Our Origins

The inception of 1D Sailing began with founder Dave Smith. In the late 1980s, in a quest to breathe new life into the sport of sailing in Canada, Smith introduced the concept of professional racing to the sport in an effort to give young sailors 'heros' to emulate. Smith partnered with two American sailors in building and hosting North America’s first ever professional sailing competition: the Ziploc Ultimate Yacht Race.   

It is from that passion that 1D Sailing was born. With a firm grip on the pinnacle of the marine industry Smith, along with a new team, are aiming to make the sport of sailing more accessible for all. Today 1D Sailing provides premium marine experiences throughout Canada and the United States.

The Advantages

Concentrating on the aspects that matter...

ad-001.jpgWe are a Transport Canada Recreational Boating School, acknowledged as meeting the standards expected in the best training programs .

ad-002.jpgAll of our training is facilitated by certified instructors with top notch sailing experience, providing focused, organized and stimulating training sessions.


ad-008.jpgLearn in many different ways, including online programming. Our online lessons use the power of interactive examples and allow you to progress at your own pace.

ad-004.jpgAll training sessions are insured and safe! One of our top priorities is to ensure the safety of each participant at all times.


ad-005.jpgOur boats were carefully selected to provide a great sailing experience, while teaching every skill level in a safe, stable and comfortable environment.

ad-006.jpgWe offer sail training 7 days a week from 8AM -9PM, providing you with convenient flexibility.


Meet the Team

Dave Smith - Founder

Dave is the mastermind behind this organization. He founded the business in 2013, with the goal to make sailing an accessible sport and to give young sailors role models to look up to throughout their careers. His many years of experience in the business world as well as in the world of sailing come together to make him the perfect candidate to make this company an incredible success. 

Outside of 1D, Dave has a past fit for a screenplay. He has run his own legal practice, founded the first international proffessional sailing league, appeared in movies beside the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, is a registered patent holder, has run a multi-national adsorbant padding business, all while spending 42 years happily married and raising three daughters.

Connor MacKenzie - Managing Partner

Since he first took the tiller at age 8 at a Port Credit summer camp, Connor has had a deep love for both sailing and the water. 

Connor began racing 420s in the BC Circuit, and after winning a provincial championship, he graduated to keelboat racing, and never looked back. Connor has raced for Farr 30, 1D48  and TP52 programs, International Six Metre syndicates, and Digicel Team Bermuda, as well as racing and coaching for the Queen's Varisty Sailing Team and racing and co-founding Northwest Youth Racing, the top Canadian youth match racing team. Throughout his sailing, Connor has won two Canadian National Championships, two North American Championships, and one World Championship in 4 different classes.

In addition to his racing, Connor has completed a trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific trip and accumulated over 30,000 nautical miles. During the rare times he isn’t on water or in the office, Connor can be found watching University of Michigan football on Saturdays and the Dallas Cowboys on Sundays.

Rowan Cress - Director of Public Relations

Rowan is a Queen's University alumna, with a degree in biology. Aside from her studies, Rowan spent much of her time at school with the alumni association running the student marketing team. 

At 1D, she is the organized mind behind the fast-paced and wild daily operations. Rowan manages the social media accounts and is invested in keeping the 1D fans up to date on all the exciting happenings. 

Whether you need someone to sort your files or put a smile on your face, she is your gal!

Doug Scully - Director of Business Development

Doug is a Queen's University graduate who spent his tenure at school as a varsity rugby player. Having worked for a sports marketing firm, Doug is excited to immerse himself in the sport of sailing and take 1D Sailing to new heights. 

Whether you are looking to embrace a new brand opportunity for your company or simply chat with a charismatic fellow you can reach him at extension 106.

Nicholas Wright - Fleet Manager

Nick's love of the water began at an early age while power boating with his family on Georgian Bay.  He took up sailing at the age of 9 and continued to sail throughout high school, and on the Varsity Sailing Team at Queen's University. 

Upon graduating from Queen’s in 2017, Nick found himself with the opportunity of a lifetime: to join the crew of Windancer IV. He sailed from Curacao, to Colombia, through the Panama Canal, and onwards to the Galapagos and French Polynesia.

Having recently crossed the Pacific, Nick is primed to utilize his knowledge and skills to optimize the 1D fleet. Look for his long flowing hair on our Tigers down south!