Harry Averill - Sailing & Racing Instructor
Harry, a rising senior 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 sixth year instructing.
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.
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, a resident of Henderson, teaches 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 & STEM Instructor, & 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 is also a member of the Youth Philanthropy Council of the Northern New York Community Foundation.
She learned to sail at CYC, and is excited to be getting back in and on the water for her second summer at HHWSP.
Maddy Green - STEM Instructor & Sailing Assistant
This is Maddy's third summer working with the STEM program, and her second summer as a sailing assistant. She has spent every summer of her life in Henderson Harbor and loves swimming, boating, and the water. Outside of STEM and Sailing, Maddy plays field hockey.
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 third summer instructing with HHWSP. She started as a Sea Squirt and worked through all levels of the programs.
Outside of HHWSP, she enjoys sailing and racing catamarans, and running.
Kailey spends her summers in Henderson Harbor, and this fall will be a freshman at Shenandoah University where she will be studying physical therapy and running track.
She is most excited to again be working with kids and adults to nurture and develop a love of sailing and being on the water.
Lauren Meirose - Lifeguard and Sailing Assistant
Lauren, a resident of Sackets Harbor, is rising sophomore at St. Lawrence University where she is studying Bio-chemistry and Psychology. She has been involved with HHWSP since she was a child. This will be her third year on staff.
Her hobbies include hiking, skiing, running, swimming, and sailing.
Lauren is looking forward to get back on and in the water and ensuring everyone has a safe and fun time sailing and swimming this summer.
Molly Myers - STEM & Sailing Assistant
Molly, a resident of Syracuse, spends her summers in Henderson Harbor. Like most of our staff, she learned to sail at HHWSP.
A rising junior at Nottingham High School, Molly is a member of the Honors Society, Key Club, and Girls Up. She plays volleyball and softball.
Molly is looking forward to teaching students how to be confident and in control on the water.
Laken Phillips - Sailing & Swimming Assistant
Laken, a resident of Clarence, NY, has spent every summer of her life in Henderson Harbor. She started with HHWSP as a swimming student, progressed to SeaSquirts and up through the sailing programs.
She is a freshman at Clarence High School where she plays violin, field hockey, ice hockey, and runs track. Additionally, she is a typical and adaptive coach and lifeguard for the Clarence Learn to Swim program.
Laken is looking forward to helping students make memories on the water.
Ella Poulin - Sailing Assistant
Ella has come through the ranks at HHWSP, spent last summer as a sailing CIT, and is thrilled to be a staff member.
A resident of Henderson Harbor, she is a rising senior at Belleville Henderson Central School where she is VP of both the Student Council and the Music Club, and Treasurer of her class. She is in Concert and Marching Band, a National Honor Society member, and plays softball. Ella also does cross country and downhill skiing.
She is excited to be a part of the HHWSP staff, to meet new people, and to further her skills.
Whitney Shirley - Senior Sailing Instructor
Whitney has been involved with Water Sports, as a student, a volunteer, and an instructor, for somewhere around 14 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.