Rebecca, who goes by Becca, grew up in Nashville, Tennessee with parents who were avid sailors. Her first sailing experience was while her mother was eight months pregnant and her first memories are on a sailboat. Becca started sailing in Optimist Prams (small 8 foot floating bathtubs) but she realized quickly that she wanted something bigger and faster and began racing in Lasers. She won the first Laser race she entered and was hooked on sailing for life. Growing up Becca, her parents, and older brother, Lucas, would enter weekend Lightning class sailboat regattas all over the Midwest/Southwest. She still returns to Tennessee on some weekends to join her family in many a regatta.
Becca became interested in becoming an instructor and coach when her parents created “Miss Mandy’s Sailing Camp” at the Harbor Island Yacht Club in Nashville. In 1988, Mandy and William Hofmeister led a group of parents and juniors from the Harbor Island and Percy Priest Yacht Clubs in forming “Miss Mandy’s Sailing Camp.” The camp continued to grow and those who attended eventually also became counslers after earning their US Sailing Association Small Boat Instructor Certifications. These teenagers got the opportunity to lead by providing on-the-water training for the campers. The young campers loved being around the teenagers and the parents were able to be on the sidelines, offering safety and curriculum guidance. From Becca’s experience with this program, she found the skills to become a first rate qualified sailing instructor and coach.
Becca, who graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2014 with a major in Psychology, was visiting a friend in St. Petersburg after graduation when she discovered an instructor position for the Youth Sailing Program at the Davis Island Yacht Club. She applied and was hired, relocating her to the St. Pete area. In 2015, we were fortunate to hire her as our Sailing Instructor.
Becca has created a Farragut Sailing Team “that gets stronger by the week” comprised of seniors Chris Hastrup (Captain) and Ethan Lipsky, sophomores Emma Hastrup, Carly Bosch, Luke Matsuyoshi, Steven Smiley, and Diana Romanovskaya, and freshman Carlos Riva.
“Students benefit from being involved in the sailing program because they gain problem solving skills, build confidence, and learn healthy competition against the elements and other sailors,” said Becca. “They also learn that capsizing is no emergency, that they can overcome obstacles, and there is a fine line of having fun and being safe at the same time.”
In addition to her Sailing Instructor duties, Becca is also one of our substitute teachers. During her free time, she enjoys taking care of her own Lightning and racing in the Lightning class and J-24s at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club. When you come to visit Farragut, please stop by the waterfront and say hello to Becca!