General SailingWisconsin Sailing TeamCommodore's CupFriday Night Socials

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Commodore's Cup is a 9-day activity that typically takes place during the third week of July to celebrate both the sailing and social aspects of the club.
All participants and divided into teams that create their own team name and nautical theme. Team names of the past include the Blue-Green Algae Blooms, The Punta Armada, and the Tech-nomaniacs.
Teams compete for points in a variety of races and competitions, with the winner getting their team and names inscribed on the mighty Commodore's Cup Trophy. Races occur on almost every fleet, including the windsurfing fleet, encouraging new racers and seasoned races to enter and test their skills against other club members. Some of the competitions in the past have included the greased watermelon, the Sardine Race, the Sloop Egg competition (tape an egg to the front of a Badger Sloop and see how well you can land the boat without breaking the egg), and the famous All-Fleets Race, where the teams race all boats featured in the Hoofer fleet.
Each night features a different social event, starting with a themed dinner that the teams put on. The entire competition culminates with the Commodore's Ball--a formal dance held in the Great Hall in Memorial Union with a live band playing. At the ball, the awards are handed out and the winners are announced.
Will you get your name inscribed on the Cup?

New to Hoofers? Get started by signing up for a free class!

Hoofer Mobile Application Available Now!

We are happy to announce the release of the new Hoofer Sailing Club App! The app is designed to provide immediate access to the following information regarding club operations: Wind Direction Wind Speed Water Temperature Current Flag Sunset Time Boathouse Hours Boat Availability The webapp and can be easily found and installed by doing the following: 1.)Go to to access the application 2.)Hit your settings button(Location and appearance vary by phone) 3.)Select Add to Home Screen The app is currently in a Beta stage. This means that we are still working on the app to make improvements and increase the amount of data our members have access to. What this means is that we want your input: Let us know what you think of the app, would you add any additional features? Did you encounter any problems when using it? We want to hear from you. We hope you enjoy the new app!


The Hoofer Sailing Club, established in 1939, is a collection of students and community members working together to maintain a fleet of boats for recreational and competitive sailing. Membership includes unlimited lessons and boat usage. Our fleet, one of the largest in the nation, includes dinghies, keelboats, windsurfing boards and even winter kites.

We encourage all our members to volunteer, to become instructors (the best way to become a better sailor) and to be involved in club leadership.

By doing as much of the work as possible ourselves, we can keep our membership dues incredibly low. Compare our dues to other yacht clubs, where you may have to pay up to $1,000 per month in dues just to maintain your membership and then pay hundreds of dollars more for lessons and the expense of private boat ownership.

Not only does our structure keep our costs low, it has tremendous social potential. When you teach others to sail, or get involved in our periodic work parties and social events, you meet new people and create friendships. Friendships made all the stronger by common interests and a shared sense of pride in a job well done. You also get a chance to learn a great deal about boat operations and maintenance-- a great thing if you dream of owning a boat someday.

The majority of our membership is made up of individuals wanting to just take a few lessons and learn the basics of sailing. Yet our intercollegiate sailing team often ranks in the top 20 in the nation. We also have a a committed group of long-time members to add to the great mix that is Hoofers.

Getting started with HSC

Want to find out more about Hoofer Sailing Club? In a FREE on-land presentation, a knowledgeable instructor will guide you through an introduction to how the club works, the safety rules, and a tour, with the answers to all your questions along the way. New members must attend a Ground School before signing up for their first lesson.

Non-members are welcome to attend to find out more about the club. These lessons are offered weekly throughout the season and are available for FREE. For more information click here.

You can sign up for a ground school class here!

Meet Our Staff

Thomas Huibregtse

"I got hooked on sailing when I was nine here at Hoofers. I've taken part in several youth day camps as both a camper and a youth assistant. I want to start out teaching on Lasers, Bytes and C-Scows and help revive racing on those boats."

Dan Jenkins

"I joined HSC about 15 years ago when I moved to Madison for work, and decided that, although I had never sailed before, the sailing club seemed like a great way to take advantage of the lakes surrounding Madison. Since then I have sailed on nearly all of the club’s fleets, and I started as an instructor on Spray and Knotty Rascal in the 2007 season. I also became a certified ASA 101 instructor in 2010. Since learning sailing at Hoofer’s, I’ve sailed on Lakes Michigan and Superior many times, and also in the British Virgin Islands twice and St. Lucia and the Grenadines once. So what you learn at HSC can certainly take you sailing throughout the world."

