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About Northwest Youth Sailing

​Youth Sailing Initiative​

This website is proudly sponsored by The Sailing Foundation as part of its Youth Sailing Initiative. The purpose of the Youth Sailing Initiative is to encourage and promote the growth of youth sailing in the Pacific Northwest. As a 501(c)3 we are here to augment the good work currently being done by local sailing programs and organizations. Focused on youth sailing at all levels, but with a special focus on racing, we believe sailing as an activity offers a unique medium for personal growth and enrichment. The joy of sailing and sailboat racing should be enjoyed by the many, not the few. Our Youth Sailing Initiative is centered around four key elements... Racing, Outreach, Organization, and Training.

​Who We Are

Andrew Nelson, Youth Sailing Director

Andrew Nelson is a full-time year-round employee of The Sailing Foundation. He is a native of Tacoma and graduate of Western Washington University with a degree in Education. His father introduced him to sailing at a young age aboard the Cal 40 "White Squall" on Puget Sound. At WWU Andrew was Captain of the sailing team and awarded the Pete McKillop Sportsmanship Award and later the Student Leadership Award by the Northwest Intercollegiate Sailing Association.

He has worked up and down the West Coast as a Race Team Coach and Program Director, spending time in Newport Beach, CA and the San Francisco Bay Area.  In 2013, while serving as the Junior Sailing Director at Encinal Yacht Club, the program was the recipient of the Nimitz Award for the "Most Outstanding Junior Sailing Program in the San Francisco Bay Area." Andrew where's several hats with US Sailing, serving as a member on the Championship and Training committees. He is also a member of the US Sailing National Faculty, which pushes to improve training standards for smallboat sailing. Andrew and his wife, who he met through college sailing, are getting their feet wet in the local 505 fleet. He also enjoys offshore racing, cruising, and exploring the natural beauty of the Northwest with his dog Bosun.

Burke Thomas, Director of NWISA and Sail Orcas

Burke ThomasBurke Thomas started racing El Toros on Green Lake at age 8 and has enjoyed sailing ever since. He enjoys coaching the Orcas High School Sailing Team and is the director of Northwest high school sailing or NWISA. Burke is president of Woodsong Inc, a custom home building firm serving the San Juan Islands. Burke has a lot of experience with high school sailing and is always willing to help others get their team off the ground.

Scott Wilson, Founder of Whatcom Sailing

Scott WilsonScott Wilson didn't discover dinghy sailing until college. He quickly fell in love with the sport and started a sailing team at Washington State University. He currently lives in Bellingham where he coaches and runs the local high school sailing program. Sehome High School is the largest team Scott coaches, and they've attended multiple national championships under his guidance. He's actively involved with high school and college sailing as an ISSA board member, NWISA vice-president, and NWICSA Treasurer. He enjoys racing his Etchells in the Bellingham fleet with his wife Mallory.

Dick Rose, VP of The Sailing Foundation

Dick RoseDick Rose has raced sailboats since the age of nine. For most of his life he sailed dinghies – in college, frostbiting on Long Island Sound, and then International 14s and Lasers in Seattle. More recently he has enjoyed PHRF racing and cruising on Puget Sound in his Laser 28. After many years on the faculty of the University of Washington, Dick turned his attention to the racing rules for sailing. Since 1984 he has written a monthly column on the rules in Sailing World. He served as chairman of the US Sailing Racing Rules Committee and now is chairman of the International Sailing Federation’s committee responsible for publishing the 2017 edition of the racing rules. He is a US Sailing Senior Judge who regularly judges high school sailing championships in the Pacific Northwest.

Jen Glass

Jen Glass (left) has sailed her entire life, participating in youth and college sailing. Jen learned to race at the Seattle Yacht Club and then raced for Dartmouth while in college. She is a very competitive sailor and is totally immersed in the sailing community as a sailor, coach, and member of sailing organizations.  Jen recently served as a member of the Skiff Sailing Foundation, president of the U.S. 29er class, and attended meetings of World Sailing as an advocate for women's skiff sailing in the Olympics.  She also has experience in fundraising. In 2016 she was a key part of team "Jungle Kitty" in the Race to Alaska.

Brendan Fahey

Brendan FaheyBrendan Fahey grew up sailing on the Olympic Peninsula. He is a product of the North Kitsap High School Sailing Team and the University of Washington Sailing Team. Brendan also excelled at single-handed sailing as a youth and attended several major Laser events. Brendan continues to be active in the youth sailing community. He's a frequent volunteer at Sail Sandpoint and is on the board of directors for the Olympic (Peninsula) Sailing Foundation. He currently resides in Seattle where he enjoys spending time with canine companions and sailing Tasars with fellow NWICSA alumni. Brendan has played a big role as an advisor and advocate of youth sailing in the Northwest.