Instructors Are Key

Your instructor will make or break your sailing course. An old, jaded, salty instructor does not make for an awesome week if you’re in your 20s or 30s. For that reason we have a unique selection method for our instructors. Every instructor with Sailing Virgins is not just an accredited instructor with one or more of the global sailing associations, but must have the following:
  • Minimum two ocean crossings. Our guys know their offshore sailing;
  • Minimum two seasons working with The Yacht Week. Our guys know how to have fun.
  • Minimum two seasons working together. The bond between instructors is strong and the banter is real.

Working as skippers, lead skippers, route managers and instructors with The Yacht Week forms a bond that translates into the awesome culture everyone who has sailed with us talks about. For some other reasons to choose us, check out this page.

James Kell, Senior Instructor

James started sailing as a boy with his family in New Zealand.  The Bay of Islands contains fantastic sailing grounds and is an excellent nursery for a sailor.  Fast forward a few years, cross the Atlantic a few times, and James is now running things at Sailing Virgins.

Leaving corporate life in 2012, James spent a few summers working for legendary (and, in the best way, notorious) sailing events company The Yacht Week, including as Route Manager of Greece in 2015.  James holds senior instructor qualifications with all of the top three global sailing organisations: ASA (Advanced Coastal Skipper and Catamaran Instructor), IYT and RYA (Yachtmaster Instructor).


“I love sailing and get a kick out of sharing what I know with people who are keen to learn.”

James Kell, confirmed tree-hugger, callsign “Carpe Diem”.


Rubrio Basilio, Sailing Instructor

Born and bred on the Portuguese island paradise of Madeira, as a boy Rubrio was never far from the water. Before he entered high school, Rubrio would sail long stretches with his father and brother in the ocean surrounding Madeira. More recently he has worked as part of the ground crew for several high profile sailing teams in the Volvo and Extreme Sailing Series. Rubrio has also worked as a skipper at The Yacht Week. Rubrio holds sailing instructor qualifications (including catamaran endorsement) with the American Sailing Association.

rubrio sailing virgins instructor

“Is this where I say something profound?”

Rubrio, callsign “Clooney” keeping it real


Dale Geddes, Sailing Instructor

From protagonist to shotgun-shiner, Dale now faces the real prospect that his little girl will follow in daddy’s sailing footsteps.  That would be a good thing, as pretty much everyone who comes across Dale in the sailing world loves him.  Dale is one hundred percent positive.  Which is a handy thing in a sailing instructor.  Dale also loves to race.  In fact he is sizing up to be main trimmer on one of this year’s Hobart contenders.  He also holds his Cruising Instructor with the RYA, cross-certifiable to the major accreditation organisations.
“Is there anything better than getting smashed by a Force 9 sea-state while sitting on the rail in the dark crossing an ocean?  If there is let me know.”
Dale Geddes, confirmed masochist, callsign “DILF”

Thanks Michael Vanarey for the photo of Jamie and half the shots on this site and The Soul Sail for clearing them.  Vanarey is awesome!

Thanks Céline Freixe for most of the videos that have been produced so far. We ❤️ Céline.