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Meet the 2020 SHYC Junior Sailing Instructor Team!

Bruno Verdino – Head 420 Coach & SHYC Program Head.  Bruno will be joining the SHYC coaching team from Argentina as our lead 420 Race Team Coach. He will also be our Program Head Coach.  Over his coaching career, Bruno has coached and mentored over 300 sailors.  Bruno has had tremendous success in both the Optimist and 420s, as both a sailor and a coach.  He has competed at the national, regional, and international level, and has also been the lead coach for travel Opti and 420 squads at competitions far and wide. He has coached the 420, 29er, and Optimist National Argentinian Teams at the South American Champs. While he will be the Head 420 Coach at SHYC, he will share his expertise and talents with our Opti & Feva Coaches, and Opti & Feva sailors.   Bruno loves working with all levels of sailors and racers and is looking forward to working with the SHYC sailors and families.   He is a certified World Sailing Level 1 Technical Coach and also accredited by the International Coach Federation.

Ryan Squires: Head Opti Race Coach & Senior Instructor. Ryan is returning for a second year to SHYC!  He is a life-long sailor who grew up sailing and racing all types of boats at the Hoover Sailing Club in Ohio.  He has competed in a variety of boats including: Opti, Thistle, Flying Scot, 420, FJ, Laser, Laser Radial, Byte, and more. He was a sailing coach at Hoover Sailing Club for the many summers, teaching a range of sailor levels including beginners, intermediate, Opti Race, 420 Race. Last summer he was a private coach for competitive Opti and 420 travel teams around the mid-west. As a youth he was on the USODA Nationals Team Racing Team for Opti. He also trained with one of the top Opti programs in the Country, LOOT (Lake Ontario Optimist Team).  He also represented his club at multiple Chubb Champs and won many regional competitions and sportsmanship awards. He is currently a Junior at Miami University in Ohio.  He will be a US Sailing Level 2 certified instructor for summer 2020.


Niamh Davies – Head Feva Race Coach & Head of Feva Programs.  Niamh is joining us from the UK and is a RS FEVA rockstar!  She is an accomplished racer in many classes, including she has competed in 4 FEVA Nationals and 4 FEVA World championships, finishing as high as 3rd at the Worlds in Italy.  She has been sailing and racing her whole life.  Prior to sailing FEVAs, she competed nationally and on the World level in RS Teras and RS 200s.  She is currently in University, studying to be an Outdoor Youth Educator.  She spent the last few summers as an Outdoor Instructor at a camp in the UK, where she was the lead sailing instructor, and also taught other sports including archery, biking, and climbing. She loves coaching and working with sailors and athletes at all levels. She is certified by the Royal Yachting Association in Dinghy Instruction, Racing, Powerboating, Safety Boats, SafeSport, and more.


James Vagell:  Assistant Race Coach & Senior Instructor.  James 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 Freshman 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 2020.

Maeve Merkle-Scotland – Senior Instructor.  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 Freshman at the University of Maine and sailing on the U-Maine Sailing Club. She will be a US Sailing Level 1 certified instructor for summer 2020.