Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award Archive
The Leadership in Women’ s Sailing Award, co-sponsored by NWSA and BoatU.S., the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters, begun in 1990. The award is given annually to honor an individual who has a record of achievement in inspiring, educating and enriching the lives of women through sailing. In recent years, the award has been made at the Women’s Sailing Conference in Marblehead, MA usually held the first weekend of June.
2019 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award – Pat Dieselman
The National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) honored Pat Dieselman of Ipswich, Massachusetts, with the 2019 BoatUS/NWSA Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award. The honor recognizes an individual with a record of achievement in inspiring, educating, and enriching the lives of women through sailing. The award was presented by NWSA President Debbie Huntsman at the 18th Women’s Sailing Conference.
“Pat Dieselman exemplifies leadership in sailing, serving as a mentor, teacher and role model, working to get more women sailing and sailing their own vessels,” said Huntsman who presented the award at the 18th Women’s Sailing Conference. “Through her own experiences as an adult woman entering the sport, she saw learning to sail had challenges. Acting on that recognition, Pat has worked to encourage and educate women in the art of sailing.”
At the Women’s Sailing Conference, Dieselman has been a workshop leader as well as a member of the Conference committee. She is also CYC’s Race Committee co-chair and past chair of the club’s Sailing Committee. She was the first female chair of the Blue Water Sailing Club’s race committee and past commodore. Additionally, she’s co-chair of the AdventureSail event for young girls at risk held at Courageous Sailing Center in Charlestown.
Dieselman did not grow up in a sailing family. Dieselman’s husband introduced her, first on a J-29, then on a cruising boat, on which they explored New England. Bareboat charter trips with the Blue Water Sailing Club to Turkey, Croatia, Greece, France and the British Virgin Islands followed. When Dieselman recognized that most of the women in the club had never taken their boats out without their husbands, she initiated weeklong cruises for just the women, empowering them to take the helm. Twenty-three years later, those cruises are still going strong. “When the cruise is over, I always enjoy hearing women say, ‘I guess I know more than I thought’,” said Dieselman.
Sheila McCurdy of Middletown, Rhode Island, was awarded the BoatUS/National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) 2018 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award at the NWSA Women’s Sailing Conference held Saturday in Marblehead, Massachusetts. The award, which recognizes an individual with a record of achievement in inspiring, educating, and enriching the lives of women through sailing, was presented by NWSA President Linda Newland.
“Sheila McCurdy exemplifies a leader in the sailing world by serving as a mentor, teacher and role model for women entering the sport and also for those expanding their sailing skills.” said Newland.
McCurdy grew up in a sailing family in Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island and from a young age, sailing became part of her life. “It’s just what I do,” said McCurdy. She has sailed big boats and small boats with family, friends, strangers and professionals, and skippers her own boat, Selkie, a 38-foot sloop designed by her father, Jim McCurdy.
She has sailed more than 100,000 miles offshore including a passage from the Galapagos to the Marquesas in 2014, the 2015 Transatlantic Race and 17 Newport Bermuda races—skippering to second place in class and fourth overall in 2016. In 2017, McCurdy cruised the west coast of Sweden and then sailed from Spain to the Azores. All of that experience gave her an understanding of how women approach sailing, and that information has helped shape programs with the female sailor in mind.
McCurdy is a trustee of Mystic Seaport Museum, serves on the board of Ida Lewis Yacht Club, and was the first female commodore of the Cruising Club of America, and served as a director of US Sailing Association where she ran the national faculty for 13 years. She was an advisor to the US Naval Academy Sailing for 20 years. She maintains a position on the Advisory Council of the National Women’s Sailing Association, writes and lectures on education and training, runs safety training courses and certifies instructors for the U.S. Sailing Association. McCurdy also holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton master’s license and a masters degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island. She has received several awards, including Rhode Island Boater of the Year 2011. She is married to David Brown.
