ASA Featured Instructor: Captain Kira Maixner, Modern Sailing School

Captain Kira currently teaches at Modern Sailing in Sausalito where the San Francisco Bay is her playground. She has been heavily involved in building a women’s sailing program and teaches a Wind & Woman course as well. She has been boating since she was a youngster and sailing since she moved to San Francisco 6 years ago. In December 2017, Kira began working towards earning her Captain’s License, which she earned in 2018, and began teaching at Modern Sailing School in the spring of 2018. While she enjoys teaching people from all walks of life, she is most passionate when it comes to women and sailing. She strives to create an inclusive and supportive community encouraging women to take the helm. Currently, Kira has her OUPV Captains License. She is a sailing instructor and crew on USA 76 – a retired America’s Cup Yacht docked at Pier 39.

Captain Kira Maixner is this month’s Featured Instructor.

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ASA: What got you into sailing?

Captain Kira Maixner:

I started sailing in 2013 when I moved to San Francisco after joining a casual weekend race team. I thought that I would pick it up as a leisurely past time but quickly learned that it would be a way of life for me. Before I knew it, I was racing, taking sailing courses at Modern Sailing School and Club, hopping on national and international deliveries and crewing with local charters. In 2018, I earned my USCG Captain’s License and started teaching at Modern Sailing School. I also crew on USA 76, a retired IACC class America’s Cup yacht – it’s a thrill!

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ASA: What was your most memorable cruise?
Captain Kira Maixner:

When one of my students passed her ASA 101 course last Spring, she said to me, “You make sailing easy and something that is possible for women!”. That really struck me, emphasizing my mission and the reason I wanted to teach all-female courses – to empower women and help them realize that there is a spot for them on the water no matter their sailing level.

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ASA: Your favorite place to sail?
Captain Kira Maixner:

I love to sail in the San Francisco Bay – there are tons of wonderful places to race and cruise, and as the first location that I really learned to handle a boat, in big wind and strong currents, it will always have a special place in my heart. The weather is diverse, the sights are amazing, and the community is supportive. San Francisco Bay is the way to go!

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ASA: Why do you sail?
Captain Kira Maixner:

To share my love of sailing and the ocean with more people. There is no other feeling quite like the wind in your hair, water flowing over the hull while underway, or the gentle rock of a yacht at anchor. When my crew and I come back from a lesson or a pleasure cruise and everyone is happy and can’t wait to go out again, I know I’ve done my job well and shared my passion with new people.

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ASA: What do people not know about sailing that they should?

Captain Kira Maixner:

Sailing is an activity that has empowered me to “take the helm” in many aspects of my life. I’ve found that a lot of the sailing skills that I’ve learned over the years are directly transferable to my life on land. People management, clear communication, and critical thinking all come into play while sailing at any level and they come in handy in the office too.

Sailing is beautiful and calming. Sailing is empowering. It’s a direct connection to the ocean. There are so many ways to enjoy being on the water no matter the skill level. If you are looking for an activity that can give you a thrill, an ego-boost, and also be relaxing then sailing is worth a shot.

Captain Kira currently teaches at Modern Sailing in Sausalito