Instructor Interview: Kristin Walcott-Matthews
Kristin shares her sailing experiences and insights — and why ‘AGE’ is just a number in learning how to sail:
1. How did you first get into sailing?
I started sailing 12 years ago when I was first dating my husband. He was on a race team up in Maine and I started tagging along on the weekends. In the first few races, my goal was to stay out of the way and not screw anything up, but once I got comfortable, I was hooked and we bought our first boat, a Sabre 28 the next season.
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?
I am very lucky that so far I have been able to avoid any major disasters. I have found that when things have gone wrong, it is because of a lack of preparedness. Slowing down, and taking time to prep, inspect, plan, and communicate are the keys to avoiding potential problems.
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 is easy and ANYONE can do it, but acquiring the foundation in a place like Narragansett Sailing School rather than learning on the fly, will save you years of trial and error.
4. What advice would you tell a new sailor to ignore? What are bad recommendations you hear about sailing?
It infuriates me when I hear people say that you have to have sailed since you were a kid to be a “good sailor”.
I have encountered many lifelong sailors with knowledge and practices ranging from incorrect to unsafe that they have acquired over the years. The joy of sailing can begin at any age and stage of life.
5. Who most influenced your life when it comes to sailing?
I am incredibly inspired by the other female instructors here at the school. Each and every one of them brings a wealth of skill, knowledge, confidence, and laughter to the sport.
6. Outside of sailing, what is something that you love to do; something that makes you feel alive?
My background is in art and event design so I am always up to something creative. I love throwing themed parties and start planning the big Halloween party as early as August!
About Kristin Walcott-Matthews
Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Kristin has called Rhode Island her home since 2005 and has been sailing since 2011. As a former wedding planner and current Realtor, Kristin prides herself on her patience and easy-going spirit. Fun and confidence building are priorities in her classes. Drawing on her patchwork background, she has knowledge of canvas and sail repair, diesel engine maintenance, and passage planning. In her off time, for the experience and the adventure, Kristin has been assisting friends move their 45′ catamaran throughout the Caribbean and is always looking for the opportunity for a sailing adventure.
Certified to Teach: