2023 Member Awards | Modern Sailing

2023 Member Awards

Every winter at Modern Sailing, we take a moment to celebrate those members of our community who have not just sailed, but steered the course with exceptional dedication throughout the past year. Meet the outstanding recipients of our 2023 Top Student, Top Charterer, Top Racer, and Ambassador Awards!

These honored individuals represent the pinnacle of our community, embodying the spirit of seamanship, camaraderie, and continuous learning that defines Modern Sailing. From leading Club Sails to racing with fervor or lending a hand to fellow sailors, these members exemplify our core values. As a token of our appreciation, each Member Award honoree will receive the coveted Modern Sailing logo jacket, a symbol of their contributions.

We also pay homage to past honorees with our Member Awards Hall of Fame and extend congratulations to our 2023 Commodores Club inductees, whose frequent charters mark them as true pillars of our sailing family. Depending on their number of charters, Commodores Club inductees receive special swag and account credits. Explore the stories behind some of these names by clicking on the hyperlinked profiles, and discover what keeps these Commodores sailing with us time and again!

Top Student

Elizabeth Henderson

Modern Sailing recognizes and thanks Elizabeth Henderson with our 2023 Top Student Award! Last year, Elizabeth completed the Heavy Weather Sailing Clinic; Night Sailing Clinic; ASA 114, Cruising Catamaran; the Racing and Asymmetrical Spinnaker ClinicsASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising; and ASA 108, Offshore Passagemaking. In reply to our email informing Elizabeth of her award, she had many thanks to offer in return!

"I am deeply honored to be recognized as the 2023 Top Student by Modern Sailing School & Club. My journey into the world of sailing has been nothing short of transformative, and it wouldn't have been possible without the unwavering support of and guidance of the incredible team at Modern Sailing (and my husband Jeff who has been enabling this addiction).

"The dedicated office staff at Modern Sailing have consistently gone above and beyond to help me along this journey, ensuring that I could participate in classes and clinics, even calling to let me know a spot opened up at the last minute. Kim, Angel and Sage have supported and welcomed us since day 1, and their kindness, responsiveness and professionalism have made every step of my sailing journey smooth and enjoyable.

"I chose Modern Sailing for their demonstrated and profound commitment to promoting women's participation in sailing. The encouragement of instructors, like Cpt. Laura Parent who helped me through 103, Cpt. Mindy Oppenheim, who steadied my nerves in 118 for docking, Cpt. Andrea Geisinger, who inspired my love for night sailing, and Cpt. Kira Maixner for introducing me to racing, the joys of a spinnaker, and for supporting me as we ventured down the coast in ASA 108. The visibility of respected female captains around the club, and especially at events like the Women's Sailing Seminar, have been instrumental in shaping my vision of what is possible, while building my skills and confidence on the water.

"I am forever grateful to all the outstanding instructors who have pushed me to excel and grow as a sailor. Special shout out to Cpt. Bivin who has been my instructor for ASA 104, 114, 106 and 108 courses, as well as workshops. His expertise and passion for teaching have fueled my desire to always keep learning, leveling up, and explore new horizons in sailing.

"Sailing brings the coolest people together, and I have had the privilege of connecting with a vibrant community of sailors throughout the MSC club and beyond. I take great joy in being able to pay it forward by volunteering with the Women's Sailing Seminar, and The Sailing Science Center, and just going out to crew for other women sailors who are getting ready for their 104, and 'just for fun' weekend trips together.

"Modern Sailing has inspired me to embark on new adventures and apply my skills in different environments. I am looking forward to sailing in the Sea of Cortez in March with my sailing girlfriends, and skippering my first bareboat charter to the Windward Islands with my husband Jeff, and fellow MSC students, Sally Greglia and Christopher Dang and their partners. My husband and I are also eager to explore the scenic beauty of the San Juan Islands and Canada together this summer. My next big goal is to log enough sea time and study for a captains license. The ASA classes may be over, but the learning will never stop!

"Thank you again for all you do to make sailing dreams come true!"

- Elizabeth

Elizabeth has also been recognized as the American Sailing Association's October 2023 Sailor of the Month.

