GGYC’S High School Sailing Program
Head Coach: Alex Salogub
Coaches: Brett Davis, Sarah Davis, Piers Blewett, Phil Barow, Chase Bargeman, Natasha Jarett, Mills Forni
Program Manager: Christine Ghiai
General Manager: Bob Mulhern | 415-346-2628
GGYC Youth Sailing Foundation (GGYC YSF)
The 501(3)(c) foundation helps fund our youth sailing programs and provides financial assistance to qualifying students. The High school sailing program is part of the foundation and is being offered to any San Francisco high shcool students eager to sail and compete in the Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Association Regattas. Students meet after school twice per week for classroom academics and race practice. Regattas normally require 4 students per school to qualify for competitive racing.
The GGYC YSF has no direct affiliation with the SFUSD or its contingencies, but it is an excellent option for PE credits for schools that offer alternative PE arrangements, such as School of the Arts. Lycee Francais, Lowell, Drew, Gateway, Mission, Archbishop Riordan and City Arts & Tech have all participated in the program.
Any San Francisco high school student in grades 9 - 12. Sailing experience is not required. Early registration is encouraged and any students pre-registered for semester one (Septembr through December) can practice all summer during the GGYC summer camp or Sunday morning brunch series.
September 5 - December 14, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 to 6:30pm. Sunday morning practices are optional.
Golden Gate Yacht Club Junior Dock, 1 Yacht Road, SF.
The ability to swim 50 yards is required. Enthusiasm, commitment and a sincere desire to learn to sail in the SF bay is a must. Students and/or parents must sign the following forms:
- Student Information
- Medical Information and Directives
- Consent and Liability
The majority of program expenses are covered with foundation funds. Student registration fee is $400.00 per semester to help offset travel costs to regattas, replacement boat parts, repairs, and regatta expenses. Students must pay for their safety gear (wetsuit) and regatta fees. Regattas outside the Bay Area may also require hotel, travel, and food expenses.
Students must have their own wet suit to sail in the bay. Dinghy booties, spray jacket, and sailing gloves are highly recommended. GGYC life jackets are available for use but students are encouraged to have their own personal safety gear. Sail clothing can be purchased at any West Marine, Svendsens Chandlery in Alameda, or online with WestCoastSailing.com. GGYC YSF will provide assistance when possible.
As students gain skills and participate in regattas they will be offered Youth Member status at the Golden Gate Yacht Club. As GGYC Youth members, students and their parents will have access to all the benefits of the club during the sailing season.
The coaches, students, and parents will determine which regattas to compete in. At least one coach will attend each local regatttas. The coach(es) will ensure race boats are delivered and provide on-water assistance via the GGYC safety boat throughout the regatta. Parents are highly encouraged to attend and responsible for ensuring student transportation, food, and hotels.
Regatta competition provides an opportunity to compete against 30-40 boats in a single race. This type of environment naturally provides leadership challenges and opportunities for our students to build camaradarie and individual confidence.
GGYC Youth Sailing Coaches
Alex Salogub loves flying, sailing, running, and working with kids. He was born on Long Island, NY and spent a good deal of his childhood boating on the Great South Bay and Atlantic Ocean. After two years in Japan, he moved to San Francisco to pursue his passion for West Coast flying and sailing. In 2000, Alex purchased a Cal25 and started sailing out of the Presidio Yacht Club where he fell in love with all the unique challenges of the SF bay. He earned American Sailing Association certifications in basic keelboat, coastal cruising, bareboat cruising and International OffShore Safety at Sea.
Alex is a First Officer for Southwest Airlines, Instructor Pilot for the Air Force Reserves and a member of the GGYC Board of Directors. Alex graduated with a BS in Education from Southern Illinois University and an MBA from St. Mary's College of California. Alex is very active in the bay area sailing community, spending many weekends on the water with club members, friends or racing. Alex races a Farr 40 and Olson 40 in the ocean series, a J22, Cal25, and Hobie16 in bay regattas, and crews part-time for ACSailingSF aboard the USA76, an International Americas Cup Class Yacht based at Pier39. Alex is the Waterfront Director at the Golden Gate Yacht Club.
