The Northport Youth Sailing School is the result of the desire to teach local kids and out-of-town grandkids how to sail. Our inaugural 2009 season was three weeks long and reached 62 young sailors. In 2017, we instructed 174 students with four instructors and a myriad of counselors & junior counselors. We’ve only been around for nine years but we’ve grown exponentially and hope to eventually teach all of Leelanau County how to sail!
Our fleet consists of 20 Optimist prams, 7 Laser Picos and 6 Lasers. Instructors stay close to the sailors in Zodiacs and a Boston Whaler.
Emma Connell has been with NYSS since the first season when she was an Opti sailor. She progressed through the NYSS program sailing Picos, then Lasers. In 2012, she completed her season and immediately began a search and bought her own Laser. After earning her Jr. Counselor certification, she continued her education and in 2013 earned her Level 1 Instructor Certification, then in 2015 earned her Level II Instructor Certification. When she isn’t enjoying Northport, Emma calls Oak Park, Illinois her home. She attends college at John Carroll University where she studies Exercise Science for a career in physical therapy, while also continuing to pursue sailing and swimming. Emma looks forward to summer spending time with her family and sharing her enthusiasm for sailing in Northport Bay.
Abby Chapman, a Detroit native, began sailing during NYSS’ first season in 2009. Since then, Abby has excelled through all levels of NYSS, joined the team as a counselor and is now enjoying an instructor position. Abby is currently working towards a degree in Business at the University of New Hampshire. Outside of the classroom, she spends her time playing hockey for UNH’s DI Women’s Ice Hockey team. Abby is excited to instruct for her first season and continue to make wonderful memories with the staff and students at NYSS.
Chris Somero has been working and sailing at NYSS for the past five years. During that time he was able to not only learn to sail on the small boats that the sailing school has, but was also able to sail on the large yachts that race every weekend through the Northport Bay Yacht Club. These experiences solidified his interest in sailing to the point where he earned his instructors license from US Sailing and is now certified to teach small boat sailing to the next generation of sailors. Chris is also a competitive sailor for the Michigan State University Sailing Team, where he has already made his mark within the club and is now looking forward to competing against other Big Ten sailing teams in the upcoming years.
Mackenzie Goodling has been sailing at NYSS since the first year it opened in 2009. She progressed through the sailing program starting on the Optis, then Picos and Lasers. She has worked at NYSS for 5 years as a counselor and had the opportunity of earning her Level 1 Instructor Certification. During the school year, Mackenzie is working towards a Bachelors of Science in Nursing at Grand Valley State University. She hopes to pursue a career as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. Outside of the schoolwork, Mac spends a lot of time with her sorority volunteering and raising money for various philanthropies. Mac is very excited to kick off the 2017 NYSS season as a first year instructor while sharing her love for sailing!
Things to do in Northport
While you’re waiting for your sailors or you’re looking for something for the family to do in Northport, there are lots of shops, restaurants, and other activities to amuse and entertain.
Northport Visitor Center