2017 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award – Linda Lindquist-Bishop
Linda Lindquist-Bishop who was a member of the first and only all-women’s America’s Cup team was honored at the conference for her contribution to women in the sport. Lindquist-Bishop was awarded the 2017 BoatUS/NWSA Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award. Lindquist-Bishop became the first female sailing master at her yacht club. She achieved a leadership role on the SC70 team setting records on the Great Lakes. She was also a member of the first all-women’s America’s Cup sailing team. Lindquist-Bishop has sailed with more than 100 teams and won two world championships. “Linda has made a significant impact on improving the confidence of young women through international sailing competitions,” NWSA President Linda Newland said. “She is a role model for what can be. We are pleased to recognize her commitment to women in sailing with this award.” Lindquist-Bishop is a co-founder of Rising Tide Leadership Institute, a non-profit organization. She also helped to develop the NWSA and is on the advisory board. We are always grateful to our sponsors Boat/US and Black Rock Sailing School together with the Corinthian Yacht Club who help us bring great women to the conference each year.
2016 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award – Kathie Ohmer-Arnold
NEWPORT, Calif., May 9, 2016 – At opening day festivities held this weekend at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, Ms. Kathie Ohmer-Arnold of Aliso Viejo, CA was named the 2016 recipient of the Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award. A joint honor of the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) and Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the award recognizes a woman with a record of achievement in inspiring, educating, and enriching the lives of other women through sailing. Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA) Staff Commodore Gail E. Hine, the 2002 recipient of the Award and Member of the Women’s Sailing Foundation Board of Directors, presented the honor on behalf of NWSA and BoatUS.
“Kathie exemplifies the Corinthian spirit in her endless enthusiasm for the sport of sailing and her generosity in sharing her time and many talents with others,” said Hine. “She does it all – cruising, racing, coaching and boat repair while also pitching in onshore with the volunteering, planning and organizing aspects of club activities. She is a role model that demonstrates that women can participate at the highest levels in sailing and is always ready to give encouragement and instruction.”
As a teen, Ms. Ohmer-Arnold began sailing dinghies in California’s Newport Harbor and then later raised a family. After the kids grew up, she sailed to Europe and into the Mediterranean and before returning to the West Indies logging over 10,000 miles. In the islands she acquired her 100-ton Master License, was first mate on a Hatteras 70, worked as a charter captain on a 44-ft ketch, taught local women how to handle large boats by themselves, and raced J-24s in her spare time. Returning to California in 1988, she continued involvement in sailing, starting in Dana Point with the repair and restoration of historic sloop Virginia. She also taught Sea Scouts how to sail, became a instructor with Orange Coast College of Sailing & Seamanship, and over the next nine years taught over 500 women to sail aboard the school’s 47-foot Saudade. In the 90’s Kathie was active in the precursor to the Women’s Sailing Association of Orange County, was a supporter of the Sail for the Visually Impaired, and joined Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club (BCYC) where she sailed her Catalina 34. At BCYC, Kathie mentored many female members, being active in their social events, club cruises, and junior activities as well. She served as Port Captain and also as Fleet Captain at BCYC and participated in H/20 harbor races. Kathie supported the Leukemia Lymphoma Society charity regatta and invited young leukemia survivors aboard on her boat for a number of years Kathie has been an instructor/coach for the SCYA’s Women’s Sailing Convention for the past 25 years and second-in-command. She is responsible for the annual event’s coach coordination, boat donations and participant on-the-water workshop assignments.
2015 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award – Sally Helme
June 6, 2015 — Sally Helme, of Newport, RI and publisher of Bonnier Corp.’s Cruising World and Sailing World magazines, has been honored with the 2015 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award.
“Sally is a widely recognized leader in the sailing industry and she has effectively supported women in all aspects of sailing throughout her life,” said NWSA President Linda Newland. “She has made a significant impact on the business of sailing and how the roles of women in sailing are viewed. We are pleased to recognize her commitment to women in sailing with this award.”
