The SCYA Women’s Boating Event presents the top coaches in the Southern California area. Each one will bring their skills, knowledge and experience into the workshops. Here are short boating biographies on the coaches you will see on the water and in the classroom.
CAPTAIN DEBBIE HUNTSMAN
Debbie is our featured speaker on Saturday, US Sailing Pool Experience, on the water coach
Debbie Huntsman holds a USCG license with decades of experience teaching and practicing boating safety. Her background includes 20+ years in the small boat crew program with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, where she was qualified as crew and coxswain. Debbie has taught basic boating safely courses for the states of Utah, Arizona and Louisiana and has presented safety seminars at both Gail Hine presents Sailing Convention for Women and the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) Confernece in Massachusetts. Debbie organized, conducted, and instructed at a U.S. Sailing Safety at Sea Seminar at MIT and organized women’s Safety at Sea events through NWSA for the Cruising Club of America in Rhode Island and the Northwest Maritime Center in Washington. Debbie is currently the president of the National Women’s Sailing Association which has given her the opportunity to work with many notable women sailors. At the end of her term as president in September, Huntsman plans to become a regular presenter and co-moderator for US Sailing Safety at Sea Seminars.
Debbie sails out of San Diego, CA
CAPTAIN JANE THOMAS
WORKSHOP LEADER: Beginning Sailing
I learned to sail in Lake Huron in junior college, and moved aboard a boat in northern California in 1980. My husband and I cruised in Mexico for 3 years in the late 1980s, returned to build a bigger boat (from a bare hull), and moved to Oxnard in 2003. Now, I am retired from a career in clinical research and we spend most of our time aboard our (nearly-finished) 55’ 3-masted schooner in Channel Islands Harbor.
About 14 years ago I was drafted to skipper an all-women crew for a lady-driver race at my home yacht club. I was hooked and have skippered an all-women racing team ever since. In addition to local racing around Ventura and Channel Islands Harbors, I have participated in the LEMWOD Regatta every year since 2011.
I hold a USCG Captain’s License, 50GRT Master, Inland; 50GRT Mate, Near Coastal; with Sailing and Assistance Towing Endorsements
Captain Jane sails out of Channel Islands
CAPTAIN KARYN JONES
WORKSHOP LEADER: Beginning Sailboat Racing – Lead Coach
Karyn’s career in racing began in 1998 when an invitation to sail to Catalina Island turned out to be a DRYC’s Berger Series Race. After that she was hooked and scheduled most of her weekdays and weekends with different teams in an effort to race as much as possible. She began one design racing in the J-24 class in 2002, which lead her from San Francisco to San Diego the California Road Series. This lead her to match racing from 2003 – today.
While competing at the 24 foot level she was also invited to sail PHRF on a Farr 39.5 ML team for several years, and then moved on to join and compete with many mid-sized One Design racing teams. Over the years, she’s raced on a large number of boats from 11- 70 feet, both locally and offshore. She is currently on a match racing team that allows her to compete in both National and International One Design events and sails her C-15 in the local dinghy regattas.
Captain Karyn Jones holds her USCG OUPV Captains License
Captain Karyn sails out of Marina del Rey
CAPTAIN MIKE BLECHER
WORKSHOP LEADER: Captain Mike’s Famous “Simple Celestial”
Captain Mike Blecher is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. He has a degree in Nautical Science, and is a highly trained and experienced professional navigator. The Captain and his sextant have navigated all over the planet.
Additionally, he is a lifelong yachtsman, with considerable passage making and ocean sailing experience.
Captain Mike and his wife Barbie sail out of Marina del Rey, CA, and are currently preparing their yacht for yet another trip to warmer latitudes.
Capt. Mike served as Commodore of California Yacht Club in 2018.
CAPTAIN MARIE ROGERS
WORKSHOP LEADER: Transpac Dreams
SCYA Director, LAYC Staff Commodore Marie Rogers, started sailing 34 years ago, she has been racing for 23 years. As an ASA Sailing Instructor the Commodore ran beginning and other sailing classes out of LAYC. Captain Rogers completed the the 2019 Transpac, and holds a 50 Ton USCG Captain’s License.