Jessica Culberson

"The Hoofer Sailing Club is near and dear to my heart. I began teaching at Hoofers in 2004, met my husband here and even got engaged on Lake Mendota on a Hoofers boat! We moved away to California for a few years where I was able to participate in various local and national regattas. I've also had the opportunity to sail in Italy, Greece, the Bahamas and the BVI's . I'm so happy to be back in Madison at Hoofers...there's no place like it!"

Chas Kenyon

"My name is Chas Kenyon. I’m a criminal defense lawyer who learned to sail here at Hoofers and was first an instructor in 1973 on Techs. I also taught sailing for the Tomah Sailing Club. I moved away Madison in the early ‘80s and have sailed on Lake Michigan and in Green Bay. I regularly raced in Green Bay in the ‘90s and skippered in the 100 Miler. I have sailed to Rock Island through Death’s Door. I have my ASA 101, 103, 104 and 105 ratings as well as training from the Power Squadron. I look forward to sharing the joy of sailing with my students and have a YouTube playlist of some Lake Mendota sailing."

Daniel Hanna

"I learned to sail as a member of the collegiate racing team here at UW. From competing in regattas around the country, I gained a vast knowledge about dinghy sailing, especially the ability to sail them fast! I mainly teach on our Tech fleet and once in a while on the 420s."

Ken Smith

"I am an undergraduate at UW Madison. I started sailing in Japan on the open ocean when I was 7 years old, and spent 8 years in the Navy sailing around on an aircraft carrier. Now, I teach windsurfing and techs lessons, and am co-captain of the Windsurfing Fleet!"

Mark Gillespie

"I've been sailing at Hoofers since 2006 and began instructing on keelboats and J-Boats in 2008. In 2010 I was certified as an ASA Basic Keelboat Instructor. The skills and knowledge I've developed since joining Hoofers, have enabled me to sail across the Caribbean, around the Virgin Islands and along the Dalmatian coast. I co-own a 30' sailboat on Lake Michigan in which I've raced in 5 Mac Races among other adventures. My goal in instructing at Hoofers is to open up the world of sailing to those just getting started. "

Mike Treffert

“I joined Hoofers in the summer of 2013 to learn how to sail keelboats. Since then I've become ASA certified, sailed the British Virgin Islands, and co-own a 30’ sailboat on Lake Michigan. I hope to share my passion for sailing by sharing the knowledge I've gained at Hoofer Sailing Club.”

Ian Walter

"I started out as a youth camper here at Hoofers. After a few years I became a youth assistant and then an instructor when I was 17. Now I am a full time instructor here at Hoofers and a member of the UW Sailing Team where I travel all over the Midwest to race against other schools."

Joshua Tessner

"Hey! I’m from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and have been living in Madison since 2010. I’m currently a medical student at the UW SMPH. I learned how to sail here at Hoofers my first summer here and started teaching the next! I enjoy sailing all of the fleets here at Hoofers but especially enjoy the 420’s on windy days and the J-boats with a bunch of friends. See you around!”

Joe Silverberg

"I started sailing in 1943 at the age of 13. I took an 8 year sabbatical when I started my business and family. My two favorite boats to sail were the E-Scow and the Colgate 26. My two favorite Hoofer boats are the J22 and the Badger Sloop. My current extra curricular activities are volunteering with SCORE (the Service Corps of Retired Executives.), being an active Mason, a Shrine clown, a Rotarian and socializing with my fellow OFs. I have mostly sailed on the inland lakes of WI, MN and IA. I have sailed to and around many of the islands in the Caribbean. I've taken one Hoofer trip off British Columbia around the San Juan islands. I have instructed on Techs, Badger Sloops, both J boats and given one C-Scow lesson when the instructor didn't show up. (I'm not rated on the C-Scow!) Associating with the Hoofer instructors keeps me young!"

Lucas Morton

"I learned to sail, windsurf and kite at Hoofers Sailing Club over the last 3 years, and I'm excited to pass on the know-how to you! Joining the club is definitely the best decision I made since coming to Madison for graduate school. Welcome aboard, and feel free to introduce yourself if you see me around!"

