GGYC Youth Sailing Programs
Program Manager: Sharmaine Ramasamy
Coaches: Brett Davis, Sarah Davis, Piers Blewett, Chase Bargeman, Natasha Jarett, Mills Forni
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.
Weekdays-TBD by weather conditions. Two Sunday's monthly 10am-3pm.
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 Sailing Coaches
Alex Salogub loves flying, sailing, running, and working with kids. He was born on Long Island, NY and spent a great deal of his childhood boating on the Great South Bay and Atlantic Ocean. In 1997 Alex moved to San Francisco to pursue his passion for flying and sailing. In 2000, he 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. Alex is a US Sailing certified instuctor and holds American Sailing Association certifications in International Off Shore Safety at Sea, basic keelboat, coastal and bareboat cruising.
Alex is a First Officer for Southwest Airlines, Instructor Pilot for the Air Force Reserves and the Waterfront Director on 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 much of his time on the water with club members sailing C420s/CFJs, racing on the J22, Cal25, Farr 40/395, or crewing aboard the USA76, an International Americas Cup Class Yacht based at Pier39. Alex is also a member of the Navy Yacht Club in San Diego.
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 wife, 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, J88s 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 is a member of the GGYC Board of Directors and hopes to foster the growth of sailing at the club.
After graduating with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and a Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering, Sarah moved to Washington D.C. to start her career. In 2014, Sarah and her now husband, Brett Davis, moved to San Francisco where they joined GGYC less than a year later. Since moving to the Bay, Sarah has become a more active sailor competing on a variety of boats including a J22, J88, J105 and Express 27.
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.
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 Farr 395s, Express 27s, dinghies and a variety of other classes.
Natasha Jarett sailed FJ's competitively for three years with the Sailing Team at UC Davis. During her time as Team Captain, she helped inexperienced sailors learn the basics and hone their new skills. When she wasn't sailing, she was busy earning her Bachelor's of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering and singing with the Davis Chamber of Choir.
Natasha now works as an R&D Engineer designing surgical tools in San Francisco and somehow finds time to paint with watercolors, hike, and rock climb on the side. Future aspirations include rounding out her water sports by learning how to surf and kite board. Natasha has been taking advantage of living in The Bay to learn more about sailing larger boats. In the past two years, she has raced on an Olson 40, Farr 395, J-105, and the GGYC's J-22 Bottoms Up, but will always remain a dinghy sailor at heart!
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!