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Jenn Johnson was voted the Hoofer of the Month for the month of March for all the work that she has put into helping the sailing club put together it's new manuals. Congratulations Jenn!

At this time she has helped us put together the following manuals:
A new weather manual: Learn about how meteorological changes in the atmosphere affect our wind conditions as well as how the landscape surrounding the lake affects the air patterns moving across it.
A new scow manual: This guide will help introduce you to everything you need to know about how to control all the scows in our fleet.

We encourage everyone to check out these beautiful new manuals as well as the others in our library as Jenn continues to work with our fleet captains and active fleet members to update our other manuals. If you see Jenn around make sure to thank her for all her hard work!

Jenn Johnson - Hoofer of the Month in March!

Jenn Johnson was voted the Hoofer of the Month for the month of March for all the work that she has put into helping the sailing club put together it's new manuals. Congratulations Jenn!

At this time she has helped us put together the following manuals:
A new weather manual: Learn about how meteorological changes in the atmosphere affect our wind conditions as well as how the landscape surrounding the lake affects the air patterns moving across it.
A new scow manual: This guide will help introduce you to everything you need to know about how to control all the scows in our fleet.

We encourage everyone to check out these beautiful new manuals as well as the others in our library as Jenn continues to work with our fleet captains and active fleet members to update our other manuals. If you see Jenn around make sure to thank her for all her hard work!

Getting to Know the Hoofer Sailing Club

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 scheme 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.

Visit to view available lessons!

Meet Our Staff

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."

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!!"

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!"

Matt Juskiewicz

"'So, would you like to race catamarans?' This is the question that got me into sailing. Since then, I have fallen in love with the wind, water, and over-powered sailboats.
Considering that I was introduced to sailing by chance, I do everything I can to introduce more people to this amazing sport. I will build your confidence in the skills you have and teach you the skills to go fast. I will see you on the water."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

Yu Chen

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

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."

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

Jeff Thurner

"I have been sailing most of my life, in Florida, Cayman and Wisconsin. In 2013 I was J-Fleet Captain here at hoofers. If you see me on the lake shore, say Hi!"

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

Connor Vliet

"I grew up sailing on Lake Michigan as a kid. I've taught sailing and raced dinghies and big boats in Milwaukee throughout high school. I like long walks on the beach, candle-lit dinners, and dancing in the rain."

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!"

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."

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."

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. "

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."

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!"

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!"

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

David Crinion

"I've always loved being on/in the water. I first began windsurfing when I was 11. In my 7 years of windsurfing I've had a blast and decided I wanted to start teaching others! A side hobby I have is doing recovery dives for what ever happens to go overboard."