Added Newland, “As a young woman, Sally sailed for her college team and subsequently began to get more involved, eventually earning seats on several boards and committees that support and promote sailing, particularly for women.”Helme also worked with Offshore Sailing School CEO Doris Colgate to create and sponsor NWSA’s Take the Helm series of women’s educational and networking events. “I have always believed that women can have a significant impact on our industry, and it’s been my goal to spread that idea and encourage more efforts to meet the needs of this very important market,” said Helme. “I have also always valued what sailing can bring to our lives — providing a wonderful escape, instilling a sense of confidence and self-reliance, and simply offering cherished time on the water with friends and family.” Inside the marine industry Helme remains a role model for women. Climbing the corporate ladder to the pinnacle of two very widely read and respected sailing magazines, Helme was the first female publisher in the sailing industry. She advocated for positive depictions of women in the magazines, showing them in leadership roles on boats, on boards, in competitions, and in photos and articles to inspire and illustrate the many challenging aspects of sailing. “She works to inspire and lead women to enjoy sailing as much as she does,” said Newland. Helme is a past president of Sail America, the trade association for the US sailing industry that plays a vital role for all sailing-related products and services companies. She has served on the boards of Sail Newport and US Sailing, and is currently a vice president of Marine Marketers of America. Helme was also a founding member of International Women in Boating, a marine industry professional-development organization for women. In 2011 Helme was honored with the SailMagazine Industry Leadership Award, and in 2014, the Rhode Island Marine Trade Association Anchor Award.
2012 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award – Elaine Dickinson
June 2, 2012 – A life-long sailor, Elaine Dickinson was honored Saturday, June 2, 2012 with the National Women’s Sailing Association/BoatUS 2012 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award at the 11th Women’s Sailing Conference held in Marblehead MA and hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club. This award is given to an individual who had built up a record of achievement in inspiring, educating, and enriching the lives of women through sailing. Dickinson learned to sail at age 25 by taking an Outward Bound course and immersed herself in the world of boating, both personally and professionally as journalist and lobbyist for BoatUS. She served on the National Safe Boating Council, a three-year appointment the US Coast Guard Boating Safety Advisory Council, and NOAA’s Hydrographic Services Review Panel which advises NOAA leadership on navigation issues. She raised awareness about women’s sailing educational events and women in maritime fields in articles for BoatUS Magazine, started the BoatUS Women in Boating website and served as a dedicated National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) board member for ten years. Retired in 2010 after 26 years with BoatUS’ Government, Public Affairs and Publications departments, Dickinson now enjoys cruising the Atlantic coast with her husband, Naval Architect Jack Hornor, on their Catalina 42. “Elaine took the initiative to encourage women of all ages to try sailing,” said NWSA President Joan Thayer. “As a sailor herself and a journalist writing about boating legislation and news, Elaine contributed her own boating safety experience to workshops and readers, including writing about women boaters in maritime fields and women-only events. She conducted informal surveys of women asking them about boating topics and how they like to learn, finding many women feel more comfortable learning from women instructors and speakers. Our event still follows that format today.”
2011 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award – “Sisters Under Sail” Founder Honored Dawn Santamaria
June 4, 2011 — Dawn Santamaria – Recipient of the 2011 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award, accepted her honor June 4th at the 10th Annual Women’s Sailing Conference held at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Photo Caption: (Left to Right) NWSA Founder Doris Colgate, NWSA President Joan Thayer, 2011 Award Recipient Dawn Santamaria, BoatUS Membership Programs Manager Dina Murray When Dawn and her husband Jay purchased their tall ship, she witnessed first hand how their four young daughters enjoyed learning how to sail the ship while gaining confidence and leadership skills. She wanted other young girls to have the opportunity to have the same experiences so she developed a program and created the non-profit organization, Sisters Under Sail, in 2005. The mission of Sisters Under Sail is to build confidence, enhance self-esteem, develop social conscience and teach women of all ages the value of sisters working together towards a common goal through sail training. Its classroom is the 110-foot, square topsail, gaff-rigged schooner STV Unicorn, said to be the only all-female crewed tall ship in the world. This unique leadership program has taken nearly 400 girls aboard from all over the United States and Canada to learn new skills on the ship and expand their lives with accomplished sailors. Unicorn sails in alternate years on the Long Island-Maine route and in the Great Lakes. Santamaria grew up in Chicago, Illinois and attended Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana – an all women’s college. Three of her four daughters have also gone to Saint Mary’s, making a family that understands the value of the “Sisters” mission and its impact on teenage girls. Her adult program has brought aboard nearly 200 women who have enjoyed the experience as much as the teenage girls. Sisters Under Sail has worked with the generous support of communities, individuals and many organizations such as Girl Scouts of America wishing to sponsor teenagers to participate. Dawn, still connected to her college community, is on the Alumnae Board of Directors at her alma mater, and is Saint Mary’s New Jersey Alumnae Club President. She serves as the Chairwoman of the Sisters Under Sail Board of Trustees. You can follow the travels of Unicorn on the website sistersundersail.org anytime. In 2012, Unicorn will be sailing in OpSail 2012, with the daughters of deployed American service men and women next summer, from New York City to Norfolk and from Baltimore to Boston, commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the birth of The Star-Spangled Banner, working with a Washington, DC based military strategic partner.