Top Charterer

Tom Petersen

Modern Sailing celebrates one of our most frequent charterers, Tom Petersen. Tom has a history with Modern Sailing dating back to 2005 and joined the club as an experienced sailor in 2022. Beginning in April 2023, Tom chartered a mix of monohulls and catamarans more than 20 days total, and many of these charters were consecutive 2 and 3-day charters. 

"I've had a great time chartering with Modern Sailing. We usually take boats out for 2 days on the weekends and especially enjoy anchoring or mooring out and grilling while enjoying a night on the bay. I first started charting with Modern Sailing in 2005 or so when I took my first ASA 101 class here. Been a ton of fun... and we look forward to more sailing in 2024.  FYI...the next big trip for us is a 10-day bareboat from St. Lucia down to Grenada one-way...it would not be possible without our time on the bay with Modern Sailing."

- Tom

We thank Tom for sailing with us and we look forward to following his future adventures! 

Top Racer

Tim Kordas

2023 marks the first year that Modern Sailing has ever officially designated a Top Racer award, and Tim Kordas is our first honoree! Tim became involved with racing through Modern’s Racing Program back in 2016 and has been an avid racer ever since. In 2023, Tim raced in several Drop-Ins Races out of Berkeley and was a crew member racing J/88 Fly with our 2023 Rolex Big Boat Series Performance Race Team.

Tim says, "I enjoy the structure of having a particular day/time to get out on the water with a group of sailors all trying to improve our skills, but in a slightly different context than a sailing class. Racing has improved my sailing skills tremendously. I like solving problems, and while racing on Modern's boats, I've gotten the chance to cause problems and solve them during the same race, especially while working foredeck. The newer team-focused Racing Program Tiers are exciting: it is great to bond together as a cohesive crew over the course of a season. The sportier / racier boats are tons of fun to sail. The J/88 specifically is a completely different beast than either the J/105 or J/80: super responsive without feeling twitchy."

Modern Sailing thanks Tim for his passion for racing, and for his inspiring role in the evolution of our Racing Program!

(Tim Kordas pictured in the center.)

Club Ambassador

Lily Bragg

Modern Sailing is delighted to name Lily Bragg as our 2023 Club Ambassador. Lily always comes to the club with an enthusiastic attitude. Utilizing the Crew List to recruit fellow members to sail with, she is inclusive and welcomes sailors of all levels on her mid-week docking practices. Lily takes her time in her sailing journey and is always challenging herself and inspiring other sailors. After she charters, she completes her post-cruise forms with attention to detail, passing useful information to the Fleet team. The Office and Fleet staff also thank her for her remarkable thoughtfulness - she has often shared snacks with our team members.

Lily has also mastered the entire monohull fleet between March and August of 2023, completing ASA 101, Basic Keelboat and ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising (on cruising boats); the Upgrade to Sportboat Clinic; and ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising. She also is a familiar face in both locations, actively participating in club activities, her own charters, and sailing with other members.

Towards the end of the year, Lily also began wetting her feet with racing, becoming actively involved in the Drop-In BYC Chowder Races and completing the Racing Clinic. She's signed up for an upcoming Asymmetrical Spinnaker Clinic, so we are all excited to see her take her sailing to a new level as a Modern Sailing Racer! 

Thank you, Lily! We greatly value you for your dedication to sailing and for being an exemplary member of the club! 

Member Awards Hall of Fame (2016 - 2022)

Our thanks and genuine appreciation to our past Member Awards honorees - many of whom are still active members of the club!

2016 John Erickson Deniz Kahramaner Lance Emerson and Ernest Khirallah
2017 Ken Hargreaves Deniz Kahramaner Tim Sullivan
2018 Gregg Golembeski Michael Barrientos Nichole Ortiz
2019 Scott Corder Paul Husen Warren Leiden
2020 Paul Aichholzer Charles Warren Vincent Latour and Julia Frink; Bob Gutsgell
2021 Cameron Poetzscher William Le Jim Haussener
2022 Christopher Dang Richard Pon Kent Carter and Paolo Juvera

2023 Commodores Club Inductees

Congratulations and many thanks to Modern Sailing's newest Commodores Club inductees, our most active members of 2023! 

The seventh year of our exclusive member benefits program, the "Commodores Club," has come to a close and we have taken the tally to recognize our most frequent charterers.

