41°01'25" N | 73°35'30" W
VHF74 |

Sailing Staff

Samantha Labuzetta, Sailing Director

[email protected]

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Years at RYC
4th Year at RYC

Hometown & Club
Stamford, CT

New York Yacht Club 
Island Heights Yacht Club 
Rochester Yacht Club

School

St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 2007
BA in Human Studies with a Minor in Environmental Studies

St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 2008
Masters of Arts in Teaching - Early Childhood Education
Masters of Arts in Teaching - Elementary & Middle School
Special Education endorsement Birth to Adult

St. John’s College, 2012
Masters in Liberal Arts

Fun Facts

My parents met in Junior Sailing Program at the Island Heights Yacht Club in Island Heights, NJ. I grew up next door from the yacht club and attended the same Junior Sailing program every summer. I have an 8yr old standard poodle named Baie after the Chesapeake Bay.

About Me

grew up sailing and racing Optis, Byte, and Laser Radial on Barnegat Bay in New Jersey. I went to college at St. Mary’s College of Maryland where I raced on the Varsity Sailing Team. After college I went on to Graduate School where I earned two Master’s Degrees in Education and one in Philosophy. I moved to Annapolis, MD where I taught for six years before moving on to sail full-time. I have competed in the J22, J70, J80, Lightning, Thistle, and Melges24 at the National, North American, and World Championship level.

I have found that as a Sailing Director I am able to combine my love of sailing with teaching. I have worked as the Sailing and Program Director for programs in Annapolis, MD; San Francisco, CA; and Westport, CT. I joined Riverside Yacht Club in January of 2019. 

I love being a part of Riverside Yacht Club and I look forward to seeing everyone out on the water!

Sophie Brett, Instructor

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Years at RYC
1st Summer at RYC

Hometown & Club
Rye, NY
American Yacht Club

School
Bowdoin College '25

Fun Facts 

I used to own an illegal pet, and I currently have a dog named Roxy. When I was a baby, I almost got eaten by a scorpion. My favorite food is dark chocolate. 

About Me 

When I was 8 years old, I started sailing Opti’s out of American Yacht Club. After 5 years, I moved on to sailing c420s for one year and then lasers for three years.  During the fall seasons, I have sailed c420s for my high school. Additionally, I have sailed 29ers for three years with 29er.ness.  Next year, I will be going to Bowdoin, where I will be sailing during the fall and playing lacrosse during the spring.  

I am super excited for my first summer at Riverside, and I can’t wait to meet everyone!

Francesca Edmands, Instructor

 imgYears at RYC
1st Summer at RYC

Hometown & Club
New York City
Old Cove Yacht Club

School
Brown University '25

Fun Facts 

I have two brothers and two yellow labs and I’m the 8th Francesca in my family! 

About Me

 

I started sailing the Opti when I was 12 years old and have been sailing competitively ever since. Recently, I’ve been sailing in the i420 and c420 as a crew on Lisot,  and have done a few laser regattas over the years. I just graduated from The Brearley School in NYC and am excited to be sailing at Brown University next year, where I plan on majoring in English and photography.

 

Leighton Farrel, Instructor

 Image coming soon! 

Years at RYC
1st summer at RYC

Hometown & Club

School

 

Fun Facts 
to come

About Me

to come

 

Grace Flanagan, Instructor

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Years at RYC
3rd Summer at RYC

Hometown & Club
New Canaan, CT
American Yacht Club

School
Georgetown University '23

 
Fun Facts

I have a pet gecko, my favorite movie is Wedding Crashers, and Audrey is my teammate.  

About Me 

Hi everyone! My name is Grace and I am so excited to spend another summer here at Riverside. I grew up spending lots of time on the water boating and fishing in South Carolina. I first learned to sail on Lake Champlain while I attended Camp Dudley at Kiniya in Colchester, VT. In 2017, I spent the summer back home in Connecticut. Randomly, through one of my friends, I decided to join the Norwalk Yacht Club Junior Sailing Program, and that summer I competed in Laser Radial and Big Boat regattas through the JSA of Long Island Sound. Prior to that summer, I had been a multi-sport Varsity athlete throughout my high school career, but I quickly fell in love with competitive sailing. I decided that I wanted to pursue the sport further, however, my high school, Sacred Heart Greenwich, did not have a sailing team. I was determined to work hard and improve, so I began reaching out to numerous coaches in the Connecticut and New York area. I ended up sailing on the American Yacht Club Composite Sailing Team alongside Rye High School. I became experienced in both fleet and team racing in the C420 and Z420, competing in the fall and spring. I continued to sail Lasers at AYC the following summer, too. In 2019, I was accepted into Georgetown University where I walked-on to the sailing team, and I have been competing as a crew on the team for the past two years.

