Drew Skelton found his way into sailing through the Boy Scouts of America program and has been a waterman ever since. As a kid he sailed his own Snark 14 on a local lake and continued to hone his skills as he grew up. In 2006 he began pursuing ASA certifications and after a good amount of sailing and hard work he became an instructor. Today, as owner of Blown Away Sailing in Rock Hall, Maryland, he is recognized as one of ASA’s Outstanding Instructors.
“I’ve always enjoyed working with and teaching people new skills,” Skelton says. “I find it rewarding to watch people’s reactions and emotions as they take the helm for the first time doing seven or eight knots.”
Skelton has been a certified instructor since 2008 and takes the responsibility of teaching seriously. He’s mindful of the differences in how people process information and also of the apprehension some students have to such a new and unique activity.
“I always remind myself that people learn differently and try to identify these differences very early in the session to ensure a high quality experience,” he says. “I also maintain a sense of humor and keep it light during our classes. Sailing can be an intimidating activity for some and attempt to make it fun and safe while the students are gaining confidence in piloting the boat.”
When he’s not teaching Skelton likes to get his sail on. He’s chartered in the US Virgin Islands, St. Martin, St. Bartholomew and Anguilla. This year he plans to make his way to the British Virgin Islands and it’s this kind of adventurous attitude he looks to pass on to his students.
“Don’t let your fears or anxiety get in the way of pursuing your sailing dream,” Skelton stated. “It can lead you and your family to some awesome destinations and experiences.”