Nathan Holman

"I started sailing when I was 12 years old at a summer camp, but Hoofers is where I really learned the finer points of sailing. I joined the club in 2006 and became a volunteer instructor a few years later after earning my Toy Boat skipper rating. The knowledge I gained at Hoofers allowed me to charter keelboats on the great lakes and the bahamas, and also to be employed as a professional sailor on a tall ship for a summer. My other hobbies include mountain biking, science, and playing the violin."

Peter Keuler

"I took up sailing with Hoofers in 2009. I’ve been a volunteer instructor on the Heavy Keelboats since 2011. I enjoy racing on Toy boat, sailing all of our boats and maintaining the boats over the winter months!"

Chamond Liu

"I learned to sail at Hoofers in 2006, when merely attaching the rudder to a Tech made me seasick. Undeterred, I’m still at it, picking up a little something new every time I’m on the water, whether on a J-boat or scow, one of those remarkable Bytes, a nimble 420, the sociable Badger Sloop, or pedal-to-the-metal windsurfing. (My windsurfing pages are here). Join us and perhaps you’ll pick up a little something new too."

Phillip Tietze

“I first developed a love for sailing as a youngster growing up in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., where I learned to sail on the Chesapeake Bay, sailing and racing in Flying Scots. My love and enthusiasm for all things sailing continues unabated to this day. In my day job as a public school teacher (subject-music), I derive great satisfaction in helping my students achieve success both inside and outside the classroom and take great pride in seeing my students reach their goals. I look forward to using my skills and experience as a professional educator in my new role as a Hoofers sailing instructor to enable our members to discover the joys of sailing and to nurture and encourage their own passion and enthusiasm for this great sport.

I will be serving as instructor for the 420, Badger Sloop, and J boat fleets, and am especially looking forward to teaching Intro to Sailing, where it all begins!"

Elliot Busta

"I learned to sail on a small lake in MN on a Sunfish. I’ve now been sailing with Hoofers for three years, on the Wisconsin Sailing Team for two years, and this is my first summer instructing with Hoofers. I’m currently pursuing a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, hoping to graduate in spring of 2016."

Christopher Frye

"I love to teach sailing with the Hoofer Sailing Club because it is where I learned to sail, and where so many of my happiest memories come from. I fully believe that it is the greatest organization of its type out there."

John Beck

"I grew up learning to sail Optimists, X-boats, 420s, and E-Scows on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh, WI. When I came to UW-Madison, I joined the Hoofer Sailing Club and became an instructor for various boats and taught Hoofer Youth lessons. I graduated last year and now I work full-time at UW Hospital, but I still love spending my summers teaching sailing and participating in Hoofer Sailing!"

Sam Daly

"Sam Daly is a proud Madison native and a recent graduate in mechanical engineering from Cornell University. 2014 is his 8th year teaching at Hoofers and he enjoys teaching on all fleets from windsurfing to keel boats to scows – in his mind, it’s any excuse to get out on Lake Mendota.
Sailing has brought Sam the opportunity to live aboard off an anchor on Martha’s Vineyard, crew on boats around the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island and most recently to be a candidate for a US Coast Guard Captains license and take on the San Francisco Bay under sail – a goal of his lessons is to spark the same love and adventurous spirit for sailing right here on the “most fun” place to sail in the world, Hoofers. "

Anna Boatman

"I started sailing when I was 14, racing I-20s with my dad on Lake Winnebago in Fond Du Lac, WI. I joined Hoofers the summer before my senior year at UW, and now I teach on small dinghies, especially Techs and Bytes."

Jim Choncholas

"As a native Madisonian I sailed my way through a few of Hoofer’s youth programs. Now I sail techs, 420s, lasers, and my favorite, the Badger Sloop."

Andrew Bartling

"I first learned to sail here at Hoofers in 2009. Since then I've enjoyed teaching others to sail for three years and working on boats as the Scow Fleet Captain. While I like all of the boats Hoofers has to offer, I especially like sailing and racing on our scows, but am not opposed to a casual sail around the lake on one of our keelboats or Badger Sloops. I currently study chemical engineering as an undergrad here at UW."

