Coaches Bio

Maxwell Plarr
Vir Menon
Nathan Smith
Juan Manuel "Paton" Briónes

Summer 2021

HYC Coaches

Maggie Campbell
Bridget Groble
Phil Jeffries
Tyler Brown
Brian Fox

Coaches Bio

Call us if you would like to know more about our summer coaches.

Maxwell Plarr

Maxwell Plarr

Program Director

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 sailingdirector@hamptonyc.com.

Vir Menon

Vir Menon

Laser Coach

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

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

Nathan Smith

Coach

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.

Brian Fox

Brian Fox

Coach

Brian Fox grew up in Yorktown and is a rising junior on the Christopher Newport Varsity Sailing Team. Brian has been competitively sailing for over seven years out of SYC, where he was an instructor for four years. This will be Brian’s 3rd year at HYC and he will be working with the Dinghy 1 and 2 programs

Maggie Campbell

Maggie Campbell

Coach

Maggie started learning to sail before she could walk when her grandfather took her out on the family sunfish. She learned to sail a Sunfish and an Opti by herself at the age of six and loved sailing with her cousins as a little kid. She began racing for her school’s JV team on Flying Juniors in seventh grade and moved to varsity in eighth grade. Maggie is currently a senior at Norfolk Collegiate, and sailed for her team in the Mallory Doublehanded National Championships in 2021, which has been the high point of her sailing career so far. She won the Virginia Interscholastic Sailing Association (VISA) Women’s Championships and placed third at the Mid-Atlantic Women’s championships. She has been an All-VISA skipper for the past three years. Maggie also sails her Laser in regattas and junior events over the summer. 
 
Maggie will be coaching Opti 1 this summer and is looking forward to teaching her students to love sailing as much as she does. 
Bridget Groble

Bridget Groble

Coach

Bridget grew up sailing on Lake Michigan in Chicago, IL out of Chicago Yacht Club. Throughout her junior sailing career she sailed Optimists and competed in c420s and the Laser Radial. Bridget currently competes in 420s and FJs on the Old Dominion University Sailing Team, and match races in both the Open and Women’s match race circuit in the off-season. She has coached race teams at Chicago Yacht Club and looks forward to bringing her experiences to HYC this summer. 

Phil Jeffries

Phil Jeffries

Coach

Phil Jeffries is from Boston, MA and is a recent graduate of the Governor’s Academy in Byfield, MA. Phil has come to the Hampton Yacht Club after 11 years sailing at the Pleon Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA. He also worked as a junior instructor for two years and was elected to be the commodore of Pleon Yacht club. 
 
Phil has grown up sailing Optis for nine years and 420s for four years. In optis he competitively raced and qualified for the Optimist Team Trials in 2016, and in 420s he raced competitively most notably attending the Cork Internal Regatta where he placed 3rd and the was the top American Boat. He also competitively raced the New England opti and 420 circuit including Nationals, and New Englands as well as the Buzzards Bay Regatta.
 
Phil will be attending Elon University next year and in his past was captain of the Varsity Sailing team of Landmark High School before he attended the Governors Academy.
Tyler Brown

Tyler Brown

Coach

Tyler Brown is a rising senior at Kecoughtan High School. Tyler began his sailing career on the Kecoughtan high race team in seventh grade. Since then he has participated in many summer camps at Hampton Yacht Club. His previous three summers have been dedicated to racing on the HYC club 420 race team. He is very excited to teach the explorer program this summer.