Our Instructors Make the Difference

Flagship Sailing Instructors are experienced educators and professional sailors. They are certified by the ASA and licensed by the US Coast Guard. Every Flagship Sailing student receives realistic, on-board instruction resulting in certification that is recognized around the world.

Our professional staff will assist you in selecting the right classes matched to your needs. They provide competent and friendly assistance to make sure you get the best course of instruction at the best price.

Whether you wish to sail in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, or on an inland lake or river, our captains will provide you with the skills necessary to safely live your dreams.


Captain George "Nordie" Norwood



George W. “Nordie” Norwood is a USCG licensed Captain with 100 Ton Master Mariner Rating with Sail and Towing endorsements. He is an ASA Certified sailing instructor through ASA 106 (Advanced Coastal Cruising). He is an alumnus of both Flagship Sailing and the Maryland School of Sailing and has offshore sailing experience in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. He is a former fighter pilot who served over 30 years in the US Air Force. Nordie loves sailing and enjoys introducing others to sailing and teaches at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Nordie and his wife Connie currently own a Catalina 310 and an Island Packet 40 and live in Riverview, FL.


Captain Michael E. “Mick” Hatch



Michael E. “Mick” Hatch is a USCG licensed Captain with 100 ton Master Mariner rating with Sail and Towing endorsements. Mick is a certified ASA instructor thru ASA 105. Mick has taught in USVI, Miami, Cocoa Beach, as well as on offshore passages thru the Caribbean from the Abaco Islands all the way down to Granada, Bonaire, and Aruba. Mick has sailed in Germany, England, Denmark, and the Med and is working on new adventure/destinations. He has skippered on ASA flotillas and loves to sail and teach others and to share his passion for the water, nature, and sailing….and having fun. Mick retired after 26 years in the USAF and 12 years at NASA Kennedy Space Center. Today, he skippers/charters various tours boats in Port Canaveral and Biscayne Bay and teaches sailing in Tampa Bay. He and Jennifer live in Merritt Island, Florida and own a 42 ft Hunter sailboat “Relentless” and take her on various passages thru the Caribbean Islands.


Captain Patricia A. "Patti" Freeman



Patricia A. “Patti” Freeman is a USCG licensed Near Coastal Captain and ASA Certified sailing instructor for ASA 101, 103, and 105. She has sailed in the Gulf of Mexico and received ASA certifications in the Mediterranean. Prior to sailing, Patti dedicated 37 years with Mosaic Fertilizer as a Strategic Sourcing Manager and Logistics Planning Coordinator. Upon retirement, she had a desire to share the beauty and tranquility of Tampa Bay and chartered power boat sightseeing excursions. Today, she charters her sailboat “Maramor” and rents Hydrobikes. Patti and Bob live in Apollo Beach and enjoy sailing their Nauticat 321.


Captain Dimitris Bampakos



Dimitris Bampakos is a Commander of the Greek Navy. Most of his 26 years’ service in the navy was at sea as a captain, executive officer and deck officer on board frigates and fast patrol boats where he logged more than 100,000 miles all over the world. He first learned how to sail when he was a midshipman at the Greek Naval Academy. After his last command on board a warship in 2006, he started cruising and racing every summer in the Aegean and Ionian Seas where he logged several thousand miles. While serving in Virginia, from 2013 to 2016, he completed successfully all ASA certifications up to 108 offshore ocean passage level and became an ASA instructor up to 205 level. During this period, he also cruised and raced in Chesapeake Bay the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.


Captain Gardner Lloyd


         Gardner Lloyd

  • License: 100 Ton Master with Sail Endorsement
  • Instructor Certifications: BKB 201, BCC 203, BBC 204, NAV 205, ACC 206, ADT 218, ASA Instructor Evaluator
  • ASA Instructor Examiner, Learned to sail on a Sunfish in 1958
  • Sailed in Gulf of Mexico; Atlantic Ocean – US East Coast, British Virgin Islands; Chesapeake Bay; Great Lakes – Michigan, Superior, Erie; Inland Lakes – Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois; Rivers – Mississippi, Missouri.
  • Raced: J 29 and Interlake 18

Ginger Thompson



Ginger Thompson is the Executive Assistant for Flagship Sailing and handles all inquiries and scheduling. She works diligently with each customer to try to meet their needs. She is “the voice” of Flagship Sailing and loves to help those with a new or renewed interest in sailing figure out which class is best suited for them. She served in the US Air Force for 24 years and retired as a Chief Master Sergeant. Ginger and her husband, Al, live in Kaneohe, Hawaii.