Meet Our Coaches

Ken Kessler


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Mark Schwenk


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Jack Zuraw


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Angie Wilson


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Jeffrey K Bowen


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Captain Ken started sailing in his teens as a Sea Scout on Lake Michigan. He continued his sailing hobby while in the Army (retired as a Colonel) and when he and wife Pat ran their own Engineering firm. He took the German Offshore Course in the Aegean Sea and has sailed numerous times in the North Atlantic. He has raced on the Chesapeake for 25+ years. He regularly participates in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race from Annapolis to Norfolk and races locally on a Beneteau 367. The only thing he enjoys more than sea stories and having fun is seeing students get the joy of mastering the skills to skipper a sailboat under all conditions.

Captain Ken holds his USCG 50 Ton Master’s license with sailing endorsement for boats over 20 meters and ASA Instructor certification for Advanced Coastal Cruising (ASA106).

Mark began teaching part-time several years ago so he could share his lifelong passion for sailing with beginner to advanced students. He started sailing Sunfish and small keelboats on the Chesapeake Bay and gradually moved up to larger boats and now sails the waters from the Chesapeake down the Atlantic coast to Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean.

He holds a US Coast Guard license, ASA instructor certifications, and enjoys cruising the east coast and beyond. He lives part-time on his Classic 1972 Allied Princess 36 ft Ketch in Deale, MD and spends much of his winters sailing in warmer climates.

Jack Zuraw is a registered architect, but he’s been interested in boats since he was a kid daydreaming about the Chesapeake steamboat era and sailing a Sunfish on family vacations. Since then, he’s crewed on racing sloops on the Bay and sailed up and down the East Coast. Post graduate studies on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts set the stage for an enduring interest in traditional boats.

He built a Catboat called the “Julia Rose” in the 1970s and 1980s and repaired a semi-dory, designed by John Gardner of Mystic Seaport and built by Jack’s wife’s grandfather in the 1960s. When the opportunity arose to buy and restore a Bay built boat, it seemed like a pretty natural thing to do.

Jack holds a US Coast Guard 50 ton Masters credential with a sail endorsement.

Angie left her southern roots to pursue her dream of blue water sailing.  She taught herself to sail Lasers before graduating up thru keelboats to the Pearson 35 that she now skippers and cruises.  Besides teaching, she also goes on deliveries throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.  Angie enjoys sharing her passion for sailing and her enthusiasm is infectious.

Capt. Angie spends her winters teaching and sailing in the Bahamas. You cannot help but fall in love with the sport as she shares her knowledge and skills out on the Bay.

Captain Jeff started sailing in his early teen years and began teaching sailing during summers while in college. His sailing experience includes boats ranging from windsurfers to large cruising boats. Jeff lived aboard a 44′ Catamaran for 3 years with his wife and 5 children. As a family, they cruised between the Chesapeake Bay and the Bahamas. If you want tips on sailing with children, he is definitely the one to talk with! As a family, they are back on land for a while but are dreaming of new adventures.

Captain Jeff also started a non-profit sailing organization to mentor at-risk teens through the sport of sailing. Planet Hope has been impacting the lives of young people for over 10 years. He has worked with young people through his church and other non-profit organizations in some capacity for over 25 years and brings this passion for young people to our Youth Sailing Camps.

Captain Jeff holds his 100 Ton Master’s license, is an ordained minister, but he will tell you that his most important title is “dad”.  He is also the founder of The Sailing Academy. He would rather be sailing than sitting in the office, so he actively teaches all levels of sailing.