Instructor Interview: Kat Alix-Gaudreau
Kat Alix-Gaudreau joins the Narragansett Sailing School team of instructors. In the interview below, Kat shares her background in sailing and how sailing is part of her life today:
1. How did you first get into sailing?
I grew up sailing out of Edgewood Yacht Club with my family and spent my life mostly sailing on the Narragansett Bay. Growing up with six people on a 30′ sailboat teaches you a lot about communication, working together, and the need for a little personal space now and then!
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?
My family went up on the rocks off of Point Jude in deep sea fog. I learned not to travel in fog, to respect the elements, and how important it is to have good navigation skills.
3. If there’s one thing you can tell new sailors when they are just introduced to the sport, what would you tell them?
Sailing should be fun and anyone with an interest can learn to sail. There are a lot of ways to make yourself more comfortable when sailing, so learn what works for you. Then, get out there and enjoy!
4. What advice would you tell a new sailor to ignore? What are bad recommendations you hear about sailing?
I would tell people to enjoy being a beginner. There’s no medal for getting all the classes under your belt, or for taking them as fast as you can. Learn, practice, and enjoy. Sailing is all about the voyage, not the destination.
5. Who most influenced your life when it comes to sailing?
My Dad. He was a self-taught sailor, an engineer, a handyman, and an adventurer. He loved to sail, and he loved to teach his family about sailing. Although he passed way ten years ago, when I’m on the water, I feel close to him again.
6. Outside of sailing, what is something that you love to do; something that makes you feel alive?
I am a theater director and professor, and theater will always be my other big love!
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