Living , Modern



1953 -

Derrick Fries, Ph.D. has been teaching sailing for 48 years. As a Professional Educator and Author of US Sailing (USS) “Start Sailing Right” Textbook he helped USS get its Training Department started. In 1985 he was asked to be a Clinic Director for USS which quickly evolved into the first USS Master Instructor Trainer.

He would maintain this role as the only Master Instructor Trainer for 20 years. During the two decades of work for USS he would blend his Teacher Skills, Expert Sailing Skills, American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor and Creative Writing Skills to revolutionize how sailing was taught around the world. He would invent over 40 unique USS Instructor Techniques that are still used today and would mandate that (1986) that a woman be placed on the cover of “Start Sailing Right” as a Helmsperson. Fries would author four sailing books and 44 periodicals from 1976 to 2021. He used his professional education skills to help create the first USS National Faculty in 1992. In his tenure with USS he would certify over 250 Instructors and help write numerous policies for USS such as renaming the Crash Boat to the Safety Boat. Fries is a retired School Superintendent and a current Professor of Education at Eastern Michigan University and was NASA Teacher In Space Finalist.

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