Instructor Interview: Bruce Millard
Bruce has been sailing since 10 years of age and is now an instructor here at our school. He shares with us some insightful details about himself and his experiences sailing:
1. How did you first get into sailing?
My dad sailed all 4 seasons and I wanted to spend more time with him.
2. Have you had any disaster scenarios, failures, or simple problems in your sailing career that have given you a valuable lesson as a result?
Our tiller broke during a Wednesday night race while we were close hauled to the next mark, so there was lots of excitement. We used available line to lash it together for the rest of the race and towels to protect against jagged tips.
We had a spare tiller but the quicker solution was lashing the parts. We let the sails out to further calm our situation. We lost first place that night but second was acceptable. I have been in some storms, but why scare folks?
3. If there’s one thing you can tell new sailors when they are just introduced to the sport, what would you tell them?
Know where the wind is. Choose an unaggressive, close reach-beam, reach-run and don’t sail directly into the wind . Also choose nice weather and low winds for your initial outings. This will keep you and your guests wanting another sail.
4. What advice would you tell a new sailor to ignore? What are bad recommendations you hear about sailing?
“Race!” and “Fast!” It is more about learning how to handle your boat deliberately, slowly and working into racing and fast when you know your boat and abilities.
5. Who most influenced your life when it comes to sailing?
My father most influenced my sailing. He left his boat to my brother and I 13 years ago and we have co skippered it since then. He continues to be present whenever we take his boat out.
6. Outside of sailing, what is something that you love to do; something that makes you feel alive?
I love to ski and teach ski lessons at Yawgoo Ski Area. Some years ago I began telemark skiing to continue my learning experience and spend time with my son who also telemarks. We have hiked Tuckermans several times and skied the headwall. One year we skied the entire way down and right to our car. One for my memory bank.
About Bruce Millard
“I got hooked on sailing around 10 years old. My father wanted a look at the Cup boats off of Newport. We sailed a SunFish out of Barrington and offshore Newport. While keeping pace with another boat, Intrepid sailed by Bus Mosbacher in 1967. My dad hails the Captain simply saying “Hey Bus”, and the Captain simply replied “looking good, Bob”. How could my dad know this important man sailing this incredibly wonderful boat who thought we looked great sailing next to him in a SunFish? I was made!”
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