Brett Davis is an avid sailor taking advantage of opportunities to race and be on the water. He grew up on the East Coast with his brother and sister, learning to sail on Lake George in Upstate New York. The family would trailer their Club 420 sailing on the NY lakes and Buzzards Bay, MA. Brett sailed briefly in college at the University of Virginia, but lacrosse took over as the main sport during that time period. While earning his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at Cornell University, Brett actively raced out of Ithaca Yacht Club on J/24s participating in fleet events across Central NY including the 2012 J/24 World Championships at Rochester Yacht Club. Upon completing his graduate work in 2014, Brett moved with now fiancée Sarah Clement to San Francisco. Brett joined the GGYC in 2015 and now races on the Bay, primarily with GGYC’s J/22 program. Brett also has experience on Express 27s and Melges 24s, among other boats. In 2016 he competed in the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac earning a 3rd place in section. Brett was appointed on an interim basis to the GGYC Board of Directors in 2017 and hopes to foster the growth of sailing at the club.
Piers Blewett is an international traveler. He lived in Zimbabwe, Africa until he was eighteen and has lived in three countries since then: South Africa, England and now the US. Piers sailed an Opti from ages eight to fifteen, them moved onto a Dabchick, a fast-planning dinghy very popular with teenagers in South Africa. He was National Champion and competed internationally in the Opti, Dabchick, and Fireball classes. With his brother Myles, he won his country's Olympic trials to qualify for the Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984. He qualified to sail in the Youth Worlds the same year. The Zimbabwean team finished 10th at the event held at Lake Como, Italy.
Piers is an IP lawyer (patent attorney). He graduated from the University of Cape Town in Mechanical Engineering, and wrote law at the University of South Africa, the same law school as Nelson Mandela. Piers has coached beginners and national teams at several sailing schools over the years. He now sails and coaches out of the Golden Gate Yacht Club.
Phil Barow is an accomplished international sailor in single handed and double handed boats. Born and raised in New Jersey, he grew up sailing Laser Radials and International 420s. Phil represented the USA at the 1993 International 420 Worlds with future Olympian Peter Spaulding. He has also won the Laser Radial North American Championship and represented the USA at the Laser Radial World Championships in Wakayama, Japan.
Phil attended Stanford University where he sailed Fjs for four years on the varsity sailing team. He has also coached Optimists, 420s, and Laser Radials at Pleon Yacht Club, Marblehead Mass and Mantoloking Yacht Club, Mantoloking, New Jersey. Phil is still an active racer at the competitive levels. He has consistently placed in the top 10 at the E-Scow National Championships and races on Etchells and Moore 24s in the Bay Area.
Mills Forni is a lifelong sailor and aspiring triathlete. Growing up in Michigan, he learned to sail on Lake St. Clair, racing Optis, Lasers, FJs and 420s at Crescent Sail Yacht Club, his family’s J24, and on his high school sailing team. A graduate of Michigan State University, Mills was a captain on the sailing team, competing against colleges across the Midwest. During the summers, he coached junior sailing at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club.
Mills is a Director with North of Nine Communications in San Francisco and prior to that, worked in Burson-Marsteller’s Issues & Crisis Group in Washington, D.C. These days, he spends as much time as he can outdoors - biking, swimming, running and sailing around the Bay. He races Express 27s, dinghies and a variety of other classes.
Help the Students!
The GGYC High School sailing program is possible due to the great volunteer efforts of our club members, parents, coaches and donors. The GGYC YSF mission is to foster recreational and competitive sailing opportunities for bay area youth. We believe team sailing provides today's youth with invaluable life skills in teamwork, interpersonal skills, confidence, trust and friendship. If you would like to become a volunteer or donate to the GGYC Youth Sailing Foundation please contact our General Manager, Bob Mulhern or Waterfront Director, Alex Salogub. Thank you for visiting and look foward to the upcoming sailing season!