Leadership in Women's Sailing Award

Sponsored by BoatUS and National Women's Sailing Association.

The Leadership In Women's Sailing Award, begun in 1999, honors an individual who had built up a record of achievement in inspiring, educating, and enriching the lives of women through sailing.

This award is normally awarded at the Women's Sailing Conference in Marblehead, MA usually held the first weekend of June.

2012 Leadership Award Recipient

Elaine Dickinson Honored with Leadership In Women's Sailing Award

June 2, 2012 - A life-long sailor, Elaine Dickinson was honored Saturday, June 2, 2012 with the National Women’s Sailing Association/BoatUS 2012 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award at the 11th Women’s Sailing Conference held in Marblehead MA and hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club.

This award is given to an individual who had built up a record of achievement in inspiring, educating, and enriching the lives of women through sailing.

Dickinson learned to sail at age 25 by taking an Outward Bound course and immersed herself in the world of boating, both personally and professionally as journalist and lobbyist for BoatUS. She served on the National Safe Boating Council, a three-year appointment the US Coast Guard Boating Safety Advisory Council, and NOAA’s Hydrographic Services Review Panel which advises NOAA leadership on navigation issues. Read more.

Photo Caption: Elaine Dickinson (2nd on R), accepts NWSA/BoatUS Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award from NWSA Conference Co-Chair Marcia Bennet (L) NWSA President Joan Thayer (2nd on L), and BoatUS Public Affairs Associate Claire Wyngaard (R).

See photos from the 2012 Conference.



2011 Leadership Award Recipient

"Sisters Under Sail" Founder Honored with Leadership In Women's Sailing Award

Dawn Santamaria – Recipient of the 2011 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award, accepted her honor at the 10th Annual Women’s Sailing Conference held at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, Massachusetts held June 4, 2011.

When Dawn and her husband Jay purchased their tall ship, she witnessed first hand how their four young daughters enjoyed learning how to sail the ship while gaining confidence and leadership skills. She wanted other young girls to have the opportunity to have the same experiences so she developed a program and created the non-profit organization, Sisters Under Sail, in 2005.

The mission of Sisters Under Sail is to build confidence, enhance self-esteem, develop social conscience and teach women of all ages the value of sisters working together towards a common goal through sail training. Read more... and click here to learn more about the National Women¹s Sailing Association.


2009 Leadership Award Recipient

Paralympic Gold Medalist Honored With Leadership In Women's Sailing Award

June 9, 2009 — Proving that despite a major setback, the will to sail and compete at the highest level can prevail, Maureen McKinnon-Tucker was honored with the annual Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award at ceremonies capping the day-long Women’s Sailing Conference held June 6 at Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA. The award is co-sponsored by BoatUS and the National Women’s Sailing Association. The award honors a male or female who has a record of achievement in giving something back to the sailing community as well as inspiring and educating women. Read more… and click here to learn more about the National Women¹s Sailing Association.



2008 Leadership Award Recipient

Pat Seidenspinner

Veteran Race Manager Pat Seidenspinner Honored With 2008 Leadership In Women's Sailing Award

June 2008 - Pat Seidenspinner holds the award, second from right, along with NWSA President Valli Cook, at left, BoatUS’s Susan Shingledecker, second from left, and Conference Chair Joan Thayer, at right. Underscoring that volunteer race managers are the backbone of competitive sailing, Patricia Harvey Seidenspinner of St. Petersburg, FL, was honored with the annual Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award at ceremonies capping the day-long Women’s Sailing Conference held June 7, 2008, at Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA. Read more…


2007 Leadership Award Recipient

janet baxter

Janet Baxter Honored For Leadership In Women’s Sailing

June 6, 2007 - The Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award was presented to Janet Baxter, a Chicago-based racer, sailing judge and the first woman elected president of United States Sailing Association, the national governing body of the sport in the US. The award was given during evening festivities at the sixth annual Women’s Sailing Conference hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club. The event is organized by the National Women’s Sailing Association with BoatUS as primary sponsor. Janet Baxter, center, is presented with the 2007 Leadership in Women's Sailing Award by Elaine Dickinson of BoatU.S., at left, and Valli Cook president of the National Women's Sailing Association, at right, co-sponsors of the award June 2, Marblehead, MA . Baxter is an avid racer, racing judge and served as the first female president of the US SAILING. Read more…


