skip navigation


OLSS Instruction

The Okauchee Lake Sailing School prides itself on providing a safe, fun, informative, memorable experience to all students. We reflect these qualities through our instructors. Our instructors are experienced and know how to coach sailors, of all ages, and help them achieve their goals.

2019 Okauchee Lake Sailing School Instructors

Head Instructor-DJ Barkow

Hello! My name is DJ Barkow! My love of sailing can be traced back to my grandfather, who over the years has created a whole family of sailors. Like most people under the age of 30, I started my sailing adventure in Optis at age 4. I drank the koolaid after steering the boat all by myself on a Saturday morning right in the middle of a C boat race in the “Shark Bait Oo Ha Ha!”. I guess I was always meant to be a C boater! Outside of lake sailing, I joined Sheets, which was a travelling mini regatta where I learned all the basics with all my closest friends under the tutelage of Mrs. Candace Porter. I started crewing on an X boat at the ripe old age of 7 as a “phone – a – crew” and then landed my first full crewing job at age 8. I started skipping an X boat at the age of 12, and in my very first inland at Delavan, I tipped over and turtled right on the starting line. We got the boat up, drained it out, and almost made the next start. Sure does make for a memorable first inland! As I advanced through X boats, I started dabbling in C boats, seeing as that was my next boat of choice, where I crewed and thirded. In the off season, I sailed with MYST, which served as a good pre-season warmup to probably the best years of my sailing career in the X boat and giving me a jump starting into C boats. Now, I am in my third year as a C boat skipper and I feel like I’ve just begun to start learning. I guess it’s a good thing that sailing is a lifelong sport! I started my coaching career my last two years of X boats; I was a part-time coach on Cedar for their Opti program. Once I graduated X boats, I switched to full time coaching, which included all aspects of junior sailing from parent child, green fleet, red white and blue fleet, X boats, and even the Learn to Sail program sponsored by the YMCA which helped bring a bunch of new families into the world of sailing. Last year I switched lakes, I had a similar experience at Nagawicka, including adding some 420 coaching to the repertoire. Overall, I love all things aquatic because in the offseason I am a swimmer at Carroll college as well as being a full-time student majoring in Biochemistry with an emphasis in Pharmacy. I am super excited to be joining the Okauchee team for the 2019 season and I look forward to seeing you all on the water!