TSPS Bridge 2023

The TSPS Bridge acts as a “board of directors” and advises the Commander on most aspects of Squadron activities.

It usually consists of the Governors, the Bridge officers (Commander, Executive Officer, Educational Officer, Administrative Officer, Secretary, Treasurer) and at least 3 or more members at large. All persons on this committee must be elected by the membership. The Squadron Bylaws should define powers and who should be on this committee.

Some of the functions of this committee are, but are not limited to:

  1. General charge of policy
  2. Management and finances of the Squadron
  3. Custody of all property of the Squadron
  4. First approval of all bills
  5. Recommends dues of the membership
  6. Approval of invitation to membership
  7. Approve nominations as Associate and Honorary memberships and transfers
  8. Approve the appointments of the Commander
  9. Approve any bylaw changes before being presented to the membership
  10. Be aware of and approve the time and place of education courses
  11. Fill any vacancy in an elective office in the Squadron until a successor has been duly elected
  12. Investigate any complaint that may require disciplinary action (Article XIII, USPS bylaws)


CommanderGeneral information about TSPS
Administrative OfficerMedia enquiries
Education OfficerInformation on English classes for the Japan Class 1 & 2 license
Information about our educational programs
Membership OfficerInformation about applying or the status of your membership
Cruise DirectorInformation about planned cruises
Public Relations OfficerQuestions via email in written Japanese
United States Power SquadronInformation on our parent organization
WebmasterWebsite enquiries


William Van Alstine

A fluent Japanese speaker, Bill has worked in Japan since 1985. He is experienced in operating small watercraft and has done so since age 12.  He is mostly a power boat guy who arranges wakeboarding trips with TSPS members.  He completed USPS education courses in Seamanship, Piloting and Advanced Piloting as well as TSPS beginner sailing.  Bill served as TSPS Commander in 2017 and 2018, and Treasurer from 2019-2023. 

Jeff Canaday

Jeff’s first boat was a 17-foot aluminum canoe that his family would take to lakes and rivers in Oregon. When the wind was against them and the paddling brought up images of Roman slave galleys, he longed for a sail. He didn’t get one until university, when he took a dinghy sailing class for his PE credit. The instructor’s method was to carry a bottle of peach brandy aboard his boat and anybody good enough to catch him got the bottle…until someone else caught them. (Jeff has since learned far better methods of instruction.) That spring, sailing students grouped together on charter boats in the San Juan Islands above Seattle, and, after sailing a week amid wilderness islands against the backdrop of snowcapped mountains, he was hooked on cruising.

He later took the USPS Boating Course and the JMRA license course during his first year in Japan. At that time, Edo castle was under construction and listening to boating lectures under cherry trees while sipping green tea was a calming diversion from English teaching. What he learned was that USPS is a bootstrap organization, wherein experienced members share their knowledge of boating with novice members, who, as they gain experience are obligated to begin sharing what they know with the members that follow them into the Squadron. The Education officer is there not so much to teach, but to encourage the transition from novice boater into experienced instructor for each member.

Jeff also serves as second in to the Education Officer

Gary Thomas

Gary was originally from the Seattle area in Washington State, USA but lived and worked in Japan almost continuously from the late 1970s until 2017. He now splits his time between Tokyo and Seattle. He is a power boat guy who owns a 39-foot cabin cruiser berthed at Yokohama Bayside Marina. Gary began boating in the mid-1990s and has cruised extensively in Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands in Washington State and the Gulf Islands in British Columbia. He has been a member of TSPS since 2002 and previously served as TSPS Commander after several years on the Bridge.

Bridge Officers


Refer to William Van Alstine above

Executive Officer

Svetlana Ilyushechkina

Svetlana was born and raised in Moscow, Russia, until coming to Japan on an impulse 10 years ago.

She now speaks fluent Japanese, and she’s been all around the country by all imaginable means of transportation. She enjoys being outdoors the most, preferring activities like hiking, snowboarding, wakeboarding and, of course, sailing. Svetlana joined TSPS in 2018, becoming an active participant of all educational and social events. Shortly after, she passed the JMRA license test on the first try and became an approved skipper within the club. Oh, and if you ever need good weather – don’t ask her how, but she delivers.

Working a day job as an Event Organiser for luxury brands, she is planning to bring more top-notch activities to the club, and promises to make sailing more popular among women, leading by example.

