Our Staff

Our coaches are the essential component to providing a quality, comprehensive sailing experience to all sailors from beginners to our youth race team. They are key to instilling a life long love of sport. NSC strives to create a dynamic, positive and supportive environment for our instructor team to excel.

 Our Staff

Valerie Robichaud

Head Instructor


I am a CanSail 5&6 instructor from Shediac, NB. I have been coaching sailing for five summers. I competed in 29er sailboat at the 2013 Canada Summer Games and for the passed two summers I raced on a J29 every Wednesday night in Shediac. I am currently in third year at the University of Ottawa, where I race 420’s on the University sailing team! I love being on the water and am very excited for this summer!

Emma Smith

LTS Administrator

I am excited to be back with the NSC team as the school administrator for a second year! Prior to working with the NSC team, I spent a few summers taking my beginner sailing levels at a young age, and completing all of my Windsurf Levels as a teenager. During the winters, I spent several years competing and coaching as a rhythmic gymnast, and now I am studying Kinesiology at Brock University. I have always had a love for being out on the water, and can’t wait to be surrounded once again by people who share the same passion!

Paul Place

Single Handed Race Coach


I have been teaching sailing for the last 6 summers at the Gatineau River Yacht Club where I was the Head Instructor and Race Coach. As a member of the GRYC and Aylmer race teams, I raced for several years in Lasers and 420’s at national and provincial events. Recently, I have been racing on the Canadian Intercollegiate Sailing Circuit as a member of the University of Ottawa Sailing Team. For the last two years, I have been working for the Quebec Sailing Federation as a Learning Facilitator teaching instructor courses. I am now the proud new owner of a 505 double handed dinghy and look forward to sailing it on Wednesday evenings this summer at NSC. I am thrilled to be joining the instructor team at NSC and look forward to coaching the Race Team this summer on the Ottawa River and beyond!

Rae Anne Norwood

Double Handed Race Coach


This sailing season will be my fourth year as part of the Nepean Sailing School race team. After campaigning a Laser Radial athlete on the Quebec Sailing Team from 2012 to 2014, I am excited to continue giving back to the youth racers of my home club as the Double Handed Race Coach.  I am a certified CANSail 5-6 coach and will be continuing my training as a Development Coach.  I have also gained experience as the Fall coach for the Quebec Sailing Team in Montreal.  My experience on the race course and in the coach boat will help to develop a strong, motivated team this summer.

Mitchell Lowery

CanSail 3/4 Instructor

I am 18 years old and I have been sailing since 2009. I have spent four years training and competing with my brother in the Club420 at Nepean, and one year training and competing in the 29er class at Kingston. I have competed in many regattas, often with extremely notable results, and I am very excited to be sharing my knowledge and experience with those who are newer to the 420.

Julian Lowery

CanSail 3/4 Instructor

I have been a member of the Nepean Sailing Club since 2006, and began dinghy sailing in 2009. After a year of training in the 420, I began racing competitively in 2012 as a 420 skipper with my twin brother as crew. We continued to race at various regattas in Ontario with much success in the 420 class but finally switched to the 29er in 2015. After spending the summer of 2015 sailing on Lake Ontario out of Kingston to gain valuable sailing experience, I continue to sail the 29er to this day.

Nic Dolcetti-Koros

Adventure Sail Instructor

This is my third summer teaching at the Nepean Sailing Club. I’m in Grade 12 at Glebe Collegiate Institute and I was the head coach for the the Nordic Ski Team for the past 2 winters. I raced with Nakkertok Nordic for 5 years on the Provincial and National circuit. Next year, I’ll be travelling around the world before settling into University. I’m very excited to be the Adventure Sail Instructor this summer and I look forward to having some memorable times on the water with everyone!

Camden Sutherland

CanSail 2 Instructor

This will be my second summer teaching CanSail 1/2 out of Nepean Sailing Club. I’ve been sailing at Nepean for around nine years now and since the beginning I was hooked. For the past three and a half years I raced Lasers as part of Nepean’s Youth Race Team and have traveled to compete in many places across Ontario and Quebec. I’m currently studying as a first year at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick which sadly does not have a sailing team, so I’m super excited to get back out on the water! I’m looking forward to this summer teaching sailing at NSC and being part of this impeccable instructor team!

John Gardner

Can Sail 2 Instructor

This will be my 3rd summer teaching CANsail 2 at NSC, and my 11th summer at NSC.  I will also be a Sr. Race Bosun, so look for me out on race nights! I recently took a year off school to work and work on cars, which is one of my many passions, along with sailing and being on the water! Next year I will be attending Algonquin for Computer engineering – Computer science! I cant wait for this summer to get into full swing and I look forward to teaching and developing all the sailors I can!

David Mincoff

Get Up To Speed Instructor

I started sailing four years ago at Nepean sailing Club and loved it from the beginning.  I started working as an After Sail facilitator at NSC three summers ago and am excited to be the Get Up to Speed Instructor this summer.  Last summer I was on the race team at NSC and learned a great deal and really enjoyed it.  I am very excited to be a part of the instructor team and I am looking forward to being out on the water this summer.

Cameron Macdonald

Can Sail 1 Instructor


This is my first year instructing at the sailing school, but I have been at Nepean for years as a part of the race team and as a graduate of the sailing program. I have competed several times at the Fruit Bowl Regatta in Hudson and I am excited to continue racing as part of Nepean’s Wednesday night races. I love the Ottawa River and the atmosphere at Nepean Sailing Club.  I can’t wait for the summer!

Emma Heller

Can Sail 1 Instructor

I’ve been sailing since before I could walk! Ever since then I fell in love with the sport. Nepean Sailing Club has helped me develop both my skills and passion for sailing through their sailing school, which I started at 10 years ago.  Throughout my sailing career I have progressed from just cruising to racing a variety of boats. I’ve competed at the local and provincial level, and gained valuable insight into the tactical world of sailing. Whether it’s dinghy racing on Wednesday, keelboat racing on Thursday or bareboating in the Caribbean, I feel a sailboat is my second home.
I am beyond excited to be back on the water this summer and to be sharing my love and knowledge of sailing with my students.

Philomen Cens

Tackers Instructor

I am currently attending Bell High School and am interested in the Marine Engineering field for my future career. I am passionate about boats and own two of them. One of them is a C&C 27 which I am planning to race this summer. I have been sailing at the Nepean Sailing Club for 9 years. This will be my third year teaching Tackers. I am very excited to come back this summer and can’t wait for what’s to come next.

Alex Wittman

Tackers Instructor

I am currently majoring in history at Carleton University.  I sailed in the learn to sail program at Britannia Yacht Club for 7 years and it was a blast! After years of being a sailing student I knew I wanted to become an instructor. This summer will be my second year teaching Tackers at Nepean Sailing Club. I’m looking forward to getting back out onto the water and teaching this summer! ​


Able Sail


 To learn more about our Able Sail staff, and volunteers, please click here.

The school staff and volunteer organization chart is available here.


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