New sailing instructors

Shout out to Midwest area sailors Sarah Pederson, Lise Valentine, Jithanie Gunasena, Robin Kraidich, Vilia Sutkus-Kiela, Kristin Pratt, Dawn Mills, Courtney Cox Smith and Sarah Storey. These nine women recently became US Sailing basic keelboat instructors. They received their certification in Chicago where NWSA organised a qualification exam with all women candidates. The certification was conducted by women examiners Betsy Alison and Jeanne Walker Sinclair. Thanks to US Sailing for collaborating to increase the number of women sailing instructors.


Nominations Open

What do Doris Colgate, Nancy Erley, Dawn Riley and Gail Hine have in common? They are all recipients of the BoatUS/NWSA Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award. If you know a person who has championed women’s sailing in the US, nominate them!

Meet the Women’s Sailing Foundation’s new directors

Barbara Morris

Member WSF board of directors, Barbara MorrisPlease join NWSA in welcoming Barbara to the Women’s Sailing Foundation board of directors.

Originally from Salt Lake City, Barbara moved to Valencia, CA in 1985 to attend the California Institute of the Arts for Graphic Design. She started her own design business in 1989 and has enjoyed working from home ever since.

Morris began sailing in Southern California waters in the early 90s and co-owned a Clipper Marine 24 with several friends as she was learning to sail. She prefers cruising and day sailing over racing, but has participated as crew on the 2005 Newport to Ensenada race and 2016 Baja Ha Ha. Also beginning in 2016 and for two more years, she took the helm on a boat in the annual Women on the Water, Woman at the Helm regatta in the Santa Monica Bay. She joined the Women’s Sailing Association of Santa Monica Bay in 2013 and has served as the Membership Director, Communications Director, Webmaster and Newsletter Editor and rose to become the Commodore in 2020.

Morris has been on charters in the BVI, San Juan Islands in Washington, Penobscot Bay in Maine, Tahiti and most recently out of Newport, RI. She enjoys First Mate status on her best friend’s C&C 40 which she has been sailing on since the mid 90s. Barbara joined the board in October 2021.

Welcome aboard Barbara!

Elizabeth Naylor

Elizabeth Naylor at workNaylor grew up sailing at summer camp in Hope, Maine in O’Day Widgeons, named for the Charlie Brown gang. Over the last 6 years, she has been the program director for the junior sailing program at the Hull Yacht Club. In 2018, Elizabeth was named the Madeline O’Neill Quinn Cup recipient for Outstanding Female Sailor. She is passionate about educating
young people both on and off the water, recognizing that the skills we learn and embrace within a sailboat carry over into the rest of our lives.

Elizabeth owns and occasionally races a Rhodes 19, Rebel Girl, as well as a Laser, Calvin. She lives in Hull, Massachusetts with her husband, Adam, and their 14 year-old daughter, Grace.

Naylor joined the board on Sept. 12, 2021. Congrats Elizabeth!

Windy City hosts NWSA Conference

Sharing Sailing was not only the theme for the 21st annual National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) Conference on September 11th, it was the purpose of the event.

Held at the predominantly African American Jackson Park Yacht Club in Chicago it was a picture perfect day for learning sailing skills and gaining practical nautical knowledge. Workshops, ranged from beginner to advanced, were shared by all women instructors. Half-day, on-the-water courses included; Welcome Aboard, Jib and Spinnaker Trim and Docking. Land-based workshops included; training on basic diesel maintenance, prevention of sailing mishaps, marlinspike and navigation. Panel discussions — which were also presented on-line and recorded — included strategies for women entering and growing in sailing, sailing green and clean and how to choose the right boat. 

Lunch time at the conference
Crowley's Yacht Yard Lakeside
Dig Down Media


AdventureSail® Day partners with US Sailing + Tall Ships America

August 14, 2021 — NWSA has redesigned the delivery of our long-standing AdventureSail program. Cooperating with US Sailing, Tall Ships America and others, we are working to introduce more underserved girls to sailing. We have had both well established hosts and new hosts enjoy successful sails for girls this summer — and a few are scheduled soon. Look for AdventureSail photos and stories in the October issue of the NWSA newsletter, Take the Helm.

Apply to host a local AdventureSail Day on August 13 in 2022. Let’s continue the work to increase the number of girls we introduce to the magic and joys of sailing.