WOWAZR 2023, Lake Pleasant AZ
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 generous volunteers to support the attendees with boats, food and shuttle services.
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!”. The Saturday night speaker, Gail Turlock, shared her amazing stories of her Macinac Races on Lake Michigan. She is heading to break her Dad’s (Gene McCarthy) record!
Every coach was impressive. Beginners felt safe and 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 organizers, 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! Tumbleweed donated one complimentary registration, which was part of the event’s raffle. The funds raised will go towards our scholarship programs.
Friday, November 3rd
1500–1700 Van from Hook Building to
Desert Outdoor Center (DOC)
1500–1700 Check in (DOC)
Introduction of Coaches
Speaker: Betsy Alison – Women’s Hansa
303 World Champion, five-time Women’s Rolex Yachtswoman
Participant boat /coach assignment
2130– … Socialize / star gazing / S’mores
Saturday, November 4th
0630–0700 Sunrise hike (DOC)
0700–0800 Breakfast (DOC)
0815–1200 Seminars (DOC)
1200–1300 Lunch (DOC)
Fill your water bottles!
1315–1400 Board boats practice
1700–1730 Return to slips / debrief
1730–1800 Shuttles to DOC
1800–1930 Dinner and social mixer
1930–2000 Dinner speaker – Gail Turluck
National and World Sunfish competitor
2000–2045 Review practice with coaches
2045–2130 Socialize / star gazing / S’mores
Sunday, November 5th
0630–0700 Sunrise hike (DOC)
0700–0730 Grab & Go breakfast
Fill your water bottles!
0730–0800 Shuttle to boats
0915 First horn — races!
1300 No starts after (1:00 pm)
1445–1515 Shuttles to Hook Building
TBD–1630 Awards and hors d’oeuvres
immeditely following racing
NOVEMBER 3–5, 2023
LAKE PLEASANT, AZ
WOWaZ Regatta & learning experience includes:
* all classroom workshops and seminars
* racing on boats with a team and a coach
* race fees
* Lake Pleasant Park entrance fees
* 2 nights shared lodging at the Desert Outdoor Center from Friday, Nov 3 – Sunday, Nov 5
* Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner, Sunday breakfast and lunch (6 meals)
* WOWaZr! event shirt
* awards ceremony and prizes
2023 COACHES & PRESENTERS
Betsy Alison, coach
Jodi Weinbecker, coach
In 2022, Jodi began working as an independent contractor for US Sailing as an Instructor Trainer and US Powerboating Instructor. She also offers private sailing coaching and consulting for sailing program management. Jodi Weinbecker joined the Board in October 2022.
Louise Bienvenu, coach
Debby Grimm, coach
Naomi Emmerson, coach
Jen Lee, coach
Haley Lhamon, coach
She became a partner on a Columbia 22 called Ina Earl. She was really learning about sailing. She took many classes, sailed many races and had many exciting sails on Ina Earl. Then Ellie bought her own filthy, run down Cape Dory called Muse. She cleaned her, fixed her, brightened her canvas, teak, and cockpit. She built a vang, a traveler, bilge drainage hoses, whatever the boat needed. Then started racing Muse, the prettiest boat on the lake. It was slow but sturdy and earned Ellie some thrilling trophies. Ellie’s yacht club often put new sailors on Muse for Wednesday night racing. Muse was a logical choice for newbies was easy to sail, Ellie always practiced excellent seamanship and she taught her crew the same. Innumerable people had their first sail on Muse. They always had a good time. Ellie’s put her experience to work to restore and relaunch a 50-year-old Flying Scot for the Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association (LPWSA) members to share. Ellie organized many volunteers, dozens of work parties and got donations from members, a local boat yard, clubs and the Flying Scot fleet. After a decade with Muse and looking to earn speed and more trophies, Ellie bought Good Juju a J80.
Ellie says, “I am still learning about sailing. (A weekend to learn, a lifetime to master). I do not expect to become a master, but I expect to keep on learning as long as I sail. Thanks to bareboat certification, I have learned traveling by airplane is faster. Then there is usually a beautiful boat waiting for me wherever I go. And my certification as a Navigator with USPower Squadron means I only get lost when I want to.”
Emily Zugnoni, coach
Debbie Huntsman, chair
Dianna Andress, manager
Wendy Larsen, P.R.O.
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!