Meet Our Staff and Captains

Chris Jester

Chris Jester

ASA Affiliate School Managing Director, US Coast Guard Captain & ASA Sailing Instructor

Chris is the Managing Director for the Newport Beach Sailing School. He is also the Base Manager for SailTime Orange County and a sailboat dealer for Cruising Yacht Sales. Chris has an MBA from UC Irvine and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of San Diego. He grew up in Orange County and learned to sail as a teenager. He is married, with two children, and enjoys sailing with his family.
Tom Collins

Tom Collins

Base Manager

Tom is the Manager for the Newport Beach Sailing School. He is also the Manager for the Newport Beach Sailing Charters, Base Manager for SailTime Orange County and a sailboat sales agent for Cruising Yacht Sales. Tom has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Carroll College in Helena, MT. He grew up in Orange County and learned to sail as a young child. Tom has been actively sailing throughout his entire life. He is married and enjoys sailing with his family.
DeeAnna McBride

DeeAnna McBride

Office Manager

DeeAnna is the Office Manager for Sail Newport Beach and also Newport Beach Sailing Charters. She is a customer service professional who has a passion for creating remarkable experiences for guests. She has a Bachelors degree from UC Riverside where she studied Business Administration/ Marketing. Her sailing background includes being certified up to Bareboat Cruising and likes to sail on her free time with friends. Other hobbies include paddle boarding, snowboarding and competing in equestrian sports.
Roger Philips

Roger Philips

US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor

Captain Roger Philips earned the esteemed recognition of “Outstanding Instructor for 2008 & 2009” by the American Sailing Association.

Captain Roger Philips is a US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor. He is also a former Vessel Assist rescue boat captain. For over thirty years, Captain Roger has been dedicated to the pursuit of sailing, while owning several sailboats. Roger has done extensive sailing in the Pacific Northwest, West Coast, and the East Coast, as well as in the Caribbean and Bermuda. He also teaches part time at Concordia University in Irvine, CA. He and his wife, Antoinette, enjoy sailing locally in Southern California and hosting flotillas in the San Juan Islands.

“Only praise for Roger Philips. His deep knowledge is based on even deeper experience. He is patient, determined and focused. Not much down time with him. He was there probing, teaching and demonstrating. Though he is always close by, he is also hands-off. You set the sails. You do the daily boat checks. You do the cooking and cleanup. You navigate. You pick up the mooring. You get the idea. He explained his plan for four days but was flexible as wind, weather and our own preferences suggested changes. It was like sailing with our own nautical Wikipedia. He has learned a lot during his years of boat ownership, boat rescue work in the San Juans, living aboard and teaching. Not to mention his engineering background with degrees from Princeton and UC Berkeley. I took some joy in listening to Roger and my son, also a mechanical engineer, talk nerd to one another. So yes, it was a grand experience for us both despite Mother Nature’s high seas ripping off the only access point to Santa Barbara Island leaving us unable to explore. But we sailed in all sorts of wind conditions and found places to moor and anchor despite the Labor Day crush. Mostly we practiced skills that will serve us well during our own time on the water. Cherish Roger. His laid back teaching intensity is only matched by his mastery of the material and his deep love of the sea.”

-Ken B.

 

“Thank you for the follow up.  I had a absolutely wonderful experience during ASA 104.  Captain Roger is a fantastic instructor.  Captain Roger is a gifted teacher, he was very patient with my learning, and his sailing skills and experience are impressive!  My overall experience with Newport Beach Sailing School is outstanding.  I’ll  make sure to get my feedback to ASA.” -Richard A.

Mike Kohl

Mike Kohl

US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor

Captain Mike Kohl earned the esteemed recognition of “Outstanding Instructor for 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015 by the American Sailing Association. Mike has logged thousands of hours on the water, cruising extensively throughout Southern California, the Panama Canal, and the Caribbean. He is also a former Sea Tow rescue boat captain as well as an experienced charter captain.  Mike’s passion for and enjoyment of sailing is evident, as attested to by  the hundreds of happy students he has taught.
“Kent and I had an amazing time!  Captain Mike was great!  Very patient, engaging and encouraging…he made the experience a lot of fun!  Kent and I hope to continue with Captain Mike for ASA 103 – when we pass our ASA 101 test of course.” – Crystal C.

“Mike was a great instructor, very patient and knowledgeable.” – Victor V.

David Carlson

David Carlson

US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor

Captain David Carlson is a US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor and has taught sailing for the past 15 years. Captain David Carlson earned the esteemed recognition of Outstanding Instructor for 2013 and 2015 by the American Sailing Association. David has an extensive racing and cruising background. He has raced in multiple world championships and offshore races. He has also taught cruising through out the Northeast and the Caribbean.  David has appeared on the Travel Channel and Northeast Programming to teach sailing. He continues to find immense joy in showing the ropes to new sailors.  David relocated from Boston to Newport Beach in 2010 and we are thrilled to have him on our sailing team.
“He was fantastic, patient and knowledgeable.  He was a first rate instructor and local tour guide.” Mike V.

“The trip was fantastic – David REALLY knows what he’s doing.” Erik J.

“David is an amazing teacher and great company.  I enjoyed myself a ton.  I’d recommend David to anyone.”  Evan R.

