Fran Charles joined the Institute in 1992 as a varsity sailing coach and assistant to former sailing master, Hatch Brown. Now, as the fourth Sailing Master since 1935, Charles is responsible for the entire recreational sailing program with over 2,000 members annually developing sailing skills and using the fleet of over 100 boats.
In 2007, Charles was inducted into the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Hall of Fame and received the Graham Hall Award for Distinguished Service to College Sailing by a Professional. He is a certified umpire for team racing and is often volunteering to officiate at US National and World Championships. Charles's race management skills are sought for junior, national and world level events year in and year out.
Before joining MIT, Charles served as co-director of the Courageous Sailing Center in Boston, which teaches sailing to city children. In 1996 and 1997, he managed the sailing competition for the Massachusetts Special Olympics as well as sponsored multiple clinics, seminars, and competitions for local junior sailors. In 1999, Charles was honored by Mass Bay Sailing with its "Distinguished Service to Yachting" Award.
Charles and his wife, Sue, continue to race competitively together on the winter "frostbite circuits" in New England. Occasionally he competes in the Olympic Star Class and IOD Fleets in Marblehead and Northeast Harbor.
Following a hiatus from intercollegiate coaching, Mike Kalin returned to the MIT sailing program in 2014. He was previously a coach with the Engineers from 2000-06, helping the coed team to a consistent ranking among the top 15 in the nation, with the squad placing as high as 11th at Nationals.
Kalin left MIT to compete full-time for the Canadian Sailing Team where he was the fourth-ranked member of the team in the Olympic Laser class, winning the Marvin McDill Award in 2006 for the top rookie performance at an Olympic class world championship. Since sailing for the Canadian team he served as the sailing director at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco from 2008-11 as well as working as a coach for the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team and as a member of the 2013 America’s Cup Race Management Group.
Matt Lindblad enters his 11th season at MIT. During his tenure in Cambridge, he helped guide the Engineers to eighth place at the 2016 ICSA Women’s National Championship, fifth place at the 2013 ICSA Women’s National Championship and sixth place at the 2008 ICSA Dinghy National Championship.
Under his leadership, RWU became a nationally recognized program with regular finishes in the Sailing World Top 20 National Rankings as well as top finishes at National level events. Lindblad has also enjoyed success as a competitor. In September, 2005, Lindblad competed for the Grey Goose Team Racing World Championship, winning the Team Racing World Championship with USA 1 (Cape Cod Whishbone). Lindblad also won the US Team Racing National Championships (Hinman Trophy) in 2003 and 2004 with Cape Cod Whishbone.
As an undergraduate, Lindblad was a four-year varsity letter winner at the national powerhouse St. Mary's College of Maryland. He was a team captain for the 1999 St. Mary's Seahawks squad, which won the 1999 Collegiate Team Racing National Championships and finished second in Fleet Racing National Championships among other victories. Lindblad has demonstrated his passion for coaching sailing in various capacities since assuming his first post in 1993. While working and going to school in Connecticut after college, he volunteered as an assistant coach for Fitch and Stonington High Schools in Southern Connecticut.
During the summer, Lindblad was the Waterfront Director at Ida Lewis YC in Newport (2003-04) and Advanced Racing Coach at Sail Newport (2005). He served as the Head Instructor/Racing Coach at Ram Island YC in Noank, Conn., from 1993-1998. Lindblad's other sailing successes include wins at Team Racing Mid-Winters (V-15) in 2005, The Newport Regatta (J24) in 2003 and 2005, and the J24 Fleet 50 Season honors in 2004 and 2005. Lindblad has also achieved top-five finishes at V-15 Nationals in 1998 (fifth) and 2000 (second) and is active in the Newport Laser Frostbiting fleet.