Notes from The Sailing School Staff

June 2017- Emma Leary

My name is Emma Leary and I’m returning for my seventh year at SHYC, this summer as a Junior Instructor and member of the 420 Race Team. During the school year, I live in the Washington DC area and am a rising junior at Georgetown Day School.

I began sailing at Stage Harbor later than many of the people I sail with today. I started the program as a Seaman at age nine and I remember arriving without any friends or any sailing knowledge. I was a shy kid and Sailing School was the first place I had ever really needed to make new friends.. One day, there was an instructor who was newly assigned to run my class for the day and she was what shaped my entire summer and changed my experience at Stage Harbor to this day. She was the sweetest most outgoing girl who sat with me during lunches and introduced me to some of the other kids, who are now some of my best friends. I strive to be like her while working at the Club so that other sailors can experience the long lasting friendships and welcoming environment of SHYC.

This summer, I am looking forward to taking US Sailing’s Level 1 training class and also its STEM certification class. I will be working with some of my fellow instructors to co-lead the STEM program this summer. Science is a favorite subject of mine in school and I’m really pleased to be able to work with students this summer, sharing my passion for science and connecting it with sailing and the marine environment on Stage Harbor.

As I have progressed from the wooden tillers in the Sprites, to capsizing in my Opti, to racing in 420s, I have learned so much more than just sailing. I’ve learned both independence and working with a team. I’ve learned discipline while also having the best time on the water. The friends I’ve made through the Club are the most amazing people and I deeply treasure the relationships I’ve made with them. The experiences and friendships created at Stage Harbor are unique to the club and cannot be replicated.




April 2017- Will Batchelder

My name is Will Batchelder and this year I am delighted to serve as the Opti Coach at SHSS. When I started sailing school at SHYC the age of seven, I, along with many others, found the prospect of leaving my parents for a few hours in the morning to be with new people learning new skills to be very daunting. While this may have been my outlook going into sailing school on the first day, it soon changed. Looking back eleven years later, I continue to come back to Stage Harbor each summer, in hope of creating new memories, spending time with old friends, and forging new friendships.

My first time in an Opti in sailing school was a great leap for me; I was all on my own. With this transition came an increase in personal responsibility and independence, while Old Mates class and Opti Race Team offered me the team component and the camaraderie that I had cherished while sailing a Sprite. I have advanced since being in an Opti, first to a 420, then to instructor and now to coach. Each transition has offered me something new, but sailing an Opti has been one of the most meaningful times for me at Stage Harbor as I learned independence and a true sense of leadership and accountability for my own actions that I keep with me dearly as a coach now.

Every school year, I can hardly wait for each summer, and my time spent at SHYC never disappoints my expectations. Over the years I have learned new skills, those pertaining specifically to the great life-long sport of sailing, but also those of teamwork, perseverance, independence, and many other life skills that extend past the waters of Stage Harbor. Just as important, though, is the great amount of fun I have had each summer, getting to know fellow students and instructors alike, and making friendships that will unequivocally last a lifetime.