Our Staff | Modern Sailing

Our Staff

Our professional and friendly staff is here to help you get the most out of your sailing experience. Do you have questions or would like to get in touch with us? Email us or give us a call (415) 331-8250. We look forward to seeing you around the club!

Operations Team

President and CEO

An electrical engineer by education, Leigh was working in Product Management for Bay Area telecommunications companies before he decided to make sailing a profession and purchased Modern Sailing in July 2014.

Originally from Canada, Leigh began his sailing education at a Canadian Yachting Association (CYA) school in Ontario. After moving to California in 2004, he quickly found two ASA schools to help take his skills to the next level. He completed his ASA 106 at Modern Sailing by...

Chief Operations Officer

Bill started sailing in San Francisco Bay over 40 years ago while working in the supply chain business. He wanted to have something to take his mind off work, so he took sailing lessons in Santa Cruz and was immediately hooked.

Over the years, Bill was active in the sailing community from racing on the Bay to being a Founding Member and first Commodore of a local yacht club. He moved from San Francisco to the British Virgin Islands, back to San Francisco, to Washington state to...

General Manager, Berkeley

Mark has been sailing on San Francisco Bay for decades, starting as crew in beer can races out of Berkeley. For many years, he also sailed his Laser on the Bay, and has since decided that he prefers big sailboats.

In 2019, Mark was a member of the crew dubbed “Kings of the Beer Cans” by Latitude 38.

Mark’s sailing adventures have taken him beyond the Bay to Catalina, the British Virgin...

Digital Marketing Lead

A Bay Area native, Mary spent most of her adult life landlocked and working in the IT industry in Colorado. While employed full-time and raising three sons, she managed to indulge her love of nature and thirst for challenge and outdoor adventure through trail running, backpacking, and mountain climbing. Pining for the ocean, she returned to California in 2013 to seek new adventures. With her first sail on San Francisco Bay in March of 2016, she was immediately smitten. By her third sail, she...

General Manager, Sausalito

We are pleased that Cyril Derreumaux has joined the team as our new General Manager of Modern Sailing Sausalito. Cyril is a dynamic and entrepreneurial business leader and an adventurer who has a passion for being on the water.

Cyril currently holds the Guiness World Record for the fastest crossing of the Mid-Pacific from California to Hawaii in a 4-man “Classic” Ocean Rowing Boat, with another record pending for his solo crossing in 2022 unsupported on a 100% human-powered 23-foot...

Master Scheduler

Modern Sailing welcomed Kim aboard in November of 2018 and was promoted to the role of Master Scheduler in 2022. Her professional background is in Travel and Tourism and Campaign Management for local elected officials. She has a passion for helping others celebrate life in the great outdoors and finds her role in the Customer Service, Sales and Marketing Team to be enjoyable and rewarding. Her wry sense of humor, eye for detail, and trusted ethic are valued by fellow staff members and...

Scheduler

Sage grew up racing FJs off the coast of Southern California. She worked a brief stint as a re-enactor on the square rigger Balclutha, on Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco, and is a former OCSC customer service representative. When she’s not sailing, she’s usually found reading, writing, fencing, baking, or playing the accordion.

Instructors & School Leadership

Assistant School Director

When Jeff Cathers was 17 years old, a classmate told him that he and his father were going to sail to Hawaii for his summer vacation. Jeff was awestruck at the notion and couldn’t imagine how it was possible to cross a giant ocean in a small sailboat. Captivated by the idea, Jeff asked his classmate a million questions and soon knew that he wanted to learn everything about sailing, the sea, the explorers and their ships.

Since then, Jeff learned to sail and went on to skipper several...

Head Instructor

Stan started sailing at age 15 on Clearlake (Lake County, California) in Flying Juniors. During high school and college, he sailed and raced on trailerable catamarans (mostly Hobie 16s). After graduating from San Jose State University, Stan entered the United States Coast Guard and earned a reserve officer's commission in Yorktown, Virginia.

During his 20-year career, he served aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Morganthau as a Deck Watch Officer and the Coast Guard Cutter ...

Racing Program Director & Instructor

A native of Germany, Stephan began sailing in the Netherlands in 1997. He has been sailing the San Francisco Bay since 2005. Stephan has been in races at many of the Bay's yacht clubs on boats ranging from his own 14' Weta racing trimaran to 45' racer/cruisers. He also owns and races an Olson 34'.

