US Sailing Instructor Trainer Jana Odou gives direction to those on the water. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARY LAURENCE FLYNN

Sailing center hosts training sessions 

Prospective sailing instructors set up their boats before heading to the water.

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The MDI Community Sailing Center last weekend hosted US Sailing instructor and trainer Jana Odou. Odou, from San Diego, Calif., taught a class for 10 prospective sailing instructors through an intensive two days of drills and lessons both on the water and in the classroom.  

As the governing body of the sport of sailing, US Sailing instructor certification is the golden star standard for all sailing education organizations. 

“We are excited to be able to offer this class each spring. It has been full to capacity for the past 20 years,” said Glenn Squires, director of MDI Community Sailing center. “Through US Sailing, we have certified hundreds of sailing instructors from all over New England.”  

The course historically consisted of 40 hours over four days. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the classroom portion is done remotely. The current live two-day course is mostly for showing practical on-the-water skills.  

Instructor candidates must show their prowess both steering a sailboat and a motorboat. Drills include operating on water classes, overboard rescues, safe motorboat operation, capsized sailboat rescues and more. 

The nonprofit MDI Community Sailing Center is now open for the summer season. Visit for information.