John Feith

"I learned to sail at Hoofers and have been a sailing instructor (also at
Hoofers) for over 10 years. I've sailed several times in the Apostle
Islands, crossed Lake Michigan, and cruised in the Caribbean. Other
interests include birdsong recording and VO5. As part of the Hoofers 75th
Anniversary, I produced an hour-long documentary DVD on the history of the

David Jeter

"I raced 420s in college, rebuilt and sailed my own boat, sailed the Apostle, Puerto Rican, and US Virgin Islands. I love sharing my passion for sailing by being a Hoofer's instructor."

Jeanne Morledge

"I have so much fun teaching snow kiting and windsurfing, and sharing these great sports with Hoofers! To have fun on Lake Mendota all year around, and the Union Terrace and new Hoofer lakefront is the best!"

Eric Tobias

"I'm from Racine, Wisconsin where I grew up sailing on Lake Michigan. I've been instructing at Hoofers since 2011. I just graduated from UW - Madison where I competed on the sailing team."

Becky Zarling

"I learned to sail with Hoofer's Sailing Club in 2002 and have not looked back since. Learning to sail has helped me gain self-esteem, master skills I have never been exposed to before, and provides me an outlet for both my frustrations as well as enjoyments. Also, snowkiting is a thrill like no other & I am proud to have been the Kiting Fleet Captain this year. We are excited to unveil to members our new Kitewings this winter. As an instructor for ground schools, sailing, and kiting, I hope to pass on to members and potential members the passion I have for and the reward I feel from these sports and for Hoofer's Sailing Club which makes it all possible!"

Tadhg Barret

Tadhg Barrett, has been at the club since moving to Madison in 2012. Tadhg teaches sailing in Badger sloop's, Tech's, 420's and Laser classes. Originally from Ireland he has sailed and taught in lots of places around the world; Australia, France, England, Wales and Alaska to name but a few. His greatest achievements have been becoming a sailing instructor in Ireland/UK (and of course Hoofers!!), as well as sailing across the Pacific and the Mediterranean. He is always eager to share his knowledge of water sports with people to make it safer and easier to learn quicker. He looks forward to spending time with you on the water, have a great season!!!

Tulika Singh

"I love sailing!! I have made some great friends hanging around Hoofers and look forward to welcoming new faces into our community... especially if you can be heavy crew! Despite being a small person, I love the thrilling as well as relaxing times when I go sailing. Seeing people learn and love sailing is really rewarding for me. I was in the youth programs a few years ago, then became an instructor, and even gave the sailing team a try. The view of Madison from the lake is fantastic too. See you out on the lake!"

Charlie Cahill

"I began my sailing life with Hoofer's in 2007 and became hooked immediately. In Hoofer's I instruct for our J-fleet and Swing-Keels. Outside of Hoofers I've had the opportunity to sail in Chicago, around the Apostle Islands and off the coast of Israel. There's nothing like our club in the world and I'm so thankful to be a part of it!"

Jo Reis

"I started sailing with Hoofers in 1985. In 1986 I started working at the repair shop and the next year I became an sailing instructor. Windsurfing is my favorite, but while I wait for some good wind, I love sailing all kinds of boats. In 2000 I took a two year sabbatical from Hoofers and sailed around the world in a 37 foot catamaran. See for details. I also enjoy building wooden boats and I am now working on boat number 9. My next dream is to do an epic sailing trip like these guys"

Daniel Sutton

"I have 25 years of racing experience in C-Scows and five in keel boats. I just had to get back to the scows so I joined Hoofer’s and am honoured to be a part of this fine organization. While I still enjoy racing, there is no feeling quite like instructing a student on the water; watching for that moment when it all comes together for them and they become part of the boat. Best feeling in the world, that."

Jim Rogers

"I really learned to sail with Hoofers and have enjoyed teaching for several years. It’s amazing and so satisfying to see beginners quickly learn the basic maneuvers for the boats or windsurfers, then get a lot of experience and some additional coaching and take off so well. I fell in love with the speed of windsurfing when (as my body, the equipment and the conditions all work well) time feels as though it actually slows down as the speed increases."

