht Racing Association program on Long Island Sound as a teenager and represented her yacht club at Midget and Girls’ Championships. She was Commodore of the St. Barts Community Club Sailing Committee, skippering a 34′ Sabre on the Sound. Barbara has extensive chartering experience in the Caribbean, Chesapeake, Lake Champlain and Tahiti. She has taught at Offshore since 1995, is a US Sailing certified instructor, holds a U.S. Coast Guard license and has contributed articles for Sail magazine.

 

 

MATT TALMAGEMatt-Talmadge-200x274

 

Instructor

British Virgin Islands

Matt started sailing in Weymouth, UK, famed as the 2012 Olympic sailing venue. He spent many a summer cruising around the South of England and Northern France, and racing in local regattas. Recently he worked in the Mediterranean as a charter skipper, on a sail training vessel teaching disadvantaged youths, and raced in the Rolex Fastnet on a round-the-world race yacht. Matt is qualified at the RYA Yachtmaster level in sail and power, RYA Cruising Instructor and Powerboat instructor and holds US Sailing instructor certification.

 

 

 

MARK TURNER(18a)_6.31_OurFaculty_MarkTurner_465x700

Instructor

British Virgin Islands

Born in the UK, Mark holds a U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s License, STCW95 Certification, US Sailing instructor certification and is a certified open water Scuba Diver. He moved to Fleet Service Director from Florida regional manager in 2013 and continues to enjoy sharing his passion for sailing with students when he is called to teach. Mark has sailed along the California coast, Florida Gulf, in the Atlantic, and Caribbean. In his free time, he cruises on his own boat, from Tampa Bay to the Florida Keys, and in the Caribbean.

 

 

KATARINA (KAT) VAN ZEE(15a)_6.31_OurFaculty_KatarinaVanZee_465x700

Instructor

British Virgin Islands and New York Harbor

Since 2005 Kat has brought to Offshore extensive experience in outdoor education, facilitation and experiential learning. She holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100 ton Master license with sailing endorsement, and US Sailing Certified Instructor certification. Kat has raced Colgate 26s and Tartan 10s, and has chartered in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Aegean, Adriatic, Baltic, Sea of Cortez, Indian Ocean, Gulf of Thailand, South Pacific, Great Lakes, and Alaska. When not teaching at Offshore, you can find her sailing tourists around New York Harbor on the 80′ schooner Adirondack.

 

 

JEFF WERNER(12a)_6.31_OurFaculty_JeffWerner_465x700

Instructor

Florida

Key West’s warm weather and sailing lured Jeff from the Midwest where he learned to sail at the University of Michigan. In 1992 he got his U.S. Coast Guard Master’s license, and followed Caribbean breezes to St. Lucia to manage Offshore’s Windward Islands campus. Jeff has done two Atlantic crossings under sail and worked professionally throughout the Western Mediterranean, Caribbean, Bahamas, and Eastern Seaboard, Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes, operating private and charter motor and sailing yachts. Jeff holds US Sailing instructor certification and is Offshore’s lead celestial instructor.

 

 

 

JACK HARRIS YAEGERJack-Yaeger-Offshore-Sailing-School-Instructor

Instructor

Florida

Jack grew up in North Carolina sailing Hobie cats, sunfish and Flying Scots. When he was seventeen years old he began working as a sailing instructor, teaching mostly children from ages seven to eighteen. He has been teaching, moving boats and racing seasonally ever since. Jack started working for Offshore after going to business school at the University of North Carolina. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license and US Sailing Instructor certification.

 

 

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Call 888-454-7015 or 239-454-1700
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