LPWSA AdventureSail® - New Orleans, LA - August 2016

Breaking Waves in the Gulf AreaBy Debbie Huntsman

AdventureSail® is new to the Gulf Coast, so laying a foundation for a successful local program in New Orleans for at risk girls ages 9-14 was the goal. Oddly enough Lake Pontchartrain, a 630 square-mile lake bordering New Orleans, is neither widely visited nor used. There are life-long locals who have never been on the Lake. Many New Orleanians rarely see it. The Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association (LPWSA) organized the sail hoping to help increase the enjoy - ment of the beautiful natural resource at the community’s doorstep.

Finding girls who meet the criteria in New Orleans is not a problem, however over coming the “exotic” nature of going to the lake to get on a boat -- much less a sail boat -- took some effort. After not getting any takers for the sailing opportu - nity through a 9th Ward charter school, the education program manager with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation sug- gested LPWSA contact a Girl Scout troupe they had worked with through the Use Our Lake Program. After the introduc- tion, LPWSA, the Pleasant Zion Church ministers, East Louisiana Girl Scout organization, and troupe leaders went to work asking parents and grandparents to encourage their daughters to sign up for the AdventureSail ® .

Because there was hesitancy, even fear of the whole idea of sailing, LPWSA first invited the minister and his wife to help with race committee on a Wednesday night sail. They loved it! The next week LPWSA members presented a short program on the AdventureSail ® at the church for the girls and their families. They learned about safety measures that would be in place and what the girls would ex- perience. The girls also got to handle a headsail, practiced folding it and learned how it worked. They were sold!

On Saturday, August 6, 12 girls (and 13 adults) from an East Louisiana Girl Scout group joined LPWSA members on a picture perfect day for an introduction to sailing. The group was treated to an enjoyable romp along the south shore, a pizza party sponsored by Whole Foods Market, and an inspirational address by USCG New Orleans base Commanding Officer Capt. Cunningham (who enjoyed her first sail on MUSE). NWSA and LPWSA made a memory for these girls and reintroduced the Lake to a group of adults. Volunteers organized the sail and lunch at The New Orleans Yacht Club. The club offered great hospitality, a meeting spot and life jackets. Five skippers offered their boats and crew.

The expressions on the girls’ faces when they took the helm and when the captain addressed them during lunch; urging them to work hard, overcome failures and always believe in themselves, made it clear these girls had a day they will remember. You can see it in the group photo. It was a good day! Let’s do it again!

AdventureSail® - Racine, WI - August 4th  2016



 Over 25 girls took part in the free program sponsored by the Girls Inc., Racine, the Racine Yacht Club and the National Women’s Sailing


This was the 17th annual Adverture Sail ® program at the Racine Yacht Club.





AdventureSail® Breakwater Yacht Club, Sag Harbor, NY - July 16, 2016

A beautiful summer day with light breeze awaited six skippers and their crew who hosted 26 youngat-risk girls for the 17th annual AdventureSail ®  at Breakwater Yacht Club.

Following the welcome and receiving t-shirts, the girls were assigned one of cruising sailboats. A spirited race in the harbor commenced. Under the watchful eye of the skipper, many of the girls took the helm! After a very close race, all the participants returned to the clubhouse for a BBQ lunch and award presentation. Event co-ordinators are Board Member Val Cook, and Breakwater Yacht Club members Charlene Kagel and Cam Gleason. NWSA member Donna Lipper continues to assists with the day’s event. The agencies participating included Big Sisters of Long Island and I TRI ; both groups have a mission to empower girls.



AdventureSail® in Boston, MA - June 18, 2016

AdventureSail® in Boston
Co-chairs: Darthea Collins and Ellen Gray
Host facility: Courageous Sailing Center, Charlestown, MA

The day could not have been better for 19 pairs of big and little sisters from the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. The girls received sapphire t-shirts and a draw string bag filled with a variety of useful items. After a brief safety talk by Courageous staff member, Kayla McLaughin, two pairs of big and little sisters were assigned an experienced female skipper and off they headed to the boats. One of the common words heard “why does this (dock) seem to be moving up and down?

For at least one little girl, the fresh air and sun got the best of her and she slid off into a deep 5-minute nap. She had worked really hard steering the boat and trimming the sails beforehand.

Out on the Boston Harbor waters, the traffic with ferries, other small day sailors and power boats kept everyone’s attention. The winds were about 5 to 9 knots with bouts of wind shears and puffs. Heading back to the dock, co-chair Dar Collins and Pat Dieselman had the grill ready to go. After 2 hours on the water, the appetites were satisfied with no waiting. Water, chips and cookies filled out the menu.

After lunch, co-chair Ellen Gray lead a lively session on knots inside the tent. It really was too hot to be outside. The girls learned the stopper, the square, the sheetbend and the bowline. Ellen’s use of words like ghosts and aliens with a few punches and rabbits running around made the learning fun. High fives and “Yes!” were heard frequently from the duos. And this year, thanks to an anonymous donor, the girls were able to take home some rope to practice those knots.

Thanks go to the Courageous Sailing Center, the Jennifer Gerrish Foundation, co-chairs Dar Collins and Ellen Gray and all the volunteer women.


AdventureSail®  - Alameda, CA - May 2016

We teamed up with the NWSA to provide a free opportunity to get girls out sailing on Sunday May 22nd. We had 18 Girl Scouts come to our site and learn the basics of sailing. Our great staff of instructors showed them how to rig a boat and the basics of tacking, gybing and knots.

We separated into two groups. One group was out on the water first, two girl scouts with one instructor in our Flying Juniors, while the other group was on the beach learning the parts of the boats, points of sail along with practicing knot tying. They switched halfway through and we even had a couple of the chap- erones join in and learn some sailing terms while watching the girls sail on the beach!

We had a group of new girls, and some who returned from last year, who all had an awesome day out on the wa- ter. Everyone had a blast and said they loved being able to have access to sail- ing and learning all the new skills that come with it.

We ended with a BBQ where the girls shared their experiences and even had some camaraderie through their shared experiences! Overall, it was very successful and we cannot wait to have them back next year!

Victoria Anweiler