About


Fleet of Martin 16s together
Two young sailors ready to sail

Challenged Sailors San Diego is the award-winning program providing FREE adaptive sailing for people living with disabilities. Every Friday and Saturday from 11:00am-3:00pm. #WeSailEveryWeekend

Again - 100% FREE sailing for those living with disabilities. MS, CP, traumatic brain injury, quadra/para limitations...this is for you. No experience necessary. We make an easy, fun and exhilarating experience.

Our eight Martin16 sailboats are made especially for adaptive sailing. More experienced adaptive sailors can pilot our sailboats along with an accomplished companion sailor who sits behind. New adaptive sailors can relax and enjoy an afternoon on the harbor while your companion does the driving.

That's why we were awarded US Sailing's Robie Pierce Award for outstanding adaptive sailing, the most significant award honored each year in our field.

Challenged Sailors San Diego is an all-volunteer organization. We rely on the community's generosity and financial donations to enable us to fulfill our mission.


Peter, Brewster, Eric hanging out at Sunroad Marina Dale Burchby and Russel Hart

Mission

Challenged Sailors San Diego provides therapeutic, recreational and competitive adaptive sailing opportunities for people with disabilities to enhance their dignity, well-being, and independence.

Vision

Challenged Sailors San Diego will become a nationally recognized center for adaptive sailing and related activities. We will grow to serve more sailors, learn and teach new techniques, and add new boats to our fleet, which will be used to further our Mission.

Values

CSSD values our stakeholders, including our volunteers, adaptive sailors, and donors. We will be transparent in all we do, open with all of our stakeholders and follow our mission to the best of our ability. We will treat all of our participants with dignity and care.


Board of Directors

  • Peter Phillips

    Peter Phillips

    President

    Peter is a fourth generation San Diegan who has been sailing his entire life. He graduated from San Diego State University and worked in Healthcare, primarily in the Information Technology space, getting his start at (Rady) Children's Hospital. Volunteerism has been one of his core life values. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Southern California Yachting Assoc, where he still chairs the Adaptive Boating committee and, the Board of the Recreational Boaters of California. He started sailing with CSSD in 2018 and in 2022 he became our President

  • Steve Bridge M.D.

    Steve Bridge M.D.

    Vice President

    Stephen Bridge M.D. is a retired urologic surgeon who grew up in Pacific Beach and started sailing around the age of 5. He sailed competitively in the junior program at Mission Bay Yacht Club and competed in many regattas in the San Diego area and around Southern California, winning numerous awards skippering a Sabot, OK Dinghy, and Lido 14. He learned of CSSD from one of his patients in 2019 and started volunteering shortly thereafter as dock help and, subsequently, as a companion sailor.

  • Morgan Wright

    Morgan Wright

    Secretary and Safety

    Morgan moved from Paradise, CA to San Diego in 2014 and was introduced to sailing though the UCSD Sailing Team on CFJs. Shortly after graduating, he started racing on bigger yachts (47-59’) in the San Diego Bay and eventually found a competitive team to race with (Team Fiasco on a S2 10.2). To support his sailing habit, he has worked as a behavioral therapist, and has held various teaching positions across San Diego community college districts and SDSU in biological sciences. Morgan started volunteering with CSSD in 2018, and is always happy to help people learn how to sail safely and race competitively.

  • Sue Taetzsch

    Sue Taetzsch

    Scheduling

    I joined Challenged Sailors San Diego when it first opened as a nonprofit in 2014. I have been the scheduler since then and I am currently one of the BOD members for Challenged Sailors San Diego. I graduated with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation, received my Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling for the Deaf and post graduate in Certificate in Post Employment Training Administration of programs serving individuals who are Deaf, Late Deafened and Hard of Hearing, I grew up sailing and love being involved in providing sailing opportunities to people with disabilities, new or returning sailors.

  • Chaluim Muir

    Chaluim Muir

    Outreach

    “Capt Cal” set sail on his maritime journey at the age of 12, right at the location of Sunroad Marina, which currently houses Challenged Sailors. Today, Capt Cal is the proud owner of the distinguished Sail San Diego sailing center. Cal’s profound affection for the ocean and the art of sailing has motivated him to inspire and engage the local community in the splendors of their own backyard, the San Diego Bay. Philanthropy and community involvement have long been integral to Cal’s identity, and he looks forward to being part of the next chapter of this organization.

  • Sam Graber

    Sam Graber

    Marketing Communications

    Originally from Washington, D.C., Sam Graber grew up sailing during summers in the Adirondacks on Upper Saranac Lake when his Mom forced him to get on the damn boat. Now he's a crazy foredecker, never reefs and sails his own Seaward 25 into shoal waters. But he is VERY responsible with CSSD as a companion sailor. Sam is thrilled to be using his time and talents to serve the disabled community. Every day is a joy when we can give the gift of making memories on the water. Let's go sailing!


Board of Advisors

  • Craig Dennis

    Craig Dennis

    Waterfront Lead

    Craig is a 2nd generation Californian having lived in Southern California all his life. Craig started his career in the motion picture industry and moved into the competitive multifamily housing market, then grape farming and finished his professional career/s in the custom home building industry. Now retired (again), Craig found his new passion in helping keep CSSD’s fleet in working condition. Craig lives in Olivenhain with his wife Kerry, their two Corgi’s and CSSD’s unofficial mascot Fergie.

  • Jane Dunn

    Jane Dunn

    As a founder and former President of Challenged Sailors, Jane has developed many components of the CSSD program. Jane’s enthusiasm for sailing began during childhood summers spent racing on Cape Cod. Since then, she has enjoyed sailing and racing boats of all sizes, including her current 23’ Sonar. Jane has been a US Sailing Small Boat Sailing Instructor since 2009, and received her Adaptive Sailing Instructor certification. Jane is always looking forward to exploring new opportunities for CSSD, and spending time on the water with our wonderful sailors and volunteers.

  • Tiffany Piquilloud

    Tiffany Piquilloud

    A Board-Certified Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy, Tiffany received her Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of the Pacific. For over 20 years Tiffany has been serving as the Executive Director and Senior Physical Therapist at Challenge Center. When she’s not running Challenge Center or treating patients, Tiffany can be found in the mountains snowboarding/skiing, under the ocean scuba diving, out traveling the world, playing Gaelic Football for San Diego, or playing with their dog, and Challenge Center regular, Penny.


Notable Mentions

  • Eric Matus

    Eric Matus

    Training

    In 2018 I was in a paragliding accident resulting in an L1 burst fracture and bruised spinal cord. After recovering enough to use a walker I visited Challenged Sailors SD and was lifted into a Martin 16. This led to my applying my 60 years of sailing experience to qualify as a Chase Boat Operator, ASA and US Sailing Basic Keelboat Instructor. I also rewrote the CSSD Basic Sailing Manual and authored Chase Boat Operator and Dock Leader Manuals. I now own and race a Schock Santana 525, a 25-foot sailboat along with participating and volunteering with Challenged Sailors.

  • Mike and Sylvia Swall

    Mike and Sylvia Swall

    Two of our founders rescued the adaptive sailing program, part of Challenged America, back in 2014. They invested their own money to pay dockage and insurance costs for the program's eight specially designed Martin 16s. Eventually, they formalized the arrangement, along with other volunteers, and created a new non-profit corporation called Challenged Sailors San Diego. They're regulars at our Friday and Saturday sails as well as special events!