Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award

The Leadership in Women’ s Sailing Award, co-sponsored by NWSA and BoatU.S., the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters, begun in 1990. The award is given annually to honor an individual who has a record of achievement in inspiring, educating and enriching the lives of women through sailing.

In recent years, the award has been made at the Women's Sailing Conference in Marblehead, MA usually held the first weekend of June.


2016 Leadership Award Recipient

NEWPORT, Calif., May 9, 2016 – At opening day festivities held this weekend at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, Ms. Kathie Ohmer-Arnold of Aliso Viejo, CA was named the 2016 recipient of the Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award. A joint honor of the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) and Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the award recognizes a woman with a record of achievement in inspiring, educating, and enriching the lives of other women through sailing. Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA) Staff Commodore Gail E. Hine, the 2001 recipient of the Award and Member of the Women’s Sailing Foundation Board of Directors, presented the honor on behalf of NWSA and BoatUS.  Read more




1999 Bernadette Bernon 2007 Janet Baxter
2000 Betsy Alison 2008 Patricia Seidenspinner
2001 Gail Hine
2009 Maureen McKinnon-Tucker
2003 Dawn Riley 2011 Dawn Santamaria
2004 Doris Colgate 2012 Elaine Dickinson
2005 Cory Sertl 2015 Sally Helme
2006 Nancy Erley 2016 Kathie Ohmer-Arnold

 Click on each year/name for photos and the write up for each award recipient.


Nominations may be made to Val Cook, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by February 1st of each year.

In addition to the nominee’s name and e-mail address, the nominator must include the details of why this person is worthy of the award. These guidelines may be helpful with your submission  Guidelines for LIWSA