The Annapolis Yacht Club is very pleased to announce that Mr. Joel Labuzetta will assume the role of Sailing Director in early September. Mr. Labuzetta will lead a cadre of junior sailing and adult program coaches and instructors to deliver what AYC believes will be the most complete and experiential sailing program in the country. He and his team will develop and implement a curriculum that leverages the most current and effective techniques to create skilled and confident sailors and racers. Mr. Labuzetta comes to AYC after four years as the Junior Program Director at the Severn Sailing Association (SSA).
AYC is a nationally recognized leader in all racing and cruising fleets and strives to field one of the premier Junior Sailing programs in the country. Over the past several years, AYC sailors of all ages have compiled an enviable record while competing locally, nationally, and internationally. The Club also routinely hosts major regional and national events. AYC’s Vice Commodore Rod Jabin chaired the Selection Committee and remarked that Mr. Labuzetta was the candidate the Committee felt was best able to improve and expand upon the Club’s already solid foundation.
The Selection Committee reviewed resumes from a wide variety of fully qualified candidates, including international applicants. Commodore Jabin noted that Mr. Labuzetta was selected from among a very impressive group of candidates and his performance while leading and managing SSA’s Junior Program was particularly noteworthy. Jabin stated, “The Committee is confident that Mr. Labuzetta has already demonstrated the technical and professional skill required, and we feel strongly that he will bring the same level of enthusiasm and commitment to AYC’s Sailing Program. In our opinion, he is clearly able to deliver on the Club’s vision for its future!
During the transition period, Ms. Katrina Williams will continue to serve as Interim Director. She and her team have delivered outstanding coaching to junior sailors during the spring season, and they will team with an unprecedented world-class lineup of coaching talent for the AYC Summer Sailing Program. Mr. Labuzetta will work closely with Ms. Williams and the AYC staff during the summer to ensure a seamless transition to fall sailing and racing for both juniors and adults.
Mr. Labuzetta is a 2007 graduate of the College of Charleston. He captained the Charleston Sailing Team during his junior and senior years and led his team to five National Championships, including winning the prestigious Leonard M. Fowle Trophy which is awarded to the best all-around Intercollegiate Sailing Team in the nation. Following graduation, Mr. Labuzetta worked in research and marketing for the Swiss company Creaholic SA. Upon returning to the U.S., he served as Head Sailing Coach at Natick High School in Boston, MA and later as Head Optimist Coach at Larchmont Yacht Club. He then served as Head Coach at SSA and in 2009 was promoted to Junior Program Director. During his tenure at SSA he served as a member of the Mid-Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association (MASSA) Board for High School Sailing and also as its Central League Director. He grew the SSA Junior Program by twenty percent, significantly improved the quality, and led the high school teams he coached to Doublehanded Nationals for the Mallory Trophy (2010 & 2012), Team Racing Nationals for the Baker Trophy (2010), and Singlehanded Nationals for the Cressy Trophy (2011).