Tumbleweed Sailing Women on the Water Arizona Regatta

2023 WOWAZR! was IT Fun? You Bet!

The coaches were all great — very helpful and made an effort to talk and get to know everyone — whether on their crew or not. I left the clinic really happy with what I came away with and am looking forward to further involvement with NWSA. Thanks so much! — anonymous

Such an amazing event and so grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of it! — CW ⛵️

Coaches and participants agree, WOWaZr! was fun. There were wild burros, a magnificent view of the Lake from the venue, nice warm weather, variable wind conditions, and the few fellas around were there to serve the women sailors.

Highlights included the keynote speech from five time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, Betsy Alison. And Betsy sailed with a nice group, even doing a demo of gybing the pole. One particularly gleefully participant commented, “I just sailed with a world champion, and it was awesome!”

Every coach was impressive. Beginners felt safe, happy as they learned about racing and stretched their sailing experiences.

Thanks to all the WOWaZr! volunteers for helping us share sailing: planners, web designers, cooks, servers and dishwashers, dock hands, swag bag makers, drivers, boat launchers, ride share organisers, committee boat and safety boat crews … it took a huge amount of work, done by a lot of unpaid workers. Local sailors did a lot to keep the price of the event down.

Thank you to Tumbleweed for the boats and footing the bill for WOWaZr! And Tumbleweed gave NWSA a registration, which was raffled for a chance for a registration refund. The funds raised will go towards our scholarship programs. 

Weather mark at WOWaZr! 2019
Three spinnaker boats at 2019 WOWaZr!

Watch one of our participant’s experience at WOWazR 2019

About Lake Pleasant

Lake Pleasant Regional park covers a total of over 23,000 acres (93 km²) of mountainous desert landscape, including the lake, and boasts a number of other recreational activities, such as mountain biking, camping, and hiking, and sailing!

Overlooking the lake is the Desert Outdoor Center (DOC), a visitor’s educational destination featuring a modern bunkhouse (where sailors can stay). In addition to lodging, the DOC provides information regarding desert flora, fauna, history of the lake, the construction of the Waddell Dam and facts of the surrounding areas, and there is a spectacular view!

We’ll be sailing out of Pleasant Harbor Marina
40202 N 87th Ave, Peoria, AZ 85383

Meet Ruth Beals: 
Arizona’s Sailor Barbie

It was a Barbie-like woman born in 1918 who first organized sailing in Phoenix in the 1950s. Ruth Beals staked out a vacant lot in Tempe and called it Sails Ahoy. From there using a corner pay phone she sold sailboats, then fostered new sailors, then founded Arizona Yacht Club (AYC). She once said, “… as far as we knew there wasn’t a sailboat in the entire state.” During a Mexican vacation her family learned to sail the boat she bought aided with a thin instruction booklet. “In blissful ignorance we bobbed about the bay having a great time capsizing and learning everything the hard way, and then found out the bay was alive with sharks!” Much to her delight, people in Phoenix were interested in sailing — in 1958 Ruth Beals started a ridiculously improbable yacht club with three boats and 15 people. The three hundred member Arizona Yacht Club honors Ruth’s crazy idea of sailing in the desert annually with the Ruth Beals Cup regatta.

Sailing on Lake Pleasant was a woman’s idea!