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

Pat Seidenspinner holds the award, second from right, along with NWSA President Valli Cook, at left, BoatU.S.’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. Both the award and the conference are sponsored by BoatUS and the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA). The award 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.

“Pat Seidenspinner has such an impressive list of ‘firsts’ in her sailing resume,” said BoatUS Assistant Vice President Susan Shingledecker in presenting the award with NWSA President Valli Cook. “She has given an extraordinary amount of her time and expertise to grow the sport and inspire more women and girls to get involved in racing. Beyond the local level, she’s also volunteered for national leadership positions to improve race management across the board,” added Shingledecker.

Seidenspinner is a native of New York City who grew up in Rochester, NY, and enjoyed a career as a flight attendant with TWA. She and her husband sailed in their time off, but upon retirement to St. Petersburg, Seidenspinner became very active in race management and eventually managed many national and world sailing championships. She is a member of US SAILING’s Race Management Committee and is the editor of its Race Management Handbook. She served as Chairman of the Race Administration Committee, and as a member of both the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Among some of her “firsts” in her sailing career, she was:

  • 1st female Principal Race Officer, Southern Ocean Racing Conference and many other championships at St. Petersburg Yacht Club
  • 1st female appointed as International Race Officer by the International Sailing Federation
  • 1st female Principal Race Officer at an Olympic Games
  • 1st female Commodore of St. Petersburg Yacht Club

Sadly, in June 2014, after a series of illnesses, Pat Seidenspinner passed away. She will be greatly missed.