Meet the 2018 Opti Instructors!

In NY Harbor, we are fortunate to have some super talented instructors. Many of our instructors are college students from Ireland and other countries. They love coming to our city to sail near the Statue of Liberty. Click on the videos below to met some of our instructors for this coming year.

MaryElizabeth Hayes


Hi I’m MaryElizabeth. I’m Irish and live in Dublin. I grew up in a family with a love for sailing so I started at a young age. I began sailing Optis when I was 8 and fell in love with the sport. I then progressed to Toppers and Picos. I later sailed Fevas. I’ve sailed many different boats -and sailing in Ireland means you’ve sailed in a variety of conditions! At university I sail competitively within Ireland and last year I raced in the Loughborough Lemming Regatta in England. More than anything, I think it is important to foster a fun loving attitude towards sailing. My summers spent on the water are some of my best memories and I hope that it will be the same for those I instruct!

Ryan Fitzgerald


My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, I am 19 years old, and a first-year student studying nutraceutical science at Dublin Institute of Technology. I have been sailing all my life and have a huge passion for the sport. I have been sailing a minimum of once a week since the age of 10. Even our family holidays are orientated around sailing! I have sailed a huge variety of boats such as Toppers, Opti, Laser, RS400, 29er, 420, Corby 26, J24, Rambler88, Formula 28, Ruffians.. the list could go on for another 2 pages to be honest! I was on the National Sailing Squad in the Topper and Laser class, representing Ireland at World, European and other international regattas. I have been Coaching sailing for 4 years both employed by clubs and private race coaching. If I didn’t already sound crazy enough about sailing I also live on a boat for college accommodation during the school year. I truly do love sailing and being on the water!

Robbie Dix


My name is Robbie Dix I am a 19 year old university student from Dublin Ireland. I am currently studying Agricultural Business at University College Dublin. I come from a sailing background and have been sailing all my life. I started off competing in Optis, racing throughout Ireland. I then moved into double handed boats, sailing both RS Fevas and 420s. I currently skipper a J24, J24s are keelboats that are also sailed in the Manhattan Yacht Club. I am a fully qualified Irish Sailing Association instructor and for the past three years I have instructed sailing in Howth Yacht Club. My favorite thing about teaching sailing is seeing my students develop their sailing skills and a love of the sport while also having fun on the water. I’m really looking forward to meeting you guys and I hope we have a great time sailing together!

Jayne Dolan


I am a 20 year old college student. I have just complete my second year studying Business Studies in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. I have been sailing since I was 10 years old and have sailed a variety of different boats such as Picos, Mirrors, Lasers, 420s, and Fireflies. Currently, I am an active member of the Dublin University Sailing Club. We train out of the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin. As a member of this club I compete with different universities on a national and international basis. I love coaching kids in this great sport and I am so excited to do this in Manhattan Sailing School this coming Summer! I cannot wait to spend this Summer with you all, creating unforgettable memories and having so much fun!

Justin Chiang


I am a 19 year old college student from the one and only New York City! I began sailing at the age of 10 in New Rochelle, and I have sailed various 420s every summer since, both as skipper and crew. I currently race as a crew in 420s, Rhodes, and FJs with the sailing team at Brown University, where I will be a sophomore for the 2018-19 school year studying Applied Mathematics, Economics, and Classics. I am also the Freshmen Captain of the team for the 2018 calendar year. When not sailing, I love to swim, golf, run, and play baseball, football, and basketball. I also watch virtually any professional sport out there. Aside from sports, I love playing the guitar, the violin, and various video games. I am very excited to combine my passions for teaching and sailing this summer at the Manhattan Sailing School! See you all soon!

Herbie Fowler-Hudson


Hi there! My name is Herbie Fowler-Hudson. I am a 20-year-old, second-year engineering student at the Dublin Institute of technology, and member of the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dublin, Ireland. I have worked with many different age groups (young to old), with different abilities (disabled to racing) and I am a qualified senior Instructor with lots of racing experience. I have always wanted to travel to America and New York is at the top of my list. I hope to meet loads of new people at Manhattan Yacht club this summer and to pass on all my knowledge while having fun. See you then!

Alex Walsh


I’m a 20 year old student from Dublin, Ireland. I am currently in my second year of studying Science at Trinity College Dublin. I started sailing at the age of 8 in the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dublin and I spent my summers hopping in and out of different boats. I trained and raced competitively at national level in Optis and 420s. I have experience in both single and double handed racing. I am currently sailing with my University’s Team Racing Team in fireflies, I have competed at IUSA events in Ireland and BUSA events in the UK. I have been instructing sailing for a few years here in Ireland and I have coached the Start to Race Team over at Chicago Yacht Club. My vast experience in a variety of dinghies and my coaching experience allows me to run a productive yet very fun class for my sailors. I love spending time on the water and I am passionate about helping any sailor reach their goal this summer while having lots of fun! I am so excited to teach sailing at Sail Manhattan this summer.

Colin O’Sullivan


I am an 18 year old college student from Dublin, Ireland. I started sailing when I was 9 years old and have sailed many boats throughout my sailing career including optimists, 420’s, Lasers, fireflies, 49ers and J24s. I sailed on the Irish Sailing Team and competed in competitions all over Ireland and the world in countries such as Spain, Germany, Holland, France, the UK, Bulgaria and Japan. I also qualified for the Irish 420 ISAF Youth Worlds Team and competed in the Youth Worlds in Malaysia where we placed 3rd. I am currently team racing with Trinity College Dublin Sailing Club, as well as J24 racing with my home club (Howth Yacht Club) as part of an under 25s team. I absolutely love coaching and currently coach both optis and i420s in my home club. I cannot wait to work with you guys this summer in New York. We are going to have so much fun and create many unforgettable memories together right on the Hudson! I really hope to see you soon!

James O’Connor


James was born in in Dublin, Ireland. He learned to sail in an optimist at the Royal Saint George Yacht Club when he was 10 years old. This laid down the foundation for a career of racing and teaching as he instantly fell in love with the sport. He raced dinghies such as 420’s, RS Feva’s and lots more. He currently sails a Laser which he has raced competitively on a national level. He also sails for his college team, competing at inter varsity events all over Ireland. James has sailed on a wide variety of keel boats such as a Cookson 50, J109, A35 and currently sails on a Jeaneau 3600 in Dublin competing in off shore and overnight races. This summer will be his third year instructing and he’s extremely excited for what the summer holds and looks forward to coaching sailing in such an amazing place and to meeting you all. He is very passionate about sailing and hopes by the end of this summer you guys will be too. Sailing is all about enjoying yourself and that’s what James’ main goal is for this summer to help all of the sailors at MYC fall in love with the sport and have a summer they will never forget.

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