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.

"Doris has been a true pioneer in women's sailing and was well ahead of her time in launching new programs for women that have brought literally thousands of new participants into boating," said Elaine Dickinson of BoatUS, who helped present the award June 5. "Never content to focus only on a successful business, Doris has consistently sought new ways to bring women and girls into sailing, as well as promote sailing as a lifestyle. She's not just been a role model, but a mentor to many women in the industry."

Doris has served on the BoatUS National Advisory Council as well as the board of directors and marketing committee of Sail America, the sailing industry association.

Colgate joined Offshore Sailing School as its vice president in 1970, became president in 1978 and CEO in 2001. Now in its 40th year, Offshore Sailing School has grown from a one-branch, two-boat operation to 10 sailing schools and a retail sales division for their Colgate 26 training boat. Within the schools' offerings, Doris created innovative women's educational courses and cruises.

In 1990, she founded the National Women's Sailing Association (NWSA) to create more sailing opportunities for women and educational offerings for women to build confidence and skills. Doris also helped NWSA launch AdventureSail in 1991, a sailing-mentoring program for at-risk girls. In 1997, she established the Women's Sailing Foundation (WSF) a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of women and girls through education and access to the sport of sailing. Author of SAILING: A Woman's Guide (International Marine/McGraw Hill), Colgate received the 2000 Southam Award in the book category.

Colgate received the Betty Cook Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award from Boating magazine and International Women in Boating for her work in the marine industry. In 1996 she shared with Steve Colgate, the Sail Magazine Industry Award for Leadership. And in 2003, US SAILING, the national governing body of sailing in the U.S., awarded Steve and Doris the Timothea Larr Trophy for their leadership and excellence in sailing education.

At the Women's Sailing Conference over 100 women - from college students to grandmothers - learned new skills as well as brushed up on old ones and networked with other women sailors. The Conference is one of many events that BoatUS - with 565,000 members - sponsors that promotes boating opportunities for women. Others include the BoatUS Santa Maria Cup/ISAF Women's World Matching Racing Championship.

World class sailor Dawn Riley (center) accepts the 2003 Leadership in Women's Sailing Award from Elaine Dickinson of BoatUS (at left) and Diana Smith of National Women's Sailing Association during a gala dinner at the Women Sailing Conference June 7 in Marblehead, MA.