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Womens Sailing Conference A Sellout; Janet Baxter Honored For Leadership In Womens Sailing
MARBLEHEAD, Mass., June 6, 2007 - With near-perfect weather and a capacity crowd, the sixth annual Women’s Sailing Conference sponsored by BoatUS filled the Corinthian Yacht Club in scenic Marblehead, MA, with a lively day-long series of classes and workshops. The conference organized by the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) gives women sailors, from novices to experts, an opportunity to network with other women while learning new skills or brushing up on old ones.
A highlight of the day’s events was the presentation of the Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award to Janet Baxter, a Chicago-based racer, sailing judge and the first woman to be elected president of United States Sailing Association, the national governing body of the sport in the US. Baxter was instrumental in preparing US SAILING for the 21 st century with a comprehensive reorganization of the group. In accepting the award, Baxter spoke graciously about how sailing has enriched her life and cemented friendships that last a lifetime. She’s raced in 27 Chicago-to-Mackinac races and excelled in racing Lasers, Etchells, as well as offshore boats. She is a member of the Chicago Yacht Club.
The award is co-sponsored by BoatUS and NWSA and honors a male or female who has a record of achievement in giving something back to the sport of sailing as well as inspiring and educating women. “Janet Baxter, in taking such a high-profile leadership position at US SAILING, shows that women can excel at every level — both on the water and in the board rooms,” said Elaine Dickinson of BoatUS in presenting the award with NWSA President Valli Cook.
The June 2 Women’s Sailing Conference ran like clockwork as women took to the water for hands-on training sessions in man overboard, racing skills, spinnaker and up the mast. Land-based workshops included diesel engines, knots, anchoring, marine electronics and cruising preparation. With nearly 100% female instructors, many of them US Coast Guard-licensed operators, this year’s students showed the same enthusiasm as in years past.
Following a gala dinner, featured speaker Maureen McKinnon-Tucker described how she found a way to hold onto her passion for sailboat racing even after she suffered a paralyzing accident. She is the first woman named to the US Disabled Sailing Team and is vying for a berth in the 2008 Paralympic Games in China. Some 60 prizes were raffled off, including an inflatable boat donated by West Marine. The raffle raised $2,500 for the AdventureSail program for at-risk girls and boys, which NWSA also sponsors.
The conference is one of several women’s events sponsored by BoatUS (Boat Owners Association of The United States). To find out more visit http://www.BoatUS.com/Women For membership information visit http://www.BoatUS.com or call 800-395-2628.