On a windy afternoon on Mother’s day, sixteen intrepid women gathered on the club porch for the start of the 2017 Women’s Sailing Clinic. Because of the strong, gusty wind, the first Sunday’s session, May 14, was held on Carter’s Creek and the second Sunday, May 21, was on the Rappahannock River. The second Sunday brought perfect sailing conditions and eight Cape Dory Typhoons could be seen practicing sail handling, helming, tacking and jibing out on the River. Low key races were held during the final hour and six boats elected to participate. After the tired and happy group returned to the dock, beverages and snacks awaited them on the back porch of the yacht club. Laughter and conversation was heard late into the afternoon.
The 2-day sailing clinic was designed to help women increase sailing skills and build confidence helming and crewing. “I am used to just following orders from the captain (my husband). I want a chance to do it myself so that I can learn why,” said member and participant Leslie Damon. This year’s 2-day event was filled to capacity. Twenty-nine women signed up with two thirds being non-members. Had more coaches and Typhoons been available we would have been able to accommodate all sailors but many had to be wait listed.
The women participants were organized into two-person teams aboard Typhoons and were instructed by Coaches Ned Crockett, Gary Hooper, Danielle Kuper, Stephanie Chaufournier, Mikey Kennedy, Tom Linville, Harry Wells, Greg Shivers and CJ Carter who all did a stellar job instructing and encouraging their charges. The Race Committee was led by PRO Lance Franke, George Kuper, Tom Armstrong, Sam van Saun and Marc Hudgins. An additional thanks to Tom Chapman and Tom Watkins who lent their Typhoons for the clinic. And extra big thanks to all of our volunteers -- your efforts definitely helped to inspire many new sailors!