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American Sailing Association launches ‘Women Wake Up Zone’

The initiative seeks to encourage more women to learn how to sail, and to celebrate them on the water.

Photo by Kristel Hayes

The American Sailing Association wants to get more women out on the water. The nationwide organization, which has sailing schools located in Stafford and Woodbridge, announced its new education campaign, “Women Wake Up Zone,” on March 26.

“When people hear ‘sailing,’ they often think of stuffy, 60-year-old men behind the wheel while women watch,” said Cindy Shabes, president of the American Sailing Association, in a press release. “Although a recent market research study shows that men outnumber women seven to one as registered boat owners, many of our instructors and high-level instructor evaluators are now women, and many of our schools are now owned or managed by women.”

The “Women Wake Up Zone” campaign includes classes that teach women how to tie knots, raise a sail, maneuver a modern two-speed winch (the device on a boat to pull in or let out wind), the procedure to follow if someone falls off a boat and how to “take the helm,” using fingertip precision to steer and sail the course.

In 2018, one-third of new students at American Sailing Association were women, and the organization anticipates that number will rise to half of all new students by 2020.

To find out more information, visit asa.com.

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