Category Archives: Instructors

The Coast Guards New PFD Labeling

Coast Guard Announces New PFD Labeling

By Jeff Riecks, ASA Standards Coordinator

Recently the US Coast Guard (USCG) issued a final rule entitled Personal Flotation Devices Labeling and Standards. The rule became effective on October 22, 2014 and removes references to type codes in its regulations on the carriage and labeling of USCG-approved personal flotation devices (PFDs). From the rule published in the Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 183 / September 22, 2014, the USCG states: “Removing type codes from our regulations will facilitate future incorporation by reference of new industry consensus standards for PFD labeling that more effectively convey safety information, and is a step toward harmonization of our regulations with PFD requirements in Canada and in other countries.”

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IQC at Sea Safaris Sailing School

Cold Hands, Warm Hearts

Conducting an Instructor Qualification Clinic (IQC) in April on Lake Michigan can be a roll of the dice weatherwise. Over the 3.5 days of our clinic (ASA 201, 203, 205) we experienced chilly conditions and one day were rained out completely – but as any good sailors, we adjusted and worked through the requirements of the clinic and were blessed graduation day with perfect weather spring weather. This group of instructors came from both far and near – as far north as Sturgeon Bay in Northern Wisconsin as well as local sailors to Chicago. Hosted by Sea Safaris Sailing School and Captain Brian Earl, ASA IE, all of these sailors were accustom to the vagaries of early season sailing.

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news-2015-05-14 Brenton

Soul Sailor

Outstanding Instructor Spotlight

Brenton Lochridge lives and breathes sailing. After learning how to sail at a local YMCA camp on the Chesapeake Bay at seven, he caught the bug and kept on sailing. By the time he hit his teens, he would be on a boat nearly every day.

At 22, Lochridge had hundreds of miles under his belt and started his own sailing school. He currently owns Black Rock Sailing School where he has been an ASA instructor since 2008. Over the 20-years he has been teaching, Brenton has sailed countless hours on many different kinds of boats and says all the experience has, of course, shaped him as an instructor, one worthy enough to be recognized as one of ASA’s Outstanding Instructors.

“Over the years, I have become a jack of all trades and master of some,” said Lochridge. “I have sailed year round since 1995 on a wide range of craft – including windsurfers, high performance dinghies, a wide variety of racing and cruising monohulls up to 65-feet, and racing catamarans up to 48-feet.

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IQC 203 Sailing Instructor Graduates

Raising the Bar at R&R

ASA would like to congratualate the latest group of sailing instructor graduates from an IQC hosted by R&R Charters and Sail School in Maryland.

The Instructor Qualification Clinic (IQC) hosted multiple groups of instructors from April 24 through April 29. There were candidates for the ASA 201 Basic Keelboat, ASA 203 Basic Coastal Cruising, ASA 204 Bareboat Cruising, and ASA 218 Docking Endorsement.

“The weather was great with very nice winds and the 204 students had some of the best sailing we’ve seen since last fall.” reported David Renoll, Instructor Evaluator and owner of R&R Charters and Sail School. He went on to comment how “IQC candidates can vary so much from one year to the next, and the sailors in this IQC were great and will be excellent representatives for ASA.”.

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Outstanding Instructor - Yonatan Bresler

From the Navy to Owning His Own Sailing School

Outstanding Instructor Spotlight 

Outstanding Instructor - Yonatan Bresler

As a child, sailing instructor Yonatan Bresler found his love for sailing aboard Lasers and catamarans with his father in the waters of Israel. As he grew older and his sailing skills developed, they moved up to chartering yachts in Greece almost every summer. It was a sailing upbringing like this that has formed Yonatan into one of the American Sailing Association’s Outstanding Instructors.

After serving in the Navy as an officer for seven-years and then as a sailing instructor for a few more, he and a friend founded Sea Time Sailing Club in Tel Aviv. Continue reading


He Owes It All to a Garbage Bag

Outstanding Instructor Spotlight

Outstanding Instructor Steve Klump

Few men can credit a garbage bag for leading them towards the career of their dreams, but Steve Klump does just that.