Josh Ross

Josh Ross

US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor

As a professional mariner, Joshua Ross has voyaged to many regions of the globe—-Bering Sea, Arctic Circle, Panama Canal, and across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Mr. Ross is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, licensed captain, racing coach, and certified sailing instructor. He received awards for his efforts both from the Coast Guard (Commandant’s Commendation), and from the U.S. Sailing Association (Outstanding Director of year-round program). Sponsored by Challenged America, Joshua skippered the first sailing crew, all with significant disabilities, to compete in the Transpacific Yacht Race from southern California to Hawaii—a 2,500 mile non-stop, adventure, featured on ESPN. For more than twenty years, he has contributed to the sport of sailing utilizing a personal, one-on-one, teaching style that focuses on an individual’s full potential.
“We had a great time and Josh was awesome. Very knowledgeable but also funny. ” -Darren S.

“So much fun and I learned SO much! Josh was the BEST!” -Mary Beth S.

“Josh is a real pro instructor – just perfect for our needs and our styles of learning.  10 of 10. It all added up to my wife, who never expressed an interest in sailing before, saying “I don’t want to work anymore, now that I know about sailing.  Man, where’s that lotto so we can just do this in our spare time.”” -Brad L.

“It  was a great experience and both instructors were excellent!” -Tom H.

Bob Strang

Bob Strang

US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor

Born and raised in Southern California, Captain BOB has been involved in sailing and boating for the past forty years, since he was a teenager. His local sailing has been extensive in Newport Beach, Long Beach, the southern California Channel Islands and Lake Arrowhead. His international cruising and racing include the Transpacific, Mexico, the Caribbean, Panama, the Pacific Northwest, Greece and most recently, Croatia.

Captain BOB is a College Graduate, USAF pilot training graduate, retired commercial & corporate pilot. He is at home on the water in any type of vessel or weather! He enjoys sharing his passion for sailing with enthusiastic novices and seasoned boaters.


“Both Roger and Bob are well-suited to their roles as instructors.  They are mature, kind, fatherly, and conversational.  I noticed how our nervousness gave way to feeling comfortable to feeling confident, and the easy, fun afternoon of hands-on sailing made that transition possible.  It is so important to make the learning process fun, comfortably paced, and doable-by-degrees.  Roger and Bob accomplished that quite naturally.  (I had a terrible, mean, drill sergeant style flight instructor, and that approach to training only made things worse.)  Roger and Bob have an advantage, I think, in that they are simply older, wiser, and comfortable with themselves, and that made us comfortable.” – Frank P.
Lee Kopenhefer

Lee Kopenhefer

US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor

Captain Lee Kopenhefer is a US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor. He is also an avid fisherman, and a former Commercial Albacore fisherman. Lee received his Degree in Business Administration and is also a licensed Emergency Medical Technician. Lee grew up in and around the ocean, whether it be fishing, surfing, or sailing. He started sailing at a young age and has not stopped progressing. Lee enjoys sharing his knowledge and passion for sailing with others.


“Yes, we enjoyed our trip very much. Lee was not only a competent captain but he was a great teacher as well. Our experience far exceeded the expectations and we would definitely recommend sail time and Capt Lee to others.” Sam Dal S.

Scott Culver

Scott Culver

US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor

Captain Scott Culver grew up in California sailing on his family’s boats, spending summers in Catalina and crewing on local race boats. In the 32 years as a licensed captain, He has been a charter captain of a classic 82′ schooner, a sailing instructor and coach for UC Irvine and Orange Coast College, an instructor for the NORTC at USC, a captain for the sail training vessel “Alaska Eagle” for nine years sailing throughout the pacific, a yacht delivery captain, a yacht captain on extensive world cruise. He has enjoyed cruising with his family on their boat, a Beneteau 430, in the Bahamas, on the East coast USA and across the Atlantic to the Mediterranean for the last 4 years. He loves to teach and share his knowledge and experiences with his students and crew.


Marc Hughston

Marc Hughston

US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor

Marc Hughston took his first sailing lesson at age 14 on the island of Moorea, and he has been sailing ever since. As a sailing and cruising instructor since 1998, Marc has honed his expertise in anchoring and handling heavy weather on countless sailing adventures in California’s challenging Northern Channel Islands, the Sea of Cortez, and along the US West Coast. Marc holds a USCG 100 Ton Master’s license and is a published cruising guidebook author. His greatest satisfaction comes from helping others build the capabilities they need to pursue their water-life adventures.
“I really did enjoy my time taking my classes in the Harbor 20 and with Captain Marc. My experience with the Captain was positive.  He takes time to assure the student that they have the practical knowledge and practice to become a good sailor.  The last session made me feel confident with the boat and he left me with some drills to practice to get better.” -Bill B.

 

“I wanted to send you a note of appreciation and acknowledgement for the Basic Keelboat Sailing class that I recently completed.  The boats used for the course were in excellent condition and the instructor, Captain Marc Hughston was very knowledgeable and an able teacher. Three years ago I attended another sailing school in both basic and advanced sailing.  This school was not an ASA certified school.  The class size was large and there was very little individual instruction regarding boat handling and the “hands-on” training was minimal. Needless to say, I am very happy with the class and the results.  I look forward to more advanced sailing instruction in the future.  Thank you” -Thomas R.

Capt. Rick

Capt. Rick

US Coast Guard Captain and ASA Sailing Instructor

Captain Rick is a Southern California Local, who has outstanding professional customer service. His goal is to make sure the time you spend sailing will be fun, entertaining, educational, relaxing and overall a great experience. He is certified with ASA for Basic Keelboat, Coastal Cruising, and Coastal Navigation. His passions include, sailing, ocean wildlife, big wave surfing, free diving and bringing new people out on the water to enjoy the magnificent Southern California waters.