Gateway Sailing, Inc., dba Sailing Portal, a CA non-profit, was founded by Karen E. Lile, Michael Arntz and Jim Wong. When OCSC, a sailing school located in the Berkeley Marina for over 40 years, closed its doors during the pandemic in 2021, Sailing Portal™ was created, to continue the values and traditions of quality sailing instruction with the input of two of former OCSC core instructors, Michael Arntz and Eric Wittig. Initially, Karen Lile Productions hosted the school from 2021 to 2022 as a dba and obtained US Sailing Accredited School certification for the school Then on June 7, 2022, Gateway Sailing Inc, was incorporated in CA as a non-profit and the school’s assets were donated to the non-profit. Although the ownership of the school has changed to a non-profit, the school remains under the same US Sailing Accreditation where it continues to operate in the Berkeley Marina today.
Sailing Portal employees collectively have a tremendous knowledge base of sailing in the San Francisco Bay area and internationally.
We owe a debt of gratitude to US Sailing for their superior standards and demand for high quality and supportive training for our instructors. And we thank Michael Arntz and Eric Wittig for contributing to the curriculum that is used today, under the Sailing Portal™ brand (copyrights and trademark registered under KLPN Provider, Inc.)
Gateway Sailing, Inc. Current Board of Directors:
President: Michael Arntz
Vice President/Secretary/Treasurer: Jim Wong
Director: Tom Harrison
Executive Director: Michael Arntz
Honorary Advisory Council Chairman: Karen E. Lile
Thanks to Our Founders:
Karen E. Lile, is an entrepreneur with many credits to her name, including founder and host of Sail Sport Talk and co-founder of Piano Finders, Building Bridges, and Karen Lile Productions. She is the Past Commodore of the International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians San Francisco Fleet (and Past IYFR International Bridge Member). She is an honorary member of the Golden Gate Yacht Club and a delegate for many years to the Pacific Inter-Club Yachting Association (PICYA) and an Honorary Advisory Member of Treasure Island Museum and Gateway Sailing Inc. She is the PICYA Inclusive Sailing Committee Chair. Her company, Karen Lile Productions is a service provider for Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, Oakland Symphony and USPS Building Bridges Special Postal Cancellation Series. Karen is a second generation boater and has sailed along the Pacific Coast to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in the US and British Virgin Islands and in the Indian Ocean.
Michael Arntz is a US Air Force Veteran and graduate of University of California at Berkeley. Michael began sailing in 1992 and quickly became a volunteer instructor and then a Cruising Skipper at the Cal Sailing Club in Berkeley. His passion for sailing instruction led him to become a US Sailing Certified Sailing Instructor and a US Coast Guard licensed Captain at OCSC, Olympic Circle Sailing Club, in Berkeley from 2008 to 2021, when OCSC closed due to the pandemic. The photo above is of Michael at a mooring in Jost Van Dyke. He has sailed in the British Virgin Islands every year since 2013
Michael co-owns a 36’Cruising sailboat on which he sails the San Francisco Bay, Delta and near coastal waters. Michael has skippered multiple cruises in the British and US Virgin Islands and has sailed on the West Coast of Mexico. He teaches Basic Keelboat, Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising as a US Sailing Certified Sailing instructor. He is also US Sailing Adaptive Sailing Instructor. Adaptive Sailing blends skill mastery with adaptation for students, so sailing is accessible to them, for their circumstances.
Jim Wong has a Master of Business Administration Degree from George Washington University, is a Real Estate Agent in the San Francisco Bay Area and has been a boat owner and sailing in the San Francisco Bay since 2006.
A Message from Rich Jepsen, President of US Sailing Board of Directors
A Message from City of Berkeley Council Member, Rigel Robinson
My name is Rigel Robinson, I have the privilege of serving on the Berkeley City Council.
But more importantly, I’m a Junior-rated dinghy skipper at the Cal Sailing Club.
And it is my honor, on behalf of the City of Berkeley and Mayor Jesse Arreguin, and in my personal capacity as a mariner myself, to welcome SAILING PORTAL to the Berkeley marina!
We celebrate tonight on the shore of one of the finest natural bays that this green earth has to offer. And right here, in Berkeley, a site once chosen for a new university specifically for its beautiful location “Exactly Opposite the Golden Gate,” a phrase many of you will have heard before.
There is no finer place to learn to sail in the world. And no finer people to learn to sail with.
This community in Berkeley has a long legacy and rich commitment to diversity, to equity, and to inclusion. Right here, in the birthplace of so many movements, including the movement for Independent Living led by the late Ed Roberts.
We have a duty to ensure that the same principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion are adhered to not only on shore, but on the water too. And that our love for the seas be accessible to all.
Sailing Portal, I am so thrilled by your vision for sailing education and glad to have you joining the Marina Community. Your arrival is very much in keeping with the City of Berkeley’s vision for this waterfront.
Allow me to take us on a quick sail down memory lane:
The Berkeley Marina has known many lives. In 1909, the City first built a municipal wharf here, primarily for freight. In 1926, the Berkeley Pier was built, and ferry service began. And just a decade later, a year after the opening of the Bay Bridge, ferry service ended. And so the Pier became the fishing pier that many of us knew and loved for years, until 2015.
And of course, the Marina was home to the municipal dump from the 20s until it was relandscaped and a new park was born in 1991, soon thereafter named for Cesar Chavez.
But I want to focus on a particular moment for you:
In 1937, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) provided the labor to construct Aquatic Park and the Berkeley Yacht Harbor. The City of Berkeley had a vision that this harbor would contain a well rounded community, including a yacht club, sailing school, a variety of water-based activities, and a hotel. Much of that will sound familiar today.
When the harbor was built, congratulations came by telegram from Harry Hopkins, Federal administrator of the WPA, who wrote:
“The City of Berkeley has shown vision and enterprise in taking full advantage of the facilities of the Works Progress Administration for such an outstanding improvement as your aquatic park and yacht harbor. It is my hope that the new waterfront area will prove as useful and enjoyable to your own citizens as its beauty will be appreciated by all visitors to California.”
At the ceremony, the yacht harbor was hailed by the WPA representative present as “one of the finest projects that has been executed in America.”
Today, we are celebrating 86 years of the realization of that vision. We have the Double Tree Hotel, the Berkeley Yacht Club, DragonMax, Pegasus, Cal Sailing Club, Cal Adventures, Restaurants and a Deli. And now: Sailing Portal.
For over 40 years prior to the pandemic, OCSC was the US Sailing Accredited professional sailing school in the Berkeley Marina. While OCSC closed its doors during the pandemic, two new sailing schools emerged, Inspire Sailing, an extension of Modern Sailing in Sausalito, and the new non-profit Sailing Portal, that we are welcoming to the community today.
The sailing instructors are not new to the community, I will leave them to Karen Lile to introduce. But the organizations are, and it is an honor to be part of this Meet and Greet for everyone to get to know each other.
While I have the microphone, I want to express my personal gratitude to all of you for the role you play in nurturing the sailing community at the Berkeley Marina.
I have lived on the Bay for some years now, and truly believe it is one of life’s greatest gifts to have a connection with the water. I discovered my passion for sailing here. I met the love of my life here. I love sharing this place with friends and with family. And I believe it should be shared with anyone brave enough to put on a wetsuit.
There is community here.
And Sailing Portal, I am so glad to welcome you to that community. Thank you for the integral part you will play in sharing this special place with the region. Congratulations! Thank you.