I absolutely love sailing and I can't wait for another great summer at Riverside. I can't wait to get to know everyone!

Audrey Fung, Instructor

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Years at RYC
2nd Summer at RYC

Hometown & Club
Rye, NY
American Yacht Club

School
Georgetown University '24

Fun Facts

I was bitten by a seal in the Galapagos Islands. I can wiggle my ears with a straight face.

About Me

I grew up sailing out of American Yacht Club for a total of nine summers, staring at age 8. I sailed Optis for five years, c420s for three years, and Lasers for one year. I was also on the sailing team for my high school during the fall seasons. Sailing has been my passion for as long as I can remember, and many of my greatest memories were formed out on the water. 

One of my favorites was the first time I went out on the trapeze in my c420. My skipper and I were in the Great South Bay for a clinic, and it was the first time there was enough wind for me to try it. It was such an awesome feeling that I’ll never forget. 

I am currently a freshman at Georgetown University, where I study nursing in the School of Nursing and Health Studies, as well as crew for the sailing team. 

I am super excited for another summer at RYC. My goal is to help our sailors develop new skills and reach their goals throughout the summer – of course while having lots of fun! 

Will Kneisley, Instructor

 imgYears at RYC
1st Summer at RYC

Hometown & Club
Larchmont, NY
Larchmont Yacht Club

School
Washington and Lee University '25

Fun Fact

I have a love for any and all sports, especially football and lacrosse. I plan on playing football in college, wherever I end up. I have 2 dogs at home named Addie and Tucket and also enjoy reading or playing video games in my free time. My favorite movie of all time is Remember the Titans.

About Me

I’ve been sailing since I was 8 years old and have sailed all kinds of boats from Opti’s to Lasers to big boats such as an Xp44 or an IMX-40. I especially love big boat distance racing. I was a junior instructor at LYC for 4 summers and absolutely love to coach kids on the water.

 

 

Caroline Leicht, Instructor

 Image coming soon! 

Years at RYC
1st summer at RYC

Hometown & Club
Larchmont, NY
Larchmont Yacht Club

School

Fun Facts 
to come

About Me

to come

 

Katherine McNamara, Instructor

Image coming soon!  

Years at RYC
1st summer at RYC

Hometown & Club

School

Fun Facts 
to come

About Me

to come

Andrew Powers, Instructor

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Years at RYC
2nd Summer at RYC

Hometown & Club
Rye, NY
American Yacht Club

School
Connecticut College '24

Fun Facts

My favorite milkshake flavor is mint chocolate chip. I have played hockey since I was three, and my favorite band is the Beatles.

About Me

In my junior sailing years, I sailed for American Yacht Club, starting at a very young age in the Opti Class and then moving to the Laser Radial Class by age 13 to compete on the local, regional and national level. In 2019, I was awarded the Clinton Bell Trophy for JSALIS best overall performance. 

Throughout my high school years, I sailed for the Rye High School sailing team in C420s and FJs. In 2019, I was recruited by Connecticut College. Now here, I train in 420s and FJs (fleet racing and team racing). 

My favorite memory of sailing took place in Hyannis, Massachusetts. Every year, Hyannis Yacht Club hosts a super fun event where sailors of all ages (14 to 99 yr.-old) come to race on the open ocean. At every Hyannis regatta, a guy named Peter Seidenberg, who is currently in his late 70s, registers to compete. Peter is a 12x Laser Master World Champion and the creator of the Dynamic Dolly Company. During one particular Hyannis event, my sailing coach said that he too competed against Peter “back-in-the-day” and was never able to beat him over the line. In 2019, Peter finished 1-1-1-1-1-2-2-2-2 for a 1st overall win. On that memorable day, I came in 3rd overall. And yet, my biggest take-away was this amazing fond memory of Peter. He was both humble and knowledgeable. We would talk strategy before every race and he blew me away. It showed me that the love of this sport runs deep, and you can compete for the rest of your life. 

I am excited and looking forward to a great summer. I can’t wait to pass my knowledge and love for the sport to the next great generation of youth sailors at Riverside Yacht Club and I look forward to being part of this great community as we gear up and prepare for a terrific summer. 

