The Lauderdale Yacht Club Sailing Foundation and its partner, Gold Star Sailing, present the 2022 LYCSF Gold Star Sailing Camp June 12-17 at LYC

The Lauderdale Yacht Club Sailing Foundation and its partner, Gold Star Sailing, present the 2022 LYCSF Gold Star Sailing Camp June 12-17 at LYC, providing unique opportunities and adventures to the surviving children of fallen military service members in order to instill self-confidence, build character, teach teamwork, develop leadership, and promote healing in a positive environment of hope, adventure and friendship.


Patrick Powers – Colonel (Retired) Patrick Powers served over 25 years in U.S. Army Special Operations as a Green Beret. He served tours in Korea, Bosnia, Germany, Iraq, and Afghanistan and is a four times recipient of the Bronze Star Medal for heroic and meritorious deeds performed in an armed conflict. He was introduced to sailing as a child and was hooked. He began racing in 2001. In 2012 he designed Gold Star Sailing to be a special program uniquely designed for Gold Star teenagers with a focus on leadership, teamwork, and adventure. He discovered that great healing happened through this Gold Star Sailing camps. Patrick is a career “Green Beret,” a Master SCUBA Diver and a close quarters combat expert. Additionally, he is the father of two sailing children.

JD (John David) Rulien – Champion junior sailor at Lauderdale Yacht Club and champion Safety for St. Thomas Aquinas Football Team, recruited by Navy for the sailing team and by the Air Force Academy for football. He chose wisely, and the rest is the sailing world’s loss. JD graduated the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, Management and Operations and rose to the rank of Major. He also went on to graduate from the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School, Quantico, VA. JD is presently the Project Director, Renewable Development at NextEra Energy Resources, Washington, D.C., and Secretary of the Air Force Legislative Liaison, US Air Force Reserve. He was formerly Director of the Air Force Special Operations Command. JD recently received his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He holds licenses and certifications of Master Diver (PADI), Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Controller, and Parachutist (U.S. Parachute Association)

In 2015, JD received the Air force Special Operations Command Leadership Award, which stated:

Captain John D. Rulien distinguished himself as Assistant Flight Commander, 320th Special Tactics Squadron, 353d Special Operations Group, Kadena Air Base Japan, from 1 June 2014 to 31 May 2015. Captain Rulien’s decisive leadership propelled the 353d SOG’s combat power throughout the Pacific as he led his 21-man team executing over 75 high risk missions, on 14 joint exercises spanning 8 countries. He led a recon team in Exercise FOAL EAGLE on a night freefall infil to control 15 airdrops and air landings of 150 Rangers yielding the 1st successful execution of a bi-lateral airfield seizure on the Korean peninsula in 10 years. A peerless mission commander, he led a 14-man team to the Philippines on Exercise BALIKATAN where he directed airborne and terminal attack guidance training, producing 7 new jumpmasters and increasing SOG kinetic employment capabilities by 30%. Also, he forged new relationships with Marine Force Recon teams as the architect and team leader behind OPERATION GUNSMOKE, an Okinawa-based joint Air Force/Marine marksmanship and rotary wing, high value target recovery, full mission profile which prepared 40 operators for imminent combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Training that he would later use as Joint Terminal Attack Controller deployed to Iraq with an Army Special Forces team, where he would be responsible for more than 20 enemy killed in action. Finally, Capt Rulien authored a published leadership article on risk mitigation for AFSOC’s safety magazine, earned the SOG’s CGO of the Quarter and was a distinguished graduate of Squadron Officer School. The distinctive accomplishments of Captain Rulien reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Liam Farrel – 17-year-old champion sailor from the two most famous LYC’s, Lauderdale Yacht Club and Larchmont Yacht Club (“LYC North”). Liam has been part of the United States National Team and is an international competitive sailor. He has coached at LYC North, is a US Sailing Level 1 Sailing Instructor and was the most popular coach among the sailors and the coaches at the 2021 Gold Star Camp. Liam holds certificates in Boating Safety (New York State), Safe Power Boat Handling (US Sailing) and Junior Safety as Sea. He is a rising senior at Fordham Prep.

Mark Kamilar – Sailing director and trial lawyer; twice President of Olympic Sailing Training Facility in Coconut Grove, Florida; personally coached many national champion sailors and taught over 3000 people of all ages to sail, race, and win, and when many of our young champion sailors in South Florida are asked to name the most important and influential person in their sailing careers, they answer Mark Kamilar.