Stephan joined Modern Sailing's race program as a coach in 2015 and became Race Program Director in 2016. In addition to overseeing the race program and training racers, Stephan also teaches...

Instructor

It is never too late to learn something new…it is never too late to learn to sail. Growing up, Jeff had very little exposure to sailing. On rare occasions he had the opportunity to sail on dinghies, but never learned how to sail on his own. In 2003, after retiring from a lifelong career in the restaurant industry, he and his wife, Barbie, moved to Inverness, just north of San Francisco where they currently run a vacation rental business.

In late 2006 on a beautiful Indian summer...

Instructor

Wolfgang immigrated to the US over 40 years ago, just married and with a brand-new degree in electrical engineering. He established himself in the hi-tech industry initially as a computer design engineer, and later, after completing an MBA, as manager and executive at various Silicon Valley companies.

Having always had a dream of sailing to far-away places, 25 years ago Wolfgang joined a sailing school on the Bay and proceeded to climb the ASA certification ladder. In 1991 he began...

Instructor

Dave got his start sailing tall ships in the Caribbean in 1991, and this first experience in the islands changed his life forever. While he prefers to sail large catamarans, Dave has never met a boat he didn’t like. In fact he’s invested in three large schooners that offer vacation cruises in the Caribbean, and frequently crews on those ships.

Dave began instructing in 2009. His favorite activity is instructing the ASA courses for Cruising Catamaran and Bareboat Chartering, anywhere...

Instructor

On a cold winter day in 1971, this Montana boy wrote to sail charter companies: "Teach me to sail and I'll work for room & board." The following spring he started working for a small charter company on Lake Champlain. From Vermont, Stephen hitched a ride on a 61' sloop to New York City to board a 72' schooner bound for the Caribbean. Her winter passage was thwarted by 70 knot winds & 20 foot seas 200 miles off the coast of Delaware. The boat returned, damaged, to NYC.

...

Instructor

You’ve got to really love sailing when you launch your first boat in the “mud puddles” of Oklahoma reservoirs. It was a 19-foot Flying Scot, a daysailer that followed him from Tulsa, to Galveston, and finally to Lake Tahoe where he turned it in for a 28-foot Lancer, spending many days sailing the High Sierra lake.

At 10, he got the sailing bug as a summer camper on one of the 10,000 lakes of Minnesota. Before moving west, Steve’s log book registered cruises on Lake Superior (from...

Instructor

Captain Kira is a California Bay Area transplant after moving from landlocked Colorado in 2012. She has been boating since she was a youngster and sailing since the spring of 2013. After meeting a brand-new boat owner, she began sailing regularly on the San Francisco Bay. Her first sail was wet and wild aboard a J/88 racing yacht, but from that first day, she knew that sailing would play a huge part in her life. Soon she was sailing 3 to 5 times a week and taking lessons at Modern Sailing....

Instructor

Katie is an avid racer, cruiser, and sailboat captain based out of Oakland, CA. Her sailing began right here in the Berkeley Marina at the Cal Sailing Club. There she got her first taste of sailing and racing on small boats, and since then has sailed and raced extensively aboard boats of all sizes. Her racing career has taken her on two trips to Hawaii, twice around Vancouver Island, and all over the West Coast of North America. She has navigated aboard many ocean and coastal races including...

Racing Coach & Instructor

Mark Jordan remembers the first time he went sailing as a teenager. It was a typical blustery summer day on San Francisco Bay, and he recalls the excitement he felt when the sails were first hoisted, the engine shut off, and the boat came alive under the power of the wind. Right there and then, he knew he wanted to be a sailor.

Since that day Mark has sailed thousands of miles, both cruising and racing, in San Francisco Bay and in waters all over the world. In 2015, he was asked to...

Instructor

Andrew, a San Francisco native with Viking roots, took up sailing on the Bay over 20 years ago. He has since sailed his own boats to Mexico and around the Mediterranean many times.

In 2018, Andrew logged his first ocean crossing, helping a friend sail an Amel 54 across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. After 18 days offshore, they eagerly arrived on December 31. Sleep deprivation did not stop the all-night New Year's Eve celebration in Guadeloupe!