Brian Adams

"I have been an Instructor since 1999 and has taught over 300 Tech and 130 Badger Sloop lessons. I have been a Badger Sloop Fleet Instruction Supervisor, Conference Sailing Coordinator and member of the Education Committee. Away from Hoofers, I design and develop online and blended courses. My Introduction to Sailing interactive tutorial is just one example of this work."

Robin Rohwer

"I've been sailing in small boats with my dad since before I can remember. I've sailed on many types of boats, from windsurfing to a tall ship, but small boat lake sailing is still my favorite. This is my second year at Hoofers and my first year teaching adults, but I taught 10 year olds for two idyllic summers when I was in college. My favorite part of teaching is witnessing the moment when fear turns into excitement (often after the first capsize). Adults may not be as transparent as children, but I hope I can instill some of this excitement into my Hoofers students as well!

When I'm not sailing, I'm a graduate student studying the microbial community ecology of Lake Mendota. Basically, my life is all things Lake Mendota."

Kyle May

"This is my first year instructing here, but before that I was in the youth program and also a youth assistant. I like long walks on the beach and sunsets. Oh, and if you need a massage you can always ask me."

Molly Daugherty

"I grew up through the Hoofers youth program, and then went on to be a youth assistant and now instructor. I mostly teach Intro to Sailing courses and Tech lessons apart from youth. I love being able to share my enthusiasm for sailing and Hoofers is the best place for it! See you on the water!"

Yu Chen

"Started windsurfing in 2009 and started to teach windsurfing in 2012 at HSC.

Andrew Becker

"I'm from Minneapolis/St Paul I started sailing on the Northern Michigan University sailing team racing FJs and 420s and Ensigns on Lake Superior. I spend the winters coaching at an alpine ski racing academy in Colorado."

Adam Riggall

"The Hoofer Sailing Club is a big reason I chose to come to Wisconsin to do my graduate work (ssshh… don’t tell my advisor). I grew up sailing dinghies. Since joining the club the day I arrived in Madison, I’ve taken the opportunity to expose myself to as many boats as possible (including Betty Lou…). I mainly teach J’s, scows, and windsurfing. As the Winter Kiting Fleet Captain I make sure the fun continues year round!”

Peter Grimmer

"Been sailing at Hoofers since I was a kid, I sail most of the boats at Hoofers and I race 420s on the UW sailing team."

Kaitlyn Hamers

"I started sailing in the Hoofer Youth Program when I was eleven years old, and became a youth assistant at age fifteen. I've loved sailing ever since the very beginning, and I'm excited to pass on my enthusiasm for the sport to the children in the youth program!"

Katlyn Putney

"I grew up sailing in Milwaukee at South Shore Yacht Club. I started when I was eight and have sailed and raced Optis, Lasers, Snipes, 420s, FJs, and Tarten 10s. Now I am on the UW Sailing Team and I race all over the country!"

Joseph Bruckner

"Winter sports have always been my passion, and so it’s been a thrill to work with the Hoofer Snow Kiting Fleet. Sailing and Kiting in Madison has been a great way for me to satiate my desire for the mountains and coastline of the Pacific Northwest, where I was raised. There is nothing better than the direct wind-body connection enabled by a snow kite, and Hoofers has developed one of the largest and most successful kiting schools in the region. If you’re looking for a thrilling new wind-powered sport, come take a kiting lesson with us!"

Tony Grolemund

"I am an undergrad here at UW Madison. I started sailing when I was young; I learned to sail with my dad on inland lakes, I then got into racing on scows and loved it. I'm in the Army and teach on most of the fleets at hoofers."

Doug Miran

"I've been sailing my entire life and grew up sailing on Lake Mendota. 2014 is going to be my 10th year as instructor. I teach on all the small boat fleets, scows, light and medium keelboats. I also teach in our Hoofer Youth sailing program. I was a University of Wisconsin cheerleader for 2 years and can do a back flip anytime, on land or off a boat!"

John Kinzel

"I learned to sail when I was 10 and have been racing dinghies and keelboats ever since. I am on the UW sailing team and have been teaching sailing for the last 5 years. I love teaching people something I am passionate about and spreading the joy of sailing."

Sawyer Walter

"Hey! I'm Sawyer! I learned to sail and windsurf through the Youth Program at Hoofers when I was 10. I worked my way up, and was hired as an instructor at 16! My favorite classes to teach are windsurfing and Scows. I have the best summer job ever!"

