Harry Averill - Racing & Sailing Instructor
Harry, a rising sophomore at University of Maine, has been around the water, and on boats, his entire life. His dad, aunt, and uncle were allied 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, including the Racing Program. Harry progressed from student to volunteer, and this will be his fourth 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, and 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 third summer as a certified instructor. She is very excited to be able to pass along her love of the water and sailing.
Mari is graduating from Arlington High School in Massachusetts where she plays Lacrosse. She is headed to U Mass this fall. She loves to swim and travel.
Will Averill - Sailing Counselor in Training
Following a family tradition, Will is stepping up from sailing as a student, to the first step of becoming a certified sailing instructor. From before Sea Squirts and onward, Will has loved being on and in the water.
Will is a student at Arlington High School in MA. He enjoys baking, drawing, and hanging out with friends. He plays percussion in the school band, and is involved with ice hockey and crew. He is looking forward to being a CIT because he loves to sail, learn, and teach.
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 & STEM Instructor
The first time Ema sailed was as a young child with her dad, in Sackets Harbor. Her grandparents live in Sackets and her dad had a Sunfish there. Ema immediately fell in love with sailing and upon returning to her home in Arizona, Ema joined the Arizona Sailing Foundation, started taking classes, and has never looked back. She has sailed and raced in and on 420s, Open Bics, Fireballs, Lasers, Lightnings, Santana 20s. Last summer she had the rare privilege of joining her sailing mentor aboard the 12 Meter Easterner during the 12 Meter World trials.
After finishing high school in Arizona, where she sailed and raced with America's Cup sailor Phil Friedman, Ema moved to Sackets Harbor, attended JCC, and is graduating this spring from SUNY Oswego. She will be teaching 5th grade at H.T. Wiley Intermediate School in Watertown
Ema joined HHWSP as a volunteer at age 14. Over the years she has taught Sailing, Sea Squirts, Racing, and filled in as Life Guard. In her role as Head Instructor, Ema works on almost every aspect of the sailing programs. She is half of the STEM team, and assists with administrative paperwork and fundraising.
Ema is looking forward to this summer!
Ryan Grant - Volunteer Instructor & Staff Safety Trainer
Ryan, a native of Adams, NY, lives, with his wife and son, in Mannsville, NY. He has an absolute passion for the water, and for more than half his life, Water Sports has been the highlight of his summers.
Before he could walk, Ryan loved driving his family’s boats. His mom enrolled him in, what was then known as Sail School, starting at age 10. At age 13, Ryan began volunteering with the program. A year later, he was promoted to Volunteer Instructor being paid with chicken fingers and french fries. Throughout high school and college, Ryan taught, for US dollars, and after a brief hiatus, post college, he returned as Head Instructor teaching Sailing and Powerboat Operations. He has been with the program ever since.
In addition to being the oldest tenured instructor at Water Sports, Ryan is also an HHWSP Board Member, a professional pilot, musician, and photographer. He owns an assortment of boats and his favorite spot to boat is Henderson Bay.
Ryan works with all levels of sailing. He is in charge of staff training, program safety procedures, and helps with website/social media development.
Ryan is excited to be back on the water this summer!
Maddy Green - STEM Counselor in Training
After being a Sailing, STEM, and Safe Boating student, we are excited that Maddy is joining us as a STEM CIT this summer. 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 this summer.
Peter Harvill - Swimming Instructor & Sailing Assistant
Peter, a native of Watertown, NY started at HHWSP as Lifeguard he has taught swimming at the YMCA and City of Watertown pools. It was at HHWSP that he discovered a love for sailing. Between lifeguarding, he became a volunteer with the younger sailing classes.
In his spare time, Peter enjoys reading, writing and producing music, and singing with his a capella group the Midnight Ramblers. He is headed to Boston this fall where he will be attending Berklee College of Music.
He is excited to be back this summer.
Mary Hoffman - Volunteer Safe Boating Instructor & Volunteer Executive Director
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 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.
A music major, Mary has taught piano, early childhood music, music theory, and home school music classes for over 40 years. She taught general music K - 12 in private schools and owned a music education studio for over 30 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 Instructor
Our newest instructor, Kailey started as a Sea Squirt and worked through all levels of the programs. She spends her summers in Henderson Harbor, and the rest of the year in Woodbridge, VA.
Michelle Lawrence - STEM Instructor, NYS Safe Boating Instructor
A year round resident of Henderson Harbor, Michelle has taught at at Belleville-Henderson Central School for 20 years. She has been involved with Water Sports for the past 12 years as a parent, an HHSP Board Member, and an instructor. She was one of the organizers of the STEM Camp program. Along with Ema Davis, Michelle developed and produced a virtual STEM program in 2020.
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 in an Adult Sail class, earned a NYS Safe Boating Certificate with HHWSP, and in 2021 became a NYS certified Safe Boating Instructor.
Working with the entire range of ages in the STEM Camp programs, 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 2022!
Lauren Meirose - Lifeguard and Sailing Assistant
Dylan Rastley - Swimming and Sailing Volunteer
Dylan, from Watertown, NY and joined HHWSP in 2019 as Swim Instructor. In 2021, he assisted with the Sailing programs. Dylan is an EMT, working with the Liverpool FD and volunteering with the North Pole VFD. He is also pursuing a Emergency Management degree through the SUNY system.
Prior to joining Water Sports, Dylan taught swimming and lifeguarded for the Watertown YMCA. His job and school commitments prevent him from working full time this summer, but Dylan is happy to be able to volunteer and looks forward to getting back on and in the water!
Whitney Shirley - Sailing Instructor
Whitney, from Sackets Harbor, has been involved with Water Sports, as a student, a volunteer, and instructor, for somewhere around 12 years. She fell in love with sailing and is enthusiastically passing that 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!”
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 repair and auction helper, and in 2019 as Volunteer Adult Sailing Instructor. She looks forward to being back on the water, in her Typhoon, and sharing her love of sailing with the Adult Sail program.
Ethan Smith - Sailing Instructor
Ethan is a resident of Henderson Harbor, and graduates this year from Belleville-Henderson Central School where he is involved in Band, Swimming, and the It's Academic Team. He is an Eagle Scout, and very active within the community. Ethan will be attending Maine Maritime Academy this fall.
Starting out at age 5, as a Sea Squirt, Ethan has progressed through every sailing course offered at Water Sports. He also earned his NYS Safe Boating Certificate through Water Sports. He has enjoyed the friendships he has made at Water Sports, and looks forward to renewing those each summer. He is excited to be working for the second summer as a Sailing Instructor.