2009 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award – Paralympic Gold Medalist Maureen McKinnon-Tucker
ALEXANDRIA, VA, June 9, 2009 — Proving that despite a major setback, the will to sail and compete at the highest level can prevail, Maureen McKinnon-Tucker was honored with the annual Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award at ceremonies capping the day-long Women’s Sailing Conference held June 6 at Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA. The award is co-sponsored by BoatU.S. and the National Women’s Sailing Association. The award honors a male or female who has a record of achievement in giving something back to the sailing community as well as inspiring and educating women. McKinnon-Tucker was featured in the “Top Women in American Boating” article in the May 2009 issue of BoatU.S. Magazine. Over a decade ago she fell off a seawall and the injuries left her partially paralyzed. Despite using a wheelchair, she has doggedly pursued competitive sailing. After being the first woman named to the U.S. Disabled Sailing Team and winning a silver medal in the 2007 world championship, McKinnon-Tucker went even further in 2008 and won a gold medal in the Beijing Paralympic Games, along with the late Nick Scandone in the SKUD-18 class. In presenting the award at the conference, Elaine Dickinson, coordinator of BoatU.S.’s Women in Boating initiative, said, “Maureen’s indomitable spirit and upbeat attitude are the essence of what leadership is all about. She turned adversity into achievement and inspires everyone who meets her or hears her story.” She has also served on numerous boards and committees advocating for those with spinal cord injuries and is a peer mentor for those recently disabled; she is the adaptive sailing coordinator at the Piers Park Sailing Center in Boston, MA. The mother of two has also managed two businesses. McKinnon-Tucker was not able to accept the 2009 leadership award in person at Marblehead as she was competing in a race the same day in New York, but sent a videotaped message expressing her gratitude for the recognition and those who helped her get back into her chosen sport. She is a Marblehead, MA, resident and her web site is SailChallengeInspire.org.
2008 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award – Veteran Race Manager Pat Seidenspinner
Pat Seidenspinner holds the award, second from right, along with NWSA President Valli Cook, at left, BoatU.S.’s Susan Shingledecker, second from left, and Conference Chair Joan Thayer, at right. Underscoring that volunteer race managers are the backbone of competitive sailing, Patricia Harvey Seidenspinner of St. Petersburg, FL, was honored with the annual Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award at ceremonies capping the day-long Women’s Sailing Conference held June 7, 2008, at Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA. Both the award and the conference are sponsored by BoatUS and the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA). The award honors a male or female who has a record of achievement in giving something back to the sport of sailing as well as inspiring and educating women. “Pat Seidenspinner has such an impressive list of ‘firsts’ in her sailing resume,” said BoatUS Assistant Vice President Susan Shingledecker in presenting the award with NWSA President Valli Cook. “She has given an extraordinary amount of her time and expertise to grow the sport and inspire more women and girls to get involved in racing. Beyond the local level, she’s also volunteered for national leadership positions to improve race management across the board,” added Shingledecker. Seidenspinner is a native of New York City who grew up in Rochester, NY, and enjoyed a career as a flight attendant with TWA. She and her husband sailed in their time off, but upon retirement to St. Petersburg, Seidenspinner became very active in race management and eventually managed many national and world sailing championships. She is a member of US SAILING’s Race Management Committee and is the editor of its Race Management Handbook. She served as Chairman of the Race Administration Committee, and as a member of both the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Among some of her “firsts” in her sailing career, she was: 1st female Principal Race Officer, Southern Ocean Racing Conference and many other championships at St. Petersburg Yacht Club 1st female appointed as International Race Officer by the International Sailing Federation 1st female Principal Race Officer at an Olympic Games 1st female Commodore of St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
Sadly, in June 2014, after a series of illnesses, Pat Seidenspinner passed away. She will be greatly missed.
