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Junior Program Staff

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Megan Place: Junior Program Director/ High School Coach/ RWB Coach

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. 

JD Parks: High School Coach 
JD grew up sailing Annapolis, Maryland. He raced 420s for both SSA’s junior program and South River High School varsity team. During his time racing 420s, he and his skipper won CBYRA high point. JD has worked at SSA for the past five summers. He graduated from James Madison University with a major in Integrated Science and Technology May 2017.
 Katherine Bennett: Opti Coach

Katherine grew up racing in Annapolis and on Deep Creek Lake.  She started in Optis then moved to Lasers and now Flying Scots, C420’s and Snipes. Katherine interned at the Deep Creek Sailing School and taught at Severn Sailing Association. She is a senior at Broadneck High School and starting skipper on their varsity sailing team. Having completed three successful summer C420 travel circuits, and top 10 finishes in the Snipe Women’s Nationals, Snipe Junior Atlantics and the 420 Chesapeake Regional Clinic and Regatta. She has a passion for coaching and teaching and can’t wait to start working with juniors as SSA.

Nicole Ryan Nicole Ryan: Opti Coach
Nicole grew up sailing in Annapolis and on the Magothy River. She started sailing Optis at EYC but quickly moved up to racing 420s and snipes at SSA. She enjoys traveling to race snipes with her dad and racing at SSA. Nicole is a senior at Broadneck High School and is a starting crew on the varsity team. She competed on the SSA 420 travel team last summer. This summer she coached optis at Gibson Island and is looking forward to coaching at SSA now.

SSA Racing

Most weekends--and many weeknights--around the year, there's some sort of one-design racing happening out of Severn Sailing Association. Check out the calendar to see what's going on these days!

SSA Junior Program

SSA runs a year-round program to develop skills and a lifelong love of sailing in our younger sailors. A summer program and fall and spring high school sailing programs are just the tip of the iceberg.