Harry Averill - Sailing & Racing Instructor
Harry, a rising junior at University of Maine, has been around the water, and on boats, his entire life. His dad, aunt, and uncle were all instructors, and his grandparents were alums of the program.
Starting in sailing with Water Sports at age 7, Harry has never stopped. He has been a student in all levels of the sailing programs. Harry progressed from student to volunteer, and this will be his fifth year as an instructor.
Along with former HHWSP racing coach, Liz Wolaver, Harry qualified for the 2020 Lightning youth worlds. He truly enjoys teaching and helping to grow the program that got him into this amazing sport. He is excited to continue that into this year.
Marigold Averill - Sailing Instructor
Like her brother Harry, Mari Averill has been around the water and boats for her entire life. She began at Water Sports as a Sea Squirt and has been involved as a student, a CIT, and an instructor ever since.
This will be Mari's fourth summer as a certified instructor. She is very excited to be able to pass along her love of the water and sailing.
Mari is a rising sophomore at U Mass Amherst. She loves to swim, play lacrosse, and travel.
Lee Cagwin - Adult Sailing Volunteer Instructor
Lee began sailing, as a young boy, on Barnegat Bay in New Jersey. When he was in late elementary school, he bugged his dad constantly for a sailboat. When that didn’t happen, Lee used his paper route earnings to buy a wooden Sailfish kit and, with the help of his dad, built it. Two years later, he repeated the process with a Sunfish kit.
After graduation from college, Lee enlisted in the Navy and spent 4 years crossing the Atlantic and Pacific oceans on aircraft carriers. Following his Navy career, Lee spent 10 years working in the maritime industry, selling O’Day sailboats. He has owned a variety of sailboats and cruised the East Coast, Lake Ontario, and the Caribbean.
At Henderson Harbor Yacht Club, in the 1980s, Lee organized the original Laser Fleet and later the fleet of CR-914 radio controlled sailboats. Recently, he was a driving force in establishing a fleet of Cape Dory Typhoons. He has held multiple positions at HHYC, including Commodore. Lee and his wife are permanent residents of Henderson Harbor.
Lee has volunteered with Water Sports as a Friday Night Fun Racing assistant, and has assisted the Basic, Advanced, and Adult Sailing staff. According to Lee (and we agree wholeheartedly), “it is a wonderful experience, in retirement, to be able to assist Water Sports with their junior and adult instructional programs.”
Ema Davis - Head Instructor & Asst. Program Director
Ema graduated from SUNY Oswego, and has been teaching 5th grade at H.T. Wiley Intermediate School in Watertown.
The first time Ema sailed was as a young child with her dad, she immediately fell in love with sailing. She has sailed and raced in and on 420s, Open Bics, Fireballs, Lasers, Lightnings, Santana 20s. In 2021, she had the rare privilege of joining her sailing mentor aboard the 12 Meter Easterner during the 12 Meter World trials.
Ema joined HHWSP as a volunteer at age 14. Over the years she has taught Sailing, Sea Squirts, Racing, STEM, and filled in as Life Guard. In her role as Head Instructor, and Assistant Program Director, Ema works on and with every aspect of the programs.
She is looking forward to a great summer!
Hannah Eldridge - Swimming Instructor and Sailing Assistant
Hannah lives in Chaumont, and is a student at Watertown HS, where she competes on the women's swim team, and coaches the men's swim team. In addition to swimming, Hannah is on the track and field team, and a member of the AV program.
She learned to sail at CYC, and is excited to be getting back in and on the water with HHWSP this summer.
Maddy Green - STEM Counselor in Training
This is Maddy's second summer as a STEM CIT. She has spent every summer of her life in Henderson Harbor and loves swimming, boating, and the water. Maddy has always been interested in volunteering, especially where science is involved. Two of her favorite subjects are Math and Science. She loves learning and teaching others, and is very excited to be involved with the STEM program again this summer.
Mary Hoffman - Volunteer Executive Director & Safe Boating Instructor
Growing up in Maryland , Mary has spent her entire life on, in, and around the water. Her grandfather, a boat builder, built her first boat, a wooden skiff. Her first sailboat, a pram, was built as a winter project with her father.
Mary has had a long and diverse career in the maritime industry. She has worked in boatyards, boat dealerships, and for maritime vendors and lenders. She and her partner operate Yacht Haven of Annapolis, a marina and maritime office complex in Annapolis, Maryland.
Additionally, Mary has been teaching for over 40 years. She has taught early childhood music, general music K - 12, piano and music theory, and has owned a music education studio for over 35 years.
