STATE COACH - Sam Mackay

Sam comes to us from New Zealand with wealth of sailing experience, including top 3 placings at the NZ Nationals in each of the Optimist, P Class, 420 and Starling classes. He was a member of the Nations Cup-winning NZ team at the 2007 Optimist Worlds and placed in the top 20 in the 2008 Optimist Worlds. Sam is also an accomplished Match Racer, winning the NZ Youth Match Racing Nationals in 2014. He has recently entered the Waszp class placing 5th in the 2018 Australian Nationals and 18th and the 2019 Worlds. 


Sam has been coaching since 2009. As Head Coach at Worser Bay Boating Club, Sam designed the program that saw the club achieve its best ever NZ Nationals result in 2015, including the National Champion. 


He has been the VIODA Head Coach since 2016 and has played a major role in developing the Victorian fleet. Under Sam’s guidance, Victoria’s participation in AIODA programs has increased from one (1) sailor in 2016 to twelve (12) in 2019. He has now coached three sailors to the North American’s in 2017, two to the Europeans in 2018 and six to the Asian’s in 2018 and 2019. Nearly all of sailors made the gold fleet at these tier one IODA events and Linus Talacko placed 17th in the 2018 Europeans. At the 2018 Victorian Sailing Awards the VIODA program he leads received the award for coaching program of the year. He has also spent the last four winter seasons gaining valuable experience coaching at Pleon Yacht Club and Severn Sailing Association on the East Coast of the USA.


One of Sam’s passions is team racing and he has a lot of success with the various teams he has coached and sailed with. In 2018 he won the Victorian Open Team Racing State Titles and coached Brighton Grammer who went unbeaten in the Victorian Secondary School States, placed fourth at the Nationals and 5th at the Interdominions. His biggest success so far was coaching the Vic team to 2019 Optimist Team Racing National title.

Meet The Coach