George Roth

"I was born into a sailing family in 1949. During my youth I raced in many different one-design class centerboard boats as well as cruising class yachts on Lake Erie. During that time I was able to watch the transition from all wood to fiberglass hulls. I currently alternate my sailing between Lake Mendota and the Apostle Islands."

Jenn Johnson

"My family was dumbstruck when I took up sailing as an adult. When I was a kid, taking me down to the marina was like taking a dog to the vet! But now—and thanks largely to Hoofers, where I’ll be teaching scows this summer—the switch has been completely flipped from off to on. So if you’ve tried sailing before and it didn’t take, trust me: With the right boat (hint: a scow) and a great club to sail with, it can be tremendous fun the second time around."

Victor Lai

"I first learned to sail on keelboats out in the Pacific Northwest. Technically I have a couple ASA certifications, but I’d be a hazard to others if I tried to skipper now. These days I do some windsurfing and a little snow kiting. Mostly I enjoy the company of all the awesome people at Hoofers and few things beat a sunny, warm and windy day with friends on the terrace."

Magnus Zaunmueller

"I have been windsurfing since the age of nine! Nine years later, and after endless hours of playing on the water, I am more passionate about windsurfing than ever. I enjoy competing in various windsurfing regattas around the country but love teaching just as much. See you on the water!"

Mills Botham

"I've been Sailing with Hoofers for the past five summers, three as a youth camper, and two as a Youth Assistant and enjoyed every minute of it. I'm a new instructor this year, and am greatly looking forward to a sixth summer with Hoofers Sailing!"

Mary Cummins

"I love to sail! I grew up sailing and racing on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh, WI. I sailed for the University of Wisconsin Sailing Team during my four years as an undergraduate and competed at so many cool places around the country. Nowadays, I am a middle and high school math teacher; however my favorite job is teaching sailing at Hoofers! I like to sail any type of boat and also windsurf, but you will usually find me teaching lasers, 420s, techs, scows, and, of course, the Hoofer youth camps!"

Michaela Rabas

"I started sailing when I was 8 at the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club where I had awesome college-aged sailing instructors who made me want to become an instructor when I grew up! I taught at that same place for three summers. I eventually became a student at the University of Wisconsin and decided to give a summer in Madison a chance when I got this awesome job!! I teach on Techs and 420s and am working towards more ratings. My favorite food is pickles and you'd be the best students ever if you brought me some!!"

Paul Hansen

"I came to Madison for grad school, and in that time I've been a member, instructor, and fleet captain at Hoofer Sailing Club. Although I enjoy sailing big boats, my favorite lessons to teach are the small dinghies, because it gives me a chance to introduce people to the sport of sailing."

Cameron McCallum

"I grew up sailing on the Madison lakes and love this city! When I was 10 I took an intro sailing camp out of Maple Bluff and was hooked instantly. Since then I have also picked up windsurfing, and while the sport can be frustrating at times, it is immensely rewarding when you finally get the sail up and the wake starts forming behind you. I am excited to be instructing for the first time this year and share this amazing sport with as many people as possible!"

Lilly Pearson

"I started sailing at Hoofers when I was 11 in the youth program and became a youth assistant after a few years. I was hired on as an instructor when I was 16 and have worked at hoofers since then. Other sailing experience includes sailing a 134 foot tall ship across the Pacific Ocean in a program called SEA for a month last spring. I mostly teach on the smaller fleets and in the youth program."

Peter Daly

"Now in my fifth year as a Hoofer instructor, I teach across the fleet from Techs to Heavy Keelboats. I’m delighted to be part of Hoofer Sailing Club getting to know club members, teaching on the water, and enjoying summer at its best in Madison. Sailing has always been part of my life and I enjoy introducing the sport to others. Seeing someone “get it” during a lesson is what motivates me as an instructor."

Kyle Heisler

"I first joined Hoofer Sailing Club in 2013 after going out sailing with a friend. I quickly became very involved in the club; learning to sail myself and acting as the Webmaster for the club. After my first summer on Lake Mendota with the club I am looking forward to another. During the winter I taught Kiting lessons on the ice and, now that the lake has thawed, I look forward to teaching on the Scow and Windsurfing fleets!"