It is fairly easy to find good sailors (someone who can make a boat go fast), it is not so easy to find a good seaman (someone who is safe with an inexperienced crew in all kinds of weather conditions). It is exponentially more difficult to find a person with the required seamanship skills and also, the required teaching skills. The Victoria Sailing School recognizes that the quality of the business is totally dependent on the quality of the instructors. We work very hard at maintaining a dedicated group of professionals.
We spend a lot of time and effort recruiting, training and preparing our instructors and we currently work with about 12 local sailing professionals. Here are the sailing resumes of some of these instructors. They are listed in alphabetical order.
Tibor is the current owner of the Victoria Sailing School, together with his wife Erica. They also run Colorado Watersports together.
He learned to sail through the Victoria Sailing School, from its founder, Jim Cook. Since then he has been sailing and racing extensively. You can find him at Chatfield racing nearly every Wednesday night during the season. He is currently teaching our basic on the water courses, as well as our Diesel Maintenance Course, and Racing and Spinnaker courses. He has offshore experience, most recently doing a delivery from Charleston, SC to Jacksonville, FL and is looking forward to crossing the Atlantic soon!
When he is not sailing, you find Tibor out on a lacrosse floor or field. He is currently coaching at Arapahoe High School in Denver, and is playing semi-pro box lacrosse as well. He is also a current member of the Belgium National Lacrosse Team.
Mike has been with Victoria Sailing School since 2013. He is a native of Colorado. Mike started boating 50 years ago and sailing for past 30 years. He has Bareboated the Caribbean waters of BVI, San Juan Islands of Washington and sailed Southern California, Lake Michigan, Florida Keys and Maine Coast. Currently sails at Carter Lake where he keeps his Capri 26 and has been a member of the Carter Lake Sailing Club for 25 years and past commodore. Mike has raced sailboats in Colorado and around the region. Mike is retired from the insurance industry and now is enjoying teaching sailing.
I have been sailing for 35 years (1200 sailing days) and have been instructing for the last 10 years, seven with Victoria. My interests in sailing began when I was quite young watching my father read the Horatio Hornblower books which led me to draw pictures of the old square rigged ships that I saw in these books. But it was not until I found an old board boat being thrown out during junk day in a community where we vacationed on Lake Michigan. My sons and I did some major repairs, built some new parts, and sailed it off the beach for several years. From this, I met other sailors with whom I was able to sail on larger boats. Began chartering Hunter 31's out of Michigan City, IN and enjoyed sailing on large fresh waster lakes, taking my first sailing class. Finally I purchased my first boat, a Capri26, which I sailed on a small inland lake near Cincinnati Ohio. During my work years with Procter and Gamble, I was fortunate to travel the globe and had chances to sail in many locations: Tahiti, Philippines, Switzerland, BVI's, Venezuela and Mexico, where I got the itch to sail on oceans rather than lakes. When I retired in 2004, I bought a new Sabre 362 in Maine and shipped it to the panhandle of Florida, my first retirement location, where I singled handed "Mainestay" on the Choctawhatchee Bay with 10-15 kts every day. After getting hit by 4 Cat 3 hurricanes and replacing docs and seawalls, I moved to SE Georgia with the Sabre and began racing, first with a local club in the local sounds. That led to races against clubs in Florida where we raced in the Atlantic from Georgia to Florida. As a way of learning the local waters, I took my first ASA classes from a local school. It paid off as the docks where I kept Mainestay, were not slips but all parallel parking my 36' boat in a 40' spot! The tides were 9' twice a day so tidal currents were 3-4 kts. Great learning and practice for docking in tight, tough conditions. Finally I moved to Denver to be near some of my grandkids, so I sold the Sabre, but could not sell my home for another year. During this time, I met a couple who wanted to learn to sail their Catalina 36 which kept me on the water until we moved in 2012 to Denver. I found Victoria Sailing School and interviewed to join the Why Buy Club but after sharing my resume, began teaching for them instead. To maintain my skills for larger boats on bigger water, I also joined a club in San Diego to charter boats out to the Pacific several times a year. I love teaching, since that was big part of my work career, so joining Victoria has been a great way to continue working with people to increase their skills and interest in sailing.
Growing up in the Great Lakes state and sailing since his teens beginning on a homebuilt sloop on Lake Huron, John is at home in and on the water. He’s been the owner of a very fast Hobie 18 racing cat, raced Catalina 22s, J-24s and J-29s for over 9 years as well as well as chartered boats on the Chesapeake, in Florida, around the early pirate infested Caribbean, California and Australia. He was also second in command and chief navigator sailing an ex-Whitbread Round the World Race boat (race originally named and sponsored by the British Whitbread Brewing Company, but now called The Ocean Race) from Palma Majorca in the Mediterranean to the Caribbean….before such things as GPS and satellite phones - and yes, nailed the Sombrero light marking the Anegada Passage into Virgin Gorda within 2 hours of expectations after 3 weeks at sea.
Passionate about outdoor sports and working with and teaching people, John has been an avalanche certified ski patroller, a dive instructor on Lake Superior, and since leaving the high tech corporate world, a professor of engineering and economics at a local university, a consulting with small business owners, along with teaching at Victoria Sailing since 2012 (and only doing so because of great owners, fellow instructors and great students)
John’s thoughts? As a physics major, sailing is physics, and physics is fun…so beware of the physics lessons. I get a kick out of helping people reach their goals - learning to sail, learning to sail the boat they already bought, gaining qualifications to charter around the world, or, just to sailing off to the horizon on their own boat and dreams - and confidence.
Jim has been an instructor with the Victoria Sailing School since 2007.
Even though he's a Colorado native, Jim has been ocean sailing since 1987, bareboat chartering in the following locations: U.S. & British Virgin Islands; British Columbia Southern Gulf Islands; Sea of Cortez; and has completed several sails from Marina del Rey to Catalina. Formal sailing classes include ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, ASA 105 and ASA 201. He is retired from a career in State government.
Beside sailing, he teaches Ballroom dancing with his wife, co-manages commercial investment property, grows hot peppers, has travelled to 5 of the 7 continents (so far) and is co-authoring a science-fiction thriller trilogy about sailing in the Bermuda Triangle. Jim strives to be a great dad and loving husband. Like many retirees, he is busier now than when he was working.