10th Women’s Sailing Conference Another Success

On June 4, 2011 the Corinthian Yacht Club hosted the 10th annual Women’s Sailing Conference. The weather was picture perfect – warm day, lots of sun and morning strong breeze died down to provide a gorgeous afternoon. The women came from 14 different stats including California, Florida and West Virginia to learn, network and get inspired. They were not disappointed.

The conference, whose primary sponsor is BoatU.S., featured a full day of classes and workshops, giving the novice to expert women sailors a terrific opportunity to network with other women while learning new skills or brushing up on old one. Some women were timid and came away fully engaged in the sport.


"Thank you for the wonderful first time experience at the Women's Sailing Conference. The conference was so organized and professionally executed. I learned a lot and met many wonderful women sailors."


    photo courtesy of BoatU.S.


Corinthian Yacht Club’s Commodore, John Velluto, welcomed the women in the morning and with this wife, Flossie, returned for the evening program. Throughout the day, women stopped at the very bountiful silent auction table and raffle table. All proceeds went to the Women’s Sailing Foundation to fund the AdventureSail® program for young girls at risk and sailing scholarships for those girls who want to enroll in a learn-to-sail program.

 The guest speaker was Doris Colgate, founder of NWASA and CEO and President of Offshore Sailing School in Ft. Myers, Florida. Doris has been providing educational and sailing opportunities for women for over 30 years. And she shows no signs of slowing down. In her address, Doris encouraged women to share their knowledge with other women and to be mentors to your girls who sorely need positive role models.

  pictures provided by Doris Colgate

 (on the water) "At first I was nervous, but then with the coaching from the skipper, I saw I could do it."



TheLeadership in Women’s Sailing Award, a joint award of NWSA and BoatU.S., was presented to Dawn Santamaria, founder and CEO of Sisters Under Sail. Dawn came to sailing through her husband’s dream of owning a Tall Ship. Little did Dawn know that she would be using that vessel for her own leadership program for teenage girls and women. That would become Dawn’s dream and her passion. Also present at dinner were her husband, Jay, three of her four daughters and Patti Lock, board of trustee member of Sisters Under Sail and Race Director for American Sail Training Association.
Dawn Santamaria and Joan Thayer
photo courtesy of Sisters Under Sail
 For the leadership in women’s sailing award please see the BoatUS women in boating website.

 Jenn Brett of Cruising World attended the conference. Jen writes, "At the 2011 National Women’s Sailing Conference, Jen Brett discovered new skills, new friends, and good times." Read more in her article, Girls' Day Out


AdventureSail® July 16, 2011 Portland, OR
Host: Oregon Women’s Sailing Association (OWSA)
Event Chair: Judi Davis,
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On July 16th, Oregon Women Sailing Association paired with Girls Inc. of NW Oregon (a non-profit that helps young at-risk girls) to bring this exciting adventure to Portland, Oregon for the first time.

The event was held at Rose City Yacht Club on the Columbia River. The nine girls, ages 11-13, and first time sailors came with Girls Inc. chaperones to pair with the OWSA mentors to give each girl a 1:1 adult ratio. There were five boats with experienced OWSA women skippers at the helm. The skippers also had OWSA members to serve as crew so that the chaperones & mentors could focus on giving the girls their full attention.



The day started with dark clouds and a constant drizzle but before any of the outside activities got underway, a gentle breeze arrived with a bright, warm, sun & scattered clouds. This really helped to ease the anxieties of Judi Davis, OWSA Adventure Sail Chair, and all of the chaperones and mentors.


A brief gathering in the clubhouse started the day.  The girls met their OWSA Mentors, Skippers and Crew.  Next came some sailing basics and safety followed by learning a few sailor knots.  Each girl received a folder with hand outs from the Lower Columbia Estuary and learned a bit about the responsibility of Environmental Stewardship.  Just before leaving for the On the Water activity the girls were fitted for their lifejackets and given awesome sport bags donated by Nike and filled with goodies from OWSA.

Out on the river, the sailors enjoyed a variety of experiences from raising the main, talking on the VHF, hoisting the jib, learning a few knots & getting time at the helm.

After returning to the RCYC dock, all were treated to a delicious BBQ & picnic, a wonderful "sailboat" cake and spent time celebrating their successes!

During the picnic, everyone was entertained by stories from two OWSA members who’ve turned sailing into a part-time job & spend time traveling the world delivering boats & furthering their sailing education by becoming licensed captains.



As goodbyes were given, there were big smiles on each face and the one question asked, over and over again, was "When do we get to do this again?"












Judi Davis: OWSA AdventureSail® Chair
Photos: Dena Kent & Judi Davis


AdventureSail® June 11, 2011 Charlestown, MA
Host club: Courageous Sailing Center
Event Chair: Susan Epstein, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Additional funding provided by Boston Private Bank & Trust Company


It was a cool, damp and drizzly day in Charlestown when the 19 pairs of "sisters" - big and small - arrived from the Big Sister Organization of Greater Boston. AdventureSail® Chairwoman Susan Epstein - staying dry under Courageous Sailing's tent - started the day with a knot tying lesson. Demonstrating that knowledge shouldn't be compartmentalized, she showed that the basics for tying a square knot are the same as for perfectly tied bow ties, tying ones shoes, and putting two lines of like diameter together for making a very long jump rope. If the shoelace bow does not lay flat and straight across on the shoe, it is not a square knot and probably will end up as a hard to untie "granny" knot. Figure eights or "stopper" knots were mastered in short order, and then it was time to change activities. Having almost a dozen volunteer women sailors for one-on-one assistance increased confidence early and in short order the little sisters were excitedly showing their newly acquired knot tying expertise.


Photos by Russ Bolt, www.russbolt.com

The rain lifted and Susan assigned a set of two sister pairs, each to a boat with skipper...10 boats in all. After being fitted for life jackets, the girls listened intently to the safety instructions of Dave DiLorenzo of Courageous Sailing, before heading out with their skipper for a relatively dry sail around inner Boston Harbor. Adding to the excitement was the myriad of other craft sailing in the harbor: a large tanker, several harbor ferries, lots of sail boats, and tourist "buses".


Shortly before noon the boats returned to the pier and were met by Kate Henderson and others of the Courageous staff who put away the boats while the newly minted "sailors" headed for the barbecue grill and warmer territory. Soft yellow AdventureSail® t-shirts were a welcomed treat, adding a little reminder of sunshine, as they fit quite well over the girls' clothes. More compliments were heard from the AdventureSail® volunteer skippers on the good work of the teams of big and little sisters.

 Again, the rains came bringing more dampness into the tent. The day ended early, but not before the traditional group photo. Smiles all around indicated that the weather had had no affect on the enjoyment the girls had on the water...Might also be because the girls knew that Courageous would welcome back anyone who was interested in more sailing!