Instructor Biographies


Dave Bowen, Sailing Instructor

Certifications: U.S. Sailing and American Sailing Association Instructor, 100-ton USCG Masters License with Sailing endorsement.

In 1996 after retirement from the Telecommunication field and seeking adventure of a new and different kind, I became a volunteer Sailing Instructor at the Leo Robbins Community Sailing Center. I completed the U.S. Sailing level one instructor course in December of 1996. When Leo Robbins (who started the Sailing Center in 1972) stepped down from his role as Sailing Instructor in 1997 someone was needed to cover Summer Sailing Camp and the Adult Basic Sailing classes. Seeking adventure I stepped into Leo’s sailing shoes. I had so much fun that first summer I have been here ever since. What better place is there than to be helping people have safe fun on the water in a boat. I am an active participant in a variety of community sailing and safe boating programs.


Al Catland, Sailing Instructor

I have been teaching Basic Small Boat Sailing for over eight years and Celestial Navigation for about two years. I am certified by the United States Sailing Association as a Small Boat Sailing Instructor and by the American Sailing Association as a Keelboat Sailing Instructor. I have passed the American Sailing Association requirements for Basic Keelboat Sailing 101, Basic Coastal Cruising 103 and Bareboat Cruising 104. I recently completed a six-day course in Schooner Sailing aboard the schooner Mary Day out of Camden, Maine.


John Morris, Sailing Instructor

I took my first sailing class when I was 9 years old at the Leo Robbins Community Sailing Center, and thoroughly enjoyed it. This great experience led me to take all the other available classes, many of them more than once. A few years later I was given an opportunity to help out with a few classes, and I’ve continued to do so ever since. Now, I am a U.S. Sailing certified Level 1 Small Boat Sailing Instructor, with several years of sailing and teaching experience. Sailing has provided me with many hours of fun, and I really enjoy giving others the tools they need to have as much fun as I do on the water.

In Memoriam

Leo Robbins

Leo Robbins, Founder

The Sailing Center’s beloved founder (1916-2007) not only helped the City of Ventura start its sailing program in 1972 with five small boats and six students, but he also built it into today’s award winning Community Sailing Program offering classes for sailors of all levels.

To honor his 25 years of service, the center was named after him when he retired in 1997 at age 80.

Even in his ten years of retirement, Leo was able to visit the center frequently and test out new boats, advise new instructors and spread his passion for sailing to new students.

Please visit Leo’s memorial page at


Nancy Lynn King, Sailing Instructor

Nancy, a Ventura High School graduate, retired from AT&T in 2005 after 34 years. In 1996, she learned how to sail at the Leo Robbins Community Sailing Center and began volunteering as an assistant with the Small Boat Sailing Class in 2003. In 2005 she started assisting with the Sailing and Kayaking Summer Camp. She received her Small Boat Sailing Instructor Certification in February 2005 and ASA Keelboat Sailing Instructor Certification in December 2007. Nancy died on August 20, 2016 and she will be greatly missed by our sailing community.