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After leading the Christopher Newport University Varsity Sailing Team for the past eight years, head coach Maxwell Plarr will be stepping down from that position after accepting an offer to be the new Sailing Director for Hampton Yacht Club.
Coach Plarr was a three-time Team MVP and four-time All-Academic Sailor as a player. Maxwell coached junior program teams for HYC, GPYC, and the Navy’s MWR. During his tenure as head coach of the team, the Captains competed in their first ICSA Women’s National Championship, and two ICSA Singlehanded National Championships. His sailors hold such accolades as MAISA Undergraduate South Representatives, MAISA Undergraduate President, ICSA Undergraduate Vice-President, Purrington Award recipient, MAISA All-Academic Team, ICSA All-Academic Team, and MAISA Sportsman of the Year. CNU will continue in good hands under interim head coach Jocelyn Rovniak.
Maxwell lives in Little England in Hampton, Virginia, with his wife Lexy and dog, Cooper, who you may find to greet you with a wagging tail at the Sailing Center. Max is an avid sailor, fisherman, and cyclist in his spare time. The new director is a US Sailing Certified Level III Coach and a Level I Instructor Trainer that plans to bring US Sailing models and methods to enhance all areas of sailing and power boating at Hampton Yacht Club, from juniors to the most ancient mariner. The new sailing director has a vision that is focused on safety, education, and fun! Besides his daily duties of junior and adult sailing he will be planning clinics and will make himself available to any member seeking advice or knowledge daily with listed office hours. Maxwell started his position by traveling to the US Sailing Leadership Forum in San Diego, CA, in February to network and learn the latest strategies to implement into club programming at the highest contemporary levels. Maxwell is settling into the position by professionalizing the spaces in the Adult and Junior buildings to maximize classroom, storage, and office space capabilities. There is much to be done and volunteers will be crucial to help in the process. The summer is rapidly approaching and the sailing director is keen to develop a rewarding, fun, and competitive and/or exploration experience for all junior members planning to participate in the summer program. There will be a youth panel and a parent interest meeting announced soon coupled with an evening of Virtual Regatta Game Night for Junior members. Please help us in making this one of the best summers for our young sailors! Maxwell can be reached at email@example.com.
Vir started sailing the Optimist at the age of 5 in India and competed at regional, national and international championships while representing the Indian National Squad until the age of 14. He was the Indian National Champion until he moved into the Laser where he competed in 4 World Championships, 3 European Championships, and was National champion in the 4.7, Radial, and Full-Rig disciplines. Vir is was the Captain of Christopher Newport University’s Varsity Sailing team for two years where he majored in History with a double minor in Leadership Studies and Classical Studies. He has been competitively racing all his life in hoping to make it to the Olympic Games in the Laser. As the Opti Head Coach this summer, he is looking to work on fine-tuning the sailors’ tactics and strategy by spending time going over the routine and tips that helped him succeed in the class. Vir was the Opti RWB coach for the Hampton Roads Race Team, summer 2019, and traveled with the team to Maryland, Michigan, and several other regattas within the state.
Juan Manuel "Paton" Briónes
Head Optimist Coach
Juan Manuel Briones, better known as Paton, is a World Sailing Level II Professional Sailing Coach with over thirteen years of experience from Argentina. Prior to joining the ranks of HYC for the Summer of 2021, Paton was the head coach of the Argentinian National Team from 2015-2018 and coached the Chilean National Team in 2019. He has also been a coach for LISOT since 2017. His sailors have reached international success and his approach is committed to excellence and growing our future competitive sailors at HYC.
Nathan Smith is a recent Christchurch graduate who, due to Covid-19, has chosen to take a gap-year to advance his involvement in the sailing community outside of the high school and collegiate circuit.
Nathan has been sailing since the age of six and has competed in many high level events in the Optimist, Laser, and C420. He has represented two different countries throughout his career (St.Maarten and the U.S.) and has attended events such as the 2012, 2013, & 2014 Optimist World Championships and multiple North and South American Championships under their varying flags.
Nathan moved back to the U.S. to advance his studies and his sailing prowess. During his junior year of high school, the Christchurch Team won the Baker Trophy (High School Team Race Nationals) which has been the pinnacle of his sailing career up to this point.