Carol Hesson is an instructor with us at Narragansett Sailing School. She started sailing as a child and continues today while helping others learn about sailing as a sport or pastime. Let’s hear about Carol’s experiences and advice in this interview:


1. How did you first get into sailing?

I started sailing as a child in our community sailing program. One of the best things about the program was that you had to learn to row a small boat before you were allowed to sail. Every day of my sailing life I am grateful that I know how to row!


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?

Ha! Something happens every time that I’m on the water that ends up teaching me a valuable lesson. Both mother nature and boats have a lot to teach us.


3. If there’s one thing you can tell new sailors when they are just introduced to the sport, what would you tell them?

This sport can be what you make it and what you want it to be, whether you want to go day sailing with friends to picnic and swim, charter boats for vacations, race dinghies, sail around the world, race around the world… This sport has something for everyone.


4. What advice would you tell a new sailor to ignore? What are bad recommendations you hear about sailing?

That sailing is hard to learn. Taught correctly, it can be learned quickly. What cannot be taught is good judgement. New sailors need experience and sailing time to refine their judgement skills.


5. Who most influenced your life when it comes to sailing?

My parents. They gave me my first boat when I was very young and I would practice sailing in our backyard on the grass… I never said I was bright, LOL!


6. Outside of sailing, what is something that you love to do; something that makes you feel alive?

Surfing and skiing. I have made a living doing both and feel so blessed to be able to spend my time outside in some of the most amazing places on the planet.


About Carol Hesson:

Sailing since childhood, Carol is committed to sharing her love of the outdoors and empowering people through sports. At 38, she left corporate life to pursue her passions. Carol’s sailing experience ranges from dinghies to big boats She has lived aboard a big boat and has cruised throughout New England and in the Mediterranean. Carol has a 50 Ton Master Captain’s License with Auxiliary Sail Endorsement. She has a love of racing, and is a US Sailing Level 3 certified Race Coach. She has been a Director of Sailing at numerous yacht clubs and sailing facilities. She has run adaptive race programs as well as the largest women’s race program in the country and is still active as a race coach. When not sailing, Carol can be found surfing, skiing, mountain biking, and having all sorts of outdoor adventures.


Carol is certified to teach:


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