Carmen Maio | Modern Sailing

Carmen Maio


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.

I quickly found myself committing every moment I had to sailing, reading about sailing, and talking about sailing to everyone who would listen. I joined the Berkeley Yacht club, drank with all the old salts and relived their memories while listening to their stories. I found the local racers and jumped aboard for beer can racing. I was hooked! Every weekend I found myself sailing, racing, or training for racing. The certifications and specialized training that OCSC provided began stacking up and I found myself able to talk my way onto any boat. Whether it was buoy racing or distance racing, I strived to learn every aspect so that I could master. That is what is wonderful about sailing - it is ever-changing and not frequently the same. Nearly impossible to master. Sailing is challenging while fulfilling, then humbling and rewarding.

Early in my sailing experience I recognized sailors cruise or sailors race, and being the competitor I am, I took on the racing facet. Some of my favorite boats I have raced upon include SC27, SC40, E27, E37, J/24, J/105, and J/111. I was fortunate enough to be an integral part of a racing program in the local J/105 Fleet on a current club boat, Nirvana. For nearly five years, Team Nirvana competed in the yearly Fleet 1 series ending each season in the Rolex Big Boat Series. Some of the best sailing, best sailors, and awe inspiring memories have come from those series. A majority of Team Nirvana, including myself, then took on prepping, training, and racing as Team Europa in PacCup 2014. Aboard a NY36 (similar to a Shock), 2000nm + and 16 days later we crossed the finish line with experiences and memories that will last a lifetime! In particular, I found I enjoyed ocean sailing so much that in 2015 I began my own race program when I purchased a Moore 24 and sailed shorthanded in the OYRA and California Coastal series, racing out to the Farallones and up and down the California coast. Nothing compares to surfing ocean swells under spinnaker, with boat speeds in the high teens. Nothing.

Currently I hold USCG OUPV credentials and am ASA Instructor certified. I hold US Sailing certifications, I am a PADI certified Rescue Diver, and an EMT in the state of California. I am a person committed to continued education and training and will strive to learn and upgrade. One thing the fire service and sailing has taught me is that you can never be ready for all that can happen but you can prepare yourself as best as possible.

As a recently retired member of the fire service, I have been afforded the ability to commit more time to my passion - sailing.  I have been able to give back to the sailing community as an instructor with Modern Sailing in my favorite place to sail, the San Francisco Bay. It brings me joy sharing my stories and seeing the intrigue and desire that I once had as a new sailor in the faces of new sailors and students.

Knowing there is still so much to learn and excitement to meet people to learn from, I look forward to this sailing way of life. Ultimately, I believe I will own a bluewater boat and will cast off to experience more of this water planet. After all, isn't that what adventurers do?

- Carmen

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  • John Boynton

    The class was terrific. I know you must get many compliments about your sailing instructors...But I must tell you that Robert is outstanding. Having taught SCUBA, I really appreciate the way he is so sensitive to all on board, dealing with each so well, knowing quickly their strengths and weaknesses making each feel special and cared for.

  • Sara Jane G.

    I've taken two classes at MSS&C and was very happy with the program. This is also a great club with lots of opportunities for camaraderie and practice on the water. The boats in the fleet are fantastic and kept in tip-top shape. I highly recommend for all sailors and would-be sailors!

  • John Clark

    Every aspect of Modern Sailing - training, syllabus, course materials, quality of the boats, quality of the instructors, and the very friendly and helpful staff - exceeded my expectations. Modern Sailing has a first class sailing program in an environment with challenging winds and currents. I look forward to coming back to charter a boat and certainly plan to continue my sailing training.

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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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