Meet the Directors

Dominic Meo III

Dominic has been sailing and racing sailboats for most of his life. Growing up in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Dominic started sailing at age 10. His training in sailboat racing started in Junior High School and continued into High School by sailing with the school sailing team. Led by Mary Hogan, who is a legend in Marblehead sailing circles, the sailing program was centered at Mystic Lakes in Medford, Massachusetts, and offered an excellent program for learning how to race sailboats. Dominic's first coach was his mother, who was upset that he wasn't sailing as well as others in the program. A year behind Dominic at Marblehead High School was Dave Curtis. Behind him were Jud Smith and Robby Doyle. Hopefully, you can understand why Dominic wasn't keeping up with these guys.

After High School, Dominic focused on succeeding in college and did not get a chance to sail until after a two-year stint in the U.S. Army and finishing graduate school. When he finally got out of school and was working full time, he purchased his first Tempest, an old O'Day which needed a lot of work. In short order, Dominic became active in the Marblehead Tempest fleet, and eventually became Editor of the Class Newsletter and Chairman of the United States International Tempest Association. After the 1976 Olympics, he purchased the Tempest owned by Lorne Leibel, who represented Canada and finished seventh in the Tempest Class at the Olympics.

For several years, Dominic actively raced his Tempest with Marc Gauthier, a long-time friend and sailing partner. Marc and Dominic campaigned their Tempest, named Class Act in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Annapolis, Maryland and Noroton, Connecticut. All this came to an end when Dominic moved to California in 1982. It took a while, but in 1987, Dominic joined Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach, California and trailered Class Act from Marblehead to Long Beach. Still racing his Tempest at ABYC, Dominic helps run USITA Long Beach and is excited by all the interest in this great sailing program, which provides younger sailors, who have limited resources, with a chance to sail and race competitively as yacht club members.

Dominic enjoys mentoring younger sailors and take a lot of pride in making sure the Tempests in USITA Long Beach are competitive and rigged as closely as possible to the same high standard. This should help to facilitate sharing tuning tips and getting the optimum speed out of all boats.

You can reach Dominic at [email protected] or by calling (714) 377-3155.

Henk Baars

Being from The Netherlands, a real sailing nation, Henk started sailing at a young age, around seven years old. His first sailing was in an early version of the Optimist, the European equivalent of a Sabot. While his older brother was sailing a Flying Junior, Henk’s father sailed a Sharpie 12m2. After crewing for a year on his brother’s Flying Junior, Henk got his very-first boat, an OK Class dinghy ( and started racing in the mid sixties.

For many years, Henk competed both nationally and internationally in the OK Class. Following his introduction to racing in the OK Class, Henk went on to race a variety of boats, including the Finn, Clipper, 470, Sailhorse and Kolibri up until the mid nineties. In 2000, Henk moved to southern California to start a new business venture and didn’t spend much time on the water, except to be an occasional crew member on a big ocean-class boat out of Seal Beach.

The dream to sail again in a fast, open sailboat became a reality when Henk met Dominic at the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach in 2011 and learned about the USITA Long Beach program. Since seeing a Tempest for the first time in 1964 and while sailing different types of boats, sailing a Tempest had always been a dream for Henk.

Because most sailing in The Netherlands takes place on shallow lakes, the Tempest, which has a keel, was not very popular. As a result, young people did not have an opportunity to sail this wonderful boat. Now that Henk is living here in California, the dream that he had as a young person has finally come true!

Just like Dominic, Henk enjoys mentoring and teaching younger sailors. To reach Henk, you can send an e-mail to [email protected].