Sailing Director and Staff


Meet Arielle – Sailing Director

A native to the Hampton Roads area, Arielle Darrow brings 11 years of sailing experience to Hampton Yacht Club. Arielle earned her degree in Biology and Secondary Education at Old Dominion University on a full academic scholarship. After graduating college, she taught biology and math in Virginia and Florida. During the spring and summer seasons, she managed and instructed sailing programs on the East Coast, including Bayport Scout Reservation, Yale Corinthian Yacht Club and Sail Nauticus. She was an active member of Old Dominion University’s Varsity sailing team and currently races many types of boats, from small dinghies to high performance catamarans. She has placed 7th out of 30 in the 2015 F18 Nationals and 5th out of 21 in the 2015 F16 Nationals.  Arielle and her team, Team Trouble, has just won the 2016 US Sailing Team Racing Championship (Hinman Trophy), which now qualifies Team Trouble to represent USA in the 2017 World Championship. Arielle is also US Sailing Coaching Level 3 certified and ISAF Class 3 sailor.

Contact Information:
Email –
Cell – (757) 409-0170


Meet Esteban -Spring Sailing Coach

Esteban Forrer is a two time All-American sailor who began sailing at the age of six when his parents sent him to a summer sailing camp in San Diego. In the best interest of his sailing career, Esteban moved from Tucson, AZ to San Diego to complete his high school career. Esteban then went to Old Dominion University to sail for their varsity team and major in maritime and supply chain management. He captured an 8th Division A at the Gill College Sailing Coed National Championship in 2015, placed 5th Division A at the Gill Coed Western Semifinals in 2015 and claimed 1st Division A at the Atlantic Coast Championship.



Meet Kyle – c420 Summer Race Coach

Kyle Mergenthaler is from Charlotte, NC and attends Old Dominion University where he is a member on the Varsity Sailing Team. Kyle sailed both Club 420 and International 420s widely prior to ODU. He represented and won 1st place Area D at the 2014, 2015 and 2016 US Sailing Bemis Finals skippering a Club 420 as well as crewed in the 2012 US Sailing Sears Finals on San Francisco Bay. He skippered i420s in the US Sailing Olympic Development Program, the North Americans and the US Youth Championships where he won the Dave Perry Award. Kyle was also the c420 Race Coach for Surf City Yacht Club. Kyle is studying Mechanical Engineering, is in the Honors College at ODU and is a Midshipman in the Hampton Roads NROTC Battalion. He is US Sailing Level 1 certified.

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Meet Katie – Opti Summer Race Coach

Katie Kane is a sailor from Larne in Northern Ireland, currently studying mechanical engineering at Queens University Belfast (QUB). She started sailing at a very early age, firstly on her parent’s cruiser and then moving into dinghies at around age 8. Katie’s dinghy experience started in Toppers, extending onto Lasers, 420’s and RS200’s. Katie was a member of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Junior and Youth teams for 6 years and was also on the Irish Sailing Association squad for a year. During her time in Topper’s, Katie competed in Local, National and International events. In her last year of sailing Topper’s, she was ranked 3rd in Ireland and 24th in the Topper World Championships. The following year she won the RYA Youth Lady Champion, sailing in the Laser 4.7 class. Katie is now vice-captain for the QUB sailing team and coaches junior racing sailors in the Optimists, Toppers and Pico’s at her local home club in Larne.

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Meet Anna – Summer Sailing Instructor

Anna Patterson began sailing at a young age; her brother started a team at his high school and needed a crew he of course made Anna his crew. Anna, at the age of 14, then joined the Hampton Yacht Club c420 Race Team. Once her brother finally graduated, Anna advanced her skills by becoming a skipper. She then became the starting skipper for Hampton High School in the VISA high school sailing league, where she led her team to second place in Women’s Champs.  Anna was named 2016 VISA Sportsman of the Year. Anna is now sailing for the Varsity sailing team for Christopher Newport University, where she has been the B fleet skipper for the Women’s Team. HYC welcomes Anna back for her second summer as our sailing instructor. Anna is US Sailing Level 1 certified.

Meet Kaila – Summer Sailing Instructor

Kaila Pfrang began her sailing career in the Optimist class the summer before joining Nansemond-Suffolk Academy as a varsity crew. Within a year, she was leading her team as team captain. In the past year Kaila has been named All-VISA Top Skipper and Top Women as well as the Clyde W. Winter Junior Award at HYC in 2014 and 2015. Kaila has multiple years of experience skippering club 420s on the Hampton Yacht Club Travel Race Team and recently began competitively racing the International 5O5 along the East Coast. Kaila has also crewed and skippered for the Viper 640, J26, and Sonar classes in various local competitions. Kaila has past experience as a volunteer coach for HYC and holds her Level 1 Instructor Certification with US Sailing. Kaila hopes to continue her coaching and sailing experiences as a skipper in college.

Meet Kendra – Summer Sailing Instructor

Kendra Walker began sailing Optis at the age of 7 at Hampton Yacht Club. She participated in HYC’s Opti and 420 summer sailing programs for 9 years, as well as Ware River Yacht Clubs Laser sailing program for a year. She skippered 420’s and FJ’s for Poquoson High School her sophomore through senior years. She coached at Warwick Yacht and Country Club for a summer and then returned to HYC last summer as our sailing instructor. She is excited to come back for another summer at HYC after finishing her first year at University of Virginia, where she is a member of the sailing team. Kendra is a US Sailing Level 1 certified instructor.


Meet Mackie – Summer Sailing Instructor

Mackie Conner is originally from Mooresville, North Carolina and has sailed for her high school, Pine Lake Preparatory since her freshman year. She was A-Fleet crew all four years and primarily sailed 420’s and FJ’s. She is somewhat new to sailing, but has been determined to make huge leaps and bounds in order to be successful. She has sailed at very competitive level over the past four years and has competed at regattas such as the Larry White Invitational at The Coast Guard Academy, Atlanta Coast Championship in Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia, the Great Oaks Invitational in New Orleans, Louisiana as well as competed in various SAISA high school regattas in order to qualify for SAISA Districts. She is currently about to start her second year at Christopher Newport University and the varsity sailing team. She is excited to be coaching again at Hampton Yacht Club for her second summer. Mackie is US Sailing Level 1 certified.