National Women's Sailing Association

 Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans

the site of the 2024 National Women’s Sailing Convention presented by The Allstate Sugar Bowl

Mardi Gras was a wonderful celebration in our city! The NWSA board has been busy organizing and networking. Several board members were able to attend the 2024 US Sailing National Sailing Programs Symposium (NSPS) in Savannah at the beginning of February. It was the first time for me to attend, and I was impressed. The keynote speakers were exceptional, the talks were helpful and the networking was effective. I learned of a few more women’s sailing associations and some women’s regattas.

NWSA would very much like to support your efforts to get more women on the water. Contact us with the pertinent information and we will add to our calendar and this newsletter as space allows.

Registration for our conference should open in the near future.

Hope to see you in NOLA!

Fabulous Nominations!

Not only did you submit exciting nominations for the 2024 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award, you also brought forward a record number of supporters of women’s sailing. Thank you!

Since 1999 NWSA/BoatUS Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award has been a beacon of recognition for those in the U.S. who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in promoting women’s participation in sailing.

National Women's Sailing Association Conference, presented by

Jazz Up Your Sailing in New Orleans!

On June 8, some of the top women instructors in the U.S. will be gathered at Southern Yacht Club (SYC)  with support from Community Sailing New Orleans on New Orlean’s Lake Pontchartrain to offer you boatloads of instruction and fun. The National Women’s Sailing Association Conference presented by Allstate Sugar Bowl has built an exciting schedule with great instructors.

Don’t miss it. New sailors will love Take the Helm® NWSA’s on-the-water introduction to sailing — designed for women. Intermediate to advanced sailors will hone hands-on skills such as — lifting an overboard crew from the water to the deck, alone. Sailors will be coached to trim sails for the power and speed they want. Or sailors can gain DIY skills needed for boat projects and maintenance. You can improve your racing, add to your cruising knowledge and practice docking skills at the conference!


Members benefit from receiving a nice discount on the conference fee as well as being first in line to choose the workshops selections. BECOME A NWSA MEMBER TODAY

You will experience all this at Southern Yacht Club. A member of Gulf Yachting Association, SYC was established in 1849 making it the second oldest yacht club in the United States. The lovely facility overlooks Lake Pontchartrain, the largest estuary on the Gulf Coast. The Lake is about 26 navigable miles wide, from the Northshore it expands 24 miles to the City of New Orleans situated on it’s southern shore.

Community Sailing New Orleans began serving the community in 2020. The impact continues to grow. In 2022 they saw a rapid expansion of programming and high demand with the organization serving over 1,200 people. The facility expansion is still under construction, yet the Center was recently honored by US Sailing for Outstanding Outreach and Inclusion!

Visit nearby treasures. Just across the canal is The Lighthouse Museum and Science Center. The building was lovingly restored after a one-two-punch from hurricanes. It was severely damaged by Katrina, then collapsed three weeks later during Hurricane Rita. Discover yummy New Orlean’s food, drink and night-life. And beyond the lakefront there’s City Park, the French Quarter, the Mississippi River and jazz clubs. Dance, play the washboard with the band, eat and then score rock-n-rolling bowling under the same roof.

Let the good times roll in New Orleans!


The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 107 Hall of Fame players, 52 Hall of Fame coaches and 21 Heisman Trophy winners in its 90-year history. The 91st Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, which will double as a College Football Playoff Quarterfinal, is scheduled to be played on January 1, 2025. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards, scholarships and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors thousands of student-athletes each year, while injecting more than $2.5 billion into the local economy in the last decade. 

Thank you Allstate Sugar Bowl for being our title sponsor for our conference.

NWSA She Sailor Sea Story on March 15 RSVP at

RSVP for March 15, 2024 

She Sailor Sea Story episode, The LIGHT. We will remind you in March.

This sure to be, fun-filled LIVE episode features storytellers Emily Zugnoni, Lili Colby and Kate Tannian. Lili lives and works in an unusual New England lighthouse. Kate is a docent for the iconic restored lighthouse on the South shore of Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans. Emily’s grandfather shone a light on sailing for her, certainly influencing the course of her life.