2007 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award – Janet Baxter
June 6, 2007 Marblehead , MA – The Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award was presented to Janet Baxter, a Chicago-based racer, sailing judge and the first woman elected president of United States Sailing Association, the national governing body of the sport in the US. The award was given during evening festivities at the sixth annual Women’s Sailing Conference hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club. The event is organized by the National Women’s Sailing Association with BoatUS as primary sponsor. Janet Baxter was instrumental in preparing US SAILING for the future, leading a comprehensive reorganization of the group. In accepting the award, Baxter spoke graciously about how sailing has enriched her life and cemented friendships that last a lifetime. She’s raced in 27 Chicago-to-Mackinac races and excelled in racing Lasers, Etchells, as well as offshore boats. She is a member of the Chicago Yacht Club.
“Janet Baxter, in taking such a high-profile leadership position at US SAILING, shows that women can excel at every level — both on the water and in the board rooms,” said Elaine Dickinson of BoatUS in presenting the award with NWSA President Valli Cook. The award is co-sponsored by BoatUS and NWSA and honors a male or female who has a record of achievement in giving something back to the sport of sailing as well as inspiring and educating women.”
2006 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award – Nancy Erley
June 2006 – Nancy Erley, a Seattle-based sailing instructor and two-time circumnavigator, was presented with the Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award for 2006 this weekend at the fifth annual Women’s Sailing Conference held at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA. Sponsored by the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S.) and the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA), the award honors a male or female who has built a record of achievement in inspiring, educating and enriching the lives of women through sailing.
“Good instruction is the key to getting into sailing and Nancy Erley has set a high standard in the boating education arena,” said Elaine Dickinson of BoatU.S., who presented the award June 3, along with NWSA President Val Cook and Conference Co-Chair Joan Thayer. “Her ocean voyaging, circumnavigations and women’s sailing school have brought unique learning opportunities — as well as inspiration — to hundreds of women. She’s living proof that one can live their dream with hard work and clear focus.”
Erley holds a 50-ton Master of Oceans and 100-ton Master Near Coastal license and is an instructor-evaluator for the International Sail and Power Association. She led two all-women voyages from Seattle around the world aboard her Orca 38 sailboat Tethys , which one boating writer called a voyage “that should go down in the record books as one of the soundest, most seamanlike journeys of the modern cruising era.” As founder of the Tethys Offshore Sailing for Women in Seattle (www.tethysoffshore.com) Erley teaches women beginning sailing up to captaining skills, either on learning cruises or individually. She’s a Ham operator as well as advanced SCUBA diver, and delivery captain.
2005 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award – Cory Sertl
January 2005 – Cory Sertl, a world-class sailor and youth coach, was presented with the Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award for 2005 for her outstanding contributions to the sport. Sponsored by the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S.) and the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA), the award honors a male or female who has leveraged their name, skills, or position in the sailing world to reach out and enrich women’s lives through sailing.
“Not only has Cory Sertl competed and won at the highest levels of the sport, she’s donated countless hours and travel time to represent the U.S. in the world sailing forum,” said Elaine Dickinson of BoatU.S., who presented the award in December. “She’s not just a role model, but an instructor and mentor to many young women interested in sailing.”
