If there is anything that gives a positive start to a new year it is the recognition of excellence awarded for the previous one. Such is the case of Sistership Sailing School owner and ASA instructor Pat Nolan who was awarded the prestigious “International Instructor of 2004” by the American Sailing Association, determined by sailing students themselves. Standardized, confidential, point-by-point evaluation forms, mailed to ASA by students following their sailing experience in learning to sail, are counted, cross-checked for accuracy and results are calculated for an overall quality score. Regions awarded by ASA are the Northeastern Region, Southeastern Region, Central Region, Western Region and International Region.Congratulations Pat – we’re all very proud of you!
The winner of the last three Virgin’s Cups in the BVI, Pat has been teaching women, couples, and families to sail for the last nine years in the British Virgin Islands, Puget Sound and Chesapeake Bay. She has also acquired thousands of offshore sea miles, having delivered many boats up and down both U.S. coasts and throughout the Caribbean.
An avid racer, she has sailed in everything from Seattle’s infamous Duck Dodge to major international Caribbean regattas. She holds a 100-ton Master’s license from the USCG, is PADI certified as an advanced open water scuba diver and is trained in CPR. Pat is also an Instructor Evaluator for the American Sailing Association.
A degree in education has helped Pat to shape her teaching methods – clear, concise and to the point. Coupled with her unending store of patience, easygoing manner and general unflappability even the greenest of landlubbers will learn to sail under her tutelage.
“I teach the curriculum of the ASA which means that all my graduates are ASA certified at the end of their course. I have certified several hundreds of people, many of whom have become boat owners, cruisers and racers themselves. Teaching sailing has been very satisfying for me. I enjoy generating excitement for the sport of sailing as well as helping neophytes to become safe and competent sailors”. Pat teaches on two boats owned by Sistership – Boomerang, a J-33 and a Beneteau 445, Seabiscuit. She can be seen, racing with her student crews, in many of the BVI races.
Sistership is a member school of the American Sailing Association. ASA schools must meet rigorous standards, which are internationally recognized. Sistership offers the following ASA certifications: Basic Keelboat Sailing, Basic Coastal Cruising, Bareboat Chartering, Coastal Navigation, Advanced Coastal Cruising, Multihull sailing and ASA Instructor Courses. Each year, Pat’s Students also enter the BVI Spring Regatta, The Heineken Regatta – St. Martin and have the opportunity to practice their sailing skills in far flung places on “Adventure Trips”, which are not “learn to sail” trips but rather an opportunity to put learned sailing knowledge to the test in new and different waters.
An example of such an adventure trip was to Croatia, sailing the beautiful Adriatic out of Dubrovnik on the south coast. The crew of seven women sailed from Dubrovnik on a Jeanneau 46 from Sunsail. They visited the historic coastal islands and had a few days of light wind before the ‘sirocco’s blew in to giving several days of brisk sailing winds. More of such trips are to be taken in New Zealand, Thailand, Maine, Belize, the Seychelles and Tonga.
All At Sea congratulates Pat Nolan on her most recent accomplishment and wishes her continued successes in the coming year.