Women’s Sailing Conference Slated for June 6 in Marblehead, MA

Women's Sailing Conference


The must-attend event for women sailors is slated for June 6 in Marblehead, MA.

The 14th Annual Women’s Sailing Conference will be held Saturday, June 6, at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, organized by the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA). Through a combination of hands-on workshops, seminars and on-the-water experiences, participants will learn, hone sailing skills, and network with other women sailors from all points. Contributing sponsors include Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) and the New England-based Black Rock Sailing School.

The gathering begins with a continental breakfast and winds down with a post conference cocktail hour where women may pick up a Wednesday night race berth or meet a new pal for an afternoon sail. “Women of all sailing abilities are encouraged to attend,” said NWSA President Linda Newland. “There’s always something of interest for everyone. By sharing experiences, women leave with skills and knowledge that contribute to better days on the water.”

In addition, a presentation of the 2015 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award to Sally Helme, publisher of Cruising World and Sailing World magazines, will be made during the lunch hour. Added Newland, “Sally has been quietly and effectively supporting women in all aspects of sailing throughout her life. She is a behind the scenes promoter. We are pleased to recognize her commitment to women in sailing with this award.” The award is co-sponsored by BoatUS and NWSA.

The workshops are numerous. Always popular are the hands-on Diesel Damsels, Introduction to Chart Reading, and Heavy Weather at Sea. For women new to sailing, there is a Welcome Aboard seminar; in another, women will learn to use spring lines to turn boats in tight spaces. Crew Overboard starts with a retrieval demonstration at the float and then participants take out boats and practice the drill on the water. Seasonal Boat Maintenance and Batten Down the Hatches are also on tap.

Workshop leaders are experienced in their field. Some own sailing schools for women, such as Capt. Nancy Erley of Seattle, WA; and Capt. Sharon Renk-Greenlaw of Casco Bay, ME.  Beth Burlingame, American Boat and Yacht Council Master Marine Tech, leads workshops on Marine Electronics and Marine Electrical Wiring Basics. Capt. Bonnie Schaeffer joins us this year for the Heads Up! and Splicing workshops.

On the water, women can improve their sail trim skills or take the helm for their very first time in a Colgate 26 or a Sonar. New this year are seminars on living aboard full time, basic inshore safety and how and why women make awesome race committee members.  

Raffles and a silent auction will benefit the Women’s Sailing Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization which funds the AdventureSail program for young girls at-risk and provides scholarships for AdventureSail participants in learn-to-sail community programs. This year, a scholarship for a week aboard Adventuress in the famed Pacific Northwest will also support fund raising efforts.

Conference registration includes a continental breakfast, buffet lunch, workshops and a raffle ticket. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.  Go to womensailing.org for more or for additional information, contact Co-Chairs Joan Thayer at joan_thayer@comcast.net or Scottie Robinson at rob-son@verizon.net.

The National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) is a program of the Women’s Sailing Foundation, an organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of women and girls through education and access to the sport of sailing.


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