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By Breeana Greenberg

Capistrano Beach resident Richard Dahlin was recently recognized as an Outstanding Instructor of the Year by the American Sailing Association (ASA) for 2021.

Out of more than 2,300 ASA instructors active worldwide, Dahlin, of Aventura Sailing Academy, was named among the top 25, based on instructor surveys submitted by students.

Richard Dahlin, a sailing instructor at Aventura Sailing, was recently named an American Sailing Association Outstanding Instructor of the Year for 2021. Photo: Courtesy of Jessica Woodring

“His 2021 Outstanding recognition is simply a reflection of his knowledge of the ocean and excellent seamanship, integrity as an instructor, and relationships he has built with his students,” Jessica Woodring, Dahlin’s daughter, said in an email.

Dahlin joined Aventura Sailing, an ASA affiliate school, in 2006, working as an instructor alongside the Sailing Academy founder and then-director Captain Mark Howe.

During Dahlin’s 33 years in public education, serving as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent of Human Resources, and superintendent, he also taught sailing at the collegiate level at USC and Saddleback Community College on nights and weekends.

Aventura Sailing has six instructors who have cumulatively certified nearly 600 students in 2021 alone, Woodring said.

“ASA is extremely proud of its Certified Instructors who provide excellence in sailing education in America and around the world,” ASA wrote in an April 4 letter, notifying Dahlin of his recognition.

Breeana Greenberg

Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Before joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter with the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at

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