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Girls often look to women in their lives for cues and examples of how to think, act, and confidently take risks. Women like us, who by setting positive examples for them — owning our achievements, taking calculated risks, showing confidence — we help develop confident, able women to lead us into the future.
In September the National Women’s Sailing Association signed a Memorandum of Understanding with US Sailing to promote participation, education and engagement opportunities for female sailors and young women. Both organizations understand setting examples for girls and mentoring new female sailors is central to a vibrant healthy sport.
For any one entering the sport, having another sailor who looks like them to lean on, who understands their self-doubts, their fears and concerns and is available to celebrate achievements and milestones along the way, can make the difference for sailing to become a life-enriching experience. Perhaps they will take up racing. Perhaps become a skipper or an instructor. Perhaps they will buy a boat!
For some 30 years, NWSA has worked hard to enrich the lives of women and girls through education opportunities and access to sailing, specifically through our AdventureSail® program. Annually, girls from at risk or underserved communities are exposed to sailing through events that are hosted by clubs and organizations and mentored by female sailors. NWSA will be working hand-in-hand with US Sailing in 2021 to promote a National AdventureSail® Day. All of US Sailing’s 1,700 member organizations will be invited to take part by organising an AdventureSail® day locally. That said, with continuing uncertainties, we may get creative and develop safe ways to begin a life-long love of sailing while adhering to health standards. We learned how to do that with OLÉ — our June 2020 on line expo. We can instruct and engage then be ready and happy to begin in-person events and training as soon as it is safe to do so.
Can you imagine what we can collectively do by mentoring girls who have not yet experienced sailing by introducing them to the freedom and empowerment that sailing can provide? Thinking out of the box, prepping ahead and making plans for the future, are all the more important in difficult times. We can begin by engaging girls to give them a basis for getting aboard and raising the sails.
To donate to this expanded nationwide effort to take girls sailing, as soon as it is safe to do so, click on the AdventureSail donation button above.
Marine Diesel Engine Workshop for Women
Completed Feb. 8–9, 2020
WOWZR! Let’s do it again.
Thank you to the amazing coaches and the Tumbleweed Sailing volunteers who worked to make the first WOWZR! a high-quality learning event for women sailors from across the nation. There was a lot of learning, sharing, enthusiasm and fun during the three days.
NWSA envisions future events like WOWZR! to help make seeing boats racing with all women crews more common.
Pencil in WOWZR! at Lake Pleasant November 5-7, 2021. We’ll be back!
Hands-on learning in charming Port Townsend, WA
Moderated by Sheila McCurdy of US Sailing, with Nancy Erley and Linda Newland, this course proved to be invaluable for racers and cruisers alike, offering women sailors both online and experiential learning as well as certification from US Sailing. Check back again for our next Coastal Safety at Sea event.
St. Croix hosted the 1st AdventureSail in 2019.
WSA-OC had a great group of girls at Dana Point’s 1st AdventureSail.
Before the boatload of fun at Lake Pleasant, AZ.
AdventureSail® is a program for at-risk girls ages 9 to 14 with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Life skills, such as leadership, responsibility, teamwork, environmental stewardship, respect for authority and the importance of education, are stressed to help these girls grow into successful adults. WSF offers Learn to Sail Scholarships as part of the AdventureSail® experience. WSF continues to partner and sustain these partnerships with community outreach programs and sailing associations and yacht clubs. The goal is to continue to reach out to new areas of the country to bring AdventureSail® into the lives of underserved girls.