Megan Place, SSA Junior Program Director:
Megan grew up in Fort Lauderdale, FL and started sailing when she was 14 years old in Optimists for Lauderdale Yacht Club then quickly moved up to 420s and Fjs since she was going into high school. Megan sailed for St. Thomas Aquinas High School all four years and went to ISSA Great Oaks twice and ISSA Baker Team Racing National Championship once during her four years. She was captain of her sailing team her senior year and co captain her junior year. Along with the high school sailing, Megan sailed club 420s and Lasers and traveled to regattas such as Orange Bowl and US Junior Women’s Ida Lewis Double Handed Championship. Also, in 2007 she started sailing Snipes with Ernesto Rodriguez from Miami, FL and they competed in many regattas including, US Snipe Nationals three times, with a first place, second place, and fourth place, won Atlantic Coast Championship as well as receiving 4th at the Pacific Coast Championship, and Snipe Worlds 2009, which they finished strong in third place and the top US boat. She has also traveled to Spain with Ernesto for the Spain Snipe Nationals to represent the US in 2010 and 2012. Megan has also sailed Etchells, participating in several Jaguar Series and her team made it to the 2008 Etchell Worlds. In addition, she has sailed 2010 Key West Race Week on a Melges 32, and has spent some time in J105s and J80s. Megan graduated from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island in 2014 with a major in Visual Arts and a minor in Professional and Public Writing. Recently, Megan and Andrew Pimental placed third in the Master division at the 2016 Snipe Master Worlds in Nassau, Bahamas.
Zach Kelchner, Coach:
Lifelong sailor, SSA Member, and weekend warrior Zack Kelchner is a full time mechanical engineer with a company specializing in subsea search, salvage, and ship repair (A job he obtained through a fellow SSA member). He spent two years sailing for Old Dominion University under head coach Mitch Brindley before transferring schools to pursue his passion for engineering. In 2013 Zack graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. His early childhood was spent sailing in the Caribbean with his parents on their 46' Kelly Peterson. Zack spent his youth racing Opti's at the Lauderdale Yacht Club and led an accomplished junior sailing career in both optimist and laser radials; to include sailing for LYC at the 2004 USODA Team Race Nationals, finishing 44th/120+ at the 2004 Splash World Championships in Belgium after having only one day in the boat prior, winning the 2005 ILYA Championship in Laser Radials in Lake Beulah, WI, finishing 10th/138 at the 2007 Orange Bowl Regatta in the laser radial class. In high school he sailed for St. Thomas Aquinas where he helped the team to reach the ISSA Baker Team Racing National Championship his senior year. By the end of his freshman year at ODU he had collected several regatta wins and was starting on the team race team his sophomore year. After leaving college sailing Zack joined the Snipe fleet where he maintains his weekend warrior status as a leader in regattas sailed and miles traveled each year.