Captain Marie is the 2020 recipient of the prestigious SCYA Peggy Slater Award. She sails out of Marina del Rey & Cabrillo Beach, CA
WORKSHOP LEADER: Beginning Sailing
Jennifer learned how to sail about 12 years ago. She started with a couple of courses to understand the basics. Then started to race dinghies, racing a Lido 14 in Marina Del Rey today. As her kids got bigger she and her husband Chris bought a Ranger 33, which they have been cruising and racing on for the last 6 years. Jen branched out to bigger boat racing with friend’s in the Wednesday night series. She really got hooked after racing her first Newport to Ensenada race in 2019. Now she has two Newport to Ensenada races, and two Santa Barbara to King Harbor races in her sailing log. Jennifer says, “I think you learn best by doing and I am looking forward to meeting you on Zephyr!”
Jen sails out of Marina del Rey
Dr. BRIA ANNA WHITE
WORKSHOP LEADER: Sail and Fabric Repair
Dr. Bria White is the 2021 Vice Commodore of the Women’s Sailing Association of Santa Monica Bay. She currently owns several vessels in Dolphin Marina and seeks to share her love for the water with anyone who will listen. While she is relatively new to sailing, a former powerboat owner, she is an expert seamstress. She began sewing at age five and over the past four years she has broadened her skillset to include canvas work and sail repairs. In 2018, she was featured on Sailrite’s Meet Our Customers blog, “Woman on the Water: The Odyssey of Bria White.” Since then, Bria has upgraded from her Catalina 30 to an O’Day 39. Most recently, she has restored all the canvas to its original glory and is currently working on custom chaps and a cover for her Achilles dinghy.
Professionally, she has proven herself as a business strategist with the ability to simultaneously manage a diverse portfolio of multimillion-dollar enterprise IT projects. She is also an USC Adjunct Professor and the author of several books, including one bestseller, and a notable public speaker.
Dr. White sails out of Marina del Rey
WORKSHOP LEADER: Sail Trim
Naomi has been sailing since she was 9 years old when she discovered her talent and passion for reading navigation charts on Lakes in Quebec. The family’s boat was a Mistral 16 which she sailed on lakes near Montreal.
Fast forward to moving to the desert! When Las Vegas became home, her husband and she really immersed themselves in sailing. Naomi served as Cruising Captain (2018) for the Nevada Yacht Club and was in charge of organizing and recruiting students for the Club’s bi-annual sail training weekends. Her passion for getting more women on the water led her to organize the Club’s first Women in Sailing Mini Conference which also included a race. Naomi is an active crew member in the NYC’s race series on a Soverel 33, which includes the Lake’s famous 72 mile non-stop endurance race. She Skippers a Catalina 27 and owns a Coronado 25 “Swingin’ Dixie” for cruising on Lake Mead and for conducting private sailing lessons for adults.
Naomi is a certified American Sailing Association basic keelboat Instructor (ASA201). She is also certified to teach the United States Power Squadron’s SAIL Course. She holds a Captain’s Level V Certification from NauticEd and achieved a score of 100% in the ASA105 Coastal Navigation Exam. She also holds a Nevada Boating Education Certificate (NASBLA license), and has completed the Power Squadron Boater’s Weather Course.
She is the creator and designer of a line of nautical themed jewelry and apparel for her online store at https://www.boatLUV.com, an online experience to help inspire women on all waypoints of their voyage to gain confidence on shore and at the helm.
Naomi sails out of Lake Mead
CAPTAIN LORI KLAIDMAN
WORKSHOP LEADER: Heavy Weather Sailing
Growing up on an old, large Monk ocean cruiser, Lori Klaidman began life on the water with her parents and four siblings in Southern California. Her family cruised different and various areas, opening up the world as an experience. As a teenager, Lori became a champion Hobie Cat racer, being the first woman skipper to compete in a world championship. Eventually she graduated to cruising catamarans, such as the Hirondelle 23, which she would single hand daily in and out of Marina Del Rey during different weather conditions. A few years later she purchased another popular English-designed catamaran; an Iroquois 32 which she sailed in the North Bay of San Francisco, before sailing it down to Marina Del Rey, visiting the islands off of our California coast. More recently she purchased her first blue water catamaran, a Privilege 39, which she delivered from Quebec City (on the East Coast), through the Panama Canal, and back up the Pacific side to her native Marina del Rey, California. After winding down from a career as a Research Scientist, Lori is now an ASA certified sailing instructor and has obtained her 100 Ton USCG Captain’s license. Lori can often be seen on weekends either single-handing, entertaining crowds of “land people” to the fun of sailing in the Santa Monica Bay or pursuing her love of introducing sailing to others.
