On-The-Water Instructors


  • Debbie Dunne – In 1994 Debbie Dunne started at OCC by teaching and coordinating the At Risk Youth Sailing Program. Since then, she has taught Lidos, Shields, Keelboat and Racing classes as well as powerboat class. Her love of sailing started at an early age in Newport Harbor. At age 15 she began teaching and racing at the Boy Scout Sea Base and was a sea explorer for ten years. After that she worked for various charter companies in Newport and San Francisco Bay. “Sailing, for me, is a total blast. Being able to teach an incredible sport in such a beautiful setting is a great bonus.” Debbie holds a 50 ton U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license as well as a U.S. Sailing Small Boat certification and Basic Keelboat certification.
  • Marc Hughston – Marc took his first sailing lesson at age 14, on the island of Moorea, and he has been sailing ever since. As a sailing and cruising instructor since 1998, Marc has honed his expertise in anchoring and handling heavy weather. “I’ve had had the opportunity to visit the most sought-after west coast destinations under sail in the mildest and harshest of conditions, and one of the most satisfying experiences for me is helping others build the capabilities they need to do the same.” Marc regularly leads off-shore multi-day voyages to Catalina and the Northern Channel Islands. He teaches Basic Keelboat, Basic Cruising, and Bareboat Cruising Certification, and leads cruising seminars. His cruising guide entitled “Anchoring At Catalina: No Moorings? No Problem!” is the text for the 3-day cruise of the same name. Marc holds a USCG 100 ton Master’s license, and is a US SAILING and US POWERBOATING certified instructor.
  • Fortune Abor – Fortune began sailing her junior year of high school when she joined her school’s sailing team that raced
    FJs. During that year she also worked on a summer sailing program on the Potomac River in Washington
    DC teaching on The Flying Scot, an east coast boat. After she graduated high school, she moved to
    California and started working here in 2018 as an assistant instructor for our youth and adult class. She
    loved the craft so much that she wanted to learn how the boats work and what maintenance they
    needed to be cared for that she joined our maintenance team. She says, “If you understand the
    equipment you are working with you love it 10x more”. Fortune is currently working towards getting her
    BA in recreation management and would love to come back after she graduates to help develop
    programming for the sailing center.
  • Thomas Aguna – Thomas has been at the sailing center for almost 20 years. He began as a volunteer for 10 years and
    from there became an instructor with us. He strives to make his classes fun, easy to sail, and as stress
    free as possible because he remembers what it was like to be a beginner and understands how it feels to
    be confused and hopes to make that process as uncomplicated as he can for his students. In his free
    time Thomas sails a variety of boats, he enjoys anything from a day sailer to technical racing boats, some
    of his favorite boats include a Shields 30 and J/22. 
  • Robert Bents – Robert grew up sailing in the junior program at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club as well as racing on his
    grandparents 40ft sailboat. He continued his sailing on the Mater Dei High School sail team for all 4
    years he attended. He started his coaching at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club for their junior program. He
    now teaches a variety of classes at the sailing center. Not only does Robert instruct our adult and youth
    classes and camps, but he is also a part of our maintenance team. As Robert finishes the MARA program
    through Orange Coast College, he prepares to attend Cal Maritime. From there, he hopes to become a
    harbor pilot.
  • Saylor Bents
  • Alex Boullon
  • Alain Bourgault
  • Jackie Cappellini
  • Zane Chang
  • Colleen Clay
  • Brad Gilreath – Brad teaches our adult beginner classes such as Lido 1 & 2, Harbor 20 Level 1, and Marina Park
    Beginning Dinghy that is taught on RS Quests. Outside of being a US Sailing Small Boat Instructor Brad started to design
    sailing computers, through this he was able to do projects for the US Olympic Sail Team in 2022 and
    worked with the US Challenger for the 37th America’s Cup American Magic in Pensacola, Florida. He is currently consults in the marine industry. 
  • Berkeley Green
  • Kaelyn Ibold – Kaelyn took her first sailing class at USC on a wooden Schooner, while she was learning to sail her
    professor convinced her to begin working on other wooden boats from which she gained a lot of unique
    experience and knowledge. Through this she met people who introduced her to racing that she now
    enjoys doing in her free time. Kaelyn teaches a lot of our keelboat classes such as our Harbor 20, Shields,
    and J/22 at Marina Park which is one of her personal favorite boats. Aside from racing and being an
    instructor Kaelyn teaches Nautical Science at USC during this course she teaches on multiple boats some
    including tall ships, dinghies, and cruising. 
  • Robert Jones
  • David Kitchens
  • David Laudenback
  • Steve Manns
  • Billy Miller
  • Chloe Nishanian – Chloe began instructing as a camp counselor at the sailing center during our youth leadership program
    over the summer. As a counselor, she wanted to give beginner and intermediate young sailors
    knowledge that she did not have when she began sailing. She loves spending her summer working with
    the different level camps and learning from her peers around her. Chloe hopes to take the skills she has
    learned while working with our youth camps and apply them to her lessons to help her become an
    instructor for adult classes.
  • Karen Prioleau
  • Paul Prioleau
  • Deb Robinson – Deb grew up in Northern California but spent 2 weeks every summer in Balboa. During her time in
    Balboa, she learned to sail on a sabot and gained her love for being on the water. She went on to sail on
    larger boats, participated in big boat racing, and now races on Harbor 20s. Deb has taught our Lido
    classes and occasionally a Harbor 20 and Shields class for 26 years. She enjoys introducing people to
    sailing and loves having a job where she feels appreciated because she is helping people and sees them
    having fun.
  • Garrett Romero
  • Cleo Sewehy
  • Kyle Starr
  • Lynn Thompson
  • Maureen Vild
  • Greg Wisener