Meet the 2021 SHYC Junior Coaching & Sailing Instructor Team!

Kevin Gunn – SHYC Sailing & Waterfront Director

Kevin will be back for Summer 2021 as our returning Waterfront Director & Sailing Director! He comes to SHYC from New Orleans, where he is a high school teacher and the varsity sailing team coach at Ursuline Academy. He sits on the board of directors for his home club, New Orleans Yacht Club, and has spent fourteen summers teaching sailing full time. Prior to coming to SHYC he was the sailing director for two sleep away summer camps in Maine and the summer sailing director for Bay Waveland Yacht Club in Bay St. Louis, MS. Kevin grew up sailing catamarans off Texas beaches, sailed collegiately for Texas A&M Galveston, is a U.S. Sailing Small Boat Instructor Trainer, and a Level 3 Coach.  (Email Kevin)

Eli Gleason: Head Race Coach & Senior Instructor. Eli is joining SHYC in 2021 as our new Race Coach! He is a life-long sailor who grew up learning to sail and race in ECSA for the Madison Beach Club. He has competed in a variety of boat classes including Opti, C420, i420, Melges 24, J70, and more. He has been a part of various youth teams such as RIOT, Mudratz, and LIMA. He has been a junior instructor at the Madison Beach Club and has been a coach for the Mudratz Opti team. He has been a part of various youth teams such as RIOT, Mudratz, and LIMA and has competed at the highest national level of 420 sailing, including events such as the Chubb Championships and the US Youth Championship. He will be going into his Sophomore year at Hobart College in the Fall of 2021, and is a member of the Hobart & William Smith Sailing team which is ranked among the top college sailing teams in the country.  Eli will be a US Sailing Level 1 certified instructor for summer 2021.

James Vagell:  Senior Instructor.  James is back for a second summer of coaching at SHYC for Summer 2021.  He grew up sailing and race Optis on Long Island. As a teenager he moved to Madison CT and quickly found his way into 420s and onto the Madison Hand High School Sailing Team.  He was a 4-year varsity sailor for Madison Hand High School and was elected Team Captain. He also was a 4-year varsity skier for Madison Hand High School, and has been a youth ski instructor at Okemo Mountain for the past 4 winters. He spent the last 2 summers as a lead sailing instructor at the Madison Surf Club Sailing Camp.   He currently is a Sophmore at the University of Vermont and a key member of the UVM Club Sailing Team – he is also involved with fundraising and regatta scheduling.   He will be a US Sailing Level 1 certified instructor for summer 2021.

Maeve Merkle-Scotland – Senior Instructor.  Maeve is back for a second summer of coaching at SHYC for Summer 2021! Maeve grew up in Madison CT and has always loved sailing, racing, and the water. She was a 4-year varsity sailor for Madison Hand High School and was elected Team Captain her senior year.  She was responsible for organizing all of the fundraising for the team. She was also a 4-year varsity swimmer for Hand High School. She spent the last two summers as a lead sailing instructor at the Madison Surf Club Sailing Camp, and as a substitute instructor at Clinton Community Sailing.  She is an active Girl Scout and earned Gold Award in 2018 for her creation of a nature curriculum of outdoor education for elementary age kids. She is currently a Sophmore at the University of Maine and sailing on the U-Maine Sailing Club.  She is a US Sailing Level 1 certified instructor.

Issabella Merrill (Izzy) – Sailing Instructor. Izzy is back for a second summer of coaching at SHYC for Summer 2021! Izzy grew up on the Farm River in Short Beach, CT.  She began sailing at age 9, and has been sailing and racing at Yale Corinthian Yacht Club (YCYC) ever since. Her last 2 years at YCYC she was on the 420 Race Team and also a Junior Instructor for morning sailors.  For summer 2019, she was the co-head instructor at Guilford Yacht Club.  Izzy loves the outdoors, the water, coaching and working with kids; she has quite a following of young sailors who adore her. She has been on her high school varsity ski team for the last four years and was the ski team captain her senior year.  She is also a valuable member of her track team, running the 800.  Izzy is a Freshman at College of Charleston and is thrilled to have made the sailing team which is ranked #2 in the country!  While not sailing, skiing, or running you can find Izzy at Starbucks whipping up your favorite coffee drink as a barista.  Izzy will be a US Sailing Level 1 certified instructor for summer 2021.

Courtland Doyle – Sailing Instructor. Courtland joins us for his first Summer in 2021.  Courtland is a rising Senior at St. George’s School in RI, and is part of their nationally ranked high school varsity sailing team, and Varsity Squash team.  He is from Hanover, NH where he grew up ski racing in the winters and sailing and racing on Lake Mascoma and Lake Sunapee in the summers.  At LSYC, Courtland Sailed Optis, C420’s and raced in the sonar fleet. Currently, during the winters Courtland coaches ski racing for Ford Sayre Sayre Ski team, which he has been doing for three years.  Courtland also enjoys surfing, hiking, and any other water sports. He is a US Sailing Level 1 certified instructor. 

Alexandra Roesch  – Assistant Sailing Instructor.   Alexandra is joining SHYC as an Assistant Sailing Instructor for summer 2021. Alex grew up bicoastal (California!) and has been coming to Madison every summer since she was born. She spent the last three summers as a Junior Instructor at the Madison Beach Club and also participated in the Dinghy Race in 2019. She is planning on attending college in Boston Massachusetts next year.

Join Our Staff for 2022 SUMMER – email petersonwhitney@gmail.com