Meet the 2023 SHYC Junior Coaching & Sailing Instructor Team!

Meredith McCuskey – Heading Sailing Instructor. Meredith McCuskey is joining SHYC as the Head Instructor this summer. She grew up racing Optis and 420s along the East Coast. After graduating high school, she attended Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship in Newport Beach, CA where she obtained multiple USCG, US Sailing, and US Powerboating certifications through their Professional Maritime Program. She has experience teaching on a range of boats including Opti, 420, RS Feva/Zest/Tera, J22, Sunfish, and others. Most recently, she worked as a sailmaker and a Head Instructor in  Annapolis, MD. In addition to coaching, she has participated in dinghy races, pHRF racing events, and long distance sailing trips. She also owns and races a laser named Bourgeoisea. This past December she helped deliver a boat 400 nautical miles from Carricou to St Martin.  Meredith holds a Level 3 US SAILING Head Instructor Certification and has been teaching kids how to sail since 2016.

Jamie Pullin – Senior Race Coach.  Jamie grew up sailing at Pettipaug Yacht Club in Connecticut and with Mudratz. She has experience racing in several junior regattas. Since then, she has been sailing 420’s and Ideal 18s, and has participated in Big Boat racing at Essex Yacht Club and North Cove Yacht Club. She started her coaching career as a Junior Instructor at Pettipaug Yacht Club, and worked as the Beginner OPTI Instructor and Intermediate OPTI Instructor/Race Coach North Cove Yacht Club. She is passionate about coaxing timid sailors through their first days in a boat and helping students go from leisure sailors to racers. She just finished up her Sophomore year at Occidental College in California. She is certified as a US Sailing Level 1 instructor. 

Aidan Pesce – Senior Instructor & Race Coach. Aidan is excited to join the SHYC team this summer. Aidan grew up in Connecticut, where he first found his love for sailing. Having learned to sail when he was 9 years old, Aidan has competed in many regattas and sailed for many different teams, such as North Cove Yacht Club, Pettipaug Yacht Club, and MudRatz. Aidan was also the Captain of Xavier High School’s sailing team and now is the captain of the Harvard Freshman Sailing Team. With multiple years of prior formal experience as a sailing instructor and several more as a volunteer coach, Aidan is ready to pass on his love for sailing at Sachem’s Head Yacht Club.  

Alexandra Roesch – Head of Sea Squirt Program/Sailing Coach. Alexandra is returning to SHYC in 2023 for a third to run our Sea Squirts program and serve as an assistant sailing instructor. In her first two summers. Alex developed a rapport with our youngest junior program kids and used her creativity and enthusiasm to plan a fun summer for them. Alex grew up bicoastal (California and Connecticut!) and has been coming to Madison every summer since she was born. She spent multiple summers as a Junior Instructor at the Madison Beach Club and also participated in the Dinghy Race in 2019. She is a college student in Boston, Massachusetts.

Nick Montana – Sailing Coach. Nick started sailing when he was 3 years old with his grandfather on the Connecticut River. Since then, he sailed for 7 years at Pettipaug Yacht Club, with 3 spent as a Junior Instructor. After seeing success racing 420s for the Pettipaug and Mudratz teams, Nick worked as a deckhand for 2 years, but now he is eager to return to junior sailing as an instructor to help young sailors discover their passion for sailing. Next year, Nick will be a student at Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

Claire Mikolay- Assistant Sailing Coach. Claire began sailing in 2020, participating in the SHYC race team sailing Fevas and 420’s. This is her first summer as a coach and she is thrilled to work with the program’s youngest sailors. She has experience teaching young children at her dance studio for many years and is excited to translate her skills to sailing. Next year, Claire will be a senior at Guilford High School.