2006 Leadership Award Recipient

Nancy Erley

Nancy Erley Awarded Leadership In Women's Sailing Honors

June 2006 - Nancy Erley, a Seattle-based sailing instructor and two-time circumnavigator, was presented with the Leadership in Women's Sailing Award for 2006 this weekend at the fifth annual Women's Sailing Conference held at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA. Sponsored by the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S.) and the National Women's Sailing Association (NWSA), the award honors a male or female who has built a record of achievement in inspiring, educating and enriching the lives of women through sailing. Read more…


2005 Leadership Award Recipient

Cory Sertl

Cory Sertl Awarded Leadership In Women's Sailing Honors

January 2006 - Cory Sertl, a world-class sailor and youth coach, was presented with the Leadership in Women's Sailing Award for 2005 for her outstanding contributions to the sport. Sponsored by the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S.) and the National Women's Sailing Association (NWSA), the award honors a male or female who has leveraged their name, skills, or position in the sailing world to reach out and enrich women's lives through sailing. Read more…


2004 Leadership Award Recipient

Doris Colgate

Doris Colgate Awarded Leadership In Women's Sailing

June 8, 2004 - Doris Colgate, President and CEO of Offshore Sailing School was presented with the Leadership in Women's Sailing Award for 2004 this weekend at the 3rd annual Women's Sailing Conference held at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA. Sponsored by the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) and the National Women's Sailing Association (NWSA), the award honors a male or female who has leveraged their name, skills, or position in the sailing world to reach out and enrich other's lives through sailing. Read more…


2003 Leadership Award Recipient

Dawn RileyDawn Riley Awarded Leadership In Women's Sailing

The 2003 recipient is Dawn Riley. Dawn Riley, the world champion sailor who has made great strides in developing sailing outreach programs for young people, was presented with the Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award this weekend at the 2nd annual Women’s Sailing Conference held at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA. Sponsored by the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) and the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA), the award honors a male or female who has gone beyond competitive racing and leveraged their name, skills, or position in the sailing world to reach out and enrich other’s lives through sailing. Read more…


2001 Leadership Award Recipient

Gail Hine Gail Hine Awarded Leadership In Women's Sailing Honors

January 2001 - The Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award for 2001 was presented to Gail Hine, a southern California grassroots organizer who founded the Women’s Sailing Convention over a decade ago. Hine was also president of Recreational Boaters of California and has worked for 30 years to expand sailing opportunities for women. With her at the awards ceremony in Sail Expo, Atlantic City, on Jan. 25 is Doris Colgate, at left, founder of the National Women’s Sailing Association, and Elaine Dickinson, at right, managing editor of BoatUS Magazine. The annual award is jointly sponsored by NWSA and BoatUS. Read more…


2000 Leadership Award Recipient

Betsy Alison

The 2000 Leadership in Women's Sailing Award was presented to Betsy Alison

Betsy is the top-ranked US women's match racer holding 22 national and international titles, and mentor to young people in numerous sailing programs. As coach, Alison led the US Disabled/ Paralympic sailing team to a Bronze medal. With her is Doris Colgate, at left, president of the National Women's Sailing Association, and Becky Squires, director of public relations for BoatUS The annual award is jointly sponsored by NWSA and BoatUS. Read more…


1999 Leadership Award Recipient

Bernadette Bernon

Bernadette Bernon Awarded 1999 Leadership In Women's Sailing Award

The 1999 recipient was Bernadette Bernon, former editor of Cruising World magazine and founding director of the Cruising World Safety at Sea Institute which has educated over 15,000 sailors at their seminars. She has served on the BoatUS National Advisory Council, and the boards of the National Women’s Sailing Association, Sail Expo and Sail America.

The first recipient of the Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award, Bernadette Bernon, center, received the trophy at Sail Expo in Atlantic City in January. Bernadette is the editor of Cruising World magazine and has sponsored numerous outreach efforts to make sailing and cruising more accessible to women. With her is Doris Colgate, at left, president of the National Women’s Sailing Association, and Jim Ellis, at right, executive vice president of BoatUS The annual award is jointly sponsored by BoatUS and NWSA.