Meet Our Instructors!

We are pleased to present to you the 2018 Junior Sailing instructors. Each brings a different skill set and background to the job and are all passionate about sailing and excited to be on the NBSA team!


James Sowa has instructed at NBYC for the past two years. In 2014, James worked as a sailing instructor at Pettipaug Sailing Academy. James will be a senior at Wake Forest University studying Mathematical Business and Physics. He will also be spending his fall 2018 semester abroad in Barcelona, Spain. While at Wake Forest, he and two of his classmates created the Wake Forest Club Sailing Team where he currently serves as the Co-President and Chief Safety Officer. James has been involved with sailing his entire life and started in Optimists before advancing to 420’s and Lasers. As a junior sailor, he competed in various regattas including the Atlantic Coast Championship, Opti New England’s, Buzzards Bay, and the U.S. Junior Sailing Championship Sear’s Cup. James has both his level 1 and level 2 U.S. Sailing instructor certifications. In his free time, James also enjoys playing golf and basketball and sailing with his dad on his Henderson 30. James is looking forward to a very fun and successful summer. As Head Instructor, James should be your first point of contact. Reach him at or 860-899-5576.

Emmet Smith

Emmet Smith grew up sailing on his grandfathers’ keelboats—one had a Cal 40 and the other had a Tripp 37. He learned to sail Optimists at the Milford Yacht Club and later worked as a junior instructor at Sail New Haven. As a freshman, he was the Division A crew at Tulane University, and transferred to Yale as a sophomore where he was on the 2009 Fowle Trophy-winning race team.​ After college, Emmet won the 2009 US Sailing Team Racing National Championship/Hinman Trophy crewing for Zach Brown as part of Team Extreme, which was recruited to join the New York Yacht Club, and went on to finish first in the 2010 and 2011 Wilson ​Trophy, as well as the 2012 Hinman ​Trophy. Emmet also sails in the Off Soundings as main trimmer and tactician on his father’s Frers 33, which won the ECSA overall trophy and qualified for the US Sailing National Offshore Championships hosted by the Naval Academy in 2017. In addition, he crews in the 29er class and finished third at CORK 2017 in Kingston, Ontario. To stay in shape off the racecourse, Emmet enjoys inline speed skating and indoor rock climbing.

Caroline Healy

Caroline graduated from East Lyme High School this June where she was an Honors student and Captain of the school’s Varsity Field Hockey and Lacrosse teams.  Next fall Caroline will be attending Saint Anselm’s College where she will be studying nursing.   She grew up sailing in Niantic, competed in Optimists and 420, and represented NBYC/NBSA in San Diego at the Sears Cup. She is the product of the Niantic Bay Sailing Academy. Caroline will be the morning and afternoon instructor for beginner and intermediate sailors in Optimists, Blue Jays and 420’s.  Caroline spent the past summers competing in 420 regattas. She completed more than 150 hours of Junior Instructing hours here at NBYC and was an instructor here last season.

Parker Colantuono

Parker is a high school graduate from Portsmouth, Rhode Island. He has been sailing since the age of six in a variety of boats. Parker spent the last few years racing all over the youth sailing circuit and has competed in several events at the national level. He currently competes on the Portsmouth HS sailing team, races in Newport Laser Fleet 413, and plans to travel to Greece for the Lightning Youth Worlds in July. He is a lifelong member of Niantic Bay Yacht Club and has experience teaching sailing to a wide range of skill levels. With one year at NBSA under his belt, Parker is excited to return for another fantastic summer of sailing on Niantic Bay.

Duncan Manthous

Duncan Manthous will be a senior at East Lyme High School in the fall, and he has been sailing in Niantic since the first grade. He is a veteran of many Opti and 420 regattas and is a past winner of the Robert Wylie and Harriet Dower Trophies at NBYC. More recently he has moved into Lasers and last summer skippered to his first ECSA win at the Essex Cross Sound Challenge in his family’s “big boat.” He has taught two seasons for the Old Black Point Sailing Program and is looking forward to his first season teaching with the NBSA. When not on the water, Duncan can be found on the soccer field.