Her cruising experiences include the Chesapeake Bay, Lake Ontario, and up and down the Atlantic Coast. Boat deliveries have taken her through the ICW, to Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Virgin Islands. She has raced one design and keel boats both small and large, and enjoys kayaking, and fishing.
Mary volunteered to be Program Director of HHWSP in 1997 and shortly after became certified as a NYS Safe Boating Instructor. She is a certified NASBLA Instructor. In 2016 Mary was named Boating Educator of the Year by New York Sate. The same year, she was a national finalist for the Old Pulteney Maritime Heros Awards.
Passionate about introducing youth and adults to the joys of water sports and safe boating, Mary feels very blessed to have worked, for years, with amazingly dedicated and loyal staff , Board members, and families.
Kailey Lamont - Sailing & Racing Instructor
This is Kailey's second summer instructing with HHWSP. She started as a Sea Squirt and worked through all levels of the programs. She enjoys sailing and racing catamarans. Kailey spends her summers in Henderson Harbor, and the rest of the year in Woodbridge, VA where she is active with the track and cross country teams.
Michelle Lawrence - STEM Instructor, NYS Safe Boating Instructor, and Assistant Program Director
A year round resident of Henderson Harbor, Michelle has taught at at Belleville-Henderson Central School for over 20 years. She has been involved with Water Sports for the past 12 years as a student, parent, Board Member, and an instructor. She was one of the original organizers of the STEM program, and a driving force behind the joint HHWSP/Henderson Recreation joint program. In addition to the STEM program, Michelle teaches Boater Safety, assists with administrative and planning work, and jumps in - sometimes literally - to help with the sailing programs.
Michelle grew up spending summers at a family camp on Skaneatelas Lake and it was there that she learned to sail. She refreshed her sailing skills at HHWSP in an Adult Sail class, earned a NYS Safe Boating Certificate with HHWSP, and in 2021 became a NYS certified Safe Boating Instructor.
Michelle loves introducing students to Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math through a range of fun, water based activities. She can't wait to share new STEM material in 2023!
Lauren Meirose - Lifeguard and Sailing Assistant
Lauren, a resident of Sackets Harbor, is a senior at the Sackets Harbor Central School. As of this writing, she hasn't made a decision on a college, but we know wherever she goes, she will have great success. She is a member of NHS, the Spanish Honor Society, and plays varsity soccer. Her hobbies include hiking, swimming, and sailing. She has been involved in Water Sports for many years. Lauren is looking forward to, once again, being part of the Water Sports staff and ensuring everyone has a safe and fun time this summer.
Whitney Shirley - Sailing Instructor
Whitney has been involved with Water Sports, as a student, a volunteer, and an instructor, for somewhere around 13 years. As a child, she fell in love with sailing and enthusiastically passes her love for the sport along to her students.
A graduate of Sackets Central School, Whitney works for American Airlines and is thrilled her position allows her to also teach at HHWSP.
Whitney works with all levels of sailing and is happy to hop in wherever needed. She feels that sailing is a lifelong activity and a skill that can be both competitive and relaxing. In her own words, “Passing on a love for sailing is such a privilege, I always look forward to each summer with HHWSP!” We all know it is a privilege to have Whitney teaching with us.
Nancy Siemon - Adult Sailing Volunteer Instructor
Nancy grew up boating on Lake Erie and the Erie Canal. As a newlywed, she and her husband canoed extensively. While on a canoe trip in Minnesota, they found a styrofoam sailboat, with all its parts, sitting next to a garbage can with a sign stating “For free or trash”. They couldn’t resist. That began a lifelong love affair with sailing. In the almost 50 years since, they progressed from styrofoam to a Penguin, a Lightning, a Hunter sloop, and a Typhoon.
While sailing on Lake Ontario in 2012, they stopped by HHYC for an overnight. A member invited them to join a Club dinner, and they were hooked. They moved their boat and joined the Club a year later, primarily so their granddaughters could attend HHWSP. The next step was to purchase a camp in Henderson Harbor.
Nancy retired from a career in education. Her last position was Math Professor at Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden, NY. She and her husband Ed, when not at their Henderson Harbor camp, live in Ithaca. In addition to sailing, Nancy is an accomplished musician. She plays the Oboe and English Horn with the Ithaca Community Orchestra, Ithaca Concert Band, and an octet. She and a pianist friend also play nursing home gigs.
Nancy has been active with HHWSP as a grandparent, former Board member, tireless volunteer, sail repairer, and auction helper. In 2019 she began as a Volunteer Adult Sailing Instructor. NAncy also heads up a joint HHWSP/HHYC women's sailing program. She looks forward to being back on the water, in her Typhoon, and sharing her love of sailing with the Adult Sail and WOW programs.