Among Sertl’s many accomplishments: Member of US SAILING’s delegation to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Coaches high school sailing at Rochester Yacht Club, Rochester, NY Skipper of the team that won the 2004 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship. Two-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, a former Olympian, and a winner of the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship. Winner with Jody Swanson of the Women’s Open Doublehanded Championship in 1990 and the U.S. Women’s Championship for the Adams Cup in 1992. Served on US SAILING’s Women’s Sailing Committee Cory Sertl joins a distinguished list of past awardees who have also contributed in unique ways including Bernadette Bernon, Betsy Alison, Gail Hine, Dawn Riley and Doris Colgate.
2004 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award – Doris Colgate
June 8, 2004 – Doris Colgate, President and CEO of Offshore Sailing School was presented with the Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award for 2004 this weekend at the 3rd annual Women’s Sailing Conference held at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA. Sponsored by the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) and the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA), the award honors a male or female who has leveraged their name, skills, or position in the sailing world to reach out and enrich other’s lives through sailing.
“Doris has been a true pioneer in women’s sailing and was well ahead of her time in launching new programs for women that have brought literally thousands of new participants into boating,” said Elaine Dickinson of BoatUS, who helped present the award June 5. “Never content to focus only on a successful business, Doris has consistently sought new ways to bring women and girls into sailing, as well as promote sailing as a lifestyle. She’s not just been a role model, but a mentor to many women in the industry.”
Doris has served on the BoatUS National Advisory Council as well as the board of directors and marketing committee of Sail America, the sailing industry association. Colgate joined Offshore Sailing School as its vice president in 1970, became president in 1978 and CEO in 2001. Now in its 40th year, Offshore Sailing School has grown from a one-branch, two-boat operation to 10 sailing schools and a retail sales division for their Colgate 26 training boat. Within the schools’ offerings, Doris created innovative women’s educational courses and cruises. In 1990, she founded the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) to create more sailing opportunities for women and educational offerings for women to build confidence and skills. Doris also helped NWSA launch AdventureSail in 1991, a sailing-mentoring program for at-risk girls. In 1997, she established the Women’s Sailing Foundation (WSF) a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of women and girls through education and access to the sport of sailing. Author of SAILING: A Woman’s Guide (International Marine/McGraw Hill), Colgate received the 2000 Southam Award in the book category. Colgate received the Betty Cook Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award from Boating magazine and International Women in Boating for her work in the marine industry. In 1996 she shared with Steve Colgate, the Sail Magazine Industry Award for Leadership. And in 2003, US SAILING, the national governing body of sailing in the U.S., awarded Steve and Doris the Timothea Larr Trophy for their leadership and excellence in sailing education.
At the Women’s Sailing Conference over 100 women – from college students to grandmothers – learned new skills as well as brushed up on old ones and networked with other women sailors. The Conference is one of many events that BoatUS – with 565,000 members – sponsors that promotes boating opportunities for women. Others include the BoatUS Santa Maria Cup/ISAF Women’s World Matching Racing Championship.
2003 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award – Dawn Riley
Dawn Riley, the world champion sailor who has made great strides in developing sailing outreach programs for young people, was presented with the Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award this weekend at the 2nd annual Women’s Sailing Conference held at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA. Sponsored by the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) and the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA), the award honors a male or female who has gone beyond competitive racing and leveraged their name, skills, or position in the sailing world to reach out and enrich other’s lives through sailing. “No one is more deserving of this honor than Dawn Riley,” said Elaine Dickinson of BoatUS, who presented the award along with NWSA President Diana Smith. “Her racing career has been extraordinary, breaking numerous barriers for women. But she’s also gone beyond winning trophies to give something back to the sport and to society at large through her America True Foundation.” Riley founded and leads the America True Foundation, whose goal is to bring the joy of sailing to youth nationwide. Other accomplishments include being the first woman to head up an America’s Cup Syndicate (2000) as well as team captain of the first all-women’s America’s Cup team, America3 (1995). She was the only female crew member on an America’s Cup team in 1992 and she led the Heineken team, the all-women’s entry in the Whitbread Round the World Race (1993-94). Riley was the first two-time winner of the world-class BoatUS Santa Maria Cup women’s match race regatta; the first sailor to be named President of the Women’s Sports Foundation; and also the 1999 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year.