Administrative Officer

Brendan Morris

Brendan was born in Santa Monica, California.  Growing up, his dad had powerboats so he was able to go out cruising and fishing along the Southern California coast.  A long-term Japan resident, he has a JMRA 2 license, is an advanced scuba diver and enjoys sport fishing. 

As the Administrative Officer, he will do his best for TSPS by supporting the Bridge officers in initiatives promoting events, improving membership satisfaction and organizational awareness; as well as helping out with boat rental scheduling.   He’s been with the Club since 2010.

Education Officer

Claude Strobbe

I’m a retired Belgian living in Japan for 29 years. I joined TSPS a couple of years ago and have been supporting the lessons for Class 2 and 1 Japanese boat operator license.

Since 2020 I spend most of my time on ANAIS, a 32-foot racing yacht at the Tokyo Yume-no-shima Marina.

Secretary and Law Officer

Timothy Langley

A long-term Japan resident, Langley grew-up on Okinawa and completed law school in Japan as well as in the United States. Formerly the General Counsel for Apple Computer (Japan) and at General Motors (Asia Pacific), Langley currently runs a public-affairs consultancy and is considered a local expert on Japanese politics. At 16 years, he crewed cross-the-Pacific on a Merchant Marine ship out of Naha Port to Charleston, South Carolina, sailing through the Panama Canal and through the Gulf of Mexico in 1969. His passion is sailing and educating others about sailing in Japan…. and avoiding Merchant Marine ships.

As Bridge Secretary, Langley is dedicated to assisting the Bridge run effectively and smoothly (as in monthly Bridge Meetings) and in facilitating communication among the leadership. Working with the Commander, Langley intends to keep TSPS compliant with TSPS’s NPO status while embellishing the existing relationships with like minded sailing/boating organizations locally and worldwide.


Ryan Thompson

As an avid reader transfixed by the adventures of the world’s first solo circumnavigator in the novel “Joshua Slocum, Sailor,” a young Ryan was terribly disappointed to discover that “running away to sea” was no longer a viable career path.
He was first introduced to boating in the real world when his father brought home a new speedboat and taught Ryan how to drive it so he could go water-skiing. Dinghy sailing on the lake at Boy Scout camp, and sailing with friends on San Francisco Bay reinforced his love of the water, but it wasn’t until meeting a TSPS member and sailing on Tokyo Bay that he took up the sport in earnest.
A decades-long resident of Japan and fluent speaker, Ryan now co-owns with another TSPS member the 26-foot sloop “Spray” at Yokohama Bayside Marina, named for Slocum’s famous ship from the novel which started it all.
As Treasurer of TSPS, Ryan looks forward to supporting education and outreach programs to attract and inspire others to take up the sport of sailing and share his love of the sea.


Membership Chair

John Kratochvil

John Kratochvil, Chair, Membership. John is Certified by the American Sailing Association for ASA 107 (Celestial Navigation), ASA 108 (Offshore Passage-making), ASA 114 (Cruising Catamaran) and ASA 201 (Basic Keelboat Sailing Instructor). He is a past FAA Certified Flight Instructor for Airplanes and Instruments; rated in Multi-engine Airplane and Float Airplane.

Boating Activities Chair

Vlad Legeza

Vlad came to Japan in late 2016. From an early age he was inspired by boats and sails that he saw at Ozov sea ports and marinas frequently visited during summer breaks. His own sailing career began in 2015 with the Moscow sailing club that ran a fleet of nice and high-performance dinghies: SB-20. With this club, Vlad acquired his first boating license that covers the internal waters of the Russian Federation. 

Likely, in 2021 he was introduced to TSPS by his friend and ex-coworker in a way to get a Japanese boat operation permit. Learning more about the club, Vlad instantly subscribed for membership and joined various sailing activities.

For the upcoming years, he is looking forward to introducing more people to this art and sharing with them pleasant and memorable experiences. He also dreamed of seeing TSPS become a sailing school that provides official certification recognized by various chartering companies in Japan and around the globe.

Webmaster and IT Head

Ashley Smart

Ashley arrived in Japan 2006 and joined TSPS early 2022 to acquire a his boating license and join in on the many boating events arranged by TSPS. Ashley regularly sails on the Anais under Captain Claude Strobbe. He is can also be found out on the TSPS Dinghy or sailing sporadically with the other captains in TSPS group.