About Us

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Established 1992...

Celebrating 30+ continuous years of seasonal operation, the DCSS is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to teaching and promoting the sport of sailing to people of all ages and abilities. 
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Our US Sailing Certified instructors, dedicated volunteers, and interns provide a safe and supportive environment for students of all ages and abilities to learn and hone their sailing skills. Our programs, from beginner to advanced, make sailing accessible to everyone, regardless of one's background or experience. At DCSS, we are passionate about sailing, teaching, and community. Come join us on the water and experience the joy of sailing! 

DCSS is located at the Southern end of beautiful Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. We share facilities with the Deep Creek Lake Sailing Association (Turkey Neck), where most of our classes are held. We hold some classes at Deep Creek Yacht Club, Inc. (Thousand Acres).  DCSS is a completely separate and independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and open to the entire community. As a 501(c)(3) organization, we rely on the generosity of the sailing community, businesses, and patrons to continue introducing new sailors to this wonderful sport and hope you will choose to become one of our supporters. 

DCSS has no full-time paid staff and is operated by a highly motivated volunteer board of directors. We hire US Sailing Certified instructors with the skills, personality, and dedication that make our classes enjoyable and successful. 

If you would like to volunteer your time or talents to the school or are interested in becoming a sailing instructor or intern, please contact Susan Wolffe (president@dcss.fun).
*DCSS does not rent sailboats. 

**DCSS is an equal opportunity employer and admits students of any race, gender, and national origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school in compliance with the requirements of its designation as a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Board of Directors

Susan Wolffe
Vice President
Jill Bennett
Kathy Rubel
Keith MacMillan
Charles Graham
Senior Adviser
Frank Meehan
Stephanie Mahan
Mark Bennett
Chris Drury
Meredith Hillyer
Mary Anne Sharer

Private Lesson Instructors

Jill BennettInstructs youth in the Flying Scot, Laser, Tera, and Pram
Jill grew up sailing her Laser and racing keelboats with her dad on Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City. She participated in US Sailing events and raced J24’s throughout Texas. After college she moved to Annapolis and competed regionally and nationally as a crew on the J24, J22, bigger J boats and Snipes. Upon discovering Deep Creek Lake, she returned to the helm of the Flying Scot and Laser. Inspired by her daughters, both college sailors and coaches, she became instructor certified in 2016. Jill is the director of marketing and public relations at Anne Arundel Community College and a certified life coach. She says nothing brings her more joy than watching a child sail their own boat for the first time. To her sailing is about building confidence, resilience and having fun!

Lee CoraorInstructs adults in the Flying Scot
A retired professor from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, Lee loves to teach. He grew up as an active participant in Boy Scouts and, in addition to camping and hiking, did quite a bit of canoeing. He was introduced to sailing in 1972 by his wife, Joan. He crewed for Joan’s dad who was an excellent teacher. He hopes to pass onto others the knowledge and love of sailing that he learned from Joan’s dad.

Stephanie MahanInstructs adults in the Flying Scot
Stephanie began teaching at the Deep Creek Sailing School in 2017. Stephanie has been sailing Flying Scots on Deep Creek Lake since she was five years old. She regularly races in local, regional, and national Flying Scot regattas and has experience in the Laser, Opti, Rebel, Cape Code Mercury, and Sunfish classes as well. Stephanie is also a physical therapist with years of experience teaching movement skills. As a sailing instructor she is fortunate to be able to combine skills from her physical therapy career experience with teaching others the sport that she loves. Stephanie is the parent of two college sailors and Deep Creek Sailing School instructors.

Tom WolffeInstructs adults in the Flying Scot
Tom grew up participating in water sports on Deep Creek Lake. He was a competitive water skiing before becoming a competitive sailor. At a very young age, Tom started crewing for his father in the Flying Scot, then transitioned to skippering during his college years. Tom is now a very competitive Flying Scot sailor and also sails in the Laser class from time to time. A resident of Virginia, Tom crews in the J35 and J30 class in Annapolis whenever he can. Tom was also an avid snow skier and taught skiing for several years. In the winter Tom turns his attention to sailing DN iceboats on Deep Creek Lake and occasionally in the Midwest. Tom is now in digital marketing and volunteers with the charity Rebuilding Together.
Bruce LothropInstructs adults in the Flying Scot and Laser
Bruce grew up in Coastal New England, surrounded by boats, and was introduced to sailing on the Charles River in Boston when he was in his late twenties. In 1998 he began sailing on Deep Creek Lake, where he races Lasers and Flying Scots with his wife Stephanie and children Hannah and Connor. Bruce coached youth sports and college club teams, so combining his loves of sailing and coaching background by becoming US Sailing certified in 2017 seemed like a natural fit. Bruce especially enjoys working with beginning sailors and helping intermediate sailors make the leap into competitive racing. When he’s not at Deep Creek, Bruce lives with his family and two dogs in Winchester Virginia where he works as a software engineer.