“I became instantly hooked on sailing through an ‘ah-ha’ moment while canoeing downwind in Everglades National Park using a garbage bag as a sail,” Steve says of the inspiration. “From that day forward I progressed through all sorts of sailing craft.”

Always an outdoorsman, Klump is a former Ranger with the National Park Service where he spent many an afternoon hiking in the serenity of the deep woods and mountains. Continue reading

Black Rock Sailing School

Fair Winds and at Least Two Cup Holders!

Outstanding Instructor Spotlight

Paul SullivanBlack Rock Sailing School’s twenty-four-year-old ASA Sailing Instructor Paul Sullivan caught the sailing bug young, sailing his Sunfish around the small lake of his hometown. A self-described sailing addict, Sullivan lived for sailing.

As his skilled progressed he raced in high school and college but after countless bruises on his knees and shins, the young sailaholic started to appreciate boats with a bit more room and comfort.

“I had outgrown the Vanguard 420 and all the knee and shin bumping associated with it,” Sullivan says. “I left the world of roll tacks and team racing to enjoy the good life, establishing my new mantra; I will only sail a boat with at least two cup-holders.”

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Outstanding Instructor - Matthew Holt

Living the Dream!

Outstanding Instructor Spotlight

There are a lucky few people in this world who get to live their life just as they had hoped – ASA sailing instructor at Sunsail BVI, Matthew Holt, or Big Red as he is also known, is one of these people.

Matthew teaches sailing in one of the most beautiful places in the world, the British Virgin Islands and fully understands and appreciates how fortunate a person he is. BVI, consisting of four main islands and over 50 smaller islands, is truly an incredible cruising ground for sailors who seek out the idyllic.

“I consider myself very lucky to call the British Virgin Islands home. As a boy, I dreamed of getting paid to take people sailing,” Holt says. “Now I do.”

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News - ASA Credentials

Latest IQC Graduates

IQC Graduates
Left to right standing are Anal Pal, Alex Athougies, Bob Diamond, Mark Thurber and Darren Gray. Seated are Alexander Ohlgart and John Zolck.

The most recent Instructor Qualification Clinic at Spinnaker Sailing in Redwood City (in the southern part of San Francisco Bay) began last Friday, January 16. Last weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) was the Basic Keelboat Instructor Clinic for the six candidates in shown in the picture above.

The clinic continues another weekend, January 24-25 for BCC and BBC (see complete 2015 IQC Schedule). Mark is continuing to Basic Coastal Cruising on Saturday. Anil and Alexander are continuing all the way through Bareboat Cruising. One more candidate (not in the photo) will be joining us next weekend. Darrell Wooten is already a Basic Coastal Cruising Instructor and will be upgrading to Bareboat Instructor.

If you look closely in the photo you’ll see the shirt Anil is wearing is from ASA St. Martin Flotilla. He’s been a skipper in the Spinnaker flotillas a number of times in Europe and the Caribbean. In April he’s going to be a skipper in our Tahiti flotilla and now as a certified Bareboat instructor.

Alexander is already a German licensed sailor and is the owner of a Beneteau 39 in the Spinnaker fleet. He has also earned his ASA Celestial Navigation certification. Nearly all of the candidates have been sailing and have taken classes at Spinnaker.

Congratulations to all our graduating instructors and good to all those continuing their instructor education.


2014 Outstanding Instructors

ASA’s Outstanding Instructors are selected each year solely as a result of student surveys.  Based on the volume of student feedback received throughout the year, instructors are placed into one of three groups.

The award then goes to the top ten highest average scores in each group.  Considering that there are over two thousand active ASA instructors, this places the Outstanding Instructors in the top 1½% of their peers for quality education as judged by their own customers.

All Outstanding Instructors receive an ASA 1/4 Zip Contrast Collar Dry Shirt including the ASA Logo and moniker “Outstanding Sailing Instructor”, as shown above.

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