This episode of the She Sailor Sea Story is brought to you by Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company.

Hurry girls! – apply for summer sailing scholarships

Girls who attended an AdventureSail in 2023 are eligible to receive a Learn to Sail Youth Scholarship. The scholarship for up to $500 can be applied to any recognized sailing program. AdventureSail participants must apply for the scholarship within one year of their participation.

Any girl 14-19 years old may apply for the Sue Corl Youth Sailing Scholarship. Applications for the Sue Corl scholarship are accepted beginning February 1 through April 15, 2024.

Ask for a letter of recommendation. Write an essay. Apply.

 NWSA Member of the Month

Congratulations Nancy Licalzi, the February NWSA Member of the Month. Nancy is also a member of the Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association and the New Orleans Yacht Club.Nancy took ASA classes after her husband taught her to sail on a Vagabond 17 while they were dating. They sailed mostly in Lake Pontchartrain (New Orleans) and made many trips to Mississippi and Florida (Pensacola, Ft. Walton and Destin).The couple bought several used boats through the years, their favorite was a Seafarer 26. Their sailing days slowed as their family grew. In 2018 Nancy’s husband passed away from cancer. She was left with two boats that needed much care and refurbishing, so she sold them. While Nancy no longer has a boat of her own, she wants to continue to crew with others to advance her skills and enjoy the sport.

Nancy reports her sailing skills became rusty after giving up her boat. She wanted to get back into the sport and learned about Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association through Facebook. She quickly joined. Since then, she has served as a board member, vice commodore and currently serves as secretary.

Nancy loves sailing and enjoys the company of all the women sailors she has met in the last five years. She says, “I hope to meet many more when you ladies come to New Orleans for the next national conference!” This will be Nancy’s first women’s sailing conference. She encourages newbies to seek out education and experience. They will discover sailing is a challenging sport of using boats with sails. It also is a fabulous way to enjoy the outdoors and learn about the physics of wind and water.

We asked Nancy if she has ever been seasick. She said, “Yes, I have been seasick while going out to scuba dive. It dissipates quickly once below the surface. When I have gotten seasick it wasn’t for long.” She learned to keep her sights on things that were stationary.

Nancy would love to sail in Europe preferably the Mediterranean Sea; cruising in Italy, Croatia and Greece. If she could only take five things on a month-long sailing trip she would wisely include a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, clothes and phone, in that order.

NWSA thanks Nancy for aiding in video production in 2023 and her support of women’s sailing in her home port, New Orleans.

Host an AdventureSail® for girls in 2024

Girls helping to rig a boat for an AdventureSail in Boston. AdventureSail has been introducing underserved girls to sailing for two decades. Designed to spark the next generation of female sailors, we invite you to host girls for adventure on the water. Then NWSA and you can work together to help the girls find ways to keep sailing!

Share sailing! Show young women ages 9-14 the rich experience and empowerment of sailing. Host an AdventureSail this year.

CLICK for more about AdventureSail

Upcoming women’s conferences in NY & WI!

The 7th Annual Riverport Women’s Sailing Conference

March 23, 2024, welcoming all genders and levels of experience, this is a great opportunity to gather with sailors and aspiring sailors, and improve sailing skills. Click to learn more and to register


Fri., May 17 Midwest Women’s Sailing Conference US Sailing International Safety at Sea at the Milwaukee Yacht Club. Start learning now to prevent and prepare for emergencies at sea. Women are encouraged to bring their male shipmates. Register now

Thank you to the 2024 major Conference sponsors

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization. We are primarilary funded by your membership to serve our mission to enrich the lives of women and girls through education and access to sailing. Please join us for an annual fee of $45, or three years for $100, to help us Share Sailing!

© 2023 National Women’s Sailing Association. All rights reserved. AdventureSail, Take the Helm and Making Changes Come About are registered trademarks of the Women’s Sailing Foundation. •