Captain Klaidman will be bringing her 40′ catamaran, MEANT TO BE to the Event, is 40 X 21”. MEANT TO BE has been around the world two time and around North America with Lori.
Lori sails out of Marina del Rey, CA
WORKSHOP LEADER: Confident Short Handed Sailing and Suddenly Alone
Margie sails out of Marina del Rey, CA
Christine sails out of Marina del Rey and is a Women’s Boating Event Team Member
WORKSHOP LEADER: Crash Course in Cruising & Horizon Calling
Stacy began sailing in the mid-1990s by buying a Kelly Peterson 44, S/V Rhiannon, and becoming a live-aboard in Marina del Rey. In 2009, she crewed her first race, Marina del Rey to Puerta Vallarta. After doing the Baja Bash, she started doing boat deliveries with friends, accumulating over 15,000 blue water miles and becoming an avid racer, currently on Wolfhound, an 11-meter Ron Holland design. Four summers ago, Wolfhound was invited to the 11-Meter worlds in Sweden and Norway and won 2nd. Stacy is still living aboard Rhiannon, still learning about her, and racing.
Stacy sails out of Marina del Rey, CA
WORKSHOP LEADER: Easy Electrical – 12 Volt Basics
Judy began sailing in the late 90’s when she took her first Lido 14 class at OCC. After moving up to the Shields and then taking a trip on the Alaska Eagle, she decided it was time to purchase her own sailboat. That sailboat is a Catalina 30 that she continues to sail out of Long Beach. In addition to sailing “Takulli” she also enjoys the maintenance aspect of owning a sailboat and she enjoys sharing that knowledge with other women sailors. Judy is very involved with the LB Women’s Sailing Association, Sea Gals and Shoreline Yacht Club and she also enjoys racing on the Cal20’s from SYC and the Catalina 37’s from the LBSF.
Judy sails out of Alamitos Bay
Intermediate Sailing AM & PM – Rascal
Monica became interested in sailing when she moved to Los Angeles from Massachusetts. Not knowing much about sailing, but being an avid white water rafter and canoer, she took sailing lessons at California Sailing Academy. Not long afterward, she bought her first boat, Fender Bender. During this time, she joined SCCYC and began racing on other peoples boats. Several years later she sold Fender Bender and then partnered in a Martin 242, Predator, and got into one-design racing. After selling Predator, she now partners in the boat Rascal, a Hunter 37.5, racing and cruising it in MDR. She is a Staff Commodore of SCCYC, and a current member of WSA. Monica has been sailing and racing for 40 years, with countless number of trophies under her belt. Most recently, Monica has been hanging out at Rascal’s mooring L11 in the Isthmus harbor.
Monica sails out of Marina del Rey, CA
WORKSHOP LEADER: Boat Maintenance & Repair
Thomas Lehtonen is the owner operator of a yacht maintenance/repair company located in Marina del Rey, CA, Thomas Marine. Lehtonin came to Marina del Rey from the Island of St. Thomas U.S.V.I. where he worked and trained in the marine industry as a commercial diver, submersible co-pilot/technician, and as a first mate/engineer on a 50’ Catamaran charter boat.
Thomas first ran a local Dive service when he first got to the Marina in 1990; he took care of underwater maintenance and boat repairs. He worked as a marine technician for a local marine service, then from 2000 to 2009 he was operations/yard manager at Windward Yacht Center in MdR.
From rigging, marine electronics design and implementation, to engine service and repair, he is always in demand by his clients. Thomas sails and races his beautifully restored Cal 36 with, among others, class wins in the 2019 & 2021 N2E Races.
