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 with disabilities. Every Friday and Saturday from 11:00am-3:00pm!

Again - 100% FREE sailing for those living with disabilities. MS, CP, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord, quadra/para limitations...you are wanted here. This is for you. We make it a fun and exhilarating experience.

We have eight Martin16 sailboats made especially for adaptive sailing. More experienced sailors can pilot our sailboats along with an experienced companion sailor who sits right behind. Newcomers can relax and enjoy an afternoon on the harbor while your companion does the driving. We are here to fit your needs and make you feel comfortable.

That's why we were awarded US Sailing's 2022 Robie Pierce Award for outstanding adaptive sailing, the most significant award honored each year in our field.

And we don't stop. This is year-round. #WeSailEveryWeekend

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

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


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


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


Challenged Sailors will be transparent in all we do, will be open with all our stakeholders, and will 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 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

  • Terry Green


    A resident of Carlsbad, CA, Terence (Terry) Green grew up in Northern Michigan and learned to sail on a Sunfish. He later owned a 33' Watkins that was moored in Saugatuck on Lake Michigan. Last September, Terry retired after serving as a fundraising professional for more than 50 years, the last 26 of which were with Children's Hospital Los Angeles. He was also president of the Palomar Health Foundation during construction of their new hospital in Escondido. While living in Michigan, he was president of his own fundraising consulting company, representing a variety of nonprofit organizations and institutions. Terry and his wife, Mary Lou, are graduates of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI where he received Bachelors and Master's degrees. They are parents of three children and two incredible grand persons.

  • Sam Graber

    Secretary / Marketing and Communications

    Sam Graber is originally from Washington, D.C. but grew up sailing during summers in the NY 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 Catalina 22 without a motor. 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 while being powered by the wind. Let's go sailing!

  • Sue Taetzsch


    I joined Challenged Sailors San Diego when it first opened as a nonprofit in 2015. 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.

  • Daniel Willan


    I have lived in San Diego since 1972 when my father, who was a Naval officer, received his duty station orders for San Diego. I have had several careers but currently and for the past 30 years as a Sales Engineer in the telecommunications field. Over my years of living, I was introduced to CSSD by a fellow ABI student and reached out to CSSD. I started as a Sailor and quickly advanced to Companion Sailor, Dock Help and Dock Lead, Chase Boat Driver and currently as a Director of Community Outreach. I enjoy helping new sailors and new volunteers get acquainted with sailing and the enjoyment I have being on the water in San Diego Bay with Challenged Sailor San Diego.

  • Eric Matus


    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. Once I realized I could sail again I began to sail regularly. 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.

  • Cam Taylor


    Cam learned how to sail in 1984 at a U.S. Navy recreational program while serving in the Marine Corps. He enjoyed day sailing in small boats for the next thirty years, before moving up to larger boats and passage-making in 2015. In 2019, he earned a Master Near Coastal captain's license, and ASA Instructor's license and spent several years working as a commercial captain and sailing instructor, which fueled his passion for writing under his pen name, Cam Séamus. These days, Cam is happy to spend his on-water time largely with Challenged Sailors San Diego.

  • Steve Bridge M.D.

    Member, Board of Advisors

    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. He has also served as dock leader and chase boat operator and is proficient in setting up the Power Assist Unit for the Martin 16 as well as rigging the higher performance SKUD-18 and flying the spinnaker in both the Martin and SKUD.

Notable Mentions

Mike and Sylvia Swall at a dining table

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!