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In Good Hands

Updated: Jan 26, 2022

The board and staff of Sail Beyond Cancer (SBC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Bob “Bubba” Bristow and Tom Peterson as co-lead captains of the Vermont chapter. As co-lead captains Bob and Tom will have the primary responsibility of recruiting, vetting, and training captains and first mates for SBC’s sails. They will also have responsibility for facilitating the maintenance and repair of the organization’s Vermont-based vessel.

“Bob and Tom have been dedicated volunteers for several years”, says Suzanne Snyder Johnson Founder and Executive Director. “They are strong believers in the mission of Sail Beyond Cancer and understand that it is on the vessels and on the lake where our mission is delivered. Their focus on safety and training has been an essential element in providing a positive experience for our guests and has been critical to the success of this program.”


Bob Bristow (2020) Photo credit: Whit Wales

Captain Bob “Bubba” Bristow grew up in Bristol, CT but spent his summers on Lake Champlain where he spent time at camp learning to sail. Over the years, Bubba continued to sail on many different boats and his passion for sailing grew. Bubba experienced many wonderful adventures sailing and exploring all parts of the lake with his family. He has also delivered several boats up and down the east coast.

After retiring from his career in sales, Bubba earned his captain’s license and feels very fortunate to share his experience and passion for sailing with others as a captain aboard Sailing Beyond Cancer’s vessel. He is also a captain for

Whistling Man Schooner Co., a tour company on Lake Champlain.

“I feel very fortunate to have had sailing as part of my life for as long as I can remember”, sayd Bristow. “I’m honored to be able to give back by volunteering for this great organization.”


Tom Peterson (2020) Photo credit: Whit Wales

Captain Tom Peterson had his first sailing experience at the age of four and has been hooked on it ever since. Tom has sailed extensively on the east coast from Nova Scotia to Maine to the BVI, but always loves coming home to his beloved Lake Champlain.

In addition to sharing the lake with Sailing Beyond Cancer guests, Tom also serves as a Captain for Whistling Man tours. Tom runs his own consulting firm and participates in storytelling events around town.

“I have been so impressed and inspired by Suzanne’s energy and passion for this mission over the years,” said Peterson. “Our guests are also inspiring and I am so humbled to play a role in this amazing program.”

Bristow and Peterson both hold U.S. Coast Guard Master licenses.


Sail Beyond Cancer is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to continue to provide life affirming sailing experiences by honoring those being challenged by cancer by harnessing the healing powers of wind, water and sail. Nationally, the organization has two Chapters: Sail Beyond Cancer Vermont and Sail Beyond Cancer North Shore, MA, and will continue to help create new chapters nationwide.

These life-changing experiences are made possible by generous donations from caring corporations, family foundations and individuals. Donations of vessels, equipment, services, time and cash, combined with the dedication of volunteer board members, captains, and crew make it all happen.

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