Wondering how members qualify for the Commodores Club and what they receive as tokens of our thanks? Click here.

Without further ado, here are our 2023 Commodores Club inductees!

Tom Petersen
Warren Leiden
Reuben Dobbs

TWO FLAG COMMODORES (15-19 Charters)
Reubin Travin
James Govert
Lucy Pon

ONE FLAG COMMODORES (10-14 Charters)
Richard Pon
Anthony Chigazola
Andrew Gottscho
Michael Zeglin
Kevin Martin
Neil Bhatt
Vincent Latour
Beri Bener
Pamela Perry 

Lucy Pon, Two Flag Commodore

"I absolutely love Modern Sailing!  Thank you for providing knowledgeable and supportive instructors and staff members, informative classes, and a terrific variety of beautiful and well-maintained boats. I really like how the Sausalito and Berkeley locations are perfectly situated for great sailing. In addition, it has been so much fun not only sailing in San Francisco Bay with other Modern Sailing Club members, but also being able to extend our realm of enjoyment to hiking, biking, dancing, traveling, and sailing globally. And, to top off all of that wonderfulness, we have our world class winds... pinch me!" 

Vincent Latour, One Flag Commodore

Vincent has been a member of Modern Sailing since 2019 and learned to sailing by taking ASA courses and clinics with Modern. Vincent competed the Racing Clinic in 2021, became a Club Skipper in 2022, and earned his ASA 106 certification in 2023. Since becoming a Club Skipper, Vincent has skippered 47 Club Sails so far.

"These days I am mostly sailing out of Berkeley. I have fallen in love with the J/80, and other smaller tiller and sportboats but also the J/105.  I have truly enjoyed introducing many fellow club members to these tiller-steered sportboats. In October, I chartered out of La Paz and sailed  the Sea of Cortez with Neethling Prinsloo and Bob Fernandez. We had a great week of sailing, snorkeling and fishing. At the moment I am, with a group of 5, practicing regularly sailing with flying the spinnaker, to get us ready to do the spinnaker check-out, to be allowed to charter J/105’s with the spinnaker. I made friends and a lot of connections here. I am still friends and still sail with people even after they moved out of the area. Modern Sailing has also helped me to gain the confidence to be the skipper in charge on a windy, busy day on the Bay in a relatively short time." 

Pamela Perry, One Flag Commodore

"In the fall of 2021, I took a Basic Keelboat certification class on a J/24 at Inspire Sailing (aka Modern) with no prior experience in sailing whatsoever, and fell completely in love. I joined the club and have found everything there that I've needed to advance my sailing skills and certifications: courses, clinics and the wonderful crew list for being able to get out on the Bay as often as possible. What I think is most special about Modern Sailing is that, whether you are inclined toward racing or cruising, there are courses, boats, and a community for you. I expect to enjoy many more years of sailing with Modern."

Share This Page


  • Ray Arceneaux

    The vessel was clean and in fine condition - very nice boat for training, well-equipped.

  • Guy Robinson, Member

    I started sailing at Modern at the end of 2021 and threw myself into it, spending as much time out on the water as I could. I came to Modern with some flat water dinghy sailing experience and it was quite a transition learning to sail bigger boats in much tougher conditions. There was a lot to learn, but the Modern instructors, Club Skippers and fellow Modern sailors made learning fun and rewarding. My Modern instructors were clearly very experienced sailors and sailing with them was inspiring! I want to thank the maintenance crew and office staff for their dedication and hard work - you are the folks who make things work! There is a lot more to learn and I look forward to sailing with Modern for years to come.

    Guy Robinson
  • Trudy Flores

    Captain Jeff Cathers is really cool. I had such a great time on the Farallones Day Trip. It was actually my very best day of 2020. Thank you so much for coordinating the trip.

    Farallones trip

Follow us
on Social Media

Modern Sailing School & Club

Contact Us

Modern Sailing School & Club

Sausalito Location
2310 Marinship Way, Sausalito, CA 94965
(415) 331-8250
(800) 995-1668

Berkeley Location
1 Spinnaker Way, Berkeley, CA 94710
(415) 331-8250
(800) 995-1668

Map / Directions