AdventureSail has been a jewel in the crown of WSF/NWSA for over two decades! It was designed to foster the next generation of female sailors. We understand the importance of providing opportunities for sailing early. And we know that barriers preventing all young women and girls from making it to the water must be overcome.

Towards that goal, NWSA will be partnering with US Sailing. Together we are expanding the program to include US Sailing’s community sailing centers nationwide. We will also be working with Tall Ships America to further broaden the scope of sailing opportunity.

As we embark on this new phase of AdventureSail, we will be asking more of you. NWSA will also enjoy working more closely with you! We can help you explore ways to make sailing more accessible to young women ages 9-14. All girls deserve the opportunity to learn to love sailing the way we do.


AdventureSail programming served many happy girls so far this year. Racine and Boston’s Courageous Sailing Center, both long-standing program hosts, kicked off the East Coast sailing season fun by hosting 41 girls.

Later in locations around the nation, in the first two weeks of August alone, 100 girls attended an AdventureSail program.

Mattituck Yacht Club, NY held their second annual AdventureSail. Girls visited Oakcliff Sailing Center. Chatted with Dawn Riley. Climbed aboard Maiden! And had a small boat sailing experience too. Wow!

Click to watch a She Sailor Sea Story video featuring the Mattituck program and their accomplishment.

“I was so excited to discover this structure — a program AdventureSail Day — that enabled me to introduce sailing to girls who wouldn’t normally have access,” said Mattituck Yacht Club volunteer and AdventureSail organizer Laura Venugopalan. Laura worked to assure three girls were awarded scholarships. One scholarship was awarded from WSF and two from the local community. The Learn to Sail scholarship recipient said, “In a few years I will teach my baby sister, Emma how to sail.” Another girl commented, “I want to keep sailing because it was like my dream come true.”

After the Kingston Sailing Club AdventureSail, a volunteer from the girl-serving program Mentor Me said, “Thank you so much for the experience. It was amazing to see the girls feel so proud!” Host organiser Jody Sterling added, “Participants experienced the world of sailing for the first time: the beauty of the Hudson River, the tranquility and peace of sailing, the focus and skill required by sailing well, the ability to stay calm despite challenges, the teamwork required and the connections built as part of a crew.”

The West Coast had mighty AdventureSail events. Women’s Sailing Association — Orange County, Alameda and Channel Islands hosted oodles of girls. Rhode Island participated with Bristol Yacht Club and Sail Newport. The two events hosted dozens of girls.

Linda Newland, who has served on the AdventureSail committee for decades said, “This year’s AdventureSail program has enabled more girls than ever before to be introduced to sailing. Local community sailing organizations, non-profits providing sailing experiences, local sailing clubs, as well as tall ship programs partnered with us.”

We encourage you to plan your own AdventureSail program for 2023 or support the program through a donation to WSF at www.womensailing.org.”

Newland added, “Many thanks for the hard work and dedication Joan Thayer put forth this summer. Thayer had almost daily interactions with organizers regarding everything from the online application, waivers, to explaining the program. And Joan managed the fulfillment of the day-bags for the girls participating.”

“I enjoyed working with each of the coordinators.”said Thayer. “There were four first-time coordinators. Newcomers were really excited to host an AdventureSail, and having experienced this first year are enthusiastic about doing it again next year.”

Rebooting AdventureSail program after the pandemic has been a huge success. Thank you to everyone who played a part it this year’s AdventureSail program. BZ! Brovo Zulu (well done)!

Explore the event archives of past AdventureSail Programs at venues and clubs across the country!



To enrich the lives of America’s young underserved girls through sailing, with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. To open girls’ eyes to a multitude of life’s positive possibilities, and through continued participation in sailing:

  • Provide a positive activity that will encourage affirmative life choices

  • Develop self-confidence to overcome adverse living conditions

  • Introduce career paths and opportunities that involve the marine industry, marine related sciences and their local waters.





To locate participants for each program, we continue to identify and enter into agreements with national organizations that provide opportunities for girls, preferably focused on Black, indigenous, other girls of color, or girls from disenfranchised groups and communities.


  • A day of introducing sailing to underserved girls ages 9 to 14 at an approved sailing, commercial or community sailing facility.

  • Boats, qualified volunteer instructors as mentors on board, and other sailing-related activities are arranged by the local organization. The activities are fun, educational and the instructors and volunteers for the most part are young women, providing positive female role models.

  • Program is free to participants
  • Unique to each location. The boats and the agenda are provided by the host organization. Some events have a guest speaker. Some use small boats while other locations use cruising boats. Some engage in spirited competition. It all depends on what the organizer arranges. Current and past AdventureSail events demonstrate the variety of types of events. Each will show the enthusiasm and smiles of the girls, who may be getting on the water for the first time in their lives.

  • Waivers are necessary for all participant, girls and volunteers. Click here.



  • Sow a seed on career paths and opportunities that involve the marine industry, marine related sciences

  • Provide positive role models on and off the water

  • Share team building activities

  • Offer application for learn-to-sail scholarships to participating girls
    Click here to fill out learn-to-sail scholarship application

  • Offer junior membership in the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) to participating girls until they reach 18 years of age
    Click here to fill out junior membership.


  • 100% of the program is funded through Individual donations via the website or by check

  • NWSA members

  • Donations of product (such as food or swags) at the event

  • Everyone who works with the program is a volunteer.


In 1996, Doris Colgate through the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) introduced AdventureSail®, a mentoring program for at-risk girls between the ages of 9 and 14. Each year since then more than 150 girls across the country are introduced to sailing through the program. Women and men in local sailing clubs, yacht clubs and other partnering associations volunteer with local girl-serving organizations to offer underserved girls a sailing day, offering new experiences and fun. The program is flexible in that the host facility determines what the day will look like and what kinds of activities and boats will be included.

Skills, such as, teamwork, environmental stewardship, leadership, individual responsibility, self-esteem, respect for authority and the importance of education are stressed, helping girls to navigate toward a successful adulthood. AdventureSail® continues to expand its programs to serve new areas of the country and to involve a growing number of girl-serving organizations.

In 1996 the Women’s Sailing Foundation (WSF) was incorporated as a 501(c)3 organization. WSF is the legal and parent company of the AdventureSail® program.

Explore the event archives of past AdventureSail Programs at venues and clubs across the country!


For Tax-deductible contributions click on the “Donate” button below


AdventureSail® is a program of the Women’s Sailing Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization. The program is sustained by charitable donations of any amount.