Thomas sails out of Marina del Rey, CA
ROSALIE DAVIS GREEN
Rosalie is our featured speaker Sunday Lunch and a WORKSHOP LEADER: Intermediate Sailing
Rosalie was exposed to sailing on one childhood summer vacation and loved it. She reawakened her interest in sailing when she moved to Southern California as a young adult. She enrolled in sailing classes and got out on the water often. She joined WSASMB for camaraderie and to open up more sailing opportunities. She day sails, cruises and does a little racing. She bareboat chartered in Tonga. She and her husband bare boated in BVI, the San Juan Islands and Tahiti and cruised on a friend’s boat from Puerto Rico to Jamaica by way of the Dominican Republic and lie-a-Vache, Haiti. They raced their Catalina 380 locally as well as raced in the 2007 Marina del Rey to Puerta Vallarta race in cruiser class. The Greens cruised to La Paz, Mexico in 2019 in their Beneteau 44.7. Rosalie is certified as an ASA instructor. She taught sailing in the Boys and Girls Club of Venice after school sailing program and sailing summer camp. She is a past commodore of WSASMB and Past President of the International Blue Gavel. Rosalie enjoys sharing her love of sailing with others.
Rosalie sails out of Long Beach, CA
WORKSHOP LEADER: Anchors Aweigh and Mooring Balls Too
Melody learned to sail on lakes and reservoirs in Indiana in the 70s. In those days it was camaraderie, problem solving and challenge that brought her to the sport. Forty years later she still sails for the same reasons. Whether day sailing, cruising, fixing things (or just talking about it)—sailing has been an integral part of Melody’s professional and personal life, emotional health, intellectual stimuli, and leadership development over the years.
Melody sails out of Marina del Rey, CA
WORKSHOP LEADER: Demystify the VHF DSC Radio
Norm holds a General HAM license (KE6GAJ) and has sailed several boats he has owned for nearly 50 years. He was an active member of SMWYC serving as cruise chairman for several years as well as Port Captain. He is currently a member of Del Rey Yacht Club and has conducted several seminars, all relating to electronics on boats. He is also very active in Fairwind Yacht Club as the Chairman of the Electronics Committee. He also taught sailing for Northrup Grumman both on the water and in the classroom. Norm had been the Race Chairman for the City of Hope Regatta for 8 years, in which WSA had participated. In 2011, he was awarded the ASMBYC David Poe Memorial Yachting Service Award.
Norm sails out of Marina del Rey, CA
WORKSHOP LEADER: Junior Match Racing
Steve sails out of Marina del Rey, CA
CAPTAIN WENDY SARNOFF
WORKSHOP LEADER: So, You Want to Become a Sailing Instructor? & MOB
Welcome to Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht club! Commodore Wendy Sarnoff is an ASA instructor evaluator who teaches instructor evaluators for American Sailing Association. Additionally Capt. Wendy teaches the USCG 100 ton courses with both sailing and towing endorsements. Her passion is families on the water, new to sailing starting from diapers to dingies, day-sails to distance cruises, cruising racing, catamarans and monohulls. As lead instructor for Marina Sailing in Southern California (which extends from San Diego to Channel Islands providing both instruction and charters in all 5 affiliates), she works with management, designing curriculum for instructors, to assist sailors in safe and fun sailing.
Wendy sails out of Marina del Rey, CA
WORKSHOP LEADER: Auxiliary Sailboats in Close Quarters (Docking)
Susan has sailed for 21 years, beginning as a lake sailor on Lake Travis, in Austin Texas . She has owned five sailboats starting with a Catalina 22, and currently owns a Catalina 36.
In 2003, after completing ASA 101, 103 and 104, she attained a certificate to Bareboat Charter. Susan has chartered sailboats twice in Greece, in 2016 and 2018, and chartered in the Sea of Cortez in 2019. In November 2020 she completed the Nada HaHa (San Diego to Cabo San Lucas).
Completing Basic Cruising 1 and Weather for Sailors at OCC School of Sailing and Seamanship, Susan has also taken their 5 day Northern Channel Islands US Sailing Certification Course aboard their Catalina 42. Skills taught during this course included sail trim, helmsmanship, anchoring, navigation and watch standing.
