The American Sailing Association has launched a new campaign designed to get more women on the water. The “Women Wake Up Zone” encourages more women to take the helm. The Manhattan Yacht Club is hosting the Lady Liberty Regatta, an all-female regatta on June 8 and 9, 2019. Manhattan Sailing School is the public teaching arm of Manhattan Yacht Club.
Women On The Water
The top women sailors are about to compete in a New York Harbor Regatta. The Manhattan Yacht Club, the largest and most active sailing club in the New York Harbor, will host The Lady Liberty Regatta, an all-women’s regatta on June 8 and 9, 2019. The Regatta will bring together sixty-five of the top amateur women sailors from across the US to compete in front of one of the world’s most famous icons, the Statue of Liberty.
Hosted by the Manhattan Yacht Club (MYC) and sponsored by the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation, the Regatta began in 1989 as part of Fleet Week. Historically it has drawn top sailors from across the country, including Heidi Riddle (1985 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year), Hannah Swett (2003 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year), and Dawn Riley (youngest CEO of an America’s Cup Team and 1999 Rolex Yachtswoman). The strength of this year’s field is equally impressive and includes Erica Beck Spencer and Jess Harris (winners of the top female team in 2017 J24 World Championship), Michele Cimon (winner of multiple Rolex Championships), and NYC’s own Danielle Gallo (rated 4th in the US in Women’s Match Racing and 38th in the World in Women’s Match Racing).
Competitor Erica Spencer sums up the event from her point of view: “This event means the world to us. We finally get the chance to race against more than two or three female boats on a race course!”
Unique to this regatta, spectators will be able to watch the races from MYC’s clubhouse on the water next to Ellis Island. Equally important, Lady Liberty Regatta is the first regatta in New York Harbor to be registered with Sailors of the Sea as a Clean Regatta, a certification which complies with environmentally sustainability standards and promotes the health of the world’s marine ecosystems.
This event is made possible in part by many generous sponsors including Windham Mountain Resort, Organic Pharmer, Ernst & Young, Sea Bags, 12° West, Bocca Bliss, Regatta Craft Mixers, Sunsail, Lemon & Line, Bare Republic, Team One, Fresh Start Produce, Cora Balls and Sailors for the Sea, and the Lady Liberty Regatta Honor Roll made up of individual donors.
The following teams have entered the 2019 Lady Liberty Regatta.
There are a total of 13 berths in this first regatta.
1. Danielle Gallo, Manhattan Yacht Club, New York Harbor, Crew TBA
2. Katie Morgan, Manhattan Yacht Club, New York Harbor, Crew TBA
3. Michele Cimon, Nepean Sailing Club, Ottawa, Canada, Crew TBA
4. Jess Harris & Erica Beck Spencer, Portland Yacht Club, Portland, ME, Crew TBA
5. Natalie Harden, Austin Yacht Club, Austin, TX, Crew TBA
6. Lee Ann Zaretsky, Rochester Yacht Club, Rochester, NY, Crew TBA
7. Ginjer Yachechak, North Flathead Yacht Club, Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle
Somers, MT & Seattle, WA, Crew TBA
8. Brigette Croke, Indian Harbor Yacht Club, Greenwich, CT, Crew TBA
9. Casey Firth, Tred Avon Yacht Club, Washington, DC, Crew TBA
10. MacKenzie McGuckin, Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, Oyster Bay, NY, Crew TBA
11. Robin Van Vliet, Richmond Yacht Club, Pt Richmond, CA, Crew TBA
12. Katie White, St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, CA, Crew TBA
“When people hear sailing, they often think of stuffy, 60-year-old men behind the wheel while women watch, but we are leading the diversity of our industry with this education campaign, and it starts with more women sailors,” says Cindy Shabes, president of the American Sailing Association. “Many of our instructors and high-level instructor evaluators are now women, and many of our schools are now owned or managed by women. Fully one-third of our new students last year were women. With this education campaign, we want to erase the stereotypes and eliminate the fear some women have that sailing is too expensive and physically demanding. As we see more women take the wheel and thrive on our waterways, we want others to follow in their wake!”