Mark SchaeferInstructs adults and youth in the Flying Scot and Laser
Mark has been sailing and racing Flying Scots since 1978 and in 2015 added Laser racing and DN ice boating to his experience. Sailing has been his passion since childhood. He enjoys competition and the comradery of fellow sailors. Mark races nearly every weekend and participates in regional and national regattas as well. For Mark, sailing provides many avenues of enjoyment--from competitive racing, or a relaxing afternoon cruise, to spending a week in the Caribbean sailing from island to island, or zooming around the frozen lake at 45 miles per hour. All of these wonderful adventures have been made possible by learning to sail!

Bruce SpinnenweberInstructs adults in Flying Scots and Lasers
Bruce’s first exposure to sailing was at Boy Scout summer camp where he earned the Small Boat Sailing merit badge. That prompted his father to rent a Sunfish class sailboat during a family vacation and noticed that Bruce and his brother really took to the sport. In 1969, Bruce’s family joined Deep Creek Yacht Club, Inc. and purchased a Jet 14 class sailboat followed by a purchase of their first Flying Scot in 1972. Bruce has been racing Flying Scots ever since. He has also sailed Snipes, Rebels, Lasers, 505s, Fireballs, 470s, Penguins, Sunfish, Sailfish, Hobie 16s and DN iceboats. Bruce not only finishes well in local regattas, has attended a number of Flying Scot North American and Mid-winter Championships regattas, and is a past Flying Scot Ohio District Champion. He is a past commodore of Deep Creek Yacht Club and serves as Flying Scot race commander on the board of the Deep Creek Yacht Racing Association. Outside of sailing, Bruce was a Boy Scout leader for more than 30 years, holding many unit, district, and council level positions.
Joan CoraorInstructs adults in the Flying Scot
Now a grandmother of a budding sailor, Joan has been coming to the lake since she was four years old. At age six she began crewing for father in weekend races. She now races with her husband Lee, alternating between skippering and crewing. She has three grown children and five grandchildren who enjoy sailing. When she is not racing or teaching sailing, Joan enjoys reading, kayaking, singing, and playing guitar and keyboard. She has also travelled to Louisiana and North Carolina to rebuild houses of hurricane disaster victims.

Charles GrahamInstructs adults and youth in the Flying Scot and Laser
Charles has been teaching at Deep Creek Sailing School since 2012. He grew up sailing with his family in the Flying Scot, then Jet 14, then back to the Flying Scot, and now Laser. He also has experience in the Sunfish, Wind-flight, 470, Morgan, Jeanneau, Beneteau and Hunter. While he has cruised or raced in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Canada, North Carolina, Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii and Belize; most of his 49 years of experience has been right here at Deep Creek Lake. On weekends you can find Charles providing rigging help to the newest Laser sailor then coaching them on the water between races. Since his first sail, both racing and cruising sailboats have become a major part of his life. Sailing is his passion. The most rewarding times he has is taking friends sailing and teaching them how to sail so that they learn to love the sport.

Connor LothropInstructs adults and youth in the Flying Scot, Laser, Tera, and Pram
Connor became an instructor at DCSS in 2018, and interned for several years before that. He says he has been sailing for as long as he can remember and racing every weekend since he was eight years old. He races Lasers and Flying Scots, often with his sister, Hannah. They trade off skippering in the Gold Fleet. Look for him on the roster at the Flying Scot Nationals next year. He plans to study aerospace engineering at University of Virginia in the fall and compete on the sailing team. When he is not sailing, Connor plays soccer and hopes to write for the UVA newspaper.


The physical location of DCSS is different than our mailing address. The sailing school classroom is located on the first floor of Deep Creek Lake Sailing Association (DCLSA) clubhouse.  

Some classes are held at Deep Creek Yacht Club, Inc. (DCYC) Both clubs are located at the southern end of Deep Creek Lake.

Deep Creek Lake Sailing Association
204 Yacht Club Road
Swanton, MD 21561
(301) 387-4159

Deep Creek Yacht Club
855 Shoreline Drive
Swanton, MD 21561
(301) 387-7890