Doris Colgate Sailing Clinic & Cup
Inaugural Doris Colgate Sailing Clinic & Cup Hosted by Edison Sailing Center
Edison Sailing Center’s Training Director Stephanie Webb said the event’s purpose was to “train, empower and encourage girls and women to take the helm, and become comfortable competitors in the sailing world.”
Seven junior sailors from across the US were coached by Wendy Reuss, formerly of Sarasota Sailing and Roger Williams University Sailing, and National Junior Woman Sailor of the Year; and Gareth Petko-Bunney, Optimist Head Coast, Annapolis Yacht Club and Laser Sailor. Plans are already underway for the 2016 Doris Colgate Clinic & Cup.
The girls, ranging in age from 14 to 17, were coached for two full days starting the day after Thanksgiving, sailing Laser class dinghies. The two US sailing coaches worked the girls hard both on and off the water. Each morning after rigging their boats they did aerobic, stretching and core exercises, then sailed out into the Caloosahatchee River for several hours of intense drills. Mid-morning they returned to shore for video review and chalk talk, then back out for more drills until lunch. The afternoons followed the same schedule with more hard core exercising before setting sail.
Doris Colgate, President and CEO of Offshore Sailing School based in Ft. Myers, followed the girls’ progress each day, observing from a chase boat with US sailing judge Carol Robinson, who was instrumental in helping Webb and a volunteer team of ESC board members and parents organize and host the event. “It was fabulous seeing how the girls improved in each on-water session,” Colgate observed. “The coaching was intense, forcing them to tack, jibe, complete tight circles and maximize personal skills as they sailed upwind, downwind and on a reach.
Empowering Girls and Women to Take the Helm
Speaking about the Doris Colgate Clinic & Cup, Edison Sailing Center’s Executive Director Stephanie Webb said the purpose of this event is to “train, empower and encourage girls and women to take the helm, and become comfortable competitors in the sailing world.” This is the first of an inaugural Junior Women’s Laser Sailing Clinic and Cup held at Edison Sailing Center at 13019 N. Cleveland Avenue. Webb continued, “We’ve named the regatta in honor of Doris Colgate to recognize her “unwavering mission to introduce sailing to more women and girls, to take the helm and gain competence and confidence on the water and across all facets of their lives.”
Achieving Life Goals Through Sailing
Colgate commented, “I am humbled and appreciate having this sailing event for girls named in my honor as it assists them in achieving their sailing and life goals.” Colgate is the author of SAILING: A Women’s Guide, and she co-wrote multiple sailing textbooks with her husband Steve Colgate, Offshore Sailing School’s founder and Chairman. In 1990, Doris Colgate founded the National Women’s Sailing Association to create more awareness of sailing among women and help women build confidence in their sailing skills. In 1991, Colgate launched AdventureSail, a mentoring program for at-risk girls, and later she established the Women’s Sailing Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of women and girls through education and access to the sport of sailing. Colgate has received many honors and awards throughout her career, including the Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award sponsored by BoatU.S. and the National Women’s Sailing Association.