NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at www.BoatUS.com
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Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
Womens Conference A Success Despite The Weather
Frequent downpours and 20-knot winds did not dampen the success of the 5th annual Women’s Sailing Conference in Marblehead, MA, on June 3 as over 100 women enthusiastically joined in both on-the-water and land-based workshops at the Corinthian Yacht Club.
Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatU.S.) is the primary sponsor of this annual Take the Helm® program of the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) which offers women sailors, from novices to experts, a chance to hone their skills, learn new ones and network with other women sailors in a lively day-long seminar. Surprisingly, the bad weather forecast did not result in any no-shows and participants hailed from as far way as Washington and Florida. While several on-water sessions were shortened and held in creative ways on land, a contingent of women in foul weather suits were able to get out on boats to practice Crew Overboard, Take the Tiller/Wheel, and Introduction to Sailing classes.
“The women who sailed and got soaked had a blast, as did everyone who turned out for this unique day of learning and camaraderie,” said Elaine Dickinson of BoatU.S. who demonstrated a wide selection of life jackets, including inflatables, as part of a boating newcomer’s session.
Workshop topics included hands-on charting and navigation, preparing for a cruise, knot tying and splicing, heavy weather sailing, being suddenly singlehanded, maintaining winches, first aid at sea, and diesel engines.
The gala dinner included a featured speaker, US Sailing Disabled Team Coach and champion sailor Betsy Alison, who gave an inspirational talk on her rise to the highest ranks of the sport and several especially harrowing offshore passages. Also in the evening, Nancy Erley, a world cruiser and instructor from Seattle, was presented with the Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award, sponsored jointly by BoatU.S. and NWSA. It recognizes those who have gone the extra distance to advance the sport for women.
The Conference is one of many events that BoatU.S. – with 650,000 members – sponsors that promotes boating opportunities for women. Others include the BoatU.S. Santa Maria Cup Women’s Matching Racing Championship, the annual Women’s Sailing Convention in Southern California, “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!” seminars, and a Women in Boating Web site at http://www.BoatUS.com/women.