Women sailors from all over the country will be heading to Jackson Park Yacht Club on Saturday, September 11, for the 20th annual Women’s Sailing Conference. The National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) event sponsored by Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) offers a day of fun, camaraderie and exceptional learning experiences. A wide array of sessions will be offered — from diesel engine basics and knot tying to reefing and racing. For the first time, both in-person and online attendance options are offered.
Said conference Co-Chair Capt. Chiaka Patterson, “Join an amazing group of fabulous women as we attend a day long, enriching sailing event, hear inspirational women speakers who are national leaders in the sport, and make new friends along the way. There is something for everyone whether you are completely new to sailing, intermediate, or advanced in your knowledge.”
This year’s conference theme, “Sharing Sailing,” spotlights the issue that minority sailors represent a small fraction of sailors nationwide. However, this year’s conference site, Jackson Park Yacht Club, based in Jackson Park Harbor on the city’s South Side makes claim to the largest community of minority sailors in the country with three-hundred of the club’s 400 members of African-American descent. In recent years, the club’s community outreach included a free kids sailing camp and affordable sailing lessons for adults.
The conference begins on Friday evening the night before with a welcome mixer for early arrivals. Saturday’s continental breakfast is included, as is lunch where the 2021 Women’s Sailing Award honoree, avid West Coast sailboat racer and the first Black woman to serve as commodore of the historic Los Angeles Yacht Club, Capt. Marie Rogers, will speak on her experiences in sharing sailing. A fundraising raffle to support the Women’s Sailing Foundation and an opportunity for social networking cap off the event Saturday evening.
Some of the conference presenters slated to lead hands-on land- and water-based workshops and seminars include Capts. Patterson and Rogers as well as Beth Burlingame, Nancy Early, Debbie Huntsman, Margaret Pommert, Rachel Zoe Miller and Lynda Stephens. Also slated to present are Barbara Robertson, Doris Colgate, Gail Turluck, Pat Dieselman, Debby Grimm and Chris Garbacz.
In-person conference attendance is $210 ($170 for NWSA members), and online l-only passes $75 ($35 for NWSA members). To register go to nwsa.quvent.com.
The National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) is a program of the Women’s Sailing Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of women and girls through education and access to the sport of sailing. Visit womensailing.org.
Celebrating more than 50 years, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with more than 800,000 members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We are The Boat Owners Auto Club and help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins. When boats break down on the water, TowBoatUS brings them safely back to the launch ramp or dock, 24/7. BoatUS offers GEICO boat insurance policies that give boat owners affordable, specialized coverage and superior service they need. We help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.