2002 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award – Gail Hine
January 2002 – Gail Hine, one of the first female sailors in the U.S. to organize large-scale training events just for women, was awarded the third Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award at Sail Expo in Atlantic City, NJ, Jan. 25. The award, which is given annually, is co-sponsored by the National Women’s Sailing Association and BoatUS, the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters. “The Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award is given to a person who has a record of achievement in inspiring, educating and enriching the lives of women through sailing,” said Elaine Dickinson, managing editor of BoatUS Magazine and a member of the board of directors of the National Women’s Sailing Association. She presented the trophy along with Doris Colgate, founder of NWSA and CEO of Offshore Sailing School. Said Richard Schwartz, BoatUS founder, “Thousands of women in California have either been introduced to sailing or improved their skills because of Gail’s efforts. She has a truly remarkable combination of sailing knowledge, organizational skills and, boundless energy. For over three decades Gail has volunteered her time to expand the sailing arena for women.” The 13th annual Women’s Sailing Convention will be held Feb. 2 in Corona del Mar, CA, and 330 participants will be involved in some 30 seminars both on the water and in the classroom, led by expert women instructors. Relying extensively on grassroots organizing, Gail brings together this event each year with donated time, donated boats and equipment. BoatUS is the title sponsor of the Women’s Sailing Convention. Hine was also one of the first women in California to be elected commodore of a yacht club, Palos Verdes, which later named a perpetual trophy for her. In 1990, she was the first woman to be named “Yachtsman of the Year” — the Peggy Slater Award — by the Southern California Yachting Association. She has served on boards and committees too numerous to list and has made a significant contribution to improving boating in California through legislative advocacy work when she served as president of Recreational Boaters of California, a statewide organization. During her term in office she also served on the BoatUS National Advisory Council. Gail still finds time to race her Nightingale 24 in local regattas.
2000 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award – Betsy Alison
Betsy is the top-ranked U.S. women’s match racer holding 22 national and international titles, and mentor to young people in numerous sailing programs. As coach, Alison led the U.S. Disabled/ Paralympic sailing team to a Bronze medal. With her is Doris Colgate, at left, president of the National Women’s Sailing Association, and Becky Squires, director of public relations for BoatUS The annual award is jointly sponsored by NWSA and BoatUS. The 2000 recipient is Betsy Alison, one of the top-ranked women sailors in the U.S. and the world. She has the number one ranking in the U.S. for women’s match racing and is ranked second in the world. Her current goal is to win an Olympic medal in 2004 in the new women’s keelboat discipline in the Olympic Games to be held in Athens, Greece. But Betsy has done much more than race and much of her leadership has been in advising and coaching disabled sailors. She recently coached the U.S. Disabled/Paralympic Sailing Team to a bronze medal in Sydney. She has also volunteered her time to the National Women’s Sailing Association’s AdventureSail® program which reaches out to inner city and at-risk young women. Alison holds 22 national, international and world sailing titles.
1999 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award – Bernadette Bernon
The 1999 recipient was Bernadette Bernon, former editor of Cruising World magazine and founding director of the Cruising World Safety at Sea Institute which has educated over 15,000 sailors at their seminars. She has served on the BoatUS National Advisory Council, and the boards of the National Women’s Sailing Association, Sail Expo and Sail America. The first recipient of the Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award, Bernadette Bernon, center, received the trophy at Sail Expo in Atlantic City in January. Bernadette is the editor of Cruising World magazine and has sponsored numerous outreach efforts to make sailing and cruising more accessible to women. With her is Doris Colgate, at left, president of the National Women’s Sailing Association, and Jim Ellis, at right, executive vice president of BoatUS The annual award is jointly sponsored by BoatUS and NWSA