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.

“Good instruction is the key to getting into sailing and Nancy Erley has set a high standard in the boating education arena,” said Elaine Dickinson of BoatU.S., who presented the award June 3, along with NWSA President Val Cook and Conference Co-Chair Joan Thayer. “Her ocean voyaging, circumnavigations and women's sailing school have brought unique learning opportunities — as well as inspiration — to hundreds of women. She's living proof that one can live their dream with hard work and clear focus.”

Erley holds a 50-ton Master of Oceans and 100-ton Master Near Coastal license and is an instructor-evaluator for the International Sail and Power Association. She led two all-women voyages from Seattle around the world aboard her Orca 38 sailboat Tethys , which one boating writer called a voyage “that should go down in the record books as one of the soundest, most seamanlike journeys of the modern cruising era.”

As founder of the Tethys Offshore Sailing for Women in Seattle ( Erley teaches women beginning sailing up to captaining skills, either on learning cruises or individually. She's a Ham operator as well as advanced SCUBA diver, and delivery captain.

At the June 3, 2006 Women's Sailing Conference, over 100 women – from college students to grandmothers – braved stormy conditions and 20-knot winds to participate in on-the-water sailing clinics, as well as numerous land-based classes. 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