Lise Powers, Instructor

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Years at RYC
2nd Summer at RYC

Hometown & Club
Rye, New York
American Yacht Club

School
Trinity College '24

Fun Facts

I have a twin brother, Andrew Powers, who is also working at RYC this summer. I have climbed 32 of the 46 high peaks in the Adirondack mountain range. I also have had 10 pets in my lifetime: one turtle, one duck, one dog, three hamsters, and four guinea pigs. 

About Me

I started racing Opti's at American Yacht Club at age seven; racing Optis for six years and then 420s for four. I’ve had the privilege of being Rear Commodore during my second summer of racing 420s, and more recently Commodore. I have been an active member of the Rye High School Varsity Sailing Team since 7th grade and was captain of the team my junior year of high school. I have also been an active Junior Instructor at American Yacht Club since I was 14-years old.

My favorite sailing memory was when I sailed at the U.S. Junior Women’s National Championship. To be in a regatta that supports women’s sailing and encourages teamwork was really rewarding. Another one of my favorite experiences was when I first volunteered for the Robie Pierce Regatta as an able body sailor. I met so many amazing people. By being part of something bigger than myself, I was able to share my love for the sport with others. 

I am so excited to share my experience and love for sailing with the children at RYC this summer! I am so happy to be a part of the Riverside Junior Sailing Program and look forward to a great summer!

Jackie Quirke, Instructor

img Years at RYC
3rd Summer at RYC

Hometown & Club
Rye, Ny
American Yacht Club

School
Vanderbilt University '25

Fun Facts 

My birthday is on Christmas, I have a 9 year old Golden Retriever named Oscar, and my favorite movie is Love, Rosie!

About Me

Since I was nine years old, I have been part of the American Yacht Club sailing program, where I have sailed Optis, Fevas, Lasers, and C420s. I have been a skipper on the Rye High School club sailing team for 3 years. I have sailed in Portugal, Scotland, Belgium, and Argentina throughout my many years in sailing. 

In addition to sailing, I love to play field hockey for my high school team, where I was captain and received the All-State award. Next year, I will be a freshman at the University of Vanderbilt and will study computer science.

I am very excited to be part of Riverside Yacht Club, and I look forward to a really amazing season!

Katharine Stoker, Instructor

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Years at RYC
1st Summer at RYC

Hometown & Club 
Pound Ridge, NY
American Yacht Club

School
Boston College '25

Fun Fact

I am a two-time Connecticut state champion in gymnastics. My older brother, TJ, is a Sailing Instructor at Riverside. I have two Golden Retrievers named Thunder and Skye.

About Me 

You may recognize me from last summer as I was a lifeguard at RYC. I am excited to join the sailing staff this summer, and share my love for sailing with a younger generation of RYC sailors. 

I grew up spending summers at American Yacht Club, where I began sailing when I was eight years old. I have sailed Optis, Fevas, and 420s on Long Island Sound and also in many regattas throughout New England.

My love for spending time on the water caused me to give up gymnastics and ballet, despite being very competitive in both of these sports. In addition to sailing and continuing with the water sport theme, I row competitively at Connecticut Boat Club, where I am co-captain of the team. I have rowed to podium finishes at regattas in San Diego and the Northeast, including a third place finish at Head of the Charles in 2018.

I will attend Boston College in the fall, where I will study finance and will be a recruited member of the women’s rowing team. 

I am looking forward to being a part of the RYC staff and meeting all of you!

 TJ Stoker, Instructor

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Years at RYC
3rd summer at RYC

Hometown & Club
Pound Ridge, NY
American Yacht Club

School
Boston College '24

Fun Fact

I can solve a Rubik's cube in less than five minutes.

About Me

I have been sailing for nine years, and I have sailed Optis, Pixels, 420s and Lasers.

My favorite sailing memory was two summers ago when I was sailing 420s.  At the start of the summer, I was not a competitive sailor.  Throughout the summer, my coaches kept encouraging me to become a better sailor, and that motivated me to learn and practice hard every day.  In the last regatta of the summer, I was having a great race, and I remember looking over and seeing my coaches with a huge smile on their face.  This was my favorite moment because it made my coaches so proud to see how far I had come. 

I am looking forward to meeting a lot of new people and I am so excited to help pass on my knowledge of sailing to the next generation of sailors and have fun.


Colette Wicks, Instructor

 Image coming soon! 

Years at RYC
1st summer at RYC

Hometown & Club

School

 Fun Facts 
to come

About Me

to come


Leighton Farrel, Instructor

  

Years at RYC
1st summer at RYC

Hometown & Club

School

 

Fun Facts 
to come

About Me

to come