2023 AdventureSail® highlights

AdventureSail® is a nationwide program of the Women’s Sailing Foundation, a 501(c)(3) educational organization. This summer Women’s Sailing Association of Southern California, Dana Point (pictured above), Courageous Sailing Center near Boston, Bristol Yacht Club in Rhode Island, Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association at the Community Sailing Center New Orleans, Mattituck Yacht Club in New York, Channel Islands Yacht Club in Oxnard, CA, Kingston Sailing Club in Massachusetts, and Milwaukee Bay Women’s Sailing Organization at Racine Yacht Club introduced underserved girls to the sport of sailing. More venues are committed for ‘23.

Courageous Sailing Center celebrated its 25th AdventureSail!

In August, girls from the Big Sisters community-based mentoring program enjoyed sailing at Courageous Sailing Center near Boston, marking the 25th year of this event. The AdventureSail program has fostered a warm, long-term relationship with the Big Sisters organization.

The staff and volunteer skipper, Colleen Charles, bailed water out of the Rhodes 19s, while volunteers outfitted the Big and Little Sisters with life jackets. Education Director of the Sailing Center, Jen Bodde, gave a lesson on how sailboats move through water using wind. Girls were paired with skippers and teams headed to the boats. “Taking the tiller of a sailboat is a uniquely empowering experience. At Courageous, we believe that everyone should have a chance to try it! We’ll ensure that every girl who wants to continue sailing with us has that opportunity,” said Jen.

The skippers, girls, and their Big Sisters raised the sails and set off for an adventure. Thanks to an 11-13 knot West breeze, the boats sailed as far as Logan Airport. Co-chair Joan Thayer was thrilled, saying, “It was a gorgeous, sunny summer day.” Back at Pier 4, co-chair Pat Dieselman and her sister, Dorothea Rennicks-Cormier (pictured below), fired up the grill. They prepared burgers, chips, drinks, and cookies for the returning adventurers. “It’s hard to believe I have been involved, working with Joan, in the AdventureSail Program for 25 years,” said Pat. “It is always so rewarding to watch the girls’ excitement after spending time—for most, the first time—out sailing in Boston Harbor.”

After lunch, the girls participated in a hands-on knot-tying activity with their skippers. One Little Sister, using newly acquired knot skills, tied two lines together to make a longer one. She proceeded to jump rope for the first time. Clearly, it was a good day for her. Ellie Doyle led the group in making Turk’s head bracelets, which turned out to be a little more demanding than expected. Some of the pairs switched to Plan B, led by Tara Cassidy-Driscoll, where they made various types of bracelets. At the end of the day, the girls received AdventureSail bags filled with school supplies and snacks, as well as AdventureSail T-shirts and hats.

Sponsors included Marblehead Bank, Cassidy Associates Insurance Agency and Pat Dieselman. Other volunteer skippers were Irene Choi and Rony Sebok. Courageous Sailing Center provided its facilities, boats and staff.


We had a blast!

AdventureSail participants had an exciting time sailing on Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans. Eight girls sailed, and for many, it was their first time experiencing the lakefront. The girls got a close-up view of a variety of boats at the docks, canals, and marina waterways. They learned about safety and gearing up to sail before heading out. The girls progressed from feeling “nervous” at first to trusting the process and wanting to experience sailing again. Some participants were from the New Orleans Family Justice Center. The organization’s leadership team watched from the landing, cheering the girls along from the shore.

a girl and a woman on a small boat on Lake Pontchartrain during 2023 AdvenureSail

“Wow, the water goes forever!”

The morning included a healthy continental breakfast with plenty of water and snacks. Upon returning from their sailing adventure, AdventureSail bags and T-shirts were given to the girls, followed by a pizza party! Huge thanks to our partners at Community Sailing New Orleans, our talented instructors, and amazing volunteers. Partnering organizations agreed to do it again when the weather is cooler since it was a hot day. They will explore “cool” sailing opportunities.

More about AdventureSail

Greetings from NOLA! It’s been a very busy month at NWSA as you will read about in this newsletter. Several places held AdventureSail events introducing girls to sailing. We have an upcoming She Sailor Sea Story on September 14 with stellar speakers, and the WOWaZR in November with stellar coaches.

Your board held its annual meeting on August 26, and I am looking for volunteer members to help serve on some of our committees. They meet via Zoom so location is not an issue. Let me know if I can help you find a place to serve.

My boat, Hot Chocolate, competed with all-women in the Fast Women Regatta in Josephine, AL and finished first in the overall spinnaker fleet. We also raced in the 28th Pam Sintes Memorial Regatta in New Orleans. This event is held in memory of a sailor who was the victim of domestic violence. As a goal, the local ladies were determined to get all-women skippers on all the boats. We had 28 PHRF boats and 28 ladies at the helm!

I have seen many NORs being posted for women races, please share them with us, and we are happy to help promote. “Let’s go Sailing!”



Exciting She Sailor Sea Story episode

Join us for September 14th for the She Sailor Sea Story episode featuring ocean racers Shelia McCurdy, Yosh Han and Anne Kolker.  Invite your friends. Stay tuned after for the NWSA Happy-Half-Hour to socialize. It is free fun.

Click to RSVP


WOWaZ Regatta!

a video from the 2019 (last WOWazR!

Are you ready for an exciting and unique sailing event exclusively for women? Tumbleweed Sailing’s Women on Water Arizona Regatta! in collaboration with NWSA is designed for you. This three-day residential event, taking place from November 3–5 2023, offers experienced instructors and champion racers to encourage and coach you on and off the boat. You’ll improve your sailing and racing skills while having an absolute blast!

The stunning Sonoran Desert racing venue at Lake Pleasant north of Phoenix, AZ, is a beautiful location for this fun-filled event. You’re guaranteed to have a great time while gaining new skills and taking in the views.

WOWaZr! learning experience includes all classroom workshops and racing on boats with a team and an onboard coach. You’ll also receive — Lake Pleasant Park entrance, two nights of shared lodging at the Desert Outdoor Center, six meals, a WOWaZr! event shirt and awards ceremony with prizes.

The Desert Outdoor Center offers stunning views of Lake Pleasant. Its modern kitchen and bunkhouse includes an amphitheater for stargazing in the clear desert sky.

Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to improve your sailing skills and make lasting memories with like-minded women sailors.

Join us at the WOWaZ Regatta!

WOWAZR Women Sailing Conference & Race 2019

Take a look at a participant’s 2019 video for a sneak peek of what’s in store at the 2023 WOWaZR!


Thank you to our 2023 conference sponsors and supporters


BoatUS, Dig Down Media, Alexander-Ryan Marine Safety

US Sailing  •  J/Boats  • Narragansett Sailing School

Sailing Convention for Women  •  Barton Marine US  •  Vida Rose Coaching Services, American Sailing Association, Tumbleweed Sailing, Spinsheet, Sailing and Boating LLC

North U, Sailrite, NauticEd, Offshore Sailing School, Mustang Survival, Forespar, Somand


Our work is supported by you!

Please consider a donation to help us with the expense of creating programs for 2023-24. The Women’s Sailing Foundation is a 501 3-c charitable organization. Direct your donation to the Women’s Sailing Foundation, AdventureSail or the Sue Corl Youth Sailing Scholarship fund. Thank you!


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