Abby Sowa

Abby Sowa started racing Optis when she was eight and turned to racing 420s when she was thirteen. She was on the Pettipaug 420 race team in 2014 and 2015 and the Niantic Bay race team in 2016. She competed at the ECSA All-stars Regatta in 2015 and 2016 where her team placed 3rd both years. Abby will be entering her senior year at Glastonbury High School where she is an honors student. She volunteered as a junior instructor at Pettipaug and Niantic for the past 3 years. Abby has been sailing her whole life and is a regular crew on her father’s Henderson 30. Abby has her Level One US Sailing instructor certification. Last summer Abby volunteered at Camp Sunrise where she gained experience working with special needs children. Abby enjoys running and playing the violin. She is excited for the summer ahead.

Tim Guanci

Tim Guanci will be returning for his second summer instructing at Niantic Bay. He learned to sail and raced at Niantic Bay Yacht Club throughout his life. He started sailing Optis when he was seven then transitioned into racing 420’s. Tim skippered in the ECSA All-Stars regatta in 2016 where he and his team placed 3rd. Tim recently graduated from Glastonbury High School and will attend the College of the Holy Cross in the fall. He has his US Sailing level 1 certification. Along with sailing, Tim is a skiing instructor at Stratton Mountain in Vermont. He was also the captain of his high school ski team. Tim is excited about helping others enjoy sailing as much as he does.

Parent Meeting 6/23 at NBYC

Attention all parents and guardians of summer 2018 Niantic sailors!

Head instructor, James Sowa, and the rest of the team will be hosting an informational session with all the important details about where to be, when to be there, and what to be there with. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get the information you need for the summer sailing season!

When: 6/23/18 at 4 pm

Where: Niantic Bay Yacht Club


Now Enrolling for Summer 2018!

Junior Sailing Lessons (age 6-18)

Learn to sail or learn to sail better!!

4-Week or 8-Week Programs
at Niantic Bay Yacht Club

Session 1: June 25 – July 20
Session 2: July 23 – August 17
Open to the Public!

No prior sailing experience required!
No boat ownership required!

Sign up here!

Adult Sailing 101

No sailing experience necessary!

Learn to sail in small groups aboard study and safe Ensigns; two-week sessions offered at Niantic Bay Yacht Club

June 25, 28; July 2, 5

5:30-8:00 pm



You will learn how to rig and handle a boat, sail safely, use a compass and charts, come about, cast off, and dock! Don’t know what any of that means? We’ll cover sailing terminology too! All taught by experienced instructors in a welcoming and non-intimidating setting!

NBYC Members: $175
Non-members: $225

For more information or to register, contact Ken Shluger at 860-205-9569 or


Racing: Beyond the Basics II

NBSA presents the ideal course to take the recreational racer or middle-of-the-pack-er to the next level.

Dave Peck, Greg Hall, and Chris Vann have offered to share their knowledge and will coach you on strategies, tactics, starting techniques, effective roundings, finishing, sail trim, boat handling, using the rules to your advantage, and positioning yourself on the race course to win!

First two sessions will be whiteboard or video classroom tutorials. Final three sessions will be a series of short races to practice and perfect your skills.

July 10, 12 – 5:30-7 pm

July 17, 19, 23 – 5:30-8:00 pm

$175 NBYC members; $225 non-members

For more info or to register contact Ken Shluger at 860-205-9569 or

Class size is limited so register TODAY!!!

Check out our flyer at the link below and be sure to share with your family and friends!

NBSA Junior Sailing Flyer 2018

NBSA Adult Sailing Lessons 2018

NBSA Racing 2018 Flyer

2017 NBSA Achievements

The Niantic Bay Sailing Association completed another successful season with over 100 youth and adults participating in lessons last year! We saw participation from all skill levels, from beginner boot camps to youth racing programs to adult sailing instruction.

The following were awards/milestones reached by our junior sailors:

« 1ST PLACE in Club 420 Bemis Area B Championship
« 9TH PLACE in the US Sailing National Bemis Trophy
in Club 420s
« 1ST PLACE mid-Atlantic Midget Championship
(age 15 and under)
« 1ST PLACE in every single Eastern Connecticut Sailing
Association Club 420 Regatta

Wow! While we are so proud of our racing achievements, the life-long skills and values learned along with the relationships that all of our sailors have made are far more valuable than winning on the race course.

Looking forward to another great season in 2018!