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Neuse Sailing Association

NSA Officers and Directors

Chuck Gordon, Commodore

Chuck and Sharon have been longtime NSA members who have been involved in many club activities, events and leadership positions. Chuck was introduced to sailing when he met Sharon and after years of patient tutelage has become a sailing enthusiast. They presently sail Pelikan, a Beneteau 373 and are looking forward to being on the water more frequently now that they have retired. Chuck welcomes all old and new NSA members and looks forward to serving you as Commodore. 

Jeff and Pat Kenyon, Vice Commodore/ Cruising

Jeff and Pat Kenyon sail a Tartan 4100, “Calitri”, out of Sea Harbor Yacht Club.  Jeff and Pat both grew up sailing Sunfish and graduated to a Hobie Cat 18 when they first met. They took sailing lessons at the Boston Harbor Sailing Club, and subsequently bought their first cruising boat, a Tartan 3500 named “Wind Streek”.  Jeff and Pat have owned a home in Oriental since 2005, joining the NSA as newsletter members shortly thereafter.  In 2012, they sailed Calitri from Boston to Oriental where they now are full time residents.  Having enjoyed sailing throughout their lives, they plan to do longer term cruising aboard Calitri in the future when the commitments of work and life allow! Cruising Role

Pat Thomaier, Vice Commodore/ Finance

John and Pat acquired a 1985 Endeavour E33 five years ago, a significant jump up from the 16 ft. Pintail that their son Andrew had been sailing on the waters around Oriental. John and Pat have since sailed Midnight Mary have since sailed Midnight Mary along the east coast waterways from Charleston to the Chesapeake, including many memorable outings with the NSA.  They split their time between Raleigh and Oriental.

Susanne & Bill Lovelace, Vice Commodores/ Communications

Bill has been small boat sailing since the early '80s and now he and Susanne sail an Island Packet 320, “TRiO” out of Pecan Grove Marina.  Looking for a new challenge with their daughter Natalie, they started sailing in and around North Carolina in 2008. Because Natalie has since moved away to join the Virginia Tech sailing club, Grover, the family dog (a “dorgi”), has been promoted to a full crew member to fulfill the TRiO namesake. The TRiO crew commutes to Oriental on weekends from their home in Chapel Hill. 

Paul & Becky Griffin, Vice Commodores/ Special Events

Paul and Becky, spurred on by the realization that life is short and a desire to one day sail around the world, bought their first sailboat and joined the NSA in 2015. What they lacked in experience, they made up for with enthusiasm, and have thoroughly enjoyed the various day sails, races, cruises and impromptu raft ups with fellow NSA members. Becky and Paul sail a Lagoon 380, which they keep at River Dunes. They recently welcomed a baby girl, Grace Marie, in August 2017. She will be the life of the party at the 2018 social events!

Donna Ryder, Vice Commodore/ Membership

Donna was first introduced to boating with her husband Skip Hulland in 2004 aboard a powerboat that he was restoring, a 1942, 34’ Richardson, "Heidi."  Heidi was ready for the burn pile, but as a restored beautiful mahogany boat motoring down the Erie Canal, Donna and Skip decided she was ready for New Bern, NC.  However, that never happened due to weather and medical issues.  Heidi was sold and replaced with "Sass-Sea," a 1995 34’ Cape Marine pilothouse sailboat in 2010.  Enjoying sailing became Donna’s love and she continues to learn more about sailing each trip out.   In 2013, they moved Sass-Sea from Northwest Creek to Pecan Grove and joined the NSA. They have become an active part of the community of Pecan Grove and the NSA. Sass-Sea was recently replaced with "Sea Glass," a 2009 Caliber 40LRC. 

 Laurie Sampson, NSA Secretary

Given that one of the first professional organizations Laurie joined was the National Secretaries Association (NSA), she finds it amusing to now hold the position of Secretary for the Neuse Sailing Association, also NSA. She learned to sail on Lake Erie and vividly remembers the joy and exhilaration of holding her first tiller at age six.  She spent most of her adult life in Ohio.  In 2006 Laurie left the accounting field to wander around on other people’s boats  She spent the winters of 2006 and 2007 in the Bahamas cruising.  In 2008 Laurie captained a 47’ Gulfstar Sailmaster out of Andros Island taking middle school, high school and college students cruising for a week at a time while they studied ecosystems and marine biology.  Laurie moved to Oriental in 2010 teach kids and adults to sail.  After bouncing around in a variety of other jobs, she settled at HeartWorks back in the accounting field.  She purchased Narnia in 2013 and enjoys participating in all kinds of sailing-related activities.

Sharon Stephenson, Immediate Past Commodore

Sharon has been a member of NSA since 1993, although was one of those not so active members the 1st several years of membership. Over the past several years she & husband, Chuck Gordon, have been more active in the leadership & the cruising activities of the club. Sharon has previously served as Commodore. She & Chuck sail on Pelikan, a Beneteau 373, which is currently docked at Sailcraft Marina. Now that retirement is here, Sharon is looking forward to more cruising & more involvement with NSA.

Michael Byles, Director (2018)

No Bio Provided

Dave Roletter, Director (2018)

Dave grew up in Virginia nowhere near saltwater, but was drawn to water early.  At 12 he first sailed on a sunfish at scout camp.  First loan out of VA Tech Engineering School was not a car, but a used  Hobie 16, which he sailed relentlessly on the Chesapeake and off the OBX and still has. While living in Richmond VA, he found chartering on the bay in the ‘80s, then on to the Caribbean & Greece.  Dave raced on the Delaware River as a member of the Riverton Yacht Club while living outside Philadelphia in the 90s .  Today he still has more small boats than sense, and with a push from his wife Becky they accelerated the retirement plan of boat ownership by a decade, and closed on S/V Stella Maris, an ’88 Cabo Rico 38.  With the help of Capt’n John Rahm, she arrived Oriental in March of ‘17. Becky & Dave joined the NSA and though still living and working full-time out of Winston-Salem, love what they experience through the NSA

Buster Kenny, Director (2019)

No Bio Provided

John Messer, Director (2019)

John acquired a 1985 Endeavour E33 four years ago, a significant jump up from the 16 ft. Pintail that their son Andrew had been sailing on the waters around Oriental.   John and his wife Pat Thomaier have since sailed Midnight Mary along east coast waterways from Beaufort to the Chesapeake.  They split their time between Raleigh and Oriental and hope to extend their sailing to the New England seacoast in the future

Tracy Vail, Director (2018)

Tracy has been sailing aboard Solveig, a 35 fit Ericson, since her father purchased her in the mid 80s.  Solveig was named after Tracy's grandmother and has been in the family since with many happy memories of children, cousins and aunts and uncles enjoying adventures on the Chesapeak.  In the Fall of 2016, Tracy's uncle decided it was finally time for her to take her turn at owning the vessel.   After "life" interefered with their plans to take a leisurly cruise with friends from Annapolis to Oriental this past spring, Robert and a hired captain transported Solveig to Oriental in June 2017 where she now resides at Pecan Grove Marina.  Tracy and Robert have enjoyed jumping into activities with NSA and look forward to more in 2018.

Kay Pratt, Director (2018)

Kay got the sailing bug in the 80’s when she was living in Ft. Lauderdale. She lived and crewed on sailboats for 2 years in the Caribbean and delivered sailboats from Oriental to St. Thomas. After moving to NC, she did a lot of windsurfing. Then with work and family, she did not sail for a couple decades. Bruce had never sailed but wanted to live the “free life”, and on a whim, they bought their 1972 Pearson 39 a few years ago. The boat needed a lot of work and he spent over a year working on it before putting it in the water at Pecan Grove. Kay is a nutritionist and runs a nutrition counseling practice called Essential Nutrition in Chapel Hill. Bruce owns a cabinet shop and divides his time between it and the boat. They both enjoy escaping to Oriental on weekends and sailing with the NSA.

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