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Elaine Dickinson Honored with Leadership in Women's Sailing Award

Spreading the Word to Women: Try Sailing and Keep It Up

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).
Download hi-res photo.

MARBLEHEAD, Mass., June 4, 2012 — Many of those who sail value the freedoms and enjoyment it brings to their lifestyle. Elaine Dickinson, of Davidsonville, MD, can’t spread the word fast enough to women and girls who may not have had the opportunity to try it. A life-long sailor, Dickinson was honored Saturday 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, the US Coast Guard Boating Safety Advisory Council, and NOAA’s Hydrographic Services Review Panel. She raised awareness about women’s sailing educational events in articles for BoatUS Magazine, started the popular BoatUS Women in Boating website and served as a dedicated National Women's Sailing Association (NWSA) board member for ten years.
Retired in 2010 after 26 years with BoatUS’ Government, Public Affairs and Publications departments, Dickinson now enjoys cruising the Atlantic coast with her husband, Naval Architect Jack Hornor, on their Catalina 42.
“Elaine took the initiative to encourage women of all ages to try sailing,” said NWSA President Joan Thayer. “As a sailor herself and a journalist writing about boating legislation and news, Elaine contributed her own boating safety experience to workshops and readers, including writing about women boaters in maritime fields and women-only events. Sheconducted informal surveys of women asking them about boating topics and how they like to learn, finding many women feel more comfortable learning from women instructors and speakers. Our event still follows that format today.”
To learn more about Dickinson’s articles, this award and past recipients, see
About BoatUS:
BoatUS – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with government representation, programs and money-saving services. For membership information visit or call 800-395-2628.
About NWSA:
NWSA – National Women’s Sailing Association - is a national organization for women sailors. Their mission is to enhance the lives of women and girls through education and access to the sport of sailing. For membership information, visit or call 401-682-2064.