She currently Skippers on the Hiatus, a Catalina 30 sailboat owned by the Laguna Woods Yacht Club taking 5-6 sailors out of Dana Point for day sails several times a month and is responsible for the boat and safety of the crew.
Susan sails out of Long Beach, CA
CAPTAIN THEMIS GLATMAN
WORKSHOP LEADER: Sail Trim & Balance
Captain Themis got into sailing, thanks to friends. She enjoyed it so much, she took classes at Bluewater Sailing, an ASA sailing school in the Marina Del Rey area. She successfully completed Basic Keel Boat, Coastal Cruising, Bareboat Chartering and Coastal Navigation classes . She became qualified to charter Mooring Yachts, and has done so in St Lucia in the Caribbean, as well as Athens Greece.
Soon boat deliveries followed, including: Mazatlan, MX to Marina Del Rey, Ensenada, MX to Santa Barbara, Tortola, BVI to Newport, RI, San Francisco to Marina del Rey, and others.
She now holds a USCG Captain’s License and continues to do paid deliveries across the West Coast and beyond. Her credits include winning various sailboat races, regattas and double handed events around Southern California.
She is currently Staff Commodore of Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club as well as a Director for the Southern California Yachting Association. She just volunteered to be a Director on the board for the Recreational Boaters of California to fight for boater’s rights in Sacramento. She is also passionate about the environment and volunteers her time with the “Overdue” organization, which collects trash from the streets in Los Angeles and helps them recycle.
Themis sails out of Marina del Rey, CA
Workshop Leader: Power Boating in Close Quarters
David began sailing at the age of 6 years and has been progressing from a Junior sailor on Sabots, Lasers and FJ’s to a club racer on Catalina 30, 36, 38, 42 for the past 40 + years. He also has raced with the Duchess crew for the past 35+ years. Growing up in a boating family David practically lived on the water his whole life and would never trade this experience for anything. He is currently a live aboard on an Irwin 54 and has cruising experience from San Francisco to Bar Navidad MX. An aficionado of all things nautical he has progressed in his piloting and sailing skills and carries a 100 ton captain and is excited about launching XTasy Cruises (www.xtasycruises.com) taking guests to great adventures on Catalina and nearby Channel Islands. David can be found aboard Glissade with his girlfriend Heather, and his two amazing junior sailors Ben and Carrie who have all developed a love for the sea and the distant shores.
David sails out of Marina del Rey, CA
WORKSHOP LEADER: Lines – Lines – Splicing – Knots
Jerome Sammarcelli was born in Bordeaux, France and is a naturalized U.S. Citizen. He grew up sailing on the family’s boats and enjoyed cruising as well as racing from dinghies to keelboats.
Jerome moved to the USA in 2000 and decided to make a living out of his passion in 2006. Promoting sport boats at first, then building the high-tech boats in the USA, Jerome continues to put hours on and off the water to promote the sport that he loves so much.
Sammarcelli has participated in multiple singlehanded crossings of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. His company, SAILUTIONS, specializes in singlehanded offshore sailing boat prep; from boat design, electronics choices, and installation, rigging, safety and more.
Jerome is staff commodore of PSSA and SBYRC. He was elected ASMBYC Yachtsman of the Year in 2011. Today, Jerome is still a very active sailor in Marina del Rey aboard his – new to him – Columbia Carbon 32 which he hopes to race to Hawaii next summer.
Jerome sails out of Marina del Rey, CA
ON THE WATER COACHES
Coach: Intermediate Sailing on Rascal
Coach: Intermediate Sailing on Rascal
Coach: Intermediate Sailing on Blue Star
CAPTAIN HEATHER GIFT
Coach: Transpac Dreams on Marie
Coach: Intermediate Sailing, NAOS Beneteau
Coach: Beginning Sailing on Zephyr
Coach: Anchors Aweigh and Mooring Balls Too
Coach: Confident Short Handed Sailing
Coach: Beginning Racing – M242
Saturday’s Cruising Life on his boat Glissade
Workshop Leader: Intermediate Sailing
CAPTAIN SUNSHINE JEN
Coach: Beginning Racing M242