Kira Maxiner with Nichole Ortiz, Darci Bogdan, Laura Levy & Joan Byrne

Captain Kira Maixner has her OUPV Captains License. She is a sailing instructor at Modern Sailing School and Club and crew on USA 76 – a retired America™s Cup Yacht docked at Pier 39. While she enjoys teaching people from all walks of life, she is most passionate when it comes to women and sailing. She strives to create an inclusive and supportive community encouraging women to take the helm.




Nichole Ortiz is an active MSC member and over the past two years has been an early champion of women’s sailing at the club, is the club’s first female club Skipper, and recently double-handed the Amalfi Coast after teaching her friend Kim to sail. Nichole began sailing in San Diego in 2001 and has sailed the San Francisco Bay since 2010.



Captain Darci Bogdan, a Santa Cruz native, grew up cruising on a sailboat with her family on a 50’ Piver Trimaran named the Starship. Her upbringing influenced her to pursue sailing as a career and in 2010 she started teaching for various ASA affiliate schools on the East Coast and in California. Over time Darci built her experience as a crew member on various larger vessels in the Bay Area and in 2016 she became the 1st Woman Captain of the Santa Cruz 70’ Chardonnay II and the Director of Operations for Pacific Sail Sailing School based out of Santa Cruz Harbor. Currently, Darci still works as a Captain for Chardonnay Sailing Charters and Sea Spirit Ocean Safari.


Laura Levy, is the co-founder of Somand, an emerging brand that designs performance sailwear for women. Laura grew up in New York and spent her summers sailing out of Larchmont, NY on Long Island Sound. She enjoyed racing Optimists and Lasers as a junior sailor and her love of being on the water led her to become a sailing instructor for youth sailing during college. Laura moved to San Francisco in 2016 and has been an active member of the sailing community since. She regularly competes in various regattas and one of her most memorable sailing events was competing in the 2017 Etchells Worlds.



Joan Byrne, has skippered a Moore 24, Laser 28, and Olson 911s in local regattas over the past 20 years. Her accomplished crew is an even mix of women and men with a track record of winning numerous regattas on the San Francisco Bay. Joan has established herself in the racing community as a promoter of women’s sailing. She has worked for the past 8 years to successfully develop the Red Bra Regatta. It is the largest all-women regatta in the Bay.  Joan and her crew are famous for their camaraderie, often hosting after race festivities aboard their yacht.