Phil Lotz – Phil has competed successfully in Swan 42’s, J/105s, Melges 32s, Etchells, Viper 640s and IC37s. He has won many major national and international regattas, and he is a consummate team racer. Phil also is the immediate Past Commodore of New York Yacht Club. In his other life, Phil is a senior level financial services executive with 40 years’ management experience in building, running and governing financial service businesses, including asset management, trading and client-driven businesses. Graduated from University or Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business. Executive Chairman at HedgePoint Global Markets. hEDGEpoint Global Markets uses technology to provide financial risk management products and services to global commodity markets, with expertise in agriculture and energy markets; it is headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with offices in the United States, Switzerland, and Latin America.

Peter Commette – World Champion, Olympian, Pan-Am medalist, multiple North American and national champion. Coaching sailing for over 50 years. Coached multiple Olympic Gold Medalists, world champions and US Youth Champions. Peter also is an admiralty lawyer and a personal injury lawyer specializing in foreign resort personal injury litigation.

Phil Greene – Phil was a champion collegiate sailor at the US Merchant Marine Academy and is presently racing Melges 16’s with his wife, Deb. Upon graduation from USMMA, he entered the navy as an ensign, rising to become Rear Admiral, commanding multiple destroyers, serving in the Iraqi War and was Commander of the Combined Joint Task force – Horn of Africa. He holds advanced degrees, including an MS in national security strategy from the Naval War College (’94) and an MS in information systems from the Naval Post Graduate School. He and Deb also are proud grandparents of Finn.

Steve Benjamin – The first of our two National Collegiate Sailor of the Year awardees. Steve had a most distinguished career at Yale and is on the Board of Directors or is a Trustee of numerous important sailing organizations. Steve has sailed in 5 Admirals Cups and is an Olympic medalist, world champion, national and North American champion in numerous Olympic and international sailboat classes. Steve also is a past Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.

Alex Smigelski – Alex Smigelski attended the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, and was named to the All-American Sailing Team for three straight years. Alex skippered the Merchant marine Academy to the Collegiate National Dinghy Championship. He culminated his brilliant career by being voted the 1979 Sailor of the Year. Since graduation, Smigelski competed for the U.S. Olympic Team in Stars and was second in the Olympic Trials. He also was a champion downhill ski racer. His friends also know him as “Mr. Donut,” not just because of his unique shape, but also because he and his business partner own an extremely successful string of Dunkin’ Donut franchises in the Northeast.

Al Ravelo – Another champion junior sailor at the real LYC, Al distinguished himself particularly as a Laser sailor. The US Naval Academy recruited Al, and he graduated with a Bachelor of Science, rising to the rank of Lieutenant, and becoming a US Naval Pilot. Al presently is attending the University of Miami Herbert Business School for his Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Presently, Al is the head Captain for Anchor Yacht Charters, Miami.

Karl Ryder – Karl ryder is another one of LYC’s junior sailing program success stories in Optis, Lasers, high school sailing and college sailing at Massachusetts Maritime, finishing up his studies at Broward College. Karl has coached sailing at LYC, and he has a U.S. Coast Guard 100 Ton Master Captain’s License. Recently, Karl re-joined LYC as a Junior Member and has joined our Junior Member Race Management Program. Professionally, he is a Marine Insurance Advisor at Brown & Brown Insurance.

Brooks Ritchey – Sailing for over 54 years since age 8, Brooks has competed successfully in the J-24, Laser, Fireball, Snipe, Blue Jay, Lightning, Sonar, and Tornado classes, as well as being skipper or crew in many major offshore big boat regattas. He is a former sailing instructor, focusing on the Laser, Fireball, and Blue Jay classes. Brooks spends his weekdays as Co-Chief Investment Officer and Senior Managing Director for the hedge fund division of the mutual fund company Franklin Templeton. He presently owns two lasers and a Hobie 33 ‘Arbitrage’, which he actively races.


David Smith – David is a retired Chief Fire Officer, is a Director of safety courses at local Maritime school, MPTUSA, a Licensed paramedic, Licensed captain, and is a sail and power certified instructor with the US Coast Guard, MCA, RYA and US Sailing. David was a US Army medic in the 1980’s, and once sailed to California, Hawaii and Tahiti in a 54 ft. boat. David has a B.A. from U.C.L.A. in English and a Master’s Degree from Nova Southeastern in Public Administration. Of his many accomplishments, three of his top ones are to have married the incredible Vera Lynch Smith, with whom he has two of our top junior sailors, Anna and Danielle.

Jason Huey – Jason has years of first aid training as a lifeguard at the Jersey Shore and is First Aid Certified. During Camp Week, Jason will be training with David Smith and looking forward to becoming part of our safety boat operations during our ocean regattas. Professionally, Jason recently was promoted to Managing Director, Securitized Products Group Baird, and was formerly a Director at Kawa Capital Management and in portfolio management and an analyst at Guggenheim Partners, Nomura Securities and BlueMountain Capital Management. Jason earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics at the University of Delaware and has an MBA from the University of Florida