About Willamette Sailing Club

Willamette Sailing Club is located on the banks of the Willamette River, approximately 5 minutes South of downtown Portland. It is the only small boat sailing club in Portland, and is dedicated to dinghy (non-keelboats under 20 feet) sailing and racing.

The club has over 300 members, and hosts numerous activities throughout the year. The WSC membership is comprised of a wide range of sailing enthusiasts. We have many members who primarily are interested in racing (from US Olympic team members to their first year racing a sailboat), members that just want a place to keep and launch their boat for day sailing, and some who just want a place to store their boat and enjoy the social aspects of the club. Whatever your sailing interest, WSC is a great club. The club hosts weekly races from February to November, holds racing clinics, organizes social events, sponsors several regattas each year, and provides a great opportunity to keep a boat on the river to enjoy evening and weekend sailing. The family environment at WSC creates a great atmosphere for family fun! Click here to view photos from our past.

WSC 2019 Board of Directors

Commodore: Jim Harper

I started sailing keelboats in my twenties while attending the University of South Florida. This was mainly day sailing and overnight trips. I started racing keelboats in Seattle where I met my wife Tracey. After starting a family, we moved to Portland. When the kids were old enough, in 2009, and with some encouragement from others we joined WSC. At WSC, I started racing thistles which was my introduction to racing dingy sailboats. My kids (Ellie, Bethan and Beck), who are all off to college now, learned to sail at WSC and we have all enjoyed the community feeling at the club. You will find me out racing lasers and thistles on summer evenings and I look forward to helping the club get settled in our new clubhouse over the next year.

Vice Commodore: John Gridley

I grew up and have lived in the Portland area my entire life.  My my wife and I are in the residential construction business.
During my teens I had the opportunity to sail Lightenings on Vancouver Lake, it made a big impression on me.   Years later when returning from the Sea of Cortez and seeing all the sailboats, I decided to take a sailing class on the Columbia River and get involved in the sport again.  I purchased a small keel boat with a friend and spent many a wonderful evening on the river.  I’ve always enjoyed the water, and luckily my wife, Shelley has as well.  We spent our early years as a couple scuba diving, power boating, paddling and boat camping with our young family.
Our son Grant was very enthusiastic about all things water and adventure so we signed him up for a summer camp at WSC when he was 10 years old.  After a couple more camps he joined the youth race team and was hooked.  Grant had such a great time at WSC he coaxed me back into sailing and convinced me to purchased a Thistle sailboat.   It was with a lot of mentoring from club members we started racing weekly and eventually participating in traveling regattas as far away as SanDiego.  Sailing has taken us up and down the west coast participating with the Thistle fleet and following Grant to local, regional and national regattas.   It has been an action packed and rewarding past 9 years being involved at our club and supporting youth sailing along with Shelley.   Grant is now attending Roger Williams University in Rhode Island and a member of their varsity sailing team.  Shelley and I are processing being “empty nesters” and looking forward introducing my two young grandsons to sailing and the WSC community in the coming years.

Rear Commodore: Toby Deming

I started sailing when I was about 12 and my family took a sailing vacation on Puget Sound. After graduating from Oregon State, I moved to California and worked as an engineer and project manager on large construction projects. I sailed on San Francisco Bay when time permitted and vacationed four times in the warmer waters of the Virgin Islands on a chartered bare-boat. I moved back to Portland in 1987 and started my own business as a home inspector and now have 5 business partners. I began dinghy sailing over ten years ago, bought a Day Sailor, and joined the WSC in 2005. The rest is history. Both of my kids went through the WSC sail school and then off to make their marks at the University of Oregon. Our daughter graduated in 2015 and our son will graduate this year. Both kids enjoy taking the Day Sailer out occasionally, particularly on hot summer evenings. My wife, Janis, and I have adjusted to life as empty-nesters and even raced together a few times last season. I’m looking forward to spring, our new clubhouse, and more sailing.

Treasurer: Kevin Reynolds

I grew up in England and spent about a total of six cold hours sailing around in gravel pits as a teenager.   My wife Laurie and I learned to sail through ASA101 many years later in the Chesapeake bay.   From that we were inspired to purchase a Thistle and sailed in a reservoir in Richmond, Virginia.   We moved to Portland in 2005, and have been sailing at the WSC ever since.   Our children have all learned to sail at the WSC and our oldest, Matthew and Rebecca have been on the high school sailing team and the youth racing team. Matthew was a coach and now sails for Oregon State University.  In the last few years I have started racing and enjoy following all the other boats across the finish line.   Laurie does not like to race (yet).  She will sometimes come out on a light wind day on the Thistle, but much prefers a bigger boat.  For the last few years we have chartered keelboats or catamarans either in the Puget Sound or the British Virgin Islands.  The WSC has been a great place for fun and friendship for our family for the last 12 years and I look forward to serving as the Treasurer over the next year.

Secretary: Arjan Duyvestein

Growing up in the Netherlands, I’ve always been fond of the water, and sailing was especially fascinating to me as a kid. After spending several weeks one summer on a boat with my cousins cruising through many canals, rivers and locks, I’ve always wanted to own a sailboat, but my parents were not sailors.  So it took about 35 years, but I finally bought our first sailboat (an old Daysailer) about a year ago and are having lots of fun learning more about it, fixing her up, and learning how to sail better. My wife Froukje is not into sailing much (yet) but is very supportive from the sidelines and can be seen on a boat in light wind. Our son Daniel is also very happy on the water and has been on the HS sailing team for a couple of seasons. We also have two daughters, one of which is more like my wife when it comes to sailing, and the other is eager to jump in an Opti and take a sailing class. We’ve been in Portland since 2005 and joined the club in 2015. 
WSC has been a great discovery for our family. We love the great people and I’m looking forward to building more friendships here while serving on the board.

Fleet Captain: Mike Rees

Port Captain: Jeffrey Sher

I have been a member of WSC for the past few years and enjoy and appreciate the friendly and supportive atmosphere that the members provide. And true confessions, I have only sailed a couple times in my life, though I have been an avid kayaker and recently paddleboarder. I had planned to take the adult sailing class this past summer, but a traumatic injury to my legs prevented me from participating. You may have seen me this last year either with a walker or hiking pole getting ready to kayak. Hopefully this next summer I will add sailing to my on-the-water activities. I look forward, as your Port Captain, to meeting and getting to know many members as we work together to keep our club shipshape during the work gatherings which will again once again in the spring.