The Fall2010 Take The Helm® publication is out. Click here for what’s happened, is happening and will happen. Enjoy

NWSA is a cooperating group member of BoatUS. For you, that means that you get almost a 50% discount on your dues. Here’s a sample of the information you would receive as a member of BoatUS.

 Please remember that BoatUS has been our primary sponsor for the Women’s Sailing Conference since 2002.

Women Dig Diesels At Mack Boring Seminar

A group of women hailing from New Hampshire to Florida arrived at the Mack Boring Technical Institute in Middleboro, MA, amid rain and fog for the two-day diesel engine workshop led by Larry Berlin, instructor extraordinaire.

Each woman came to the class from a different perspective –


 Women’s Sailing Conference Another Success

 On June 5, the Corinthian Yacht Club hosted the 9th annual Women’s Sailing Conference. The weather kept everyone guessing all day, but that did not dampen spirits. The women came to learn, network and get inspired. Indeed they did. The Conference, whose primary sponsor is BoatU.S., featured a day-long series of classes and workshops, giving the novice-to-expert women sailors who attended a terrific opportunity to network with other women while learning new skills or brushing up on old ones.

Organized by the National Women’s Sailing Association, the conference included on-land workshops covering a variety of sailing topics and on-the-water coaching situations. This year the on-the-water sessions included crew overboard drills, boat systems, what’s on deck, sail trim, introduction to sailing, racing and spinnakers, reefing and flaking sails, and of course, taking the helm. The land-based workshops included using spring lines, heaving a line, charting and finding a fix, knots, diesel-engine troubleshooting, suddenly single-handed, long-term cruising, night sailing, and understanding the wind.

The majority of participants were from Massachusetts and New England, but word of this exciting event has traveled to Chicago and southern California

The guest speaker was Kathy Parsons, who hails from Texas, when she is not living on aboard “Hale Kai”. Kathy got her first sailing lesson in Marblehead so it was extra special for her to tell us where that first day has taken her. Kathy has been educating women about the cruising lifestyle for many years. She is also one of the founders of the website, She has been a speaker at numerous boat shows. She is an author of two books, Spanish and French for Cruisers.

The traditional raffle and silent auction ended the evening, raising fundsfor the Women’s Sailing Foundation for NWSA’s AdventureSail®program for at-risk girls and sailing scholarships. The 2010 Women Sailing Conference fulfills NWSA’s goal of enriching the lives of women and girls through education and access to the sport of sailing.

The following photos are courtesy of Susan Ogan.

Sharon Drechsler, who attended the conference , wrote up a nice story about it for the online Examiner. <click here for her story and more photos>.


AdventureSail® 2010 Racine Yacht Club, Racine, WI
Host Facility: Racing Yacht Club, Racine, WI
Event Chair: Amy Cermak,

Fifty-nine girls from Girls Inc at the YWCA attended the 11th annual AdventureSail® event at the Racine Yacht Club on August 10th. Dense fog, little or no wind and extreme heat best described the day.

Junior leader, Kaisa Herrmann, age 13, led the girls and spectators in the National Anthem followed by a lesson on knot tying. Because of the fog and lack of wind, Kaisa turned the adventure into kayaking, canoeing, and rain gutter sailboat racing. The Sea Scouts, Emma Paulson and Lauryn Berger assisted as water patrol.

As noon approached, the fog lifted enough for all of the girls to board theRacine Yacht Club member’s sail boats for a motor tour of Racine’s beautiful harbor. Some toured through the Main and State Bridge learning about bridge commands and times of operation.

No wind and fog also kept the catamaran racers competing in the 2010 Catamaran Championships on the beach, which provided a fabulous opportunity for the girls. U.S. Olympian and four-time world champion sailor, Carrie Howe, shared her love of sailing with the girls, the challenges she faced and the friends she has made along the way. Carrie encouraged the girls to try all sports and find a sport that they enjoy. Carrie finds it exciting to be going 30 mph on the catamaran. She encouraged the girls to learn more about sailing, indicating the team work aboard a sail boat is phenomenal. Sailing is one of the only sports where someone 80 years old and 12 years old can enjoy together, and it is truly a life long sport.

June 26, 2010 Grass Valley, CA 
Host club: Gold Country Yacht Club
Event Chair: Tish Buti

GCYC 2010 Friendship Club Day by Lynn Buchanan

Thank you GCYC members: Hugh and Nicki Talman, Joe and daughter Jacqueline Day, David Niedziejko, Chip the dog and Susan Murphy, Don Hare, Jerry Lewis and Bryant Cockcroft. They all volunteered their time as skippers and the use of their sailboats on Saturday June 26th for a great day of sailing with Nevada County’s Friendship Club girls and chaperones. Cindy Pekarek, Dale Buchanan and yours truly helped out with setup, kitchen and clean up duties. 

The Friendship Club girls and chaperones arrived at 11:30 and after introductions and gift packages that included an official “Adventure Sail” t-shirt donated by the National Women’s Sailing Foundation, off they went for a sail on Scotts Flat Lake. Sailing, water cannon fights and some swimming were wrapped up by 1:30 to have everyone return to the dock. A hot dog BBQ was held for all the participants and then of course the official commemorative picture of the group was taken.


2010 Gold Country Yacht Club and Friendship Club Sailors

For more information about the Friendship Club, check out Participating club members expressed the joy they felt being able to share a love of sailing, with girls who had never experienced this activity. Our members are already plotting and readying for this 2011 event.

June 12, 2010 Charlestown, MA
Host club: Courageous Sailing Center
Event Chair: Dar Collins
Additional funding provided by Boston Private Bank & Trust Company; Stop & Shop

This event always is a favorite for the girls from the Big and Little Sister Association of Greater Boston. However, mother nature had her own ideas. The day was overcast, no wind and then the rains came. Having to be towed in may not be our idea of fun, but it gave the 11 girls and their big sisters a new experience of life on the water.

Once in, the grill was going. Everyone was treated to hamburgs and hotdogs. Afterwards, Susan Epstein lead the workshop in knots and how we use them in our daily lives. Jumping rope took on a new meaning. Word search games on the nautical theme was also fun.

We are grateful to Courageous Sailing Center for the boats and the use of the facility. We hope for better weather next year.

July 10, 2010 Sag Harbor, NY
Host club: Breakwater Yacht Club
Event Chair: Charlene Kagel,

Lend a Hand … Be a Leader! 

Looking to give back to the sport of sailing with a particular focus on women?

Consider being a member of the board of directors for the National Women’s Sailing Association® and The Women’s Sailing Foundation. If you are passionate about sailing and have a desire to see more women join us in this sport, lend a hand with being a leader in the organization.

We are a working board. As a board member, you will travel to the site of the annual meeting. You will be proactive about identifying locations for AdventureSail®events and attend as the organization representative, if possible. You will be proactive about partnerships with the marine industry and an all women’s event in your local area.

If you are interested, please contact Joan Thayer, President, at or 401-682-2064. We look forward to hearing from you.