These days, Andrew is often out...

Instructor

Richard's lifelong sailing adventure began with island hopping on a small sailing dinghy at age 14 in the South Pacific Kwajalein Atoll of the Marshall Islands. Frequently meeting visiting cruisers expanded his desire to explore the world of sailing. Learning to sail native outriggers, understanding their ancient navigation technology, and appreciating the significant role that sailing vessels have played over thousands of years in the evolution of mankind drew Richard even deeper into the...

Racing Coach & Instructor

Growing up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Laura was influenced at an early age by the ocean, boats and waterways of her hometown as well by as her father’s career as a Port Everglades Pilot.

After earning her degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University, Laura followed her dream and the call of the sea. Achieving her 100-ton USCG master's license at age 23, she logged 20,000 nautical miles over 9 years working as crew, watch officer, or captain on a variety of vessels...

Instructor

Andrea began her sailing journey on Lac Neuchâtel in Switzerland where she co-owned a Beneteau Class 8. Having gained experience sailing the Lac, the ocean called to her, motivating her to obtain her yacht master’s certificate through the Swiss Cruising Club. Andrea soon expanded her horizons, sailing the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, English Channel and Channel Islands, North and Baltic Sea, Kattegat and Skagerrak.

After relocating to the San Francisco Bay in 1996, Andrea continued...

Instructor

As a youngster, Scott was dragged kicking and screaming to his dad’s boat in New York. Despite his initial resistance, Scott was quickly hooked. Within a few years, he found himself a 14-year-old salty dog teaching boating safety courses to adults and performing emergency tows on the Long Island Sound. Even after his move to the land-locked city of Atlanta, Scott traveled yearly to the Virgin Islands to island-hop with his wife and also, eventually, with his kids.

Scott's passion for...

Instructor

Captain Mindy's sailing story starts with “how a nice Jewish girl from Miami Beach ended up in the middle of the Cuban (Marielito) boat lift in 1979.”  Mindy graduated college essentially homeless, except for her brother’s couch, and had this great idea to go to the Miami River, bilge out a half-sunken 32 ft. sailboat, and get towed to a very funky Watson Island Marina right across from the Port of Miami. 

Luckily the Siddhartha in Search of Nirvana had no sails, no engine,...

Instructor and Racing Coach

Holding degrees in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Jim's career has spanned a number of phenomenal pursuits including cruising the world on his own vessel, managing one of the largest sailing schools in the Bay Area, participation in hundreds of races here in the Bay and offshore in every position from bow to driver, and captaining vessels of all sizes with his 100T Master's license.  These steps in his career have led him to his current passion, the Sailing Science Center, of...

Instructor

Bridge has been sailing small boats for the last 18 years! He started off with an old $500 Alpha One Craigslist special and now he sails with his wife Nancy on their boat Gitana, a Beneteau First 235 up in Eureka, CA.

"Sailing as a student and then as an instructor at OCSC has paid benefits beyond measure," Bridge says.

During COVID restrictions (and with the closure of OCSC), he took on the roll as Commodore for the Humboldt Yacht Club. Hard times, but YouTube saved...

Instructor

Cliff grew up in a family that sailed on Long Island Sound. At the age of eight he got his start at skippering and racing in a summer youth sailing program. Dinghies led to small centerboard sloops, which led to keelboats of all types ranging from twenty-two to fifty feet. By the time he was in college, Cliff was crewing on coastal passages from New York to Nova Scotia and also teaching in the same summer program he had come up in. His family continued sailing throughout, including bareboat...

Instructor

James’ sailing experience began at a New York high school that specialized in oceanography. He developed a thirst and love for the ocean and watersports when he joined his school’s boating club.

After moving to California in the early 2000s, he gained even more sailing experience at the Lake Merritt Boating center in Oakland, at OCSC, and several other sailing clubs. In 2014, he acquired his Captain’s License.

James’ appreciation for sailing was further realized after sailing...

Instructor

Philip got hooked on sailing after a family trip to the British Virgin Islands just before college. Shortly after, he joined as crew on a J/105 that campaigned throughout the Chesapeake Bay.

In 2013, he was able to go on sabbatical and sailed his 1966 Bristol 27 solo from Annapolis, Maryland to Key West, Florida. By 2015, Philip had relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he began racing out of Berkeley Yacht Club.

Philip joined OCSC Sailing that same year and went on to...

Instructor

Steve joined the Berkeley instructor team in 2021 and is USCG licensed captain and certified ASA Instructor. He began sailing at age 8 with his family in Southern California and progressed to his first Pacific crossing by age 16. Steve raced in high school and college and has sailed more than 15,000 offshore miles between California, Mexico, and Hawaii.

Steve’s love of fishing, sailing, and adventuring have fueled many years of exploration along the California coastline, the Channel...

Instructor

Dan’s first experience sailing was on a Lido 14 with his grandfather in Oregon. On those lazy summer days, he developed a love for sailing, but never really thought about it as a full-time hobby, let alone a career.

Fast-forward to 2013, when a co-worker asked Dan to crew on a 36' X-Yacht for springtime beer-can races. Through weekly practice sessions and race events, Dan was hooked. He enrolled in classes at OCSC Sailing and worked his way through Basic Keelboat, Basic Cruising,...

Instructor and Racing Program Coach

I started as a brand new sailor with no experience in 2009, at OCSC in Berkeley, after discovering the excitement, rush, and thrill of a J/24 on the San Francisco bay in summer winds. I wouldn't call myself a thrill seeker, but I am an adventurer and everything about sailing spoke to my soul. It quickly became my newest passion not only for the hands-on aspect of sailing but for the community of people that sail. Water people, sailors especially, are a unique breed, and I fit right in.

...

Instructor

Captain Tyler loves time on the water on any kind of craft from sail to power, canoes to kayaks. A member of Modern Sailing since 2009, Tyler has chartered most of the yachts in the Gold and Platinum fleets in Sausalito. Favorite cruises include Greece’s Ionian Islands, Canada’s beautiful North Channel, Newport, Rhode Island to Toronto via the Hudson River, Erie and Oswego canal systems, and trips to Monterey and Carmel.

Tyler raced Hobie 20s, 18s, and 16s throughout California and...

Instructor

Irina Walker's boating experience began in childhood, motoring up and down rivers of the USSR in family-owned boats. As an adult living in the Bay Area, watching boats out on the Bay from her home got her thinking about getting on the water herself. 

In 2016, Irina decided to give sailing a shot and signed up for an Introductory Sail at OCSC, followed by a Basic Keelboat course. She admits, "I didn't like it much. But I felt there was so much potential there that I decided to pursue...

Instructor

Eric Partika moved to San Francisco in 2008 and immediately got into sailing on the Bay. He has owned two cruising sailboats in Emeryville and Sausalito, but in 2017, decided to leave boat ownership and join Modern Sailing as a student and member. Eric completed the lion’s share of his sailing training at Modern Sailing and went on to become a Club Skipper in 2021.

Eric enjoys sharing his love of sailing with friends, family, and fellow club members. As a Club Skipper, his enjoyment...

In Memoriam

John taught advanced sailing courses on San Francisco Bay and along the California Coast since 1993. As a former owner of Modern Sailing, his incredible experience and high-energy creativity helped to shape the school and club.

In addition to teaching local courses, John was most known for teaching advanced ASA courses in overseas locations including the South Pacific, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Seychelles Islands, Africa, and Alaska.

The John...

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Testimonials

  • John Kipping

    The meeting room was quite adequate and the location most convenient, but the course outline and instruction were outstanding. Modern Sailing is fortunate to have such a well organized instructor in Mr. Stan Lander who teaches very well from a rich professional background. Mr. Lander was generous with his time and patiently in helping students who needed more attention or time in understanding various aspects of the curriculum.

  • Casey Bishop, Corporate Regatta

    WE LOVED IT! The whole team was so honored and thankful. Thanks so much for all of your team's hard work and excellence in organizing our party. Of the 22 of us, only 4 had ever been sailing and not in the Bay. The guys had an incredible experience, the skippers were all really great, allowing each of us to be at the wheel. They were kind and empowering. Plus the weather and wind were perfect! It was definitely one of the top 3 experiences that we have shared as leaders in the past 5 + years. We